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Gok Wan: I want to do Strictly — but let me dance with a man

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  1. Id like to see Gok on the show but can you imagine the furore if he was allowed to dance with a man?

    1. That furore would be worth it though, wouldn’t it.

      Expose the vast homophobic British public to enough same-sex couples on Strictly and so forth, and eventually the furores will die down. They’ll get used to it. It’s all part of education, education, education.

      I’ve never had much time for Mr. Wan, but I have to say this statement from him is very impressive.

  2. Wouldn’t watch the show if you paid me, but this strikes me as a fair enough request. After all the argument against this is self-defeating – if the gender of the partner doesn’t matter since it is a dance and not a romantic entanglement, then it doesn’t matter whether male or female, so let the guy dance with a man.

    The answer is, perhaps, that the channel isn’t what I would consider LGBT friendly and will be more afraid of “backlash” (that is, an organised letter-writing campaign by the couple of dozen or so hysterical christians who always jump on their crosses for this stuff) rather than be progressive.

    That said. Suppose it is possible to be deeply surprised. Keep in mind that the Israeli version of the same show has already done this (don’t recall if it was last year or year before) with a female pair.

  3. George Forth 8 Jan 2013, 2:01pm

    The challenge would surely be deciding who’d lead.

    1. Whoever is tallest? Or perhaps defeat the binary expectation completely and dance in a complimentary style rather than lead and follow?

      1. The structures of ballroom dancing require one to lead and the other to follow. The female Israeli couple switched leads, but I would say Gok is camp enough to pull off being the woman.

        1. All the more reason he should lead, don’t you think? Might as well undermine more than one stereotype at a time if the opportunity arises.

    2. There would be no challenge as long as there was a distinguishable height difference. In ballroom the taller partner would lead as that’s the norm when dancing with someone of the same gender. Latin can be swapped round a lot more easily as you’re not in hold so much. That said, with no other couples on the dance floor then height might not be so much of an issue…

      Yeah, I’ll stop my same-sex dance geekery now.

  4. This would be so great!!

  5. Liz Henze 8 Jan 2013, 2:45pm

    Good for you Gok!

  6. Unfortunately I think Gok (or any other man or woman who danced with a same-sex partner) would get voted off pretty quickly.

    This is a subject I raised directly with the BBC a few years ago. The programme’s producer wasn’t happy about putting anything down in writing, but she was prepared to speak to me about it. I didn’t take up her offer.

    1. And her offer was . . . ? :-)

      Spill the beans, please, Dave!

      1. I’ve had to look back at the correspondence. It seems I contacted the show’s Executive Producer, Moira Ross on 12 November 2010:

        Hello Moira,

        Yesterday I read a story on Pink News about the possibility of a TV dance programme in the United States including same-sex couples. I commented that I couldn’t imagine seeing that happen on Strictly Come Dancing, and then it dawned on me that I could ask the BBC what they thought about the idea.

        Look forward to your views on the prospect of including same-sex couples on SCD. Many thanks.

        I also provided this link to Pink News:

        http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/11/11/portia-degeneres-could-be-in-first-us-dancing-with-the-stars-same-sex-couple/

        Moira was away at the time, but after a reminder on 24th November 2012 I received an email from Stuart Macdonald, who was a publicist for the programme. He said that, if I called him, he’d be happy “to chew the cud.” He gave me his mobile number, but I decided not to call back.

        1. **24th November 2010**

  7. I never watch the show myself, but I would if a few same-sex dancing partners were allowed for a change. Some hope!

  8. Cant stand Gok Wan, he gives all reasonable homosexuals bad names, as he is totally ott with his behaviour and odd dress sense.

    1. Just like oddly dressed heterosexuals give straights a bad name?

      I don’t think so. Have a good think before you make ridiculous comments.

