Stop the Big Brother Gay Stereotyping: Letter to the Editor

Here at, we highly encourage letters to the editor on any and all subjects we cover here at the site. Usually we answer them one-on-one but sometimes we find a letter intriguing enough to print it for our readers (with permission) and find out what you think about the topic.

Big Brother 15 Andy Herren

This week we received an e-mail from one of our readers, Kirk S., about the casting of LGBT contestants on Big Brother. He argues that Big Brother has consistently cast gay HouseGuests who represent a certain “effeminate, limp wristed” stereotype of the gay male community. In particular, he notes that Big Brother 15 winner “especially fits this stereotype.” While we don’t believe that being so-called effeminate or non-athletic precludes being a ‘real man’ or that men like Andy are not attractive, as Kirk seems to feel, he does have a passionate point to make.

While Kirk does not touch specifically on past lesbian contestants in his letter, there can be some argument made that the true lesbian (not bi or bi-curious) contestants so far on Big Brother USA have also represented a certain narrow stereotype. Jenn Arroyo‘s very aggressive, androgynous, leather and spikes persona being one example.

We will let Kirk’s letter speak for itself and we would love to know your thoughts either in support or in opposition to his views. As for us, we would not object to seeing future LGBT HouseGuests on Big Brother that are as far from stereotypical as one can get. The LGBT community is as diverse as the straight community and frankly we do feel that is underrepresented on Big Brother. Then again, diversity in any area is an issue Big Brother struggles with in general.

Check out Kirk’s letter, which was also sent out to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Fly On The Way Entertainment, CBS and Kasting INC, below.


I know that you are pleased that BIG Brother includes a gay houseguest every season, and give them Kudos for this.  However, I wonder if you have noticed the consistent pattern where every season the gay house guest fits the old gay stereotype of being effeminate, limp wristed, non athletic, not very attractive or charismatic, sissy boy.  Andy Herren especially fits this stereotype, plus he was the biggest “Tattle Tale” in Big Brother history.  The only houseguest in 15 seasons who broke this stereotype was Steven Daigle, the rodeo champion bull rider in 2008 Season 10.  I don’t think CBS was happy about his celebrity career choice afterwards.
I find it very aggravating (and prejudicial) that CBS will not include another gay house guest who is a very masculine, strong, athletic, attractive and charismatic “Hunk”.  They always include at least 2 straight “Hunks” every season.  I suspect that CBS is afraid that another gay “macho hunk” houseguest will use their “celebrity” status after the season and become a gay porn star as Steven Daigle did.  This would be bad publicity for Big Brother. So to play it safe, every season they select a gay houseguest who fits society’s effeminate gay stereotype, and also is not very physically attractive, which would preclude a career in gay porn. 
CBS’s consistent stereotyping of the gay house guest every season only reinforces society’s widely held belief in the myth that almost all gay men are effeminate, limp wristed, lisping, sissy boys and not “real men”.   Please have a discussion with the producers of CBS about their stereotyping of their gay houseguests, and ask that they include a wider diversity of gay house guests, including some masculine, athletic, attractive, charismatic men. Alas, I suspect that we shall see another Andy Herren type gay house guest next season.
– Kirk S.

What do you think about what Kirk had to say? Do you think he has a valid point? Where else do you think Big Brother lacks diversity and could do better next season?

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