Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Derren Brown: I wonder if I could ‘turn a straight man gay’ for a TV show

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. In order to be lawful and/or ethical, it would have to be by consent. If a person consents to have this kind of “experiment” performed on them, how can it ever been seen as legitimate? Since either they have an agenda, or are already open to the idea on some level, which is hardly turning a straight man gay.

    Unhelpful nonsense and shameless self-promotion.

    1. Oh purlease, it’s a small reference in a wider interview which is a very light exploration of the idea itself. No need to get pissy and overreact.

      1. PantoHorse 18 Feb 2013, 3:09pm

        The whole purpose of having the article here, highlighting that element of the interview, is presumably to generate discussion on how the wider community feels about a man who has admitted to previous discomfort with his sexuality talking about whether or not his own brand of ‘conversion therapy’ – a discredited and frankly dangerous premise – would work.

        What would you prefer we do, give him a cheer and wish him all the best with it?

        1. Yes but the headline is misleading. If you actually read the quote it’s not really what Pink News paints it as. Calling it ‘unhelpful nonsense and shameless self-promotion’ is just a case of not actually reading what was said.

          1. PantoHorse 18 Feb 2013, 6:10pm

            I agree, I think PN have gone for a sensationalist, and fairly salacious, angle with the ‘turning straight men’ line.

            The bit around using hypnotic suggestion to alter something that is either, depending on the person, mutable or completely immutable is, however, nonsense. The only people this would work on, in my opinion and experience, are those who have an inbuilt predisposition, however deeply hidden or repressed, towards bisexuality. I’m very comfortable in my (homo)sexuality but I have tried out ‘the other side’ as well (mainly because in my upbringing being gay was so frowned upon there was no way that’s what I wanted to be), but it just wasn’t right for me. I am who I am. There’s absolutely no way I’d want to try the other side again now and there’s no way anyone would be able to change that through the power of suggestion. Luckily too my family have changed their opinions and no longer spout the bigotry I was brought up with.

            On that basis, I call it nonsense.

  2. Ummm but most of us can do the same thing with about 3 pints of strong lager Derren….!

    1. GingerlyColors 19 Feb 2013, 6:53am

      I do not know if beer googles can change a person’s sexuality but they can make an ugly person seem attractive.

  3. I’ve spend many an evening trying to turn straight girls gay and it hasn’t worked for me yet :D

    But seriously, it’d only work if the candidate had that spark of gayness/bisexuality in them anyway, wouldn’t it?

    Or if we’re just talking about hypnosis, then that’d only be a straight person being persuaded to ‘act gay’ in some way as one’s sexuality is innate.

    1. *spent! Clearly my..er… fond recollections interfered with the spelling section of my brain there! :D

    2. Exactly, Iris. Too few people know that “hypnosis” is nothing more than willing auto-suggestion, willingly going along with something under “hypnosis” that otherwise you would not do, because you are relieved of responsibility.

  4. Being gay for five or ten minutes through hypnosis on a television show is not going to give any meaningful experience of what it is like to be living as a gay person.

    A straight man camping and mincing about as a travesty of a gay man would be horrible and we have enough straight acting gay men already, can’t see much entertainment in any of it myself.

    1. PantoHorse 18 Feb 2013, 3:19pm

      Yes, this angle – the over-stereotyping and hamming up of ‘gay’ behaviours – would be most vomitous.

  5. I’m surprised by the pro-equal marriage supporter, this highlights the homophobic belief that homosexuality is a choice.

  6. The future lawsuit will be a blast to watch when some closeted bisexual guy claiming psychologial damage because he starts wanting to touch guys bits more than girl bits, or worst. Lol

  7. I like to think of Derren Brown as an intelligent man but he definitely does not have strong convictions. ‘Seeing how things pan out’ with gay marriage? No Derren, you should have used your fame to help give positive images about gay people to the rest of society. Now he wants to make a programme around sexuality being a binary thing? Derren, you are not being very helpful.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Feb 2013, 3:39pm

    Absolutely ridiculous! As if this sort of thing won’t play into the hands of the ex-gay nutters and their religious bile. He’s playing right into their hands. Irresponsible if you ask me. No thank you, Derren.

