reality homophobes

SHOCK: So You Think You Can … Deal With 2 Dudes Dancing Together?

Scene: Two dancers. Both male. One straight, the other gay. Dancing. Together. That was the scene on last night’s fifth season premiere of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance — and the first time any of the three judges saw two men dancing together. Who’s the man and who’s the woman? Who’s leading, and who’s following? And, most importantly, are Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy’s comments rooted in traditional dance roles … or blatant homophobia?

We’re gonna go with the latter. (Scroll first video to the 5:00 mark. Segment continues on second clip.)


Said Lythgoe: “I think you probably alienate a lot of our audience. I mean, we’ve always hadthe guys dance together on this show, but they’ve never really done it in each other’s arms before. I’m certainly one of those people that really like to see guys be guys and girls be girls on the stage. I don’t think I liked it.”

Later, said Murphy: “It would’ve been easier for me, in other words, if one person was playing a female role and one was playing a male role.” Added Lythgoe: “I don’t think you want to see two guys there and think male-female.”

Even in the era of Adam Lambert, we’ve still got folks like Lythgoe, who last year described why he didn’t like effeminate male dancers: “Because they need to be very strong. Dancing is role-playing most of the time. And you need to be strong and lift girls. You need to look stronger than the girl you’re dancing with. You control the dance, especially in ballroom. So if you mince about the stage, you’re not doing what the choreographer is asking you to do. He’s asking you to be strong. If your choreographer then wants to do an effeminate routine, then that’s fine, but most of the time we don’t do effeminate routines so straight or gay doesn’t come into it for me.”


Is it time to open up dancing to new ideas of gender roles? Not according to Nigel. Following last night’s episode, Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel shared what went down with AfterElton. It was worse than viewers saw:

It was more offensive than what they showed. Nigel said that he’s not sure that the fathers watching this at home would be encouraged to take their sons to allow them to learn to dance. Nigel told me that they [the show] has spent all these seasons trying to build up the idea that a male can dance and make it more acceptable, and we didn’t really help the cause.

I told him that I have a father, too, and I went through that. I told him that the country is already going through a lot of changes and could handle some more. Nigel didn’t say anything to that.

The judges kept going on about a man and a woman and I kept correcting them that it was a leader and a follower.

Nigel asked me after the choreography round, how I liked dancing with a girl and I said, “I’ve been ballroom dancing since I was twelve, so I’ve been dancing with girls my whole life.” It was very inappropriate and the only reason they advanced us wasn’t to see if we could improve or be versatile, but was to make us dance with girls.


We’re fighting for equality in this country and the right to marry and the right to adopt, so why the f–k can’t we dance together?

I told them ballroom dancing is very popular in the gay community and is a sport. It’s part of the World Outgames and Mitchel and I are going to compete in Copenhagen in July.

As a British citizen, Nigel totally put this country down by saying we’re not ready for this.

Fox owes me an apology for how they treated me as a gay man. I’ve never been so proud and offended at the same time as I was that night. Mitchel said he’s never been so offended either and didn’t know how to react to that kind of bigotry. He’d never been oppressed like a minority. He felt very angry.

But should we target all of SYTYCD?

The judges were mean, but the producers and the staff were super supportive. Cat Deely was great. Did a long interview with her that she didn’t show.

One woman told us we had broken a glass ceiling.

UPDATE: Lythgoe refuses to apologize.

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  • alan brickman

    watched the show yesterday …they weren’t very good also….have seen better ballroom dancers…and the one that said he was straight??? yeah right….

  • alan brickman

    I side with Nigel on this one….we need more straight guys dancing ice skating and doing ballet….

  • alan brickman

    these guys thought they were going to win?? they fell twice and now they play gay card to cover up their delusions…not role models for any sort of gay….

  • John Santos

    This program and it’s judges are very homophobic. And I mean that in the traditional sense of the word–they fear homosexuals. That this sentiment permeates an art that has many gays just shows how the arts can get away with what we would never tolerate in the real world.

  • alan brickman

    there were gays on the show yesterday who made it through….so suck it up already…..

  • Angus

    Mary always looks as if she is trying to pass a watermelon.

  • John Santos

    I side with Nigel on this one

    So who’s the man and who’s the woman in your relationship with your boyfriend, Alan?

  • John Santos

    So if you mince about the stage

    Ha! That’s rich coming from Nigel; he makes Liberace look butch.

    I wonder how many men were forced into his bed in order to get a job. He is clearly hiding something from his past–or present–with his homophobia.

  • NewYorkness

    I liked it. As they said, this is the first. No problem having trailblazers out there.