    2. What exactly is a ‘reasonable homosexual’?? How do they dress?

    3. I don’t like Gok, but I really appreciate the fact that he isn’t a “reasonable” homosexual, some of us are Nelly’s get over it. Xxx

    4. You’re a twat, Jon.

    5. Gok is camp, that is his natural characteristic, and bearing that in mind, I think Jon is wrong.
      But in defense of Jon, I have the same reaction to Louis Spence.
      The stereotypical TV gays, like “Mr. Humphries” or Dick Emery’s “Honky Tonk” were akin to the depiction of black women in Tom & Jerry cartoons as Southern, submissive, watermelon-eating domestic servants. In other words, a thinly veiled insult.
      Spence takes that stereotype to extremes that I find disturbing, as a gay man. He and Richard Hammond stopped just short of using the phrase “backs to the wall, lads” in one Top Gear, in which RH is clearly afraid of the “predatory” Spence.
      Jon’s word “Reasonable” = “straight acting”, another patronising phrase that implies gay men have to make an effort not to mince, lisp, or act like drag queens at a Pride parade.

  9. Hey, that was brave! Three cheers for Gok! Well said, Sir.

    Other countries have had same-sex dancing couples so why not the UK’s BBC? And, why no openly transgender and gender non-conformist presenters on the ‘people’s’ Beeb?

    1. Because Aunty is homophobic in the truest sense, they fear us.

      1. Balderdash! If the Beeb was so anti-LGBT as some correspondents claim, then why are so many of its TOP presenters openly gay.

        The fact of the matter is, ballroom dancing follows strict rules where one partner leads while the other follows. Finding the right match between two men and two women while not impossible, would certainly be tricky. It’s tricky enough to match the celebrity to their professional partner at the best of times.

        Gok and Robin would possibly make a good couple as would Erin and Clare Balding.

  10. martyn notman 8 Jan 2013, 3:24pm

    please god no! There have been plenty of gay men on the show before, all have danced with women- its not as if he is allergic to them or something! I dont think anyone in their right mind would consider this show anything but gay friendly- this will achieve nothing except giving the heterosexuals another camp fairy to laugh at.

    1. but why should they be forced into a heteronormative box?

  11. Btw Gok,even though most people wouldn’t consider me legitmately either male nor female I’d be proud to be your dancing partner any day were it not for the simple fact that I can’t dance(!)

  12. “The pair were between by 2012 Olympian Gymnast Louis Smith”

    Good spell-checking as usual PinkNews!

  13. Ballroom dancing works with a man and a woman simply because in each pair both sexes are represented – it has absolutely nothing to do with partnering in any other way –

    Stupid camp twat!

    1. Stupid heternomative bellend.

      What a small and tedious world you inhabit.

    2. Ballroom dancing only works with opposite sexes? Wow. What a hilarious thing to say. How old are you? 5? 95?

  14. dancing bunny 8 Jan 2013, 5:39pm

    if uv ever seen the americans version – dancing with the stars ul see that they had a female who wanted to dance with same sex partner and they did it without all the fuss or anything and i think they got quite fair in the competition. Its about whether or not a person can dance not what sex u are or sexual preference u have.

  15. Bruce forsyth would never let that happen…

    1. why the minus…its true…

      1. It is, John. No disrespect to Sir Bruce, but he is in his mid-80′s, and learned to dance before the War.
        Asking him to accept same-sex couples is like asking an elderly football supporter to accept an all gay football team into the Premiership.
        Or the Pope to accept same-sex marriages.

  16. I think it’s a great idea and I am sure it will happen. The BBC won’t be able to put up any defensible resistance if they have willing contestants. Yes, there will be lots of sniggering but it will be an important step – and there would be less sniggering the next time.
    I don’t think dave (above) is right that they would get voted off early. British people love camp. It’s deeply embedded in the history of our entertainment industry.

  17. barriejohn 8 Jan 2013, 6:14pm

    A great idea, and I bet The Great British Public would take it all in their stride. I happened to watch Dale Winton’s game show with my mother at Christmas, and no one was in the least bit fazed about his flirting with the DC Cowboys or their saucy remarks about the young guys competing. I notice the same thing with other game shows these days, especially where the younger generation are concerned. Things may not be perfect, but they have certainly moved on in this country since I was a young man!

