It Gets Betterish Serves Up A Refreshing Slice Of Gay Life

People often think gay men are all the same. If you’re someone with a penis who enjoys other penises, it’s assumed that you also like to listen to Lady Gaga, work out at the gym, and have vacuous sex with strangers off Manhunt. And if you don’t identify with those stereotypes — if it turns out that you don’t care for Gaga, have a few rolls on your stomach and haven’t had sex in six months — people will scrunch their noses up in confusion and say, “Wait, but I thought you were gay?”

It doesn’t take a bleeding liberal to realize that this kind of thinking is problematic. Even though the media might seem more homosexual than ever, there’s still a startling lack of diversity when it comes to depictions of gay life. These days, you’re either sobbing between showtunes, or you’re pissing rainbows and pooping out copies of Tori Spelling’s latest memoir. Those are your options, Gay Dude. Pick one.

What if neither of those options felt applicable to you though? What if you’re someone who feels proud to be gay but also acknowledges that it can sometimes be a weird bummer?  Well, then have we got the perfect webseries for you! Enter your knight in shining (and possibly bejeweled) armor, It Gets Betterisha series created by comedians Eliot Glazer and Brent Sullivan that dares to examine the nuances of modern gay life in a hilarious fashion.

In It Gets Betterish, Glazer and Sullivan portray two gay best friends who are dealing with all sorts of homosexual dilemmas. Throughout the season, they battle annoying girls who are in dire need of a Gay Best Friend, well-intentioned but ignorant co-workers, and most of all, their own neuroses. It’s hilarious, touching, and sometimes painful to watch which to me also accurately defines the modern gay experience.

Because the series takes place present day in New York City, their conflicts aren’t about being gay bashed or hiding their sexuality. It’s more about having to grapple with people’s perceptions of what it means to be gay and how that, in turn, affects your own perception of yourself. Sometimes it’s the friend who claims to be the most progressive who says things like, “Does my ass look fat in these jeans? OMG, YOU’RE GAY. LET’S GO SHOPPING AND TALK ABOUT DICKS.” Comments like these might seem harmless but trust me. After hearing them 10,000 times, you start to resent them and want to crawl into a big gayless hole.

Glazer and Sullivan just posted their hysterical season one finale (which you can watch below) about an unglamorous and mildly homophobic drag queen who performs at a birthday party. Take a look and prepare to laugh/ relate. I never connected to characters like Will Truman and Kurt Hummel. However, I do see so much of myself and my friends in It Gets Betterish . Finally. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • JohnChoIsHot

    Yes, you are such a speshul snowflake for not connecting with flamboyant gay characters. You and the hundred million other masculine supercool gay men should all continue this circlejerk in real life at least.

    • Alex

      Which character in that video was not flamboyant? Wasn’t it composed almost entirely of stereotypes? I’m so confused.

    • AJ

      I honestly don’t think Ryan has ever tried to insinuate he was masculine or super cool. In fact i’ve kinda surmised the opposite. And I dont think stating you don’t relate to the major portrayals of gay guys in pop culture is saying youre special. Im a very feminine person who doesnt identify with any of them and thats the way it is. Knock the chip off your shoulder.

      • Ryan O'Connell

        What AJ said.

    • Guestropod

      Dude, what?  

  • Alex

    No.

  • thomas

    They have some good ideas, and I feel like they mean well, but these videos are SO painful to watch. They come off as backhandedly homophobic and at times more offensive than the problems they seek to portray.

  • Wdeanis

    On the point of gay stereotypes, this is fun:

    I’m gay, and when I was in college I bartended in a gay bar. I was not just surprised, but almost taken aback when I found out one of my fellow bartenders was 1) attending the same university and 2) an accounting major. I was also surprised when a patron would speak to me about business in their corporate jobs or the markets, etc. Up until I started working there, since I didn’t go to gay bars or know any other gay people, the only things I “knew” about gay people were what I learned from the media and a moderately Christian household… I’m still shocked with how close-minded I was regardless of my own sexuality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/t.jason.ham Jason Ham

    “Does my ass look fat in these jeans? OMG, YOU’RE GAY. LET’S GO SHOPPING AND TALK ABOUT DICKS.”
    That quote in itself seems like such a cliché. This never happens to me. I didn’t know people in CITIES still did this. All people I get introduced to judge me based on how I act, not on what my sexuality is. The only things that don’t feel “better” at this point is random people calling me a faggot in public for getting off at certain subway stations (hey, it happens sometimes…) and both blatant and implied racism or labelling within the gay community.

    In first year university this straight guy I met asked me in full seriousness if I knew anything about skin care products for clearing up the face. You’re asking the wrong gay, seriously… I look like a troll.

    I will say one thing though. No gays in media seem to really represent the “genre” of gay that I would put myself into. I’m not hilariously fem like the bear in those new Bounce commercials and I’m not hilariously or “unexpectedly” -str8-acting- like Max on Happy Endings. But I suppose there is a reason why no one normal is on TV. Who would watch that…

  • Guest

    Paid content?

  • DRB

    Keith on Six Feet Under was a great example of a non-stereotypical gay. Keith and David’s whole dynamic was great and how the family interacted with them.

  • aw415

    I dunno, it feels like gay guys have  significantly more representation than lesbians or bi women in the media.

    Everyone suffers from stereotypes, and the ones about gay men are not really fair (and I don’t mean to imply that they are), but in my experience people are dimly aware that there are different types of gay men, even if those types are more limited than they should be. Gay men exist in serious ocntext like the workplace, and are able to be taken seriously as consumers because of htheir collective buying power. I can only speak for London, but there seem to be countless offers from gyms, bars, clubs, shops etc.  in the gay district aimed at gay men, very few of them focus specifically, or even partially on gay women.

    In the media, gay men are assumed to have attributes like “attractive”, “works out”, “disposible income”, “active social life”. Even with the accusations  of casual sex and vanity, this is much better than the fairly basic image of  lesbians – bad hair, bad shoes, cats, reclusive. And, even worse, bi women – promiscuous, waiting for the right guy etc.

    Stereotyping is frustrating in any context. Sometimes it’s tough though as a gay or bi woman to see so much of the little that is out there for/about  LGBT people focused on gay men an no one else.

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  • https://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/the-outs-is-one-of-the-reasons-why-its-good-to-be-gay-right-now/ The Outs Is One Of The Reasons Why It’s Good To Be Gay Right Now | Thought Catalog

    […] Yes, gay people deserve bad TV too. But I was talking to Eliot (Glazer) about this, and it’s true, more is not necessarily better. You have to look at the facts on the […]

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/12/the-outs-is-one-of-the-reasons-why-it%e2%80%99s-good-to-be-gay-right-now/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Yes, gay people deserve bad TV too. But I was talking to Eliot (Glazer) about this, and it’s true, more is not necessarily better. You have to look at the facts on the […]

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