Looks like Mama June isn’t the only one stirring up controversy down at TLC.
The network’s upcoming TV special entitled “My Husband’s Not Gay” has many up in arms because of the show’s content. Set to air Jan. 11 the one-hour special focuses on the lives of Mormon men who say they are attracted to men, but have married women instead.
The implications one could take from the show are obvious – that it endorses the fallacy that being gay is a choice, an argument that the LGBT community has consistently struggled to debunk within mainstream society.
In opposition to the show’s airing stands Josh Sanders, who founded a petition for TLC to cancel the program which has accrued over 92,000 signatures (almost 25,000 within the last five hours,) and needs 150,000 total to reach its goal. Sanders writes on the petition’s website that the “show promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities.”
In his letter to TLC Sanders also writes, “The men featured in this show deserve to be shown compassion and acceptance. Instead, TLC is presenting their lives as entertainment while sending the message that being gay is something that can and ought to be ‘changed’ or that you can fight your sexual orientation by marrying someone of the opposite sex. This message is harmful to both LGBT people and communities of faith, and sends a dangerous message to viewers.”
GLAAD President and CEO Kate Ellis has also jumped on the bandwagon calling the show “downright irresponsible” in a recent statement.
TLC has responded to the backlash, by telling their fans on USA Today that “the individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves.”
While potentially offensive in its message and up for dangerous interpretation in the minds of staunch conservatives, is it right to bar the network’s scope of voice by forcing them to cancel the program?
Of course the framework of the episode will greatly affect its meaning, message, and ultimate reception, but the truth is that these Mormon men do exist, and they are struggling to lead their lives in a society that has made huge strides towards embracing the LGBT community, within a religion that has not.
While it very well may be a show with an incendiary homophobic agenda, the opportunity to see the unorthodox lives and difficult decisions these people have made to align their religions with their personal desires has the potential to show people something that they might be unfamiliar with regardless.
Is TLC’s upcoming one-hour special a danger to the LGBT community? Click here…