Queerty Query

Why Aren’t There More Gay-Oriented Reality Shows?


Andy Cohen is one of the most powerful openly gay men in television, so it kind of saddened us to see him using that considerable clout to produce a show about people who had one night stands with celebrities. As the guiding force behind the “rich women catfighting” subgenre of reality TV, surely he could use that Bravo pull or his deal with NBC Universal to get more gay men on TV.

Since the rumors of his Bravo answer to Logo’s A-List NY never materialized, there is still a gaping hole in reality television, which is arguably the easiest genre of TV to feature minority groups (Just ask the folks at VH1, who’ve seen their ratings revitalized over the past five years by focusing on the African-American community).

As we head into yet another season with very few gay men represented on reality TV, we ask Why Aren’t There More Gay-Oriented Reality Shows? 

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  • Cam

    Because he would rather continue the current trend of Hollywood being 20 years behind the rest of the country whether it is in racial relations or gay issues.

    I’m not talking about the Lunches on Wilshire where everybody pays $200.00 a ticket and wears a red ribbon, I mean in actually having an interracial couple on TV or a show with a gay theme.

  • CleJoke

    What about FASHION QUEENS. I fell out of my seat thinking is this show real. Oh hunny childe it is.

  • Nowuvedoneit

    His wonky eye sees everything, I think it’s the eye of Sauron!

  • skylerbound

    I would really like some that’s for sure. They shouldn’t go for out celebs though but people with big personalities, that’s why A-List struggled(boring, faked drama, etc) I would love a real word/real housewives type show in the highest gay populated cities. Mixed bag too of gay/bi men and women, transgender individuals as well

  • masc4masc

    if the ‘a-list’ and ‘1 girl 5 queens’ are any indication of what gay reality tv has to offer…THANK GOD there AREN’T more!

  • gskorich

    people don’t want to see everyday gays in their natural habitat. it has to be overly flamboyant or stereotypical way gay gays for people to watch. looks at a-list NY when it was on. really, how typical. way gay guys going to the gym and having sex with each other, their main concern was where to brunch and what to wear. real fun TV, give me nene leakes anyday

  • Cam



  • Nowuvedoneit

    @Cam: :-)

  • James Hart

    Maybe it’s better NOT having more gay themed reality shows. These programs can be really hideous. I really would not want to see a bunch of gay men clawing at each other for an entire hour. Logo’s “A List” was a joke. I didn’t consider any of them “A Listers.” Anyone who truly belongs to the A List, gay or straight, would never allow themselves to be so unflatteringly exploited because they have too much self-respect.

  • AJAnders

    It’s no big loss. There’s nothing real about a reality show. It’s just a group of people being given fake scenarios by a producer and then told to add lip in front of a camera. The more you watch, the more you make irrelevant nobodies famous.

    Haven’t we had enough of the Kardashians dominating magazine covers and radio shows? Or paparazzi following Kim’s every move all because of a sex tape she did several years ago?

    You get another gay reality show and it will follow the same fake formula: making stupid, annoying people famous.

    Why bother?

  • mcflyer54

    Maybe because there aren’t enough gay people willing to go on national television and embarrass and humiliate themselves. We had “Boy Meets Boy” which turned out to be little more than a big joke on the guy who was looking for a boyfriend. And honestly isn’t what most of us want is to just be part of the big picture – included, not singled out and treated differently? What we seem to get when gay people are cast on reality shows are over the top stereotypes not regular everyday people that would be far more representative of who we really are.

  • hotboyvb81

    why- because the ones they’ve had have been total crap, who needs more???

  • Sweet Boy

    If all the gay shows are gonna be crap like The A-List I`d rather watch Theatre Masterpieces on PBS..or re-runs of The Golden Girls

  • AxelDC

    Andy Cohen: the narcissist who ruined Bravo. The only thing worse than his insipid shows that turn women into catty frenemies are the shows where he inserts his own annoying personality into the mix.

    Bravo used to be filled with intelligent entertainment, and now it is just another channel I skip.

  • ChgoReason

    The numbers just aren’t there for gay reality programming. If gays are just 3-5% of the 314 million U.S. population, that amounts to a fraction of the reach mainstream programming could have. Networks probably don’t support one cause over another, as long as there is money attached they’ll make programming. But with a small potential audience such as gay/lesbian viewership then networks would prefer to relegate gay/lesbians to support roles, to keep as high viewing potential as possible.