    1. Hail the great meterosexual revolution! “Non-threatening” gays (i.e. not like the hyperactive panto queen Louis Spence) are accepted more & more.
      Watched Sun, Sea, & Suspicious Parents last night. Amazing how lads today can shag a dozen girls on holiday, then at the end of a drunken night, snog their equally straight mate!
      I would have been lucky to avoid a punch had I kissed my mates, drunk or sober!

      1. Thats true i had a great fresher fortnight at uni with my flatmates including the kissing with straight friends. Until they found out i was gay … then apparently it was weird for me but not when they thought i was straight.

  18. Now I’ve heard of two women dancing together, but two men? Oh well as long as they wear formal evening dress I cannot see a problem….

    That should appease to DM reading peasants.

  19. A few years ago one of the very few out gay celebrities we have here in Austria, Alfons Haider, said the same thing about participating in the Austrian version of the shoe called “Dancing Stars” and broadcast by the ORF, our equivalent of the Beeb.

    There was the usual fuss and controversy at first, but after a while, the audience just rolled with it, and he and his dancing partner e ven got as far as 4th place.

    So if was possible in fairly conservative Austria, why not in the UK? Maybe it won’t be as big a deal at all!

  20. In passing it’s worth noting that one of the best-known (and most renownedly sensual) dances, the tango, was originally danced by men only.

    (If you don’t believe me – and I’m aware it must seem a startling assertion to make – look it up.)

    1. I was about to point that out, but you got there before me. Though as I understand it – there may be other versions of the story – it was hetero men who danced together to impress the ladies in brothels and get the pick of them. It doesn’t have much to do with gay couples dancing together.

      1. Yes, I believe on the whole it arose from the general paucity of women in the Buenos Aires docklands, but I’m sure among the non-gay majority there must have been the odd one or two who enjoyed the set-up the way it was!

  21. de Villiers 8 Jan 2013, 10:17pm

    I suppose in England that anything is possible.

    I see no reason why a gay male should not dance a strong lead with a woman and no reason why a gay male would seek to be led in a female role.

  22. I would happily see two men partnered on a future series of Strictly.

    But please – NOT GOK WAN!!!!

  23. Dave North 8 Jan 2013, 10:29pm

    Try using your position to speak out against all this bull gay people are getting from the bloody religions instead of your f#cking teletubby joke career.

    1. There is room for all aspects of gay life to be discussed, and to be honest, Dave, no-one listens to the religious leaders any more except the chicken-hearted Government.
      We should tell Dave Cam-moron that we “elected” (for want of a better word) his Party to run this country, not the Archbishop of Much Binding in the Marsh or wherever, and that gay people pay taxes, too.
      They should have no influence on Gov’t decision-making.

  24. I’d love to see Russell Grant paired off with Christopher Biggins.

    1. Or Eric Pickles and John Prescott?

  25. I think it’s a great idea to have a same sex couple on Strictly. How would the BBC defend resistance to it when they have a remit to represent us. Plus, think of the ratings. Sure there would be lots of sn!ggering but it would be an important step. And there would be less sn!ggering next time.
    It will happen.
    (I tried to post this earlier but it kept mysteriously disappearing. Then I realised “sn!ggering” contains a bad word)

  26. Rubyredpat 9 Jan 2013, 2:05am

    It’s a ballroom dancing competition and has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality. The format for ballroom is a man leads a woman – this format works and there would be absolutely no reason to mess with this. Many openly gay man have already taken part on the show and have had great partnerships with their female partners. What would same sex dancing add to the show?

    1. The sight of two gorgeous men dancing cheek to cheek, assuming they ARE gorgeous, and not jokes like Christopher Biggins and Russell Grant as suggested above.

      1. Or Gok Wok

    2. There are real same sex ballroom dancing competitions, so why not have a same sex couple on an entertainment show?

    3. You’ve seen the clothes they wear and seriously believe it has nothing to do with sex/uality?

      1. Rubyredpat 10 Jan 2013, 6:17pm

        I’m sure your comment is tongue-in-cheek but would like to point out that the clothes we wear do NOT imply our sexuality. Stereotype much??

        1. I think you misunderstand me, I meant sexuality as in sexual availability – surely no-one can claim shirts open to the waist, trousers tight around the arse or low-cut dresses slashed to the hips have nothing to do with advertising sex?

