The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Gays in the Wild


Darlings, we have documented time and again our reluctance to watch network television (except for Lost, of course) and we readily admit that the majority of cable television is a vast landscape of mind-numbingly stupid shows. But lately, we've come to the realization that we're spending too much time at our computers and we've been trying to find something - anything - on TV to catch our interest.

A great way to try out new shows is to just scroll through the On-Demand menu and click on anything that sounds remotely interesting. Spend a couple of minutes viewing it. Don't like it? Click to the next item on the menu. It's much better than channel surfing because channel-surfing gives you one minute of show for every 5 minutes of commercials.

Anyway, a couple weeks back we were on the Discovery Channel menu and clicked on a show called Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment. And bitches? We were HOOKED within minutes. Have any of you seen this? They drop 9 people off in the heart of the Alaska wilderness with only the bare essentials and they have to hike their way back to civilization, killing their food and finding shelter along the way. What makes it better than, say, Survivor, is that there's no prize at the end. They're all doing it just for the experience and subsequently, there's no backstabbing or even any fighting of any kind. They're all in it together and they all want to prevent anyone from dropping out of the adventure because the less people in the group, the more work for the group. It's not just a study in survival; it's a study in teamwork. And because the show was well-cast with a range of likable character types, it's eminently watchable.

While watching the first episode, our heads lit up and a loud clanging noise was heard. Fellow gays will recall that this is what happens when our gaydar is activated (Don't tell the straights, girls. It just alarms them.). See, there was this one guy on the show, Jake, and while he didn't fit the stereotype of "reality show gay" (or even "gay," for that matter), he pinged big time. Our curiosity piqued, we turned to the google. Sure enough, we were right. Not only is Jake Nodar a non-stereotypical gay on a reality show - he's a HORSE TRAINER, for God's sake - he is, in fact, the very first out gay man to ever appear on the Discovery Channel. A fact that is both appalling and thrilling at the same time.

But let's be clear here: he's non-stereotypical in the sense that he's the kind of gay - outdoorsy, adventurous, strong-willed and low-key - that we all know exist, but never see on TV. On the other hand, he's funny and witty and is the person in the group that does the most cheerleading to keep everyone going, qualities that are more familiar and more stereotypical in nature. AfterElton gives him a chance to give an insider's recap of each episode and his entries are hysterical. Plus, apparently, he's a fan of Project Runway and Top Design. Truly a gay after our own hearts, even if we're a little scared of horses. Ladies, he's killed more food than anyone else in the group! That makes him our hero. Plus he's cute, although it's a little hard to tell by Week 3 of no bathing or grooming.

Anyway, we just wanted to give a little shoutout to a show that we're enjoying immensely and would have enjoyed with or without a gay representin', but having a fellow sister there makes it all the more interesting to us, especially when it's a sister who shatters expectations about gay men.

Catch Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment on Discovery, Tuesdays at 10 EST, but make sure you watch the first four episodes On Demand first to get caught up. No, we're not blogging the show.

Photos courtesy of AfterElton and Discovery.com


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65 comments:

YES!


Umm - the "type" of gay Jake is representative of the majority of gays here in Arkansas.
~Zombiebirdhouse


"Umm - the "type" of gay Jake is representative of the majority of gays here in Arkansas."

Umm...congratulations. What does that have to do with T Lo's point that you don't see that type on TV all that often?


A little blurb from his most recent recap:

"As usual, I broke out the pom-poms and was the group cheerleader. It was difficult seeing everyone — even the unflappable John — struggle with feelings of depression and mental exhaustion. Even Kelly Kapowski, the world’s greatest cheerleader, would have a tough time keeping spirits up in this scenario."

LOL.


The fact that the "type" is not really a type just a regular Joe while proud not ignoring that they are gay yet doesn't necessarily identify GAY as their primary identity reference point. And congrats back atcha Mz. I Need Black And White To Understand Anon.
~Zombiebirdhouse


"The fact that the "type" is not really a type just a regular Joe while proud not ignoring that they are gay yet doesn't necessarily identify GAY as their primary identity reference point."

