Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's NOT gay pride

It's NOT gay pride

by Guy Punderdun


For those unfamiliar with the FOX medical drama HOUSE, you may need a set-up to this piece of news to appreciate it. HOUSE stars Hugh Laurie as the malcontent medical superhero Gregory House. The man has only one true friend who will put up with his socially deficient personality. This friend is oncologist James Wilson, played by Robert Sean Leonard. With my TIVO set to record every show, I'll say that these actors are terrific and the characters are beautifully written. As is often the case, when friends are too close on television for long enough, homosexuality is hinted at by some. Ask Oprah about how the public mind eventually works its way over to these hints given enough exposure. Heck, ask Bert and Ernie! As a matter of fact, House's character even once alluded to a gay relationship with his friend sarcastically. That's SARCASTICALLY in case some people weren't looking.

Since Hugh Laurie's character spends a goodly chunk of his time at work ogling his female boss's behind and looking down her notoriously low cut blouses, I find it a little silly that in the small town of Slattery, Ohio the gay community is protesting. What are they protesting about exactly? I'll get to that. First I have to point out how small the potatoes are here, because WOW.

How many gay individuals can there be in Slattery, Ohio-a small township? I have no idea really but out of an estimated 811 residents, 12 are out and protesting House. Why? Because of a rumor no less! Not one person who works for the show has even commented on it and yet there's a small town uprising taking place many miles from where the show is filmed. I doubt it's become a blip on their radar considering the writers strike.

What was this rumor that would cause eleven gay men and one gay woman to ''riot'' in the middle of a small Midwestern town? God only knows who started it but, the Slattery residents claim that the writers of the show wanted to make the House and Wilson characters ''realize'' their ''romantic love'' for each other and FOX shut them down because the [straight] female fans wouldn't have Laurie and Leonard be tainted as their sex symbols. A man named Yes Pompeo- the loudest of the angered gay men- talked to me over the phone about this while local news there ignored the protest and his friends tried to stop annoyed townsfolk as they walked by.

Pompeo says ''Ever since House told Wilson that he loved him, I feel the writers were trying to brace straight America for the relationship to become out in the open.'' As a fan of the show myself, I asked if he'd ever seen Hugh Laurie's character around Doctor Cuddy-played by the lovely Lisa Edelstein. Sounding as though he thought I were just being coy, Mr. Pompeo responded ''So, he acted straight, most of us have done that. Everyone of us can see it, but you can't...''

When asked where he heard this rumor, he declined to comment because it ''wasn't the issue''.
Pompeo called the protest a ''gay pride protest'', mentioned that the actors would be fine with the idea of a gay relationship and that it would be a landmark for two big characters in television thought to be straight for several successful seasons were ''outed''.

Do you think there even is an issue and want to protest? You may wonder, if you're going to protest in this manner, does it matter where in your small town you're located? Sure! Why else would they choose to stand outside a movie rental store to remain nameless, simply because there's a poster of Hugh Laurie in the window from his role in Stewart Little? With all respect to Mr. Pompeo, I don't know what to call this, but I hardly think it falls under the heading of ''gay pride''. I think this is just silly and the rumor could've come from anywhere, but maybe that's just me.