          But in any event I disagree: clothes express a great deal about the wearer, whether intentionally or not; and sometimes, quite deliberately, do imply sexuality. Even the ludicrous convention of low-slung trousers on young men today arose as a very specific reaction to tight-fitting jeans being associated with gay men; ditto those absurd bloomers young US men wear to the beach because they consider Speedos ‘too gay’. You cannot possibly say clothes never imply our sexuality. I would agree if you were to say they don’t necessarily imply our sexuality, but even then with reservations.

    4. Your comment reads something like this:

      “It’s marriage after all. The format is a man marries a woman – this format has worked well for centuries and there would be absolutely no reason to mess with this. Many gay men have already taken part is marriages with female partners to appease families and other naysayers. How would marriage equality appease those who are offended by same-sex sex?”

      Our institutions should reflect and embrace the multiple flavors of people that exist in the world rather than our needing to conform to institutions that are designed to exclude.

    5. Gosh, Rubyredpat. You have extremely strong views on ballroom dancing. Have you ever thought of finding something more meaningful to occupy your mind?

      1. Rubyredpat 10 Jan 2013, 6:15pm

        I ballroomed from the ages of 7 to 14 so I find it quite meaningful!!! Would suggest reading about ballroom dancing and taking the time to comment is less meaningful especially the amount you’ve posted here.

    6. Give it a go. It has happened elsewhere and the world still turns.

  27. There was a gay couple who danced on BGT and they got through to the finals or semi finals, so must have had the pupil vote. I think most people would be fine about it. There is bound to be an outrage from certain sectors but I think Strictly should try something new and UK should do it first before another country does it, as once one country has done it the rest will follow.
    I am a ballroom teacher and would encourage this.

  28. i would love to see gok onthe show, but would feel uncomfortuble with him dancing with a man. having been in the dancing world for many years, there have always been girl girl partnerships but that is mainly because of the shortage of men. i am not homophobic as my husband is gay, and also an ex dancer

    1. Rubyredpat 10 Jan 2013, 6:20pm

      Agree with you wholeheartedly :)

  29. If Israel can have a same-sex partnership then surely we are enlightened enough in the UK to follow suit.

    Gili Shem Tov, an Israeli sportscaster, insisted she dance with a woman because that was her way of life and she wanted to express that. They weren’t the first couple voted out and while not the best dancers ever seen on a Strictly show or spin-off they did make it through rounds. Surely the BBC should be offering similar options to the public.

    There have been many openly homosexual ‘celebrities’ and professional dancers on the show so why not start reflecting that in the partnering. There is a same-sex dance association and people on the amateur dance circuit do dance in same-sex pairs.

    If Gok wants to dance with a man then hoorah! As a dancer and as an LGBT supporter I would love to see this. Dance is about lead and follow, not male and female, and the BBC should be better representing their viewing public and respecting the views of their contestants.

  30. Rubyredpat 10 Jan 2013, 6:22pm

    Would like to ask those who are for this same-sex partnership what they think it would add to the show and furthermore who should lead? Is it okay for a gay man to assume the female role? I feel this just adds to the straight worlds view of gay men being effeminate!

    1. They could do what the Israeli female couple did and alternate; or they could devise a new method whereby it isn’t automatically “the woman’s” role to be led – after all, that just promotes the [straight] world’s view that a woman is incapable of taking the lead, doesn’t it?

      It would be interesting to know what the convention was in the Buenos Aires dockyards when the tango was invented.

  31. It would look unbelievably weird to see him dancing with a women. It just wouldn’t be right.

  32. Bruce: “All right, my loves? And first up tonight we have Gok Wan and Jonathan King, they’re dancing a salsa to Candy by Robbie Williams.

    Len liked some of the details but says he can’ty get excited about it. “Understated and too careful,” says Bruno. “Lost its sensuality and the dance didn’t suit you,” says Craig. Darcey agrees the samba isn’t Gok’s dance and Jonathan struggled with the slow moves. Sixes?

    Yeah sounds like a ratings winner to me ! – the sound of televisions being shut down all round the country!

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