What is your point here? Because so far, you haven't managed to make one. TLo seem to be making the point that he's a non-stereotypical gay person and that's a good thing. You appear to be arguing that point somehow.


I LOVE this show too! It is definitely addicting. I consider myself pretty outdoorsy and I don't think I could do a lot of what they are accomplishing. Glad you enjoy it :)


I love the Alaska Experiment, too! My husband and I caught a marathon of a few episodes last weekend, and we're hooked! It's a GREAT show!


God Anon, what are you talking about? Zombie Birdhouse's point seems to be pretty damn clear to me. As in, "non-urban gays tend to be much more like this thant mincing metros braying about how 'faaaaaabulous' everything is." Geez, rabidly defensive over nothing much?


Can't we all just get along?


*SIGH* That non-stereotypical gays -what ever the hell that means- aren't usually noticed in the first place because they are all over the place like everyone else! Saying something is non-sterotypicl is, in a way, perpetuating that there is a sterotype. These so-called stealth-"types" are there you just don't see them until they say "I'm Gay." Nor do you have to see them JUST as gay.
So here is the Beauty Pageant Answer: I would like the world to be a place that doesn't have to try and place you into invented perameters.
The labels that are implied so far in this thread are rediculous and unnecessary to a large portion of the gay and queer community where I live. If I have to hear a another well-meaning person say, " OH! I didn't know you were gay you act so straight/butch/normal/not gay..."
or "Why are YOU wearing a gay pride t-shirt?" or act all shocked when I introduce them to my husband of 18 years and inevitably say, "But he has a son, I thought...?".
More of my queer friends here know the difference between certain types of automobile engines or horses than know the difference between a Marc Jacobs and Dior.
Bottom line is:
There are definitely more queer-folk like Jake out there in TeeVee land and in Reality Land; just because you don't recognize it doesn't mean they aren't there.
~Z.B.


Thank you Bailey,
Direct and to the point as always. Much Appreciated.
I didn't think this had to be made into a disertation on the Non-coastal species of Queer. I figured everyone here already knew that. Now I gots to go scraitch myself and spit tobacco while I slop meyh hawgs. ~ZB


I've been a fan of this show since day one - and amused that you confirmed my guess about Jake. He's awesome! When some of them worry about losing a 'strong' team member I think they are confusing max-bench-press with well-rounded, real strength. Between his hunting success, stamina and mental toughness he looks like the strongest one there!


All right, that does it. Although I'm sure to miss the occasional charming, funny, or astute thought, I will no longer read the comments on any of TLO's posts. The posts are delicious. The comments lately: bad aftertaste.


After having something big and nasty in my mouth I always find a little bit of Lysterine helps out don't you know ;)
~ZeeeeeeeeBeeeeeeee


"There are definitely more queer-folk like Jake out there in TeeVee land and in Reality Land; just because you don't recognize it doesn't mean they aren't there."

In reality, sure. On TV? There are lots of gay characters on TV that I'm just "not recognizing"? Please direct me to these TV shows, then. Because I'm sure as hell not finding them.


Yeah, what's with everyone's panties being in a twist lately on the comment board?

I am continually amazed at how insulted/offended/infuriated people can get on the interwebs, but it's been even worse here the last few days.


"...outdoorsy, adventurous, strong-willed and low-key - that we all know exist, but never see on TV"

Or in my dating pool. Sigh.


I think the point everyone forgot which TLo made was that ON TV you see one stereotype of gay (on reality tv shows especially) the more effiminate, style loving, label wearing guys (anything by Bravo for instance). On occasion you have a few bears running around or complete LASkankGay sorts in their various permutations but on TV you dont see the wide diversity of gay men, including the horse training, country boys.

c'est tout!