  • dgz

    if you watch this show regularly, nigel is EXTREMELY homophobic, as are several other judges. and even though many, many of the contestants are gay/effeminate (and usually the best dancers, as acknowledged by the judges), they have never won. it’s like adam lambert every year.

  • dgz

    p.s. there’s been an all-male tango in Cirque’s Zumanity Vegas show for years.

  • AlanInSLC

    I can understand the point that Nigel was trying to state (most dances are choreographed with a male and female character in mind), but the attitude that he had while expressing his views was that of disgust for the idea of two guys dancing together at all. I don’t think it had as much to do with the roll they were dancing in as it did with Nigel watching something he didn’t connect to himself. I feel the dancers were absolutely brave to bring this to the show regardless of how well they did or how well it was received. They weren’t bad dancers (other than the fall), though there were definitely better. I give them props for even trying. As for Nigel, he can eat shit and take his homophobic attitude somewhere else for all I care. He lost my respect after this show.

  • ben

    I’m not watching this show anymore. Those comments are just downright offensive. And people wonder why celebs feel they have to stay closeted and/or beard up?

  • John Santos

    If you read the AfterElton article, it turns out as the men were leaving the song lyrics played behind them were:

    “It’s a man world, but it would mean nothing, nothing without a woman.”

    The entire thing was ignorant and homophobic. Our boycott against Marriot hasd worked, maybe it’s time we boycott this show as well.

  • Mitch

    While no gay couple can be narrowed down to one person being the “man” and the other the “woman” (my bf and i often change roles), i think it is very different with dancing.

    Yes, two changing gender roles between two dancers while dancing is an interesting style, I don’t think it works out very well. When i saw the two men dancing, I found it very hard to follow because the focus was constantly changing by the dancers changing roles often.

    When i watch a man and a woman dance, i watch the person catching the most attention (normally the woman). With these two men, that kept changing and it was very difficult to follow.

  • jason

    What a horrible man that Nigel Lythgoe seems to be. And ugly too. I wouldn’t dance with him even if there was a broom-pole distance between us. His critique was full of homophobic assumptions, which is quite indicative of a socially retarded mindset.

    I wonder if it was “two hot chicks” dancing together. Would the turd-like Nigel be similarly offended?

  • jason

    I bet you a lot of these turds don’t have a problem with “two hot chicks” dancing together.

  • John Santos

    Also from the article:

    Nigel finishes up by saying he’d like to see them both dance with a girl, and adds “You never know, you might enjoy that, too.”

    Pure homophobia. He didn’t critique style, he critiqued sexuality.

  • charlie-o

    Dancing, in general, is considered effeminate in this culture. Just watch the all the straight male celebrities on “Dancing With the Stars.” They can’t shake their hips (they’re just sort of stuck), and they almost instinctually restrict all other graceful movement. As a matter of self-protection, we males have all been trained as young boys to be stiff and rigid to make ourselves seem more masculine, and hide all fluidity that seems effeminate to general society. (Interestingly, French and Latin-American celebrities don’t seem to have this hang-up.)

    In past years, technically proficient male dancer contestants on SYTUCD have been dinged and often eliminated because they don’t completely let go of their reserve and express their true inner selves honestly and openly on the dance floor. That’s kind of hard to do if they need to cover up all traces of effeminacy that may be part of their core beings.

    Although there are plenty of gays in the dance world, there is also plenty of both overt and covert homophobia. Many, like Nigel who, by the way, is straight (thank God!), are extremely defensive at any suggestion that dancing may be “gay.” Unfortunately, self-loathing is not limited to blog comments, and many gay dancers who are fairly successful at covering of effeminate traits are the most scornful of these traits in others.

    Despite the homophobic comments of the judges (Mary should definitely be included) and the problems of society in general, it’s nice to see a program with so many gay males having an opportunity to express themselves creatively on TV – even if they can’t truly express themselves completely honestly without incurring the disapproval of the judges and a lot of the audience. At least not yet!

    Kudos to Misha and Mitchell. The judges will eliminate you (and probably try to humiliate you along the way). But you’re advancing the collective consciousness, and you deserve our thanks!

  • jason

    Look, I agree that it’s great that So You Think You Can Dance had a male couple. However, what’s the use of it if they merely serve as an object of scorn? Imagine if you’re a young gay male viewer struggling with fear about how your sexuality will be perceived by society – and you have to deal with this judgmental crap.

    Nigel and Mary both owe us an apology.

  • Matt

    Yeah, I’m never watching So You Think You Can Dance again, and I even went to one of the tour shows.

  • ben

    Nigel left a message on his twitter:

    “The same sex ballroom guys did remind me of “Blades of Glory.” However, I’m not a fan of ‘Brokeback’ Ballroom.”

