Hey all! Great thread so far! Here's my two cents (warning - very long rant):
I am stunned that so many people thought Wes was straight. Unlike Dan, who was oh-so-obviously flaming his way into the hearts of mainstream America, Wes's gayness was real. Throughout the show, Wes was smart, sassy, and fun - qualities I always associate with the best of gay men, and, IMHO, Wes (and Robb) had those qualities in abundance. Dan had plenty of flame and sass, but no wit or even brains for that matter.
FLAME-ON: Those lies about the boyfriend/not-boyfriend/just-good-friend were so laughably stupid, and he put himself in that situation. He was so trying to be gay (i.e., having lots of sex with different guys and having an open relationship) that it didn't even occur to him that James might not think that that kind of gay life was for him. The back-peddling was hilarious! I'm surprised Dan made it past the first day, but the producers threw in a token, boring minority to take the hit. (Don't get me started. Don't even get me started.) In short, Dan = not smart or witty = not gay. It doesn't get clearer than that. FLAME-OFF.
I was happy that James, who does seem like a very genuine, sweet (if a teensy bit naive) person, ultimately picked Wes. Darn those producers for putting Wes and Robb against each other! Wouldn't it have been a much more exciting elimination round to see either of them paired up against Franklin?
I am also stunned that so many people were certain Franklin was gay. I picked him out as the one definite straight boy after the first episode, and virtually everything he did afterward confirmed my suspicions. His body language around James was always a little distant (you could say frigid). Honey, if I were in a hot tub (or limo or loveseat, etc.) with a cutie like James, I would in his lap and not on the other side of the country! That's the straight instinct to occupy as much space as possible, and not the gay "tight spaces are better" gene, in operation. Yeah, he cried at the drop of a hat (like after every elimination round), but please...gay boys do not intentionally have Franklin's hairstyle (I'm sorry - not cute - none of it - no way, never).
Franklin's most obvious giveaway, IMHO, was his answer to James's question re: his first date. Franklin rambled on and on about fake-dating girls and being in the closet and his favorite home economics teacher, BUT he never answered the question. A gay guy would have answered truthfully - "Some girl in high school. Obviously, it didn't work out." Evasion, people, is a pretty obvious clue, especially for something as simple
As for the show being some miraculous experiment for the blending of gay and straight perceptions of each other - I think that's all a crock. Would this important social experiment have been any different, if the producers had disclosed at the very beginning to ALL of the participants, that there were a certain number of straight men in the mix? I doubt it. The show wouldn't have had the "twist" to drive up the ratings, but everyone, the audience, as well as James, Andra, and all of the mates (gay and straight), would have participated in evaluating the behavior and mannerisms of each of the mates to see if it is possible to tell. It would have been a very different, but IMHO a much more fun and honest, show.
Instead, the producers decided to trick a very nice guy and his best friend (and ALL of the gay mates) into believing they were on a ground-breaking gay romantic reality show (which, of course, would certainly not be enough to generate ratings on its own), when they were being held up to ridicule. I actually believe that the straight men on the show did go through a "coming out" process, because they did have to hide their identities from everyone else, but how does that experience translate to millions of beer-guzzling couch potatoes who happen to land on Bravo during a commercial break from an Everybody Loves Raymond repeat?
Decades of gays telling straights how difficult the coming out process is hasn't really made such a difference. How could this piece of fluff accomplish that?
And listening to the gays and straights talk about how amazing it was that they could be friends with each other really made me sad, because I'm sure they were made to think that way through targeted questions designed to make them think along those lines. Gays and straights do get along - actually, we get along on a daily basis, which should be no surprise to anyone except Dan. But just look at the interactions between the various housemates and you see how the dynamic between gay and straight men really broke down for the guys who were in the house the longest. Brian, Robb and Wes (all gay) ended up spending lots of time together, striking up a real and genuine rapport, and providing us with the bestest, funnest, and funniest spontaneous moments. Sean and Franklin (as well as strange Darren) seemed to form their own little group, though I wouldn't say that any of them reached the level of kinship that the Brian/Robb/Wes trio did. This result shouldn't be a shock -we find ourselves most drawn to those people who share our sensibilties - emotional, physical, aesthetic, whatever - in the end, and we sense this on a very basic level. And this show - with its unforgiveable deception - did nothing to alter this natural aspect of human behavior.
Congratulations to James for doing a great job of eliminating the straight boys from the pool of potential mates without any information. However, the more I think about it, the more I believe that all of us could have done it in the same situation. You know who you connect to - plain and simple - and you don't need to humiliate someone in order to prove it.
Thanks for reading this rant!