Tuesday, January 6, 2015

TLC's new show, My Husband's Not Gay...

Recently, my Facebook feed became littered with news about TLC's new reality show, My Husband's Not Gay.  This morning, a friend posted a petition to get this show off the air before it's ever shown.  The show is about Mormon guys living in Salt Lake City, Utah who are "attracted to guys" but aren't gay.  The show will feature three male/female married couples and one male bachelor.  It's supposed to air on January 11, 2015, but if the petitioners have their way, it may not ever see the light of day.

I know this may come as a shock to some people, but I am against trying to get this show axed.  It's not because I think it's a good thing that gay Mormon men are marrying straight women and promoting "conversion therapy".  It's because I am against censorship and thought policing.  I've seen a lot of religious people get up in arms about programming that is on television that upsets them.  Lots of Mormons were upset that South Park spoofed their religion and that a derisive yet brilliant musical was made about the church.

Many people were upset that PBS aired their documentary about Mormons and they wrote letters and signed petitions to try to squelch it.  I remember how a lot of my exmo friends were mocking the offended Mormons for trying to punish broadcasters for showing the church in a bad light.  I kind of see this attempt to quash My Husband's Not Gay as the same thing, only it's much more politically correct to try to squash the expression of ideas that don't support homosexuality.

Personally, I think it's very wrong for homosexuals and straight people to marry-- but then, people get married for all kinds of reasons besides love and mutual attraction and I would not support making a gay/straight marriage illegal.  I simply support freedom of choice and the free exchange of ideas.  That way, they can be discussed.  I'm certain that many people who might see this show have never even heard of conversion therapy.  If they learn about it, maybe they can discuss it among themselves and form their own opinions.

In the case of TLC's new show, it looks like some people want it to be axed because they are afraid it will promote "conversion therapy" as an appropriate treatment for homosexuals.  I have done a lot of reading about conversion therapy and, based on what I've read, I don't believe it's a useful or viable treatment to try to "cure" someone of homosexuality.  But I'm just one person and for all I know, there may be many people out there who disagree.  I think they should have a voice.  And then I think the public should be able to weigh in on the presentation of that idea.

I don't want certain interest groups deciding for me what should or should not be allowed on TV.  I have the choice to change the channel or not watch if programming is offensive to me; other people likewise have the same choice.  It's unlikely I will see TLC's new show even if it does end up airing because I'm in Germany and I doubt I will want to pay to see it.  But everyone in the United States has a choice to watch the show or not watch it.  If it truly turns out to be very offensive, I suspect people will make their voices heard and the network will do whatever is financially most advantageous to them.  That may seem like a cold way to put it, but when it comes down to it, money is a big factor in a lot of decisions.    


  1. Would this show ever have been considered had the setting been somewhere like, well, Baltimore, for example? mormons need to get over themselves.

    I never thought i'd say that i was returning to the land of sanity when flying into the sF bay area, but Utah makes even California appear sane.

    1. I don't think it's the Mormons who are upset about it... though some of them probably are. It looks like it's members of the LGBT community, some of whom are also Christians. They're upset because this show is going to be about gay guys living a "lie" with straight women in the name of religion.

      I understand why this is offensive and upsetting to them, but I doubt any of them have seen the show yet. I just think a show like this could end up being a positive thing if it gets people talking. I don't agree with gays and straights marrying for religious reasons. I definitely think it's wrong for a homosexual to pretend to be straight just to have kids or something. But it's not a cut and dried issue.

      Censorship is not the answer, anyway. Preventing the show from airing is pretty much the same as turning a blind eye to it. How can things ever change if people never learn about and discuss things?

  2. I suppose I understand the LGBT community's dismay as well, but censorship in this particular case is just a form of pretending it's not happening, which seems stupid in addition to my overall bad feelings about censorship. So the Mormons are OK with the program? Maybe they've had so many controversial TV shows (I think the most controversial of all was BIG LOVE's reenactment of their actual temple ceremony even if the show itself was fiction) that this is barely a blip on the radar screen to them.

  3. I'm not sure what Mormons think about it. The people involved in the show are supposedly active Mormons. The men say they love their wives (except for the one bachelor who is looking for a woman), but they are "attracted" to men. I think what gets people upset is that they are apparently trying to sell this as a viable lifestyle choice.

    From what I've read on RfM, there are a lot of gay men who married women. But after I read Carol Lynn Pearson's book, "Goodbye, I Love You" and her daughter, Emily's, ex husband's book "Confessions of a Mormon Boy", I started thinking about this issue more. It's hard-- because they made beautiful kids... But Emily's dad and ex husband are/were gay. To me, it seems very unfair to get married to someone straight when you know you are gay, especially if your partner doesn't know. But then... they made kids and they chose women who are exceptionally understanding. Carol Lynn Pearson's writing about her ex husband is especially moving. She loved him and he loved her, but he was gay.

    I can't deny that were I in her situation, I'd probably be very angry and feel used, though.


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