Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oprah shows straight military men living in gay community as a social experiment


Today (Thursday, June 14) Oprah featured a twenty-minute segment where a heterosexual man and Army officer or NCO (not sure if still active) Ryan Hickmott, lives for thirty days with a gay man Ed Coller, in San Francisco, in order to understand the culture of the gay male world. The social experiment was filmed for the FX Networks (not to be confused with the FX show).

The first event shown was a dinner with twelve men. Then there were a couple of gay bar visits, spread apart (the bar was “Daddy’s”), and in the second visit he stripped off his own shirt. He came into the experiment believing that homosexuality was wrong essentially because it was “unnatural”, and without much of any rational understanding of the moral thinking. Oprah thought that he once equated the “sin” as that with murder, byt Ryan claimed that his religious beliefs did not put all sin on the same level. Oprah said that she believes people are born gay but that they choose (or do not choose) to live a particular lifestyle.

In the last segment, Ryan visited a group of parents with gay children.

The “don’t ask don’t tell” policy for those in the military does not preclude visiting gay bars or associating socially with gay people (the 1994 DOD regulations specifically say that), although in many individual cases commanders have (perhaps illegally) pursued discharges for soldiers seen in gay surroundings.

The link for the "Gay for 30 Days" segment is here. I believe that it is a repeat, and that I had seen it before (October 2005).

There is a USA Today story called "Reality Check" on this episode here.

Addendum

On Wed. June 13 Jay Leno had Shia La Beouf on his NBC Night Show for Shia's 21st Birthday that day. (Actually, imdb has the birthday as June 11, so maybe the show was taped Monday. All interesting, because some day I will try to get tickets to it.) Yes, they pretended to have a bash, and Shia talked about grown-up things to do. Shia admitted to smoking cigars. Shia's next movie is Transformers.

Jay Leno also showed mock footage of the Pentagon's legendary "gay bomb."

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