That’s Gay ws a recurring segment on Current TV’s satirical news show, infoMania, in which writer and performer Bryan Safi explored issues of gay representation in the news and popular media. In this episode, Safi explores the “gayngel” – an increasingly popular subcategory of the common “gay BFF” stereotype. In reality and scripted television and film alike, a “gayngel” is a gay character whose flamboyant behavior provides badly needed distraction or comic relief to the main characters, but whose personhood aside from that role appears to matter very little.
What implications does the sidelining of gay characters into “men… whose purpose it is to fix stuff for straight people” have in terms of their representation in the media?
What strategies does Safi use to make his commentary about the use of “gayngels” in TV and film? Do you think his method of deconstructing this popular stereotype is effective? Why or why not?