Catching Up With 1 Girl 5 Gays
By Shane Michael Singh
With its frank, often curse-laced discussions about bareback sex, masturbation and one-night stands, there is no comparison for 1 Girl 5 Gays. But, if you need one, think The View meets Dr. Ruth, only with hot gay men instead of menopausal madams. Though less than a year old in the States (it premiered on Logo last October), the MTV-produced Canadian import -- which features a rotating cast of gay men answering 20 quick-fire questions about love and sex -- is already a cult hit in its homeland. Now, with a full lineup of new episodes airing stateside this summer, IG5G is gearing up for its mainstream ascent. Five of the show's breakout stars -- Dean McArthur, JP Bevilacqua, Juan Gonzalez Calcaneo, David Robert and Matt Barker -- recently chatted with Out about the no-holds-barred talking points, getting recognized on the street, and how they stand apart from Glee in the movement toward acceptance.
Out: The format of the show is essentially '20 Questions,' but it's a huge hit. How do you explain that?
JP: I remember getting the first email describing the show and not quite understanding what the concept would be.
David: When we shot the pilot I was wondering what the producers would have us talk about' you know, what terrible things that happened in our life. But it was the total opposite and it blew my mind. For once it seemed that television would hear the positive stories of gay people.
Dean: People are excited to see a group of gay men in their 20s. As a gay person, when you're young, that's something you don't really have access to, unless you happened to have an older gay person in your life.
Matt: And it's not just gay people. I know 1G5G has won over people who were indifferent.
I think a lot of straight people have a lot of questions for us, and I think we're answering them on the show.
Dean: Eh. I don't think straight people care about 1G5G.
And in this case being on late-night cable is actually a plus because it allows for 'anything goes' without censors and bleeps.
Dean: Yeah, you can't say 'come on my face' at 4 in the afternoon.
JP: We're all Canadians' we love the progressive nature.
David: It's like a group of friends sitting around on a Friday night talking about all the things people talk about anyway.
Juan: There's the sex part, but there's the heart part, too. There's something to be said about that balance and working towards a mainstream normalcy.
Dean: It's not 60 Minutes. Part of it is about giving honest opinions of a cross section of gay men. But another point is to open up a discussion about whatever we talk about'sex, dating, love.
Speaking of honesty, one of your cast mates, Yerxa, was recently called out by Chelsea Handler because he said she's not that funny. Ever regret something you've said?
Dean: I once said I wanted to punch Kim Kardashian in the face. I don't think it's funny to talk about hitting women. I don't like her, but I immediately wished I could take it back.
David: One of the questions we had was 'If you were in a two-month relationship and you found out your partner had HIV, how would you react?' As a gay person growing up being afraid of that horrible disease, my comments came from a place of not wanting to put myself at extra risk. That unfortunately hurt a lot of people.
JP: I think the show has forced us to confront some of our own ignorance.
Juan: You learn to say it in a better way or see others' point of view sometimes.