    What an asshole.

  • chingky

    You can tweet Nigel Lythgoe @dizzyfeet, what an ass!

  • schlukitz

    Nigel’s comments were declassé

    It’s pretty disgusting when a national tv show becomes nothing more than a showcase for virulent, blatant homophobia.

    But then again, look at the Network that carries it!

  • Kevin (not that one)

    Isn’t this really an issue for GLAAD to take up?

    Otherwise, why waste your energy on a POS show to begin with? SYTYCD doesn’t have the cultural cache that an AI or Dancing with the Stars has and is just a very low-rent pretender to the throne. This show doesn’t even have the cultural significance of “Dance Fever”…oh, you don’t remember Dance Fever?

    That’s because none of this shit is important anyway.

  • TANK

    Often you see heterosexual men who make it in industries that are perceived as and, in fact, have high numbers of gay people working in them, lash out to compensate. They are a caricature of themselves. masculinity is not heterosexuality, and anyone who needs to trumpet their sexual orientation to reassure themselves that they’re “men” aren’t.

  • Bertie

    SYTYCD and Idol (on Fox TV) subscribe to the “butch it up” or pack it up philosophy.

  • sam

    Sure, they fell, but that’s mostly nerves. And sure, there were some technically awkward moments in terms of leaders/followers, but that’s entirely attributable to exactly the problem they were trying to confront: a lack of gender-neutral ballroom choreography/choreographic paradigms.

    I was just shocked by the wholly blind assertion that homosexual (in the literal sense) dancing would “alienate a lot of [SYTYCD’s] audience.” Because none of the ex-musical theater housewives who tune in ever had any gay friends? Because fratboys nationwide all pile onto their couches, crack open their Keystone Lights, and tune in to watch dancing? What?

  • mikeandrewsdantescove

    WOW – I was shocked by Nigel’s response. Complete homophobia!

    Now we probably know that American Idol asks the gay contestants to stay in the closet.


  • Benny

    You guys are ridiculous. This has nothing to do with homophobia and you just want it to be so you can have something to be riled up about.

    Yes, dancing is rooted in traditional gender roles. And these men went against the grain. Are they being hated upon because they were gay? No! They were critiqued for being bad representations of what traditional dance is.

    Should dance change to accomodate new gender roles and styles? Absolutely. But is this particular instance Nigel being homophobic? Absolutely not.

    You guys are just grasping, waiting for someone to say anything remotely gay. Get over yourselves. Actually look what’s going on and consider the art of dance.

    Look at it this way, dancing as a whole is pretty gay. What makes you think dance professionals would be homophobic?

  • Matt

    Benny, they weren’t very good at critiquing bad representations of traditional dance (like how Mia Michaels reaffirms traditional dance all the time). I don’t see how “It’s Raining Men”, the OMG-his-partner-is-another-dude!, the other song, every comment they made, etc., supported traditional dance! I was offended, and I usually never am with this stuff… wasn’t very hard to take offense, and I don’t feel overly sensitive or that I missed the point for doing so.

  • charlie-o

    Mary’s bewilderment at Mitch and Misha not having fixed gender roles reminds me of this story.

    More than 20 ago I worked for a very staid company. A brave colleague of mine came out at work and introduced everyone to his partner, who was, shock of shocks, another man. Everyone was pretty cool about it, but one naive HR Rep came up to him later and asked if he’d mind answering a question. Her question: “Are you the man or the woman?” (We sure got a lot of laughs out of that one!)

    Well, we knew that the HR Rep wasn’t being hateful. She was young and from a small town in the Midwest. She was just genuinely perplexed. And it was an opportunity to educate her.

    But what in the hell is Mary’s excuse? It’s a completely different era now. She’s a woman of a certain age, living in a very urban and sophisticated area, in the entertainment industry, and obviously has plenty of contact with gay people. It’s like her brain just fell off the turnip truck!

  • schlukitz


    “They were critiqued for being bad representations of what traditional dance is.”

    Your argument is as ridiculous as the religious rights argument that “Marriage is a 5,000 year old tradition.” which is bs.

    The full artistic and cultural expression of mankind is nowhere to be found etched in stone.

    Why do so many people act like it is? And, why are so many people fearful of change?

    The piano, when first introduced, was considered to be a loud,discordant and disrupting instrument of the devil that threatened to change “traditional” music.

    Today, it is simply regarded as another instrument that is capable of expressing yet another facet of human musical expression.

  • schlukitz


    “It’s like her brain just fell off the turnip truck!”

