Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was a popular television show that premiered on Bravo in 2003. It starred five gay men who conduct a “make-over” of another person, usually a straight man at the request of his wife or girlfriend. This opening sequence introduces the “Fab Five”, outlining each of their “specialties” on “Gay Street”: Kyan Douglas (Grooming), Ted Allen (Food & Wine), Jai Rodriguez (Culture), Tom Filicia (Interior Design), and Carson Kressley (Fashion). The five men arm themselves with their tool of choice, in line with their specialty, then put on their sunglasses before we see the camera turn the corner of “Gay Street” to enter “Straight St.” The opening sequence closes as the Fab Five “power walk” straight toward the camera.
“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” was a surprise hit when it first aired. What do you think accounts for its mainstream popularity?
What stereotypes of gay and straight men does the opening sequence of this show highlight? Where do these stereotypes come from?
What type of impact do you think this program might have on broader society’s perception and treatment of LGBT individuals? What about the LGBT community’s perception of itself? Why?