In the Aug. 26 Exodus media spotlights report, Randy Thomas frets that the Fab Five on the hit TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy are making straight guys into their own gay images. He sounds concerned that the five may have felt shunned by Christian churches or that their creative gifts somehow led them to be gay:

Unfortunately, the men on this show may have and are indirectly told by a few that there is no place for them and their gifts in the Body of Christ. They may have been labeled “strange” or sissy and only given one route for their gfitings to come forward. No wonder they want to take the word queer and transform that detestable word into something chic.

He may wish the guys felt more welcome in church, but calling the word queer “detestable” is a curious example to set.

Thomas gives no indication of having watched an episode. If he had, he probably would have separated the hype from the substance of the show.

The hype focuses on orientation, flippant humor, and occasonal exploitation of real-life foibles of the straight guys.

The substance includes men who have volunteered for makeovers by guys who are experts in their fields. In every case, there has also been a specific external goal as well, like being a better person for their wife or family, making a lifetime commitment, taking a new career step, or doing something special for a loved one.

Thomas says:

The Lord liberates the world to bear His Image as unique individuals whereas the product of Queer eye is consumer based and discarded at the end of the day.

A closer examination of the show reveals that the Fab Five makes over its subjects based on what the straight guy wants for himself, what makes him unique, not preconceived notions about straight guys or vain attempts to make straight guys look gay.

It strikes me as a Psalm 139 approach — recognizing that every person is fearfully and wonderfully made, a unique gift in the lives of their loved ones, the Fab Five uses its expertise to bring the subjects’ gifts to the fore.

Along the way, the show is entertaining and informative. It challenges guys be better husbands, sons, and boyfriends. It’s not shy about indulging in kitschy orientation-based humor along the way, but in the end the show makes human connections, reveals uniqueness, and dissolves more stereotypes than it perpetuates.

— Steve B.

p.s. And I know I’m not the only style-impaired gay guy who would welcome a makeover!

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