Last Friday, July 13, Guy Branum — the gay stand-up comedian, writer and host of Tru TV’s Talk Show the Game Show — posted a video to his Twitter feed. Branum paid to have the silly video — featuring hunky dudes and cheesy music — treated as a “promoted tweet” to assure its distribution to a wider group of users than his usual posts. Twitter unceremoniously cancelled the promotion of the Guy Branum video, citing community standards.
The clip had been created to help build awareness of Branum’s My Life as a Goddess, a funny but deeply personal memoir, in advance of its July 31 publication.
The book makes pointed arguments about growing up in a society that relentlessly shames queer people. The Guy Branum video features three Speedo-clad jocks making out with each other … and the book.
The irony of Twitter’s reaction is gobsmacking.
Watch the Guy Branum video promo here:
— Guy Branum (@guybranum) July 13, 2018
“It’s dudes wearing swimsuits kissing each other,” Branum says about his video, fuming as he compares it to the famed 2014 Carl’s Jr. commercial in which an oiled up Paris Hilton and Hannah Ferguson wash a truck and commune with a Thickburger.
In an exclusive statement to Hornet, Branum — noting that “my little gay video doesn’t matter that much” — sayes Twitter’s refusal to allow him to widely disseminate his clip points to a much larger issue. “This level of salaciousness when objectifying female bodies has been the norm in our society,” he says. “We’re not used to seeing it applied to men without declaring that representation pornographic.”
“We have been trained to see bouncing boobs, women kissing men, (femme) women kissing women, women’s thighs, women’s butt cracks, and any number of other objectifications of women to be a normal, natural part of media, including commercials,” he says.
“We have to accept that we’ve been trained to see gay sex as dangerous and gross, and that has real effects. It’s still legal in 47 states for criminal defendants to argue that violence or murder was justified because a gay man or trans woman hit on them,” Branum says. “We see gay male sex as dirtier than straight sex (or straight friendly girl-on-girl), and that makes it harder to grow up and live as a gay man. It’s got to stop.”
A more wide-ranging interview by Hornet with Branum will be published on Aug. 1.
What do you think? Is sex between men handled more problematically than other expressions of sexuality in the mainstream media? Let us know in the comments section…