Queer Eye turned Mormon bishop from “adversary” to LGBT “ally and advocate”

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy hasn’t aired in years, but the Bravo reality series lives on in syndication, and a Mormon bishop who watched it recently says that watching the show changed his mind about gay and lesbian people and prompted him to become an “ally and advocate.”

Kevin Kloosterman writes in The Adovocate that after watching the show, “I no longer saw the LGBT community as a nameless, faceless entity that I knew little about. I felt spiritually prompted and began to do my long-overdue homework and research and learn all I could about LGBT issues.”

He also writes, in part,

“There was something about the spirit of these men that seemed to break barriers of orientation, politics, and even religion. Perhaps like every other fan, I considered them to be more familiar than reality would dictate. Then something that Carson said in his cheeky manner struck me like a thunderbolt. He said, ‘We are very pro traditional marriage.’ Those words echoed in my mind for months and months. It seemed to disrupt and challenge a deeply held belief that the traditional family was under attack by a so called ‘gay agenda.’

That belief was dismantled at that moment and I realized that these good men had no desire to hurt me, my marriage, or my family. On the contrary, if they were in my home, I could only see them supporting me, my traditional marriage, and my family.”

Last fall, in a speech that’s on YouTube, Kloosterman blamed “emotional wounds” suffered by gay and lesbian people on the church, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.