As someone who is both hot, gay, and delusional, you would think that I would be ecstatic about having Logo’s answer to The Bachelor, Finding Prince Charming, and seeing other hot, delusional gays on television. And, obviously, you’re right.
Actually, the only real reaction I had to the news that we were getting a gay Bachelor—Gaychelor?—was terrified, giddy, roller-coaster levels of glee. Yes, this is a great step towards equal representation on television, which is blahblahblah. But the pressure is so intense, and palpable, on the set of Prince Charming, that you can’t help but fear that this has failed before it’s even begun.
The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise benefit from the fact that everywhere you turn, there is a reality TV show about str8 people finding love. From Millionaire Matchmaker to A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila—actually, the only other queer example I can think of besides Charming is A Double Shot of Love with Tila Tequila, who knew she was our queer pioneer—straight people have it covered, so they can afford to fuck it up as much as possible. But since we just have Charming, nothing that is shown will fully and accurately represent the queer community, so you’re left with a palatably bland swatch of gays, and—the jewel in the helm—our “Prince Charming” Robert Sepulveda, Jr., who is so boring I actually want to cry.
First fucking beef—the show is called Finding Prince Charming, and yet everyone refers to Robert as “Prince Charming.” The producers fed the contestants lines about him being an IRL Disney Prince like I feed Beggin’ Strips to my dog. Yes, we get it: he’s hot (actually I don’t think he’s that attractive), but we’ve already found him. He’s looking for his soulmate, so technically it’s him who’s finding Prince Charming. It’s a small nuance, but one that make me want to grind my teeth into splintering into a thousand tiny sharp spears and break my laptop.
I’m not gonna recap the entire fucking episode, but I think that something that’s going to be important about the show is the representation and dissection of the LGBTQ’s internalized homophobia. Within the first twenty minutes, the last guy to walk in—Robby, 26, a hair stylist from West Hollywood, who I want to officiate my wedding, baptize my child and euthanize me when I’m 96—comes into conflict with Sam—whatever his age is, whatever his “job” is, and he’s from Chicago—who is totally “masc” and whom you can tell hates Robby with a fucking gay fervor. They butt heads, Robby calls Sam “Mary” and “beige” and a “Virgo” (as an actual Virgo, I took offense, but I forgive Robby, who will one day run for President and I will vote for him), after Sam tries to shame him for acting so flamboyantly. That is, as Robby and the other guys point out, just Robby being authentic. Barbs are thrown, and Sam tells Robby to “fix his dress.”
That kind of femme-shaming is rampant in the queer community, so it’s not surprising that it’s represented on television. However, it’s important to be able to recognize subtle femme-shaming as much as it is to call out blatant femme-shaming. Throughout the episode, Robert, and others, compliment guys on their “masculinity.” Robert thinks that Brandon is hot because he has a beard—Brandon is hot by the way—and another guy starts out his little testimonial by saying that everyone is always so surprised when they find out he’s gay—with the implied end of the sentence being ‘Because I don’t act gay.’
I’m going to hope that the more effeminate contestants were brought in as viable options, rather than “filler”, because I think that even though this show shouldn’t bear the brunt of encompassing our entire community, it’s important to show effeminate guys as viable sexually-attractive partners, and not just reinforce this idea that masculinity is the only thing we should think is hot.
On a lighter note, Paul, who is hot in a Seattle high school science teacher way but is annoying in a regular human person way, told Robert, who posed as “just another contestant” before RuVealing himself as the “Prince Charming”—again, eye roll—that all of his exes have been 5’11 or below—Paul is at least 6’3 and Robert is tall too. Rober then goes “I don’t know if we have a future if he’s not attracted to me.” LIKE, LET’S PUMP THE BRAKES. They act like Paul said, “I only date dudes who love to fuck on anime comics” or something equally distinct. ALL PAUL SAID WAS THAT HIS LAST FEW EXES HAVE BEEN SHORTER THAN HIM. This micro-analyzing makes them seem incredibly shallow, and even though I’m incredibly shallow, I don’t want other people to think that all gay people are shallow.
Robert is our Gaychelor. He’s 33, from Atlanta, loves the gym, has some job which I’ve already forgotten, and paints himself as so vanilla that it makes vanilla look like fucking Rocky Road. He says he wants “love and the white picket fences.” Has a ripped body, and a face that I think is hot but I’m not sure if I’m just told that it’s hot and I’m supposed to believe that. Has beautiful ice-blue eyes that constantly look on the verge of tears.
- Eric, hair stylist—is 35 but looks 25, and thus I can only assume is a witch.
- Paul, 34, tanning company founder—his last partner passed away recently, which is sad, but I also think that Paul lowkey might be the worst/boring; thinks that Eric is the Gaychelor.
- Dillon, 26, publicist—seems too normal and well-adjusted to be on this show.
- Brandon, 29, behavioral specialist—hot, nice, cool, shy.
- Jasen, 33, celebrity makeup artist—LOVES monogamy, and that’s cute but also, like, k?
- Justin, 29, product manager—bleached blonde hair, every gym gay I’ve ever had a crush on. Was wearing sparkle driving loafers. Says that “I’m a man.” K.
- Chad, 32, real estate agent—also Chad from The Bachelorette was a real estate agent, and he sucked, so this is a red flag for all Chads. This hasn’t happened yet, but I feel like Chad is a v “guy’s guy looking for a guy’s guy” kind of guy.
- Brodney, 34, personal trainer—he seems very sweet and shy and that does not make for good TV. Has seen Robert at the gym in Atlanta.
- Charlie, 26—is a manny, the one who “no one could tell that he was gay”. Sweats like a beast, which I can relate to.
- Nick, 31, college event planner—very intimidated by the other guys. Lets Robby spray abs onto him with fake tanner. Red flag for Nick, reverse red-flag for Robby.
- Danique, 30, business analyst—is so sweet and I want him to stay forever and he thinks that guys are never into him. Also in my head I read that as “anal-yst” and I’m not ashamed.
- Sam, 31, the worst—I feel like Sam is the bad egg where we—the audience—can see he’s the bad egg, but Robert won’t and so we’ll be stuck with him for 5-6 episodes. But he’s from Chicago, and I like all types of pizza.
- Robby, 26, the best—also a hair stylist, but his main job is being my inspiration. He’s from Boston, went to a Catholic school, played football, and is living his best, authentic self. AND I FUCKING LOVE IT.
Frankly, I’m not finding our Prince to be particularly charming. Actually, he seems like kind of a downer.
The Rose ceremony is a Black Tie ceremony, and Charlie, Nick and Brodney are sent home, which is sad but w/e.
I’ll keep watching this until A) the season is over, B) the world ends, or C) I die. I’m not sure which will happen first, and frankly that’s the best. Also wait the fuck? Lance Bass is our host. Is it weird that I hate Lance Bass? And I don’t even know her.