    What a wonderful analogy. I love it. ;-P

  • dgz

    let’s face it: mary’s brain was never on the turnip truck to begin with.

    she was probably turned down by the producers of dancing with the stars for a reason.

  • Kevin

    It had been readily apparent every season I’ve watched that Nigel Lythgoe is incredibly homophobic. He has always been a complete and utter prick.

  • Keith

    I found it very homophobic and disappointing, especially coming from a show where so many of the male contestents are gay and so many of the fans are also gay. I also find it very frustrating that two apparent dance experts seem to have forgotten that even within dance history, as is my understanding, men danced the tango together to perfect their technique and gain a better understanding of both roles, leader and follower. They could have easily focussed on the fact that they had two major mistakes and needed to improve their technique but instead they turned it into a ‘gay’ thing and that America wouldn’t be ready…ignoring the fact that one of them even identifies as heterosexual. Would they say the same things if it was 2 women dancing together?! I doubt it.

  • Roy Rogers Oldenkamp

    @John Santos: No, Silly. He’s a Nigel. Brit.
    They keep a Moroccan boy on the side and marry a duchess. Linley, anyone? Anyone?

  • alan brickman

    did anyone who watchhed the show realize they sucked??? plus they praised the gay black guy for his dancing…or does being black mean their opinions don’t matter?….

  • alan brickman

    CHOOSE YOU BATTLES WISELY I ALWAYS SAY….plus my bf is hot, masc , and inspriational…

  • PhDude

    The numbers speak for themselves… Adam Lambert has 14 entries in the Top 25 on I tunes and the other guy has 3 entries in the Top 25. Adam also has over 350,000 hits to his duet with Kiss. It is the most watched video on You Tube and has been for the past 2 days. Thanks K K K Kristian “hate voters”

  • alan brickman

    and we both dance divinely…

  • Drew

    OMG! I totally went to high school with Mitch!

  • Stan

    First and foremost, they sucked.

    That out of the way, I have to agree with the judges. The idea of ballroom dance is to convey the male/female dynamic. If you have to keep quessing who is what, then you’re losing your audience. Second, some gay men want to pretend that male and female are the same, that the sexes are all constructs blah blah. That’s fine in queer theory class where it’s just gay people, but in the real world (where 90 percent of people live) there are clear biological, social, emotional etc. differences between the sexes. The dynamic between men and women is the basis for civilization. As we all know, gay people have been around forever, but that does not change the fact that male and female is gender specific.

    That’s not to say we can’t play with gender roles, but to pretend you don’t understand them or that they don’t exist for more reasons than “male hierarchy” is simple-minded and foolish.

  • TANK

    Oh stan, you’re such a loathing faggot.

  • TANK


    NOt even self loathing; perhaps that, too. Bit too trite. Though, you’re nothing if not trite going by your previous posts…and nothing.

  • Keith

    @Stan: I’m all for playing with gender roles. The idea that ballroom dance is only to convey the male/female dynamic just furthers sexist gender stereotypes that women are the weaker sex and are more passive, “followers,” and men are the masculine, dominant, “leaders”. Yes, we are differentiated by our sexes, but gender is a social construct that can be much more fluid than is traditionally thought. I applaud any couple that is willing to challenge the “norm”. I’m all for bending traditional dynamics. If the audience is too inept to follow who is leading and following, that’s not just the dancers’ fault. The audience has to take some accountability for being challenged to think outside of what is traditionally done. Maybe they should’ve avoided attempting to switch roles and just stick with one, but their attempt also suggested an attempt at equalling the dance so that both partners can assume role of leader and follower. Who’s to say that even in a male/female pairing it wouldn’t be interesting to see the female lead and the male follow? That would be something original and interesting.

  • TANK


    hear hear

  • mikeandrewsdantescove

    I rewatched this and completely pissed at Nigel’s request to dance with a woman. “You might enjoy it”. I wished they would have told that bastard off.


  • mick

    I never watched this show before but I thought the contestants were just joking around, like those people on American Idol who know they can’t sing but go just to be on TV.

    When that one guy said he was the same age as the other guy I laughed. Maybe if I watched the show I would care….carry on.

  • Russ


    There was a time when the so-called female role in society was one of subservience to men. That is no longer the case because brave women challenged and pushed their way into a new gender identity.

    Now I will just bet, you believe men are more important than women in that “civilization” you speak of. You’re a cave-man Stan.

  • JustBinMe

    Oh, I hope this shit stops! fuck being “politically correct”…I am so damned tired of people pushing the boundaries of traditions, just because they screw someone of the same sex!

    Couples dancing professionally (mainstream), is reserved for a man and a woman. You can be gay and be a dancer. You can be gay and be a dancer in a troup that allows same sex couples dance, but yes…it will be a gay troup!

