The Battle Between the Church and the Gays – Ellen Sherwood
A mixture of the south, homosexuals, and Christianity typically does not make a great recipe. The media has produced the image that the church is not inviting to gays and religious people are quick to judge. “Queer Eye” is a Netflix original where five gay men travel across the country, primarily the south, to give a deserving person a complete life makeover. While the church and homosexuality do not go hand in hand, the episode called “God Bless Gay” proves to viewers that religion does not prevent one from accepting others.
As the “fab five” head down to the ironicly named town of Gay Georgia, they read that their subject for the week is Tammeye, a selfless, African-American woman who devotes much of her time to the church. Her son, Myles, is a gay adult learning to become comfortable with himself. He came out of the closet when he was a teenager and did not see the end of bullying. Being an African-American gay boy in the south is extremely difficult, and is a cultural shift from what audiences frequently see. This instance enforced the societal norm that being different is not accepted. As a result, Myles closed off from the world and even his family, who he did not communicate with for two years.
As one can assume, coming out to anyone can be difficult. When Myles told his mom that he was gay, she was not accepting at first. She thought of how she would not have biological grandchildren. Her deep belief in Christ caused her to have a complete one-eighty mindset. She realized that Jesus would accept everyone, and told Myles, “Mama has not loved you unconditionally,” but now, “your mama has your back.” This conversation sent a complete cultural transmission to the audience that not all Christians are judgmental. As Antoni, one of the members of the “fab five” said, “not all parents would do that.” That is correct, as some parents do not love their children no matter what. Tammeye inspired the audience, especially parentals, to change their minds and accept their kids for who they are.
At the very beginning of the episode, Bobby, another member of the “fab five,” refused to step inside the church. Him and Myles grew up very similarly. Bobby thought of the church as a safe space and would spend most of his time there. That is until he came out as gay. He made a promise to himself that he would never step foot in a church again as he said, “I’ve been judged.” Myles had the same reaction and closed himself off from the church. This set off a societal norm as many homosexuals do not welcomed in the church and eventually turn away.
As each scene unfolded, both Myles and Bobby were beginning to forget the past. Miles regained his passion for singing by joining the Gay and Lesbian Church choir. He attended the homecoming mass on Sunday with his mom, just like old times. By the end of the episode, Bobby had let go of some of his anger and resentment towards the church, proving not to be close-minded.
In just 22 short minutes, the audience sees the message that there is value in who you are and how other people can help you gain confidence. This episode of “Queer Eye” sent many positive cultural transmissions about what it is like to be a gay affiliated with the church. Most often, in the media, the audience views the war between the church and the LGBTQ+ community. If the media portrayed the messages sent during the episode, viewers around the world would start to think more open-mindedly. In the end, it is all about getting to know a person before you judge them because it can surprise anyone.