"Everyone's A Little Gay," Says Honey Boo Boo

"Everyone's A Little Gay," Says Honey Boo Boo [EXPERT]

I am the first person to admit it: I hate reality TV ... but I love watching it!

I do my best to avoid it, but every so often, I find myself catching marathons and getting caught up in the chaotic storylines. In my head, I know these shows are crafted to exploit our voyeuristic tendencies and induce higher ratings but I just can't help myself.

This week, I was introduced to a little show called "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."  I have heard people joke and make fun of the show but I had never taken time out to pay it any attention. Just hearing the title made me curious enough to ask: What the hell is a "Honey Boo Boo"?

I decided to tune into the season finale and it seems the show is centered around Honey Boo Boo, a.k.a. seven year-old Alana Thompson and her family, as they prep her to compete in the kiddy pageantry circuit. 

At first glance, I was completely turned off. Why would anyone want to watch a show about some self-proclaimed "rednecks" and a kiddy pageant queen? Furthermore, why would TLC (The Learning Channel) put this on television?

I was really struggling to find the value and as I made up my mind to change the channel, I heard one of the characters say the word "gay." I thought to myself uh oh.. this can't be good!

To my surprise, it was just the opposite. In fact, it was freaking awesome! Honey Boo Boo apparently has a gay uncle that they affectionately refer to as "Uncle Poodle." It turns out, the family was awaiting his arrival and counting on him to help whip Honey Boo Boo into pageant-ready condition because "gay men know how to dance and make the moves."

As the family gushed over Uncle Poodle's gayness, I found myself laughing and liking them just a little bit more. They greeted him with so much love and genuine excitement that it caught me off guard. When asked about her uncle, Honey Boo Boo herself proclaimed "there ain't nothing wrong with being a little gay. Everyone's a little gay!" That was my aha moment.

As an openly gay black man, I never would have imagined that I would have anything in common with the Honey Boo Boo clan but I did. Shame on me! I had made my judgments before giving the show a chance and they were actually celebrating a character that I closely identified with, the gay uncle.

Here are 3 unexpected lessons  that I took from "Here Comes Hone Boo Boo" that can be applied to all areas of love, life and success.

1. It's OK to be different. It's ok to love and accept someone else who may be different from you. Everyone has their own way of doing things. Just because it is not a path that we would choose for ourselves, it doesn't make it wrong. They are just doing what works best for them.

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2. Find the value. Instead of making assumptions and judging others for their differences, maybe we should put more effort into getting to know people and try a little harder to relate to them instead of alienating them.

3. Celebrate differences. Maybe we should be more willing to celebrate the qualities that make people unique human beings instead of being so quick to write them off.

Maybe that's the value and the message that TLC wants to send their audience airing Honey Boo Boo. Who would have thought that a seven year-old pageant queen from rural Georgia that calls herself "Honey Boo Boo" would be an advocate of acceptance? If she can get it, maybe it's time for some us grown-ups to get with the program.

Besides being a YourTango Dating Expert, J. Cameron Gantt is the Head Dating Coach at Insti(Gay)tor, a Chicago-based GLBT matchmaking agency. Download his FREE E-Guide "3 Secrets To Attract More Dates" or contact him directly for a FREE 60 minute consultation.