    If you want to act like a Liza Minelli impersonator, don’t sign up for American Idol!

    Stop prancing around, speaking with a lisp, walking with a switch in your ass and for fucks sake…take off the pink boa! If you want to be treated like the other 95% of society…you have to act like the rest of society! Otherwise, shut the hell up and do what you want to do, but don’t expect to be treated the same when you are DIFFERENT!

  • Chris

    @JustBinMe: Where do you get off? Times are changing. When I saw this video i felt it just didn’t look right, but times they are a changing and people have to change also in their views. Obviously you are still stuck in the past and your bitterness shows. You’ve got some issues man.

  • TANK


    Yeah, chris is right. You’re like an embarrassing elderly uncle. Anachronistic and parochial.

  • TANK


    No offense intended, actually, as I realize (or realized) that you can’t help yourself.

  • JustBinMe

    @Chris: No Chris, sorry…they aren’t changing…obviously from the responses all of the judges gave! Get over yourself!

  • JustBinMe

    @Stan: Absofuckinglutely! You go Stan! Whoo hoo!

  • schlukitz


    That was an excellent response to Stan.

    People really need to start thinking outside the box.

  • schlukitz


    I can just see you dragging your trick home by the hair in one hand, and your club in the other.

    It’s so dynamic. And traditional!

  • Phoenix (Kiss My Pansy Ass, Nigel!)

    Nigel always makes negative comments about effeminate men. His little spiteful comment about “try dancing with girls” and “men should be manly” crapola is not at all surprising.

    Did I think they did a good job? Meh, they had potential but they shouldn’t have switched leads. It’s what made them come off seeming unpolished and caused them to fall on their asses. The costumes were too Ice Capades for my taste (but then most competition costumes are Ice Capade-y) and they could’ve used more practice with each other. I have a feeling they usually have different dance partners.

    Oh, and men can’t be manly dancing together? One has to be “the woman” rather than the follower? Hmm…perhaps you should let these guys in on that. Oh, and traditionally the Tango was danced by two men and not a man and a woman. Dancing that hot stuff with a woman was too scandalous to be seen in public.

  • mb00

    Anyway, this whole thing has been blown out of all kinds of proportions.
    I thought these guys were AWFUL!!!! It was extremely confusing cause you really didn’t know who was leading whom? And those costumes. WHAT. THE. FUCK. WAS. THAT?!!!
    I don’t think Nigel is homophobic. I think that the dance these two guys did looks terrible when being danced by two men, and yeah, guys should dance like guys. There is nothing more gross and more comical than seeing a guy dancing like a female stripper. It’s GROSS.
    And no, I’m not a self-loathing homo, just certain things need to be done a certain way in order to be taken seriously. Otherwise, it just comes off as a big fat joke.
    Fuck, it’s no wonder the straights laugh at us. We’re giving them amazing material to work with.
    So stop being to goddamned sensitive ya’ pussies!

    @Angus: HAHAHAHA!!!! Your comment just made my night. She does always look constipated doesn’t she.

  • Windyloo

    It is nice to see there are some feminist men in this discussion who are willing to call Nigel on his crap. I will give you that he probably believes he is not homophobic becuase he doesn’t care who is sleeping with whom as long as they conform to traditional gender role or at least contemporary ones that still create ideals of femininity and masculinity that almost no actual people live up to. I teach gender studies and on a daily basis almost all of my students wear the exact same thing to class (cargo shorts and t-shirts for example) and many even have the same basic haircut and tatoos regardless of sex. Also, modern dance is filled wtih extrememly muscular females who dance in an aggressive manner that would be considered masculine by many this is also true in many hip-hop forms. Nigel has less of an issue with that though I suspect the creation of “lyrical hip-hop” is in part an attempt to deal with it. Nigel is dealing in exactly what Michael Kimmel calls “masculinity as homophobia”- if a man does anything slightly feminine then he is not really a man and therefore must be gay- which is of course the next worse thing to being a woman in the minds of many American men. So straight dancers would be lumped with gay dancers if male dancers are allowed to act feminine. It is pure and simple sexism. Masculinity is still considered preferable hence why women can act more masculine while men can’t do the reverse. This is why shows of a different kind of masculinity (say the adorable and straight Kris running up and smiling and hugging his friend Adam the other day) are so important. Nigel is biased against gender non-conformity. However, most of us do this to some degree all the time. As a slightly masculine female I appreciate those of you who called him on his crap.