    1. Delighted to see you feel the same about this, Robert, as I do! Irresponsible indeed. I’ve written more below.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Feb 2013, 8:08pm

        That I do, Eddy, and I echo your sentiments below too! People will do anything to make money toff of and to exploit ignorance and bigotry which is what this latest stunt is all about. He ought to be ashamed of himself. He does the LGBT community no good and nothing good will come of it. It’s bad enough with the homophobia out there, he’s only adding fuel to the fire. That he’s making a mockery of sexual orientation is beyond despicable.

  9. Aaron Golightly 18 Feb 2013, 4:01pm

    I’d question what the point would be and whether or not it would open the debate up to allegations that (homo)sexuality is just a state of mind/condition.

  10. I think Derren would become the darling of traditionalist Christians. How ironic that would be.

    1. Another totally brainless moron trying to catch the eye of the public. Don’t we have enough of these terminal idiots on TV already? I don’t know who this person is, but he is certainly giving us all (gay men, I mean) a bad name. That’s what we have actors for.

      1. An unusual example of self-awareness, since you’ve told us (often) that you’re an actor, isn’t that so, jafuf?

  11. Sven Garlee 18 Feb 2013, 4:31pm

    I wonder if he might have any success turning the religious delusionals sane? Now that’s a trick nobody seems to be able to manage.

  12. What utter nonsense…just another Gay Mafia celeb plugging his business, nothing more to it. And the idea is not only vile but revolting and insulting. The nauseating stench of british Celebrity culture…well done !

  13. This sounds very irresponsible, Derren Brown! Have you actually thought about this? Or are you just thinking about how to whip up another show that will get bums on seats, media coverage, and good ratings?

    You ought to know that no one can “turn” a person of one sexuality into a person of another sexuality. All you could possibly do is encourage by way of suggestion, under the safe cloak of “hypnotism”, a straight person to pretend to be gay and to thereby have a sexual experience with a person of the same sex, and vice versa.

    That’s all you could achieve, Derren, you know it, and you ought to be making that clear, rather than indulging in very dangerous and irresponsible nonsense that can only harm all of we LGBTs.

  14. Y’know. I’m still surprised, considering the breadth of gay people in the media in this day and age, that so many of you think *all* gay men in the public eye should represent /you/!
    Because of course every straight person who’ll read this article will inevitably say “those god damn gays! They’re at it again!” As opposed to “oh look, Derren Brown is planning his next stunt.” *Shrug*
    (Ends message on a cheerful note about how I fancy the b*ll*cks off Derren & would happily let him touch me in a magical way!)

  15. NorthernIrishGuest 18 Feb 2013, 5:07pm

    I think this is a very slippery slope.

    The participants will have an agenda, those who created this have an agenda, Brown has his own agenda and so on.

    Had Brown been straight and wanting to conduct this – I imagine everyone would be up in arms. Yet because it comes from a “fellow” gay man we’re meant to be okay with this irresponsible sexuality experiment?

    It also totally refuses to mention or make use of the best “sexuality model” by Kinsey which, despite people identifying as “gay or straight” inevitably fall along this scale.

    Pop culture “academics” needs to be rooted out because it never provides the whole picture nor the information and education that people think they are getting.

    1. Hi Northern Irish Guest. It plays into the hands of homophobes like those in the DUP, don’t you think? Remember Iris Robinson on the airwaves, saying that a “very good” psychiatrist she knew could make us heterosexual?!!

      You’re so right to point out that we’d all be up in arms if Derren Brown was straight and wanting to conduct this ‘experiment’. He must be shallow and irresponsible, in my opinion, to want to do this, when he must be aware of the bigots who really do want to ‘turn’ gay men into heterosexuals.

  16. I’m very disappointed at Derren Brown for even thinking about doing this. Why? What will it achieve apart from, perhaps giving the public a laugh at gay people’s expense. I think it’s VERY irresponsible of him and very unethical.

  17. Christopher in Canada 18 Feb 2013, 5:49pm

    It was already done on the HBO series “Oz” about life in prison.

  18. Situations like this don’t help the “Born this way” cause when people are willing to make a mockery of sexual identity by using it for entertainment on less than creditable reality TV medium. First it’s not reality! and second it helps no one “Turning” for fun, it provides fuel for the mindless bigots who argue it is a choice or say it can be cured,

  19. EquailtyUK.org 18 Feb 2013, 6:19pm

    Personally we think this is not entertainment. Hopefully this was just a casual remark made by Derren Brown, as a Gay man he must surly realize that the idea of such a show is degrading to both Men, Women be they Straight or from the LGBT community. Even if this was to take place on a tour with a ‘random’ person selected from the audience, are we to believe this persons sexuality when questioned – let us not forget how would the change of sexuality be proved, I dread to think. I could only think that it would like so many staged acts that the ‘random’ audience member be planted.