Jen in Philly - I don't know about anyone else here but I'm not getting my panties in a twist 'cause I don't wear 'em. ;) I think a lot of people confuse discussiopn and opinion with arguement and anger. No so. T'lo puts their opinion out there; we as reader are allowed to repsond in like. They have control to allow us to repsond or not or to even take it out. A lot of blogging and email and interweb posting is throwing a stone in a pond and seeing if and how far it ripples. I agree with a lot that is posted here by our hosts - in this case not so much. To me, eh, no big deal.
Anonymous 1:52 are you the same Anon? I guess for me it is not so important to KNOW if someone is gay or not or if a character is gay or not and unless you are the writer and you specifically have some character say "I'm a Big Ol' Gay!" how can you know? I have a few friends who write and develop characters and dialog for production. You'd be suprised to find out that a lot of character background includes this information but it is not brought out because it is felt that it is not relevant to the story being told.
And finally BG said...
"...outdoorsy, adventurous, strong-willed and low-key - that we all know exist, but never see on TV"

Or in my dating pool. Sigh.
Come on down here we'll fix you up.
A genuine and true 90-year-old Grand Dame who is unfortunately no longer with us once quipped to me, " I love a good ol' country gay boy. He can shoot a deer, skin it and make the most lovely supper out of it. After dinner he can suggest the best way to arrange your furniture, move it around as much as you like then make a lovely flower arrangement to go on your table. He can fix your car up as well as sew you up some lovely new curtains. He can do all that, still kiss your hand and call you ma'am but never mess up your hair."
There you are: the very definition of a country queer! ~Z.B.


First, let me say I would like to stay outside of all the swirling controversy.

Second, I happened across this show by accident this weekend, when they were trying to catch a gopher to eat. There was a certain gallows humor to how much effort they put into trying to catch the tiny thing, since they really needed it in order to keep going. Then they finally caught it "Loony Tunes style". I now know the proper way to skin a gopher, from the tiniest girl, no less.

I also loved (and was somewhat surprised by) the team member that just happened to be gay, but was at least the equal of anyone on
the team, survival-skills wise. Not to fill the gay slot, or do the cooking, or be the fashion or furniture advisor, or to provide snark. Like the show, refreshing.


Thanks for the tip, TLo! I was looking for a new show, and my boyfriend might even watch this one with me. Sad to hear you won't blog it, but I know you don't have time to blog every good show on TV. You guys really need to clone yourselves, several times over, in order to fix that. ;-)


Z.B., I remain confused about your point. You originally seemed(and still do, to a certain extent)somewhat annoyed about T Lo's mention of stereotypical gays, but their whole point was about how great it is to see a gay person on TV who is NOT a stereotype. I would think that would make you happy, seeing a gay person who is more like the gay people you know.

Bailey, thank you for your contribution, which, like all your contributions, was pointless and needlessly aggressive.


Just saw a network show last night with a gay couple. Was surprised that it wasn't harped on that they were gay, and one of the guys was the stereotypical gay man, while the other was not. I thought it was refreshing.


Interesting, I'll have to check this out. Reminds me of growing up in Nothern Michigan. Shoot the deer, clean it and serve it up with some chokecherry buerre rouge and wild mushroom risotto.


Yes Anon @ 12:30, I'm being argumentative, though you're the one still arguing with a (fairly clear) point you admit you don't understand. Oh, how I wish I could come off as passive and docile as you, lol.


Bailey, do try to read before you spout off. I didn't say you were argumentative at all. I said you were needlessly aggressive.

And I'm not arguing anything. I'm trying to understand Z.B.'s point. How not surprising that you can't tell the difference.


That's enough, girls.


I have never equated "gay" with weakness, so the appearance of a gay man on a survival show is not a huge surprise to me.

I agree that it is wonderfully refreshing to see a survival show that emphasizes team work, skill and maintaining a positive attitude.

In some small way, Jake could be a bigger cultural leap forward than any of the formulaic ___-Out shows Bravo puts out.


I'm a huge fan of the show. My fiance got me hooked : )


C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

"While watching the first episode, our heads lit up and a loud clanging noise was heard. Fellow gays will recall that this is what happens when our gaydar is activated (Don't tell the straights, girls. It just alarms them.)."

