In the new millennium, reality TV has fundamentally altered the media landscape, and dating competitions have been at the forefront. With 23 seasons and millions of viewers, The Bachelor is one of TV's most bankable shows -- but it's also one of the straightest. Recently longtime host Chris Harrison said he doesn't believe the show will ever feature a LGBTQ+ Bachelor. "I always say The Bachelor doesn't create and drive social issues," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're a microcosm of what's happening in the world. We're all evolving and getting more intelligent, and our eyes are opening in a lot of ways. I'm not going to say we're changing the world -- it's an entertainment show, so let's stay in our lane a little bit.
Queer dating shows are few and far between, although who can forget Bravo's Finding Prince Charming or A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila? But MTV is hoping to change that with the most recent season of Are You the One?, which features a historic first: Every member of the cast is sexually fluid, making finding the "perfect match" much trickier. What does it mean to queer this traditionally straight programming, and what is powerful about seeing a bunch of messy queer sluts doing their best Jersey Shore impression on national TV?