  • Pete Acton

    Wow, MBoo and others need to seek some therapy. The projection and self hatred is amazing. And the need to blend and be “real”. Didn’t we get over that BS twenty years ago? Just amazing that some gay men still think this way. It’s absolutely 1950s. Very Republican kind of thinking. A gay man has to be “butch”?? What is that about? I didn’t see the show. I don’t watch Fox. But I read the commentary and more interestingly the blog posts. The judges represent everything that is suburban and Middle America for the average heterosexual viewer or in terms of this commentary thread, the self-loathing homosexual male. That’s really what this show seems to be about — not celebrating the art form of ball room dancing, but to reinforce with a sledge hammer the traditional male / female gender roles in society. And to send a message to the insecure gay male that you better go back into the closet if you want to compete and succeed. I also find the projection on Adam Lambert by so many obviously closeted (you can stil be an “out” male but “closeted” in your thinking) also fascinating. I guess these homos never have seen performances by bands like Garbage, Judas Priest, Queen, The Smiths, etc., etc., where the male or female singer is somewhat androgynous? All in all those comments point out thinking that is conformist, dated and frankly ignorant. What dull queers some of you are indeed.

  • Alexa

    @Windyloo: Excellent points all around.

  • charlie-o

    Thanks, Phoenix, for reminding me about the Argentine Tango. I hadn’t made that connection. Yes, it’s a dance that originated in the brothels of poor barrios of Buenos Aires. And it’s a dance that two men did together – maybe waiting for a prostitute or maybe just hanging out drinking. And it’s fierce and powerful and masculine (even when performed by a man and woman), and to me, by far the most interesting dance.

    Nigel and Mary come from the world of professional ballroom dancing, which is pretty much a world of glittery tackiness and phoniness. Everybody – even the straight men – wear tight satin clothes with bare midrifts – and thousands of rhinestones and sequins. It’s hardly what one would describe as masculine attire. But the dolled-up, Liberace look-alike men DO dance with women. And I wouldn’t deny them the fun of dressing up this quasi-drag. But it’s pretty ironic when these same people could purport to be defenders of masculinity of male dancers.

    Maybe Mitch and Misha – who did wear the normal, tacky professional ballroom dance costumes – would have been better served if they had immitated the tense and powerful dance style and the simple dress that the men did years ago in the Argentine brothels. It would have been much harder for Nigel and Mary to criticize on the basis that they trashed M&M, and frankly, it would have been a lot more interesting and exciting than anything we’re apt to see on this season of SYTUCD. I hope I do see that someday!

  • schlukitz

    @Pete Acton:

    “All in all those comments point out thinking that is conformist, dated and frankly ignorant. What dull queers some of you are indeed.”

    Excellent point, Pete. While I will not ignore and gloss over the obvious homophobia of heterosexuals, I must say the the expression made famous by Walt Kelly’s Pogo makes more sense than ever and applies to a good many LGBT people.

    “We have met the enemy and he is us”

  • Nathan

    Stan said, “That’s fine in queer theory class where it’s just gay people, but in the real world (where 90 percent of people live) there are clear biological, social, emotional etc. differences between the sexes.”

    Those role model ‘rules’ are arbitrary, as surely a social construct as ‘gender,’ and the differences among them over time and among the world’s many contemporary cultures is evidence to the veracity of this observation and the caprice wich which these details are (sometimes not so collectively) assigned.

    Dancing is art, and art exists fundamentally to celebrate life, and challenge thought. Championing one expression of art over any other as “the right way” is as stupid as declaring only one religion ‘The True Faith’ or denying that men and women can do anything and everything each other can in life except exchanging siring or gestating children. In fact, that’s the ONLY immutable detail to gender roles. Period. As in full stop. Take it or leave it. Wishing it otherwise doesn’t change things.

    Taking offense because somebody doesn’t toe the traditional line is solely the problem of he or she who takes offense. Ballroom dance was all about strong male/submissive female roles up until the second these two men unabashedly demonstrated that the arbitrary rules only have the power of force given to them by deference or dismissal. Don’t like it? Tough. Don’t like boys dancing with boys, don’t dance with a boy if you’re a boy. Don’t like seeing it? Avert your eyes. Or, change the channel.

    In the real world, those who adapt survive, those who don’t adapt die out.

  • Tylertime

    I’m young-ish (30), vote democrat and have been out since I was 18. I give this info because I know my answer is going to generate attacks like “you are an old troll,” “you are a republican, or “you are a closet case.”

    I think nigel is correct. Ballroom dancing has clearly defined roles for men and women. The 2 guys on YTUCD were a mess. Not only did they fall, but you couldn’t follow the art of the dance due to the mixing of the roles.

    I think the guys did it knowing they would get criticized and get attention for it. Just like a lot of the bad singers on AI who audition. I also think it was more interesting having one be gay and the other “playing” straight. There is no way that the prettier guy was straight. They did it for their 15 minutes of fame.