  • loafersguy

    The LAST thing this world needs is another “reality” show….gay or otherwise.

  • Cam


    That is the same B.S. argument that Hollywood has used for years.

    The numbers are there for RuPaul’s Drag Race.

    The numbers were there for Brokeback Mountain. And yet even after Brokeback made a ton of money worldwide (Once again) more than Scream, Hollywood burried us under Scream Copycats and sequals and not one single major studio put out a gay themed non-documentary movie in the decade after.

    There was an audience, they just don’t want to do it. The same way Hollywood claims there is no audience for movies with a black cast and yet black audiences are so desperate for movies that Tyler Perry makes a fortune year after year on them. Just my 2cents

  • AxelDC

    @ChgoReason:I have well over 200 channels on FiOS. If only 5% of TV viewers watch a channel, it would be considered a smashing success. If you have 200 channels, why can’t one of them cater to 5% of the population?

  • James Hart

    @CleJoke: That show plays into gay and African-American stereotypes. His other programs are misogynistic. No wonder Andy Cohen produced it. There appears to be an underlying “soft” bigotry to much of what he produces. Would he produce programs stereotyping other minority groups, like Muslims and Jews? I sincerely doubt it.

  • Qjersey

    How about a reality show about a local pride organization as it prepares for the annual festivities. You will probably wind up with a very diverse “cast” more reflective of the “rainbow” …and tons of drama

  • Texasbear

    @James Hart: I agree with you totally on this discussion. The reality show a few years back with the guy named James, I think it was called “Gay, Straight, or Taken” was interesting at the time, but looking back on it now, it was really kind of embarrassing for the gay community. All of the reality dating shows like “Millionaire Matchmaker” and this never produced ” A- Listers ” show are actually terrible to watch.There has to be something seriously wrong with these people if they are wealthy, good looking , and still single. The person either has too much baggage, mental issues, or they are kidding themselves that they are ready to settle down. They most likely want their cake and eat it too. Reality shows in general seem to leave a destructive path of hurt feelings, mental problems, and depression for the participants. The Prime Time ones are about greed and how badly people will treat others and the crazy things they will do for money.

    I personally think a SERIES would be a much better choice than a reality show. Use actors and not people’s feelings for entertainment. Even though it was considered Reality TV, “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” was good, it was a groundbreaking foundation to build upon. “Queer As Folk” was also good as well as the new show “Looking”. These are the type of gay programs I would watch, Reality TV is so 2000. Let’s get some real shows with plots on television for a change. Shows that all gays can relate to that address the issues we deal with daily. Not shows about a bunch of spoiled , rich , basket cases.

  • Texasbear

    @Texasbear: Apparently, because of where we live, the show “A -Listers” was a show. I did not ever see it as our cable system blocks certain content and it pisses me off. We can’t get Logo, or anything that the good Christians of our region have complained about, except all the straight porn you want to pay for. Thanks TWC.

  • Wilberforce

    There are a few reasons.
    First, commercial media still uses us as scapegoats to distract attention from the real creeps in finance and politics. So they can’t allow too much air time that makes us look human. Hence all the stereotypical trash, from Drag Race to A-List and beyond.
    Second, the public are dumber than a bag of hammers, and with horrible taste. The fact that you even asked this question proves the point. Another reality show that caters to your demographic would make the media look almost as vulgar as they are.
    Third, a reality show with kind or interesting or educated people would make Americans look as horrible as they are. It would flop in three seconds flat.

  • Wilberforce

    And fourth, our community still choose leaders for looks and muscles instead of brains and character. So we have no one to force the media to portray us accurately.

  • Alan down in Florida

    @James Hart: Obviously you’ve missed SHAHS OF SUNSET which includes Persians, Gays, Jews and others – all of whom are hideous human beings.

  • robirob

    There is a difference between ‘from Gays for Gays’ and ‘from Gays for the entertainment of Straight People’.

    As previously mentioned in this thread there is a popular belief that a show from gays for gays will not be a TV ratings success, but gay stereotypes will entertain the much bigger straight audience.

