Aug 8, 2013

10 Homophobic Things About the Big Bang Theory

I occasionally watch The Big Bang Theory (2007-), the sitcom about four science-nerd guys, and more recently their respective girlfriends.  I like the science plotlines and the pop culture references, and the Pasadena locale, close enough to West Hollywood to give me a nostalgic vibe.  I like the beefcake and bulges -- who knew that science nerds had physiques like that?  I like the buddy-bonding between the female scientists.  But I don't like the undertone of homophobia.

1. No gay characters, except for one episode in which Raj (Kunal Nayyar, left) is asked to participate in an arranged marriage, and his intended bride, Lakshmi, turns out to be a lesbian.

2. Lakshmi asks him to marry her anyway, as a screen.  Do we still have screen marriages in the 21st century?

3. No seems to know the difference between "gay" and "transvestite."  Lakshmi says that back in India, many people thought that Raj was "comfortable in a sari."  Raj responds: "I'm not gay."  Hey, Raj, gay men don't all necessarily wear women's clothes.

4. Well, I guess they do.  When the gang produces little flowered barrets called "Penny Blossoms," the 5th Annual East Rutherford, New Jersey LGBT Luau orders 1,000.  "The homosexual community!" Sheldon (Jim Parsons) muses, delighted, suddenly thinking of a new target audience.

5. Raj is frequently ridiculed for feminine-coded mannerisms, with the implication that he might be gay.

6. He had an obvious homoromantic bond with Howard (Simon Helberg, right), played as pathetic and creepy. Leonard's visiting mother, a psychiatrist, explains that they both have a "pathological fear of women," so they have "created an ersatz homosexual marriage to satisfy your need for intimacy."  Got it.  Gay people are inferior.

7. After Howard's marriage, Raj asks comic-book store owner Stuart (Kevin Sussman, right) for a date.  Soon they are living together.  But the relationship, again, is framed as a pathetic substitute for a real, true, satisfying bond with women.

8. Sheldon was a breath of fresh air, the only young adult male on prime time tv who didn't spend every moment of every episode tongue-lolling over girls.  But we can't have that, can we?  Every young adult male must be hetero-horny, lest people think he', you know.  Let's give him a girlfriend, Amy (Mayim Bialik).

9. In addition to her romance with Sheldon, Amy is obviously attracted to Leonard's girlfriend Penny (Katie Cuoco).  But does she just come out and say she's bisexual, like a normal person?  No, she grunts and squeezes and makes inappropriate come-ons.

10.  Jim Parsons is gay in real life, and Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard, has starred in many gay positive projects.  They makes the ignorance and disdain of gay people even more annoying.