TLC's controversial reality show My Husband's Not Gay premiered this past weekend. Perhaps to mitigate some of the flak the show has received, one of the show's featured Mormon couples, Jeff and Tanya, appeared on Nightline last week. In the Nightline segment, Jeff defends his choice to repress his same-sex attraction. His wife Tanya sits uncomfortably silent by his side. "An analogy I could use is: I love doughnuts," he says. "I would eat doughnuts three times a day. But I desire to be able to fit in my pants in the morning too. So you could say I am oriented toward doughnuts, and if I was being true to myself, I would eat doughnuts a lot more than I eat doughnuts. Am I denying myself because I don't eat doughnuts as much as I might like to eat doughnuts? I'm not. And in fact, I desire to live a healthy lifestyle, and so I don't eat a lot of doughnuts. And I desire to be with a wife, and I am committed to this, and I want to stay committed to this. So that's what I want."
The pained look on Tanya's face speaks volumes. Here is a translation of what came from her husband's mouth: "I love men. I mean, I would have hot, steamy, gay sex with men three times a day. Hell, I'd do it 10 times a day if I could get away with it. Am I denying myself because I don't have nonstop, unbelievably exciting, gay, gay, gay sex as much as I might like to have sexy, racy, dirty, naughty, nasty gay sex? I'm not. I am supposed to desire a humdrum, interminable, wearisome lifestyle, so I don't eat a lot of men. And I have been told to be with a wife who is the equivalent of plain, flavorless, boiled kale, or a wedge of iceberg lettuce with no salad dressing. So that's what I am supposed to want."
In the Nightline segment, Jeff's proclamations are interspersed with a scene of Jeff in his kitchen making chocolate-chip cookies. He may be denying himself doughnuts, but apparently other baked goods are still valid options for him. On the My Husband's Not Gay program, another not-gay husband, Curtis, is seen stirring up some delectable, moist, inviting brownies. Later in the episode, they are chowing down on hot apple pie.
In another scene from My Husband's Not Gay, these same not-gay husbands are out to lunch with their wives, Celery and Spinach. What do the men order? Salads. And hummus.
You can write your own joke here. The jokes just write themselves with this stuff.
Jeff and Tanya flew to New York this week to appear on The Meredith Vieira Show. But TLC, feeling "uncomfortable with the appearance of this couple," pulled the plug at the last minute. I hope that Meredith, in an effort to ease the pain of the cancellation, sent Jeff a delicious muffin basket, or, at the very least, a box of Dunkin' Munchkins.
Presumably, Jeff will not be making any appearances on cooking shows either. I am sure he would enjoy mixing up some batter on Cupcake Wars or Cake Boss, but he will have to sublimate those desires and eat a protein bar instead.
Maybe TLC is afraid Jeff might embarrass them by making another awkward analogy. The doughnut metaphor was ill-chosen, but it could get worse. At least a doughnut has a hole. What if Jeff's predilections favored another food source? "I love sausages. I mean, I would eat long, meaty, sweaty sausages three times a day...."