Bil Browning

Offensive or...

Filed By Bil Browning | October 23, 2007 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Details Magazine, heterosexual privilege, homophobic behavior, LGBT people, media, stereotypes, straight

Details magazine has taken some slack lately for their popular "Gay or..." column. The little section is supposed to be humorous, but at times the comedy can get interpreted as racist/sexist/homophobic. Each month they show a picture of a person who fits certain stereotypes and asks if they're "Gay or..." a presidential candidate, a dictator or a celebrity baby daddy. The mag highlights different parts of the person and puts little quips beside them.

Last week a publicist sent the copy and photo for this month's "Gay or..." column. It's entitled "Gay or... Straight?" The intro copy reads:

One's hot for the ladies, the other much prefers his fellow man. Whether he's cruising the nearest glory hole or picking up the scent of a woman, this guy advances the Homo sapiens agenda: eating, sleeping, and tending to his inflamed nether regions. So get a grip on your manhood, because behind two great sexual orientations stands a great one-track mind.

You can click through to see the picture and quips. So what do you think? Offensive or just funny? Or both at the same time? I'm interested to see what our readers and contributors think about this...

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Actually, this the most gay-friendly it is going to get with a magazine primarily aimed at straight men; straight men still retain for the most part stereotypes about gay men. Gay men will never be normally masculine in their eyes.

However, if you want to know really offensive material, just skim through Maxim, a stockpile of sexist and homophobic drivel.

I'll just have to go with neither.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 23, 2007 11:56 AM

I stopped reading Details years ago. Its pretty lame especially with all that's happening on the web. Why spend money to buy useless drivel when you can find more dynamic content on sites like Bilerico?

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | October 23, 2007 3:44 PM

I don't know...I quit reading Details years ago, too. Found it not really relevant.

The features here struck me as mildly amusing, not really offensive. In a way, such double entendre in a mainstream magazine seems a sign of arrival and acceptance, no?

Neither, really. It strikes me as an "Oh crap, here comes the deadline and we still haven't come up with a marginally clever idea yet" kind of thing. Frankly I'm surprised that they've manage to continue the "Gay or" schtick for so long. They've gotta be recycling most of their quips by now.

The only part I didn't like was the "glory hole" comment - as if that's all gay men are after - anonymous sex. It seems to be reinforcing a negative stereotype. Quite often I find them mildly humorous - some of the other gags weren't bad.