  20. Suddenly Last Bummer 18 Feb 2013, 8:03pm

    Idiot. Derren Brown’s greatest stunt is convincing the public that he’s a) an entertainer/illusionist and b) an artist, his paintings are stagnant amateur daubs. He’s the embodiment of the power of celebrity in an world happy to accept mediocrity.

    1. Derren Brown IS an entertainer, and he’s very very good at it.

  21. It might be “interesting” to Derren Brown for him to “take a gay guy and make him straight and a straight guy; make him gay”. It would also be very interesting to all those extremists who think that sexuality can actually be changed and no doubt they will try to use it as ‘proof’! It might be a bit of fun to Derren, but there’s a very serious side in that it possibly plays into the hands of those who wish to make us become heterosexual. The implications of “making a straight guy gay” are less than “making a gay guy straight”. There isn’t a far right-wing group of people wanting to make ‘straight’ men gay, but they do want to make gay men ‘straight! Some of us might like the idea of ‘turning’ a ‘straight’ man, but the men who define themselves as ‘straight’ yet have sex with men (there’s plenty of them) are not heterosexual to start with.

  22. If Derren has to pull a cheap stunt like this, at least perform it on a sanctimoniously righteous Mormon conversion therapist.

  23. I’m very disappointed with Derren for even considering this idea.

    It smacks of desperation by someone trying to revive a failing career; much more suited to the likes of Ann Widdecombe and Nadine Dorries !

    Even before transmission and irrespective of the outcomes, it would be a gift on a silver platter for the Mail, the Telegraph, and all the unreconstructed Tories and religious fundies. They’d seize on it as ‘evidence’ that all gay people were on the prowl, shamelessly looking for innocent young victims to ‘turn’. And for millions of middle-of-the-road viewers, it would just be a case of “I saw it myself on TV, so it MUST be true !” :-(

    Derren should drop this utterly stupid idea like a hot potato before all his gay fans drop him first.

  24. He mused in an interview!

    Oh well! happy at least I wasn’t suckered into an April 1 joke!

    Good on Daren Brown for not retracting what he didn’t say, but sad instead “Exclusive: the next show is changing The Sun into a publication that reports facts.”

  25. The erm Daily Mail’s take on the story:

    “Television illusionist Derren Brown has denied
    reports that he will turn a gay man straight and
    make a straight man attracted to men for his
    latest stunt.
    The controversial star has made headlines by
    apparently playing Russian roulette live on
    television, by ‘talking to the dead’ in a staged live
    seance, hypnotising ordinary people to rob a
    security van at gunpoint and convincing a man
    the world had been taken over by zombies.
    But he has said that won’t be courting more
    contention by using mind control to change
    people’s sexuality. Brown, 41, was quoted in The Sun as saying: ‘I was thinking about this the other day — it would be interesting wouldn’t it? To take a gay guy and make him straight and a straight guy and make him gay.”

    But he took to Twitter this evening to deny
    reports that he will use the concept as the basis
    of his next show.
    He tweeted: ‘Article in @thesunnewspaper
    saying that my next show is about changing
    sexuality: total rub

  26. cont
    He tweeted: ‘Article in @thesunnewspaper
    saying that my next show is about changing
    sexuality: total rubbish.
    ‘Thanks for that, being printed everywhere as
    fact.’

  27. GingerlyColors 19 Feb 2013, 6:50am

    I feel that what Derren Brown is planning to do is irresponsible and if he does succeed in changing a man’s sexual orientation, especially from gay to straight then he will play right into the hands of the bigots who believe that a persons sexual preference can be changed. As a gay man, Derren Brown should know better. We did not choose to be gay and we did not choose to be persecuted, treated as second class citizens or subjected to abuse. I was happy to hear that Derren was gay but am now disappointed that he appears uncomfortable with his sexuality. Please don’t play Russian Roulette, Derren.

  28. Without constant anti-gay religious conditioning, I think you’ll find, Derren, society will do that for you – in vast numbers. Maybe that’s why religion has such a downer on homosexuality. They know that the majority of people would enjoy whtatever kind of consensual sexual activity they wanted if religion wasn’t there to spread the guilt.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all