A guest post from Zeke Smith, Rob Has A Website’s brand new Gay Correspondant
Oh, Colton. I want to like you. I really do. As a gay guy, I always root for the LGBT reality contestant –Ty-lor on Top Chef, Chaz on Dancing, all of the men on Project Runway.
Similarly, as a Survivor fan, I always root for the Survivor fans – recently, Andrea Boehlke and Cochran. (Surprise! Todd H. is my favorite winner). So, I was ready to be a Colton groupie. He was somewhat savvy securing the idol from Sabrina and using it to solidify the outsider (non-rooster?) alliance. I even like that he said he’d play the idol at Tribal and didn’t. I can get over his being a Republican but I can’t champion Colton after Wednesday night’s episode.
Republicans have Cooties
Politically, I hold my fellow queers to a higher standard. Why support the party which actively seeks to curtail your rights and malign your morality? As I tweeted to Rob C. the other day, if you don’t understand your own oppression, you can’t be expected to understand that of others.
Begging for idol clues, space at the woman’s camp, and, eventually, accepting an idol found through another’s hard work might in fact seem like asking for and taking a handout. Though this scenario is ripe for deeper analysis regarding corporations, Republicans and the American political system, I shall refrain – this is a reality television.
Maybe his political affiliation is a coping mechanism – something that makes him not so different from his fellow Southerners. I grew up in central Oklahoma and was out in high school, so I get it. He’s undoubtedly been bullied and mocked and teased and rejected by beefy hetero dudes for most of his life. Effeminacy and high pitched voices don’t play so well in the locker room. In his experience, the manly men, like those on his tribe, hate him. However, this tribe doesn’t hate Colton because he’s gay. Maybe they don’t march at Pride or watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race but no one’s calling him a f*g or quoting the Bible. Maybe some of them don’t even like gay people, but are keeping their mouths shut. I’m again perplexed at how one can be a Republican and not get along with macho men.
Nevertheless, Colton doesn’t want to play with the boys. Five years ago, when I was his age, I felt the same way – I only spent time with straight girls and fellow queers. Eventually, you grow up and begin to understand that in the real world you can’t always pick with whom you work. In team situations, everyone compromises or changes a little to accommodate everyone else. You try to find common ground and make it work – keeping your eye on the $1,000,000 prize. Sure, he’s pulled his alliance together but he’s already alienated himself too much to be trusted in the long run.
Excuses are like A-Holes
Seemingly, Colton believes that because he’s gay he has license to break social taboos that a non-gay white guy cannot. He doesn’t.
We don’t know that much about Bill besides that he’s a stand-up comic and likes to perform for the tribe. There’s much of Bill to mock: who brings tweed to Survivor? Also, what’s the deal with all the stretch marks?
Of Colton, we know he’s Southern, a Republican and that pastel polo with popped collar and “Country Club Colton” moniker indicate he’s not poor. Wealthy, white, Southern Republicans using “ghetto trash” derisively feels rather racist and classist, regardless of whether or not you ding boys.
Given that the term “ghetto trash” has its own Survivor history, and that Colton, as a super fan, would be very aware of that contentious tribal council in Samoa (around the 1:40 mark), the remark felt particularly charged. Colton knows better, that’s why he made these remarks to the camera and not during the alliance pow-wow or at Tribal Council.
As for his “kill yourself” dictum to Bill, well, I refer you to the most recent episode of Glee. Which makes me wonder if Sebastian Smythe is a gay Republican…
When you make ignorant and offensive comments on national television, you need to take responsibility. They’re not funny or cute, and it’s unfortunate that flamboyant and inflammatory equal screen time.
Since the episode aired, Colton has apologized for his use of the phrase “ghetto,” and I applaud him for doing so, since it is very easy to get defensive when attacked on twitter. Alas, ‘tis not enough to redeem Colton in my eyes.
The opinions presented here represent the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Rob, Nicole, or others affiliated with RHAP.