Funny, for a straight person (I know, labels, schmabels) when my gaydar is activated I just smile and have a knowing look on my face.

It's nice to know that there IS a reality tv show out there that promotes teamwork instead of backstabbing. I'll see if I can check it out, TLo.


As a fan of the show, my son and I pretty much had Jake on our list as "too cute, too smart, too together, and gayer than the average...um...Alaskan bear" contestant. So glad you're watching and taking note. This is one man I don't think will quit. If anything, he's going to keep everyone working together.

Gay or not, the man knows what he's doing and makes the show. Now if only that cheerleader would just take a lesson from him...


another laura

I just had the thought, re the cast having to feed itself - are they required to feed the producer/camera/sound crew as well? If so, what kind of waivers did they have to get from the union? If not, how awful for the contestants knowing that there was a crafts table somewhere nearby!!!


I was so with you, interested in everything you had to say about this show and this contestant (as I've never watched it), until you called him "sister." So, you want to point out what a non-stereotypical gay man he is (i.e. he's actually kind of butch and rugged), and then refer to him as a woman.

I know, I know, I'm probably taking it too seriously. Instead of criticizing it, however, I'm chalking it up to a generational difference (I think I'm maybe 15 years or so younger than you guys). I have no proof that this is a valid observation other than anecdotal, but it's what I'm going with.


"Donny B said...

I know, I know, I'm probably taking it too seriously. "

Yep.


Donny B: Ever heard of something called The Queen's English?


TLo, for some reason I find it really cute when you wade in to referee the posters' squabbles. It's reassuring somehow -- Mom notices us! Meanwhile, I want to know what you think of Shelley O's outfit today. Pretty please? http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090505/480/3cbc6eee14dd4ca699f8af20efa7b430/#photoViewer=/090512/480/1b4c6b5fe81847029779d9c794fff256


Anon 6:18,
I also love it when TLo comment on their own board. It makes me feel like our daddies are watching us with one eye while doing whatever other fabulous things they do during the day. :)


OMG! OMG! OMG!

I channel flip all the time to find something to waste some time.

I'll have to check this one out ... because it sounds like a fun combination.... Survivor and Man vs. Wild are some of my guilty TV habits. I would love to be lost and conserving precious body heat with Bear Grylls .... Grrr ....

I still DO NOT WATCH Lost, even though it is fun to read TLO's recaps on occasion.

And haven't these comment boards been a bit wild and wicked these days?

Just sayin' and behavin' and not being anonymous-

P.S. I'll have to check out the On Demand listings, to see if I can catch up from the beginning.

P.P.S. And tell me, are BAGGY ASS UGLY SATIN HAREM PANTS a must have item for any members of the wilderness team?

P.P.P.S. Didn't think so.


HAREM PANTS! BUTT UGLY HAREM PANTS!

Sorry, still rantin' and ravin' and having trouble getting my blood pressure down from TFS.

Just sayin-

P.S. If Jake is a Runway fan, I bet he would agree with me about the BUTT UGLY HAREM PANTS, especially after catching and eating a gopher.

Still just sayin-


HAREM PANTS! BUTT UGLY HAREM PANTS!Gotta agree, Smartass!


YAY! I know this blog was for the joy of non-stereotypical gay tv personalities, but i'm excited because of the Alaska part of it. I live in Alaska and it's always exciting to see us in a non-Sarah-Palin related way. Thanks T Lo!


Ohh and I noticed a comment with Bear Grylls mentioned in it.. just some information on that particular outdoorsy- rugged- type: he is neither outdoorsy nor rugged. On one of his shows, he features himself catching a pink salmon with his hands. That pink salmon was actually caught by my cousin, with her fishing rod. Bear, while admittedly quite hunky, should stick to just wearing flannel and stop pretending like he needs it.


Gee, another Anonymous Smackdown! Wouldn't it just be easier to make up a name than identify yourselves by times?

I'm a woman who loves fashion and girly stuff and also loves football and guyey stuff, so there. Maybe I'm a stereotype breaker, too.

