THE LATEST éclat in the annals of pop cultural fireworks has come and gone: a TLC reality show called My Husband’s Not Gay that focused on four Mormon men who were married to women despite having a history of attraction to other men. Social media hyped the special as some kind of cultural breakthrough, while gay activists braced themselves for cheesy “ex-gay” propaganda with four happy husbands proving it can be done.
And maybe that’s what the producers of the show had in mind. If so, the men just weren’t cooperating. Sure, they were married and technically faithful to their wives, but the rest of the time they liked nothing better than to check out other guys and comment on their hotness to wives and friends. What they weren’t into was sports, but some of them adored Broadway musicals. Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out called it “the gayest show on earth.” In a sense, of course, these men were doing what gay Mormons (and not just Mormons!) have been doing forever: submitting to the imperative of marriage and family while secretly longing for something else altogether. Only now it’s not secretly, for today we have reality TV.
And what have we learned from this bit of subcultural voyeurism? Basically, that closeted gay men can cruise and dish just as well as those who are living gay lives.