It seems to be a step backward having a heterosexual spinster telling a gay man that he won't find love unless he stops being himself and starts being who she says he should be.
(PRWEB) September 27, 2011
Matt Siegal, a successful gay entrepreneur who starred in an episode of Patti Stanger's hit TV show The Millionaire Matchmaker that has aired dozens of times as of this month, today spoke out for the first time about his exposure to comments about gays that Stanger made during the weeklong taping of his episode. Siegal's decision to talk about his experience follows Stanger's recent public apology for comments she made about gays and Jews.
"There were a number of comments and crude sexual gestures that shocked me. She said that gay men only care about sex and aren't interested in monogamy," said Siegal. "I decided not to speak out before because I knew that Patti would eventually out herself, so to speak," said Siegal. "It was inevitable that she'd make similar comments again before cameras over which she didn't have editorial control."
The episode in which Matt Siegal appeared was called "Cookies and Ice, and Everything Nice," a reference to the fact that he is the CEO of Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet (http://www.CookieDiet.com), an international nutritionals brand, and that his date threw a glass of ice water in his face during one of the scenes. The basic premise of the episode was that Patti determined that Matt's clothing and accessories were too flamboyant and that his only hope of attracting men was to change his appearance with the help of Patti and a straight image consultant she recruited. Patti took Matt to a New York clothing store where she and her consultant picked out an outfit for him to wear at a social gathering of prospective dates that Patti had selected. The two experts insisted that his wearing the outfit they'd selected was essential if Matt was to attract "the kind of men you're interested in."
"The outfit they picked out for me was a plain t-shirt under a black leather biker jacket, blue denim jeans, and big black boots. I looked like the picture you'd expect to accompany the definition of the word 'gay' in an illustrated dictionary from the 1970's," said Siegal. "It was very Tom of Finland."
Matt arrived for the next day's taping at a chic New York nightclub wearing an outfit quite unlike the one that Patti had selected: a button-down Gucci shirt with a bright, multicolored pattern of geometric shapes, slim cut gray Prada slacks, and black leather ankle boots.
"When the cameras started rolling and I walked into the scene, Patti went berserk," said Siegal. "She said that I looked like 'Liberace on steroids' and demanded to know why I wasn't wearing the outfit she'd picked out. I told her that it was because it just wasn't me."
According to Siegal, he was offended by the Liberace comment and called it "homophobic" in the presence of the crew and other guests. His comment did not make it into the final edit although a similar comment in a later scene, during which he called Stanger "homophobic" and "ageist," was included.
"She called me a pedophile because I said that I was attracted to men in their mid-twenties and thirties. I wonder if she would have called a straight man a pedophile for being interested in women in that range," Siegal quipped.
According to Siegal, when he saw the episode for the first time when it debuted on December 28, 2010, he was disappointed with the message it sent.
"Gay people spent decades fighting for the right to be themselves, to openly express their individuality without being told by straight society what types of relationships, clothing, entertainment, and other matters of personal choice were normal," said Siegal. "It seems to be a step backward having a heterosexual spinster telling a gay man that he won't find love unless he stops being himself and starts being who she says he should be."
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