I used to be in the horse business and gay male horse trainers are sort of the norm, at least for some breeds (of horse). Hey, gay guys compete in the Olympics for the United States (and other countries)!--in the equestrian events. That's also the only sport in which men and women compete as equals (and male and female horses, too).

There are also gay football players, race car drivers, and all that stuff. There may be a lot of "characters" on reality TV shows who are gay but choose not to identify as such.

One network that seems to have a lot of gay guys (and gals) and doesn't make an issue of it is HGTV. I'm not talking so much about the designers, but the clients. They frequently have homeowning gay couples, male and female.

Oh, honeys, straight gals have the "gaydar" too.


another laura said...

I just had the thought, re the cast having to feed itself - are they required to feed the producer/camera/sound crew as well? If so, what kind of waivers did they have to get from the union? If not, how awful for the contestants knowing that there was a crafts table somewhere nearby!!!

************************
So now I'm going to lie awake pondering this one!


Ellen M said...

"One network that seems to have a lot of gay guys (and gals) and doesn't make an issue of it is HGTV. I'm not talking so much about the designers, but the clients. They frequently have homeowning gay couples, male and female.

Oh, honeys, straight gals have the "gaydar" too.

5/12/09 10:16 PM"

What about The Faux News channel? Oh wait, they're too busy condemning the gays.

Which is funny considering how their Lord Rush Limbaugh used to go cruising for trannys in Pittsburgh. LOL!


formerlyAnon said...
another laura said...

I just had the thought, re the cast having to feed itself - are they required to feed the producer/camera/sound crew as well? If so, what kind of waivers did they have to get from the union? If not, how awful for the contestants knowing that there was a crafts table somewhere nearby!!!

************************
So now I'm going to lie awake pondering this one!

5/12/09 11:41 PM


Ellen M said...
"One network that seems to have a lot of gay guys (and gals) and doesn't make an issue of it is HGTV. I'm not talking so much about the designers, but the clients. They frequently have homeowning gay couples, male and female.

5/12/09 10:16 PM"

What about Faux News?


"Ellen M said...

Gee, another Anonymous Smackdown! Wouldn't it just be easier to make up a name than identify yourselves by times? "

Well, no. Not really. And how strange that merely trying to have a conversation is characterized as a "smackdown."


T.Lo said: "'Donny B said...

I know, I know, I'm probably taking it too seriously.'

Yep."

OK, fine, that's fair. I just honestly don't understand how we, as gay men, can complain that (some) straight people think gay men are weaker, more feminine, etc. and then call each other 'sister.' It just makes no sense to me, that's all.


I watched it last night. Great show. I wouldn't survive a day. Thanks for the recommendation, guys.


" Donny B said...

OK, fine, that's fair. I just honestly don't understand how we, as gay men, can complain that (some) straight people think gay men are weaker, more feminine, etc. and then call each other 'sister.' It just makes no sense to me, that's all."

Well for one, when have you ever heard us complain that some people see gay men that way? More importantly, the minute we let other people's perceptions of us determine what would be considered appropriate humor or appropriate ways to refer to each other is the minute we've lost the battle. Being gay and out is about defying societal expectations and definitions. Being gay,out, and PROUD of it is about not giving a flying fuck what those expectations and perceptions are.


Ellen said"One network that seems to have a lot of gay guys (and gals) and doesn't make an issue of it is HGTV. I'm not talking so much about the designers, but the clients. They frequently have homeowning gay couples, male and female."

I agree. My sister and her girlfriend and kids actually did the show "Buy Me" .

And yes, TLo, we straight women have gaydar, too; maybe not as finely honed as yours but definitely there.


"Lenora said...
And yes, TLo, we straight women have gaydar, too; maybe not as finely honed as yours but definitely there."

No, you don't. Gaydar is the ability of gay people to recognize subtle aspects of themselves in other gay people.


"No, you don't. Gaydar is the ability of gay people to recognize subtle aspects of themselves in other gay people."

