Originally published on Advocate.com September 11 2003 12:00 AM ET
The conservative Montana Family Coalition plans to launch a campaign against the new television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, calling it trash that should not be on TV. The coalition's executive director, Julie Millam, said the group's campaign will target advertisers who air commercials during the one-hour reality show, which features five gay designers who give aesthetically inept straight men head-to-toe makeovers. "To me, that's not a reality show about gay people," Millam said. "A really good reality show for gay people would be five gay men dying of AIDS."
Gay rights advocates in Montana say the Montana Family Coalition's reaction to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is really a reaction against growing mainstream acceptance of gay content on television and in American life. "The Montana Family Coalition and other groups are in some ways losing the culture war," said Karl Olson, director of the gay rights group PRIDE. "There is a proliferation of TV shows that have some kind of gay content, celebrities often support gay and lesbian issues, and gay teens are making the most astounding progress in schools."
Millam said she has personally heard many complaints about the program. "There's a groundswell of people who are very upset," she said, adding that the show is another example of the direction in which American television is moving. "We don't want to see [gay content] on every single TV show," she said. "I'm hearing from people left and right that every time they turn on the TV, it's something to do with gay people. It's not reality."