LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) themes in television have come a long way, but let’s be honest – they’re still pretty taboo because so many people still aren’t comfortable with it. While some find gay sexual innuendos funny- and while some people laud actors and entertainers like Neil Patrick Harris, Lance Bass, Ricky Martin for coming out of the closet too- there’s a big chunk of the population out there that still don’t like “gayness” in TV.
Even cartoons aren’t spared of getting flack from gay advocacy groups for finding humor in homosexuality. For example, my favorite show, Family Guy, had an episode titled Quagmire’s Dad in its latest season which was slammed last May by gay rights advocacy groups for being transphobic. The episode tells the story of Quagmire’s dad, who comes to town for a visit and reveals to his son that he’s gay and planning to go under the knife for a sex change. I of course found it hilarious, just like I felt about the episode on the Jewish accountant that was banned from TV. I think it’s good to poke fun at stereotypes, especially when you’re part of them!
And no where is disliking gay themes more evident than on YouTube. I get a ton of homophobic comments on all of my videos, but they came out of the wood work for my music video Father Lover. I saw everything from every insulting name in the book to being asked if I was inbred and told that I should die a painful death. Of course, as I mentioned in my previous blog post about dealing with negative comments on YouTube, you can’t let them get to you and in fact, they’re good to get, because it means you’re having an impact and getting noticed! And I have to say, that just like with all of my videos so far, overall there are more positive than negative comments on Father Lover. That’s an important factor too – if they were all bad (or at least full of constructive criticism) then it would probably be worth paying attention to, but if most are people laughing and remarking at how funny they find it, then I think you’re on the right track. Not to mention that if it’s getting you a ton of views (and Father Lover has now passed 400,000 of them) then that’s a good sign that it’s working too!
So let me just point out the obvious one more time here: choosing risky subject matter and hot button items can be a great recipe for getting yourself exposure online. When I go with more generic or safe themes, I inevitably don’t get the kind of reactions and amount of attention I do for my verging-on-offensive ones. Being raunchy and pushing boundaries in my videos is fun- it makes a lot of people laugh, and appalls some at the same time. It sparks a discussion among my viewers as well, and getting them to interact is a great benefit.
My new video, Only Gay (a spoof of Rihanna’s song Only Girl in the World), is another one of those videos where I come dangerously close to the offensive line (and by dangerously close, I mean I’m pretty sure I jumped right passed it). It pokes fun at the stereotype of what so many people think gay men are like. None of the gay men I know act like this… chase after straight guys, snort coke, and… well, watch the video and you’ll see the other stereotypical things I’ve included.
Another thing that I always bear in mind is doing a video on what’s buzzing right now. It’s very timely that Rihanna’s Only Girl was just released last week, so many people will be searching for the song, and soon its upcoming music video, on YouTube. And when they do that, my video Only Gay is most likely to come up in the results as well, either in the search area, or as a related video. Father Lover video was our version of an SNL skit/music video called Mother Lover that starred Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake, which aired during the Mother’s Day weekend and so my video came out just before Father’s Day and turned out to be one of my biggest successes with getting featured in various websites like CollegeHumor and todaysbigthing.com, among others.
So keep that in mind for your upcoming videos, and in the meantime have a look at what I hope to be my next viral video (or at least get into the 6 digit view count again)… Only Gay! 😀
What do you think? Did you like this better than Father Lover? Did you find it funny or offensive?
You Tube Comment of the Day:
elltonioproductions has made a comment on Father Lover (Mother Lover spoof): i think ur great, and i have the same dream as u! I also think u kinda look like a cross between Tom cruise and Jim Carrey. You are on a road to success!