I've never known it to be limited exclusively to gays.


"I've never known it to be limited exclusively to gays."

Because you're confusing two concepts. One is the ability to figure out if someone is gay or not and that's a skill anyone can master. The other is, as I said, the ability to recognize subtle aspects OF THEMSELVES in other people. It's a lot more refined and personalized than merely being able to Spot the Gay.


"Because you're confusing two concepts. One is the ability to figure out if someone is gay or not and that's a skill anyone can master. The other is, as I said, the ability to recognize subtle aspects OF THEMSELVES in other people. It's a lot more refined and personalized than merely being able to Spot the Gay."

Alright, we seem to be getting more serious than this is meant to be but I've always called it gaydar; you're welcome to call it whatever you like.

I think it's good that the homophobes can see a not as stereotypical gay person. Maybe if they see them as less "other", it might take away some of the fear and lead to more acceptance and the world could definitely use more of that.


This comment has been removed by the author.

I'm gay and I totally agree with Lenora's definition. Gaydar is the ability for anybody to "Spot the Gay," as you put it. What does seeing certain traits of your being and personality have anything to do with it? It's a portmanteau of "gay" and "radar."

(Although I would probably claim that most women who think they've got good gaydar aren't as good as they think, and gays themselves have them beat on average. Then again I have met homos with terrible gaydar, so you never know.)


The show is awesome!


By the way, thank you for the link to his blog. He's hilarious...and cute : )


T.Lo said: "Well for one, when have you ever heard us complain that some people see gay men that way? More importantly, the minute we let other people's perceptions of us determine what would be considered appropriate humor or appropriate ways to refer to each other is the minute we've lost the battle. Being gay and out is about defying societal expectations and definitions. Being gay,out, and PROUD of it is about not giving a flying fuck what those expectations and perceptions are."

I never said you guys specifically complained about that, but let's not pretend that that hasn't been a problem with our acceptance (i.e. seeing us as less than "real men"). There's something about your reply that smacks of "words don't matter, let's just call each other whatever we want!" We know that words DO matter. We don't really call each other 'fag' or 'faggot', right? Maybe some do, but it seems widely frowned upon. 'Sister' is not politically loaded like 'faggot,' but it still carries the zing of emasculation with it. He's a rugged, resourceful, down to earth man, but he's gay, so that means he's a...girl? Really?

It's easy to criticize large organizations (like, say, the HRC) while not taking responsibility for our own actions, however small or innocuous they may seem.

By the way, since it's hard to imply tone over the internet, I mean this all in the most respectful manner. I think you guys are awesome and I check your blog only about 10 times a day. This is just something that irks me and you guys happened to bring it up in this one post.


I LOVE Jake...he has totally dominated. These folks would have starved to death if it wasn't for his hunting! He has shown mental toughness and stamina. Who would've guessed that all the macho men would drop like flies?(really anyone...they're the biggest babies of all)


This is getting far too much into a gender/sexuality analysis. I kind of didn't want to participate; and I have a feeling this may spark more debate rather than stop it, but I feel it must be said. Why are the critics here assuming that feminine is demeaning? It shouldn't be, and is insulting to all women that the feminine is considered lesser than the masculine. I'm SURE no offense was meant, but the implications are there all the same.

What I'm saying is that TLo meant absolutely no offense by calling someone a "sister", but by seeing it as an insult, some commenters are causing more offense. Not that I'm really all that offended, because I figured most of you don't really think there's something inherently wrong with being a girl.

So I guess what I'm really saying is stop over-analyzing the humor (hypocrisy noted), and don't take offense when in fact the exact opposite is intended


Thanx Tom & Lorenzo for the "heads-up" (no pun intended). I am all caught up and eager to see 5/19 epi having spent most of the weekend watching Discovery OnDeman!


Unfortunately we don't have cable (Jake sure looks cute), but we offer real "Gays in the Wild" experiences - open to everyone on our Out in Alaska tours and adventures!

Check it out and come visit!

www.outinalaska.com





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