Number One perk of getting home late and drunk on a Saturday night: being awake at 2am to watch Straight Plan for the Gay Man. It does sound kind of wrong, yes. But it’s actually not. And best of all, it’s totally unhomophobic.
Straight Plan is obviously a parody of Queer Eye (ie, bathroom jokes about getting rid of all th gay man’s ‘product’ and giving him a bar of soap) but it’s a parody that beautifully reveals the class politics concealed in the original’s fables of dorky/slobbish hetero men getting groomed for success by their pink-dollar-lovin’ Queer Eye team. The Straight Plan crew aren’t interested in aspirationalism; being straight, according to the show, is about being poor. They like to shop at the Salvo’s and buy furniture from the backs of trucks; instead of talking about the best boutiques for ’straight men’, they decide on where to shop baed on the proximity to hotdog stands. The gay men who agree to go on this show are not looking for self-improvement: they just want to slum it for a day. The slumming can happen literally — getting their apartments infested with beercans — or symbolically — being groomed to pass as a straight, blue-collar worker. (Oh, except hello, the blue collar work our gay hero must excel at is in a meat packing plant. Nice line in revealing the hidden queerness lurking in every beacon of heteronormativity…)
Contra to some commenters on this thread, I don’t think the show necessarily reinforces stereotypes about gay men being wealthy or upper-class. It’s a direct response to Queer Eye in which the constellation of stereotypical discourses that align under ‘gayness’ (aestheticism, standards, fashion sense, culturedness etc) become a vehicle for messages about masculine social mobility. By reversing the terms, Straight Plan uses parodies of stereotypical straightness to talk about the importance of downward mobility. Which is, okay, kinda ‘gross’ (living-room full of Rolling Rock, anyone?) but at least it’s not about promoting capitalism.