William Sledd‘s super excited about his new web-based Bravo-endorsed style show, Ask A Gay Man. The show, a spin-off from his unreasonably popular YouTube series of the same name, provides Sledd a platform for his particular brand of fashion.
As hype and publicity pick up, Sledd’s well aware of haters lurking in the shadows, ready to take aim at his twinkling star, but he isn’t concerned. He tells AfterElton:
Listen, the only people that hate me are the gays. I don’t know what it is. Maybe they’re jealous or they’re opinionated or whatever, but it doesn’t bother me at all. I joke about it. I’m like, the only people who hate me are the gays and the extreme religious people.
Maybe world peace isn’t such a pipe dream. As for being jealous or opinionated – where do you think we fall?
Sledd should be admired for his self-confidence. When asked about being known as a gay straight away, he replies:
As far as being stereotyped sometimes, that’s the only thing I dislike about the fame. Yes, I’m gay, but that’s not the only thing. It’s a part of me, and a part of me that I care about, but it’s not all of me. Besides that, it’s just me.
Ask A Gay Man about living contradictions…
Meanwhile, William’s personal life’s straining under the constant pressure of his celebrity. Take, for example, his relationship:
I’m taken, but [fame] has definitely hurt my relationship. I’ve been in a relationship for a very long time, but I don’t know how much longer it’s going to last.
Don’t worry, William, we’re sure this will all blow over. If not, maybe we can set you up with Bobby Trendy. You’d be the glossiest couple in all the land.
Sledd’s popularity with nongays is simple. Even the majority of â€œacceptingâ€ straights are still more comfortable around castrati. From Franklin Pangborn decades ago to “hip, liberal” “Saturday Night Live” reducing butch “Brokeback Mountain” to Jake in drag singing “And I Am Telling You” while maricon caballeros swooned in the audience months ago to the recurring Ross the Intern, Jay Leno’s Flaming Fag in Residence, they prefer Gay Lite. Sleddlike stereotypes simultaneously reinforce Societyâ€™s expectations [thus not straining their brains or making them have to consider that life is a little more complex than Ward and June Cleaver] and effectively communicate, â€œYou donâ€™t have to be afraid. If youâ€™re female, Iâ€™m not like your boyfriend so you can count on him. If youâ€™re male, Iâ€™m not like you, so you donâ€™t have to worry about yourself and that time you stole a look at your best friendâ€™s petey in the showers after PE class. And I might as well not have one. Next to me your hunkier than John Wayne killing Indians. And none of you have to worry about ME wanting to lead a Boy Scout troop or serve in a foxhole next to your strapping straight sons and brothers. In fact, the most Iâ€™ll demand of you is that you not wear white after Labor Day.â€
IMHO, one need only remember the summer of 2003 for proof of my thesis. It was then that the first real life nonstereotypical gay male couple appeared on network TV: Reichen and Chip on â€œThe Amazing Race.â€ Some people loved them; some people hated them, both gay and nongay, but one thing was clear to viewers as evidenced by a comment in â€œEntertainment Weeklyâ€ which also named them â€œReality TVâ€™s Cutest Coupleâ€â€”these two had SEX with each other! GAY MALE sex! [Their eventual split is irrelevant to my point.]
But what new gay faces did â€œEntertainment Weeklyâ€ put on their cover that summer? Which real life gays were the subject of countless other mainstream media stories and became Americaâ€™s darlings, even embraced on her precious air by Her Majesty Herself, Queen Oprah. The queer guys from Bravo, of course. They were a ssssscorching hot phenomenon, â€œthe highessssst ratingsssss Bravo ever had.â€ Nevermind that few pointed out that Bravoâ€™sssss audienccccce was sssssso low that the queersssss highesssst numbersssss were barely a third of that sssseasonâ€™ssss very gay â€œAmazing Race.â€ Nevermind that Reichen and Chip were the first gay couple to win a major reality TV prize. For while girlfriends Carson and the Carsonettessss gussssshhhhhed about fashion makeovers and hair productssss, only then to be banished to the video room to watch othersâ€™ reactions to their fairy dusting, couple Reichen and Chip were promoting gay marriage and gays in the military and being allowed and proud to be your gay selfâ€”whether like them or even like Ms. Kressley and mainstream America did not then and does not now want to see or hear that much at all. And most certainly from gays who arenâ€™t living jokes, from guys with cocks rather than capons.
The ultimate irony that year was seen on E! in their pre Emmys special that featured a lengthy, extremely witless prerecorded skit starring Bobby Trendy whom two straight guys were going to give a manly makeover. By chance [?], this was shown immediately before Reichen and Chip were interviewed live on the Emmy red carpet holding hands.