    Andy Cohen’s success is based on providing lowest common denominator entertainment. It’s up to each individual if he wants to watch that kind of shows or not. And make no mistake: When you go on and on about how much you hate Andy Cohen and his shows or Reality TV in general (like that Kardashian show) all you do is give Andy Cohen and Reality TV more attention and share that kind of attention with others.

  • michael mellor

    I personally don’t think that Andy Cohen is gay male-friendly when it comes to gay male depictions on TV. He’s one of these queens who seems more comfortable around half-naked women. Strange man.

  • James Hart

    @robirob: I don’t “hate” Andy Cohen or anyone for that matter. I even think he’d be a cool guy with whom to hang out, but I just think that he too often engages in a, not so subtle, bigotry when it comes to portraying gays, African Americans, and women.

  • michael mellor

    It should also be said that Cohen’s shows do not rate very well.

  • Mezaien

    NO! thank you.

  • jar

    @Cam: The other important stat to remember is that most successful cable shows only garner an audience of 2 to 3 million people. So, the lack of audience argument is silly.

  • Cam


    I agree, that was my point.

  • TrekBear

    It seems many of the gay reality shows follow the bitchy cat-fight model: to wit, the A-List shows in particular.

    I liked Bravo’s Boy Meets Boy – it should’ve repeated for a few seasons.

  • Lvng1tor

    Because reality tv is all about awful stereo types and we gays have had 100yrs of Hollywood and 10yrs of Bravo already giving us disgusting stereotypes….why add to it.

  • TheNewEnergyDude

    It’s s *good* thing that there’s *aren’t* any reality shows. We’re stereotyped enough…*why* on God’s green earth do we need to be represented by some trashy reality show. As if the A-List didn’t set us back about 15 years.

  • rickhfx

    @James Hart: Muslims, The Shahs of Sunset ?

  • andy_d

    Why aren’t there more? Because these types of shows (The A-List, The Real Housewives of . . . )are boring in the extreme, exploitative and geared toward the LOWEST common denominator – especially the “who I slept with” genre. They should be considered brain porn in that they have no redeeming social value whatever.

    A show like RPDR (even with the shade that can be thrown) shows people with REAL TALENT. The same goes for shows like “Face Off” and other competitive reality shows. If there were more gay themed reality shows that showcase talent and achievement, then I would gladly watch.

  • xzall

    Does a show like Project Runway count as an almost gay reality show (because they usually have several gay contestants)? I’ve never seen Million Dollar Listing but I’ve seen it mentioned as having some gay reality stars in it also. Those kinds of shows are ok but Cohen does shows like the trashy Housewives shows and I’m not sure if people are really clamoring for a trashy gay reality show like that.

  • woodin

    any show would be cast with cliche types and that got very old a long time ago. The community doesn’t need to serve itself up to more public bashing. I’m just fine with the current population making ass out of themselves.

  • ppp111


    Couldn’t agree with you more. Reality tv is basically people told to act up in situations which most normal people will never go through.

  • stranded

    If there is a gay focused reality show, it should be something positive, maybe family focused. TLC does a pretty good job with reality shows. They have their HOney Boo boo and toddlers and tiaras, but 19 kids and counting doesn’t seem exploitative, or little couple, little people big world. Even when Jon and Kate plus 8 was on, they only focused on the trials of raising a family.

  • DickieJohnson

    Oh, God! I see enough of “Queens in Reality”! Why in hell would I watch them on TV, being even more fake and put-on? Reality??? Give me AMC, HIST, or NatGeo anytime.

  • Texasbear

    @stranded: I think that 19 kids and counting and Kate Plus eighth are extremely exploitive shows. If people follow this example , this world is in for a big lack of resources. In the earlier part of the last century families had several children to help with farming and other work related chores. Now there is no need to have so many children, even if you can afford to support them.

    This country is going to starve to death if the population continues to increase at the rate it is increasing currently. More people are born than are passing away and less land is farmed than ever in history. To promote and suggest having 19 kids is ridiculous. Look what happen to John and Kate. So know he is going to move on and have more children.

