As summer approaches and we gear up for a major fight in California, we should also remember to take care of ourselves and enjoy the guilty pleasures in life.
I'm very excited that one of my guilty pleasures will be gearing up again on Thursday, June 5th.
I first fell in love with it while I was in London in December, about four years ago.
What was it, the Tate Modern, superclub G-A-Y, or one of the many concerts that happen in Hyde Park that has found a fond place in my heart?
No, I wish it was something respectable like that.
I fell in love with the UK for all the wrong reasons.
One night, after a night of clubbing, I turned on Channel 4, the UK television channel that has brought us, Queer As Folk, Metrosexuality, Hollyoaks In The City, and now the delectably trashy Skins.
Frankly, I had no idea what was going on.
There, on Channel 4, at 2am on Saturday, was this weird show where all you seemed to do was watch people, live, talking about and basically doing, nothing. You would think it would be boring, but I was engrossed.
I had discovered what has become one of my favorite summer activities, watching UK Big Brother.
(cue the gagging, groaning and puking sounds now)
But for LGBT folks, we should not discount the importance of this wonderfully trashy television show, that has spread to over 40 different countries around the world.
I must say, I'm no expert on the US version, I prefer my trash TV with a British accent.
The UK version has been phenomenally important in bringing the utter normality and eccentricity of the LGBT community to the UK population. For our community, UK Big Brother and many of the Big Brothers around the world, have made a major, I believe positive, impact on how the world sees us.
So here is a way too OCD recap of some LGBT highlights on the show. I'm missing tons, so please feel free to add more highlights in the comments section.
In Season 2, gay flight attendant Brian Dowling, won the series. You can see him showing his dancing skills (or lack thereof), here.
In Season 5, Nadia Almada the first transgender housemate, won the series. You can see the best bits here. (go to the two minute mark to see Nadia win)
Season 6, brought the most complex and gayest relationship of the whole series, between gay hairdresser, Craig Coates and eventual winner and straight guy Anthony Huttons. Watch the best bits of this complex, but somehow wonderfully reassuring relationship here.
Spinoff, Celebrity Big Brother (where the joke is you usually don't know who the celebrities are) had Dead or Alive lead singer and gender bender Pete Burns.
In Season 7, we were introduced to the gay, canadian "sexual terrorist" Richard Newman.
The Last season, Season 8, brought us a steamy gay kiss and a bisexual, anti-war housemate.
Big Brother 8 Best Bits (gay kisses at 1:50)
Until BBC America decides to start broadcasting the show here in the states (I mean, just how many times can they show Coupling in one week?), you'll have to resort to nefarious internet sources to view the show here in the US.
Reality shows like Big Brother USA, UK, and The Real World, have done an enormous service, bringing our community into the households of millions worldwide.
Now we can all go back to the fight to keep marriage equality a reality in California and pass GENDA in New York.
Big Brother 9 begins Thursday, June 5th on Channel 4.
This public service message is now complete.
p.s.: The theme song is by one of my favorite dj's, Paul Oakenfold. Hear it here.