Thoughts on the Real World: Brooklyn…

January 15, 2009

I am long past my MTV phase. The lure of oversexed and unrealisitc reality shows lost its appeal when I started having a social life of my own (the sex included). With the increased disbelief in the action I saw on the screen and my own fulfillment of an active life outside my living room, I gave up hope on shows like the Real World. In fact, the last season I had watched religiously was New Orleans, the cast of which I can still remember…BECAUSE THEY WERE REAL. That was season 9, and they are apparently beyond season 20 now. WTF? How did that happen?


The cast of the Real World: Brooklyn

But this season of the Real World has received a significant amount of press, making me actually pay attention. Taking place in Brooklyn, my neighbor to the east via the 6 train, this season features an intriguingly diverse cast. Not the traditional diversity based on race, but sexual diversity at an above-average percentage. Supposedly, 10% of the population is gay. In New York that number climbs to 30%. This cast, comprised of a larger cast of 8 instead of the traditional 7, has one gay man, one bisexual woman, and one transwoman. This is among other closeted members of the cast (cough. cough. Chet. cough).

These are really thrilling numbers. I am so glad that greater America can have the opportunity to finally see what being transgender/sexual is all about on a regular basis. It is not something to be ashamed of nor hidden. The same is true with bisexuality: it is possible to love both genders, and I am glad to see that this person is so accepted in the house. Everyone is a little bisexual, they just might not know it.

The gay man has been a routine inclusion in Real World houses, but not always with the best results or reputations. While I do not think that people should change to fit in, I hate gay stereotypes and I have trouble accepting those gay men who meet and flaunt them. It makes me feel like we will never get beyond lingering perceptions of promiscous gay men having sex all the time and wearing rings on bent-wristed hands. I cannot explain it fully because I do not have enough time or space to. And maybe it is too irrational for me to understand fully.

Watching the show reminds me of the same old tawdry arguments and scripts they have always used. They say the same things and have the same problems. So why should I watch? I do not know. Perhaps I am hoping that America will change as a result of one episode (perhaps enough to revoke Prop 8). Maybe I will at least see some places I am familiar around the city.

And that thing I said about Chet…well, I try to accept every person for what they say they are. After all, who knows you better than you? And I applaud his attempt to change perceptions on Mormons by acting the way he chooses. And I love that he was open-minded enough to wear eyeliner and go to the gay clubs (possibly convincing that other boy, who is trouble). But I cannot help this vibe of GAYNESS that I get from Chet. But, hey, I am not judging him either way. I think he will be who he wants to be.

See you next week Brooklyn cast: you have me (temporarily) hooked!


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