Currents Bryan Safi Keeps it Gay
BY Christopher Mangum
February 22 2010 7:35 PM ET
Judging from your episodes, you must be a pop culture junkie.
I am. I try to ingest everything I can. I watch everything.
Even Jersey Shore?
Yes! What I love about Jersey Shore is that it is so gay. I think the motto for the guys is gym, tan, and laundry. It’s such a stereotypical gay thing – the vanity, the tanning, going out together to find someone.
It’s basically Queer As Folk on the Jersey shore. Is there a gay stereotype you wish would just go away?
Certainly the gay best friend is one. I think the idea that we don’t have an identity and live for these other people is super frustrating. It’s like we are accessories, and defining gays as accessories then puts us in the realm that we are not a real people and don’t have real needs. I know that the straight-woman, gay-man relationship exists, and those relationships can be very genuine, but the ones on TV are not.
No, they are usually abusive!
They are absolutely abusive, and every time I think, Why are you friends with her? Why do you want to be friends with someone [like that], or calls you the gay in front of her friends and thinks it is fun?
Are there any gay people in the media who are contributing positively or challenging gay clichés?
I think Ellen [DeGeneres] is one that talks about her life everyday on TV, and I know that does make a difference. When I worked for Ellen, my grandmother asked me if I had met Ellen’s wife. For my grandmother to use the word wife when talking about a gay couple was crazy. I think she does a lot in the way of subtly mentioning what her and her wife do. It normalizes it so much that all she is saying is no different that what anyone else would say. On the other end, I love Adam Lambert. I love the flamboyance and the in your face attitude. I love that he goes out on these award shows, does what it does, and points out a double standard. I think there could be a lot more fuck it in the gay community.
How long were you working as a writer on Ellen DeGeneres's show?
I was almost there for five months and then Current wanted to do a second season of That’s Gay.
Was there a lot of dancing at Ellen?
Everyday baby! I really did like that job a lot. It was great seeing someone who bounced back bigger than before after going through a shit storm in the 90’s. Everyone, gay or straight, just railed on her.