    Poverty is at an all time high in this country and these shows that glorify having a bus load of kids is sending the wrong message. I am glad we don’t have kids, because the future for the kids born after 2000 is looking pretty bleak. I live in a Army town and every family here has between on average three to five kids. If China was smart enough to figure out that they where over populating, we should be smart enough to realize the consciences as well.

  • mdowod47

    I am still waiting for a “REAL” reality show! The Housewives series is a bunch of crap and Andy does cherish the women especially with big breasts!
    To see any show/series that can be real and not stated would be refreshing. Time for the housewives to check out and ,make room for something good for a chanhe on Bravo. I will not watch the garbage anymore!
    Andy needs to get over himself and do good for the LGBTQ community instead of cruising the women and the straight guys on his show. Can you say tacky?

  • Dawson

    Poor Andy. Responsible for all Gay T.V. Wow such a burden to have to be the only one. What I give him credit for is making money while still being supportive of our community. Maybe a small deed in refusing to go to Russia but it is actions that mean more to me and for this I give him credit. He hasn’t sold out our community like others have—Johnny Weir are you listening?

    There are some reality shows I enjoy. But when you look at CBS for example how many nelly gay men can they find? Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother. CBS believes gay men are either nelly or back stabbers. Project Runway is another example of how it is more important to find the most offensive gay characters to promote their show.

    For many people, especially in small towns or in neighborhoods without a gay presence their whole point of reference for gay people is T.V.

    Logo has tried reality shows and again followed the same models we have seen before. Gay men that no normal person would want anything to do with.

    If reality shows were reality shows were real gay men would be as boring as straight men.

  • joebatch

    I think that the answer to your question was answered by 99.9% of the people who commented here. Please for the love of God no!!!

  • rextrek

    2 reality shows I watch are Biggest Loser and Shahs of Sunset

  • rextrek

    …ohhh and RuPauls drag race – Love it!!!

  • sportyguy1983

    Reality tv = garbage for the lowest denominator

  • xando

    Why would we want that? I mean sure there are as many trashy gay men out there as there are Ramona Stangers in the world. But why do they need a show? Isn’t trash like the A list (Or the D list really) proof positive that a bunch of trashy gay men is not at all entertaining?

  • kysteve82

    What about showing real GLBT cinema and news on TV instead of trash. Instead of shows like the A-list (and I feel the backlash coming for this one) RuPauls Drag Race, which may be popular but really do nothing more than perpetuate stereotypes! I remember when Logo first came on the air and were showing real movies and documentaries, it is were I first began to learn about our communities culture and history! That is what we need, not more reruns of Will and Grace, or the Golden Girls!

  • YouGoGurl

    @masc4masc: When you pay your development teams and producers nothing, you get nothing in return. We suffer.

  • stanhope

    @masc4masc: AMEN….1 girl 5 gays was the dumbest shit ever on the boob tube. A List sucked since perhaps only Mike Ruiz ever got within a whiff an A List anything. Those other gals were a bunch of poseurs and bad ones at that with maxed out credit cards and designer duds on sale. That skinny fashion stylist was a real dweeb and what is there to say about that bottomless pit and poster girl for needy bitches everywhere Reichen? Don’t get me started on Miss Republican of Dallas. Girls who like boys who like boys was kinda fun with the Nashville cast. Give EJ a show. At least we’d see A list for real and some wonderful places.

  • stanhope

    @kysteve82: LOGO is showing Golden Girls reruns…that should about say everything.

  • stanhope

    Why not a “gay” show with Dan Savage, Joe Jervis, Michelangelo Signorile, Andrew Sullivan, Ronan Farrow, and LZ Granderson discussing the issues of the day? Yes I know there are no lesbians on the list so shoot me. These boys don’t always agree and it would be interesting to see their various opinions on popular issues.

    • gskorich

      @stanhope: why not a show about the everyday gay guys who get up, go to work, come home, worry about their future. guys who like to have a little fun, try to stay away from drama and are looking for love. doesn’t have to be campy, doesn’t have to be dark. we will call it the everyday gays.

  • siltor67

    i’m actually glad there aren’t gay ‘reality’ shows as i;m sure they’ll includse the stereotypical morons that were in the (thank god) short-lived A-list mess..
    i prefer dramas. i watch tv to get away from reality..

Comments are closed.