  • TANK

    Not only did they fall, but you couldn’t follow the art of the dance due to the mixing of the roles.

    Or that they didn’t practice enough. Which is more likely? That they didn’t “follow the roles” that resulted in their failed attempt, or that they didn’t practice enough to switch them? If the former, you’re irrational…

    Defined roles? Like marriage is a defined role for men and women, too? I think you’re straight, and thus don’t understand.

  • schlukitz


    “I give this info because I know my answer is going to generate attacks like “you are an old troll,” “you are a republican, or “you are a closet case.”

    It’s a good start!

  • schlukitz

    How interesting. The video has been removed from this site “Due to terms of use violation”

    Whose terms of use violation is under question here;

    Queerty blowing the whistle on blatant homophobia or…

    Fox TV protecting it’s own ass and that of Nigel Lythgoe as well?

  • dgz

    @schlukitz: more likely copyright violation.

  • schlukitz

    This the body of an email I just sent to

    As a fan of Fox TV, I was shocked and appalled by the blatant outburst of spiteful, bigoted comments delivered by Nigel Lithgoe to the two male dancers that appeared on So You Think That You Can Dance.

    Freedom of speech and the right to believe as we wish is the birthright of every single American. But to use Fox TV as a national forum to display his outrageous ignorance, bigotry and blatant homophobia by publicly ranking out and embarrassing his contestants in the manner that he did, is totally unacceptable and inexcusable.

    His comments were not only insensitive, they were obnoxious, demeaning and highly objectionable. Mr. Lythgoe’s job is to judge and critique the art form he is presenting on his show, not to tell people how they should express that art form or suggest that what they are doing is not “masculine” enough to meet with his ignorant, unfounded criteria of dance and in so doing, he has clearly over stepped his bounds.

    With his misinformed statements, Mr. Lythgoe is not in the least qualified to be judging anybody. If he is so hung-up on “tradition”, he would do well to do a Goodgle search and avail himself of the copious information that is available on the Internet depicting male-male dancing throughout history.

    Mr. Lythgoe has lost me as a viewer of his program and I dare say that a huge percentage of other members of the LGBT community will no longer be watching it either.

  • Joanaroo

    Whad’ya know? Rush Limbaugh reads and uses “JustBinMe”. Just a guess!

  • Russ


    “I think nigel is correct. Ballroom dancing has clearly defined roles for men and women. The 2 guys on YTUCD were a mess. Not only did they fall, but you couldn’t follow the art of the dance due to the mixing of the roles.”

    Why do people make comments on things they know nothing about. Ballroom dancing does NOT have ‘defined’ roles for men and women. In Ballroom dancing the concept is that of a leader and a follower. If dear Nigel equates gender to those roles, that is his opinion, ballroom dancing doesn’t demand women be followers, and men be leaders.

  • mb00

    @Pete Acton: Perhaps you need therapy since you feel the need to have your hand held everytime you hear someone make a comment that doesn’t validate you.
    I’m neither self-loathing, self-hating, nor republican. I don’t care what people do. I don’t care if two guys dance together on tv, in fact I welcome it. I don’t care if guys wanna flame out. I don’t care for guys that wanna “blend in”. And I don’t care for guys wanna “act butch”, they usually come off as being comical, but I’m sure my saying that is just making me an even more “self-loathing, self-hating republican Homo”. I don’t care.
    All I was saying was that I don’t just think Lythgoe was all that out of line. If I sat around my house and took everything everyone ever said or says about me to heart, I would never leave my house.

    If two guys wanna dance the mambo together so be it, I’ll be more than happy to watch. But if you want good criticism, then dance it properly. They sucked. Sorry I feel that way, but I do.

    Why is our community making such a big stink over it, where we all watching the same show?
    Why are we expecting the whole world to walk around on egg shells for us?
    Are we THAT sensitive that we can’t take a joke or a little criticism?

    @Russ: And Tyler that was my whole issue with it. Neither of them either followed or lead. That’s what was so bad about it.

  • Rowen

    I’m still not sure how I feel about this. The two gentlemen weren’t *that* good. I also feel that, as a performer, I need to know how to be convincing when acting a romantic scene/dance with a woman. However, there are a lot of times when we can throw out the gender stereotypes, but it’s still good to at least have the basic ability to do that. Kinda like having the ability to do a strong ballet technique piece, and then switch to a loose, more musical modern number.

    THAT being said, Nigel is still a jack ass. If you REALLY want to get your blood boiling, go watch him try to pussyfoot around telling the handicapped girl that she was too freaky looking to make it on his show.

