The reality dating programs Boy Meets Boy and Playing It Straight purported to illustrate the elusiveness of performing sexual orientation in a culture that increasingly understands sexuality as fluid. By highlighting stereotypes typically associated with both gay and straight men, the shows exposed the difficulties of determining sexual orientation with “gaydar”. Both gay and straight participants were represented as equally incapacitated to identify sexual orientation. In doing so, the programs sought to advance liberal democratic conceptions of tolerance and equality. Employing Foucault's conception of the “glance,” I explore the problems inherent in relocating “gaydar” to the small screen.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeffrey_bennett/4/