  • Jai

    It’s funny how some of you here agree or side with that idiot Nigel and ignore the fact that he’s a bigot because the 2 male dancers weren’t *that* good. So what? If they were fucking excellent, do any of you honestly think Nigel, or the other judges for that matter, would have said anything less ignorant? Get a clue.

    And I find it both sad and hilarious how some of the gay men who comment here are just as sexist and stupid as any right-wing nut job. And what’s even funnier is that you sad lil’ sexist gays are probably as fruity as picnic baskets, and here you are complaining how 2 male dancers are going against the grain because they are not fitting into the “proper” or traditional gender roles of ballroom dancing.

  • Rob

    What are judges with homophobic personalities doing judging a dancing competition in 2009?

  • DJ

    Jeez, with that long, bleached blonde, curly hair Nigel looks like a really ugly trannie! No wonder he’s soooo insecure!

  • Anonymous

    “He’s never been oppressed like a minority.”

    Well welcome to the majority of non-white America. And all of non-white gay America.

  • Dray

    You can tweet Nigel Lythgoe @dizzyqueen, what an asshat!

  • Sarah

    I’m in Australia so I only just seen the episode and the comments the judges made were so so rude.

    I understand that they were not the greatest dancers, however they were not bad. Better then many of the other contestants that tried out.

    The comments made towards them however really didn’t have anything to do with how well they danced. They were just plain rude and insensitive.

  • R. Miguel

    I am a professional dancer/choreographer and I know that world well. Some of you guys have no idea what you’re talking about so you should do some research or just read and learn…In many societies men dancing with men is not only acceptable, it is traditional. In Shakespeare’s time women were not allowed to perform on stage, so the males played all the female parts.

    I never liked ballroom because I find it extremely exaggerated and the costumes are frankly, draggish.

    I do like to see men being strong and in command, and you can do that when following.

    I did not see the show, so I will not comment on it, but I suggest you guys watch The American Music awards, where Paula Abdul danced with 16 guys…Guys partnering with guys, and it was seen live around the world. I danced in that number and it was an amazing experience.

    Male sexuality is different from females, and there is nothing better than a man or woman embracing who he or she is and fully expressing that in their lives.

    The problem for me is when gay men don’t know who they are and they follow stereotypes given to us by society.

  • Mario

    I’m late to this party but still, I think a lot of you guys are missing the point because you have your activist pants on. This show is an audition for a job. The job requires specific roles, and these two dancers do not fit these roles nor could (or would they rather) conform to those roles. Period. From most accounts, they did not audition well with the material they created, and yet a lot of you all are defending a poor performance because of nerves, fighting non-gender neutral paradigms, or xyz obstacle they might have faced. That is irrelevant. They had two opportunities to impress and they failed.

    Also, you all are reacting to an edited form of what you did see and one side of the argument that you did not see. You do not know what these two said to the judges they were auditioning for. For all you know, their attitudes may have been just as offensive and disrespectful, even if you think you have seen a pattern in previous or concurrent episodes. That doesn’t give Nigel a pass, but you should keep in mind they could be liars and judge what you actually saw.

    It baffles me that no one has criticized these guys for coming into the show with a political agenda, when this is not the appropriate place for that. This is not fighting for our right to marry, this is not fighting for our right to adopt, or anything remotely important. It trivializes those things to be up in arms about a popularity contest.

    This is a tv show. Their agenda is to display content that will increase viewership which will sell advertising for the network and it is Nigel’s job as executive producer to protect that. The show has an idea its trying to spread and these guys were trying to send a different message. A lot of what Nigel said about the viewers is being realistic and he should be concerned about that. It is hurtful and unfair, however, that says nothing of how he personally feels about gays. Having a preference (about effeminate dancing) doesn’t mean you hate or fear anyone different than your preference. That’s illogical. And I do not for a minute believe anyone would waste time & money seeing someone dance after months of seeing hundreds of people audition per day for ultimately 20 spots on a show just to force them to dance with girls, when they have so many cuts to make. What point would they be making?

    This show isn’t exacly about complete freedom or artistic expression or breaking glass ceilings either. Its about (usually) a male/female character team telling a story a choreographer has created after being hired by the producers. They knew that when they auditioned, just as they knew they would not be partnered together anyway. If the show was about making art for the sake of making art, I would say they had a valid argument, but that would also mean everyone should have the right to appear on the show. There have to be constraints or boxes as a few of you have said in order for the show to have a premise.

    Seriously guys, if we go looking for a battle in everything, not only do we lose credibility but we will find or create one.Nigel is talking about one thing and most of you all are talking broader picture.

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