chapter  7
20 Pages

Guy love: A queer straight masculinity for a post-closet era?


In the musical episode of the quirky NBC sitcom Scrubs (NBC, 2001-8), the highlight (at least for me) is ‘Guy Love’ – a duet between the show’s main protagonist JD and his best friend and co-worker Turk.1 The best friends’ love song playfully acknowledges the queerness of their unconventionally close relationship. The two guys declare their commitment to each other (‘You know I’ll stick by you for the rest of my life’) and admit the difficulty of facing society’s disdain (‘Though I’m proud to call you chocolate bear, the crowd will always talk and stare’). Wrapped in irony (e.g. the satirical use of the genre, the actors’ overwrought performance styles, several ‘not-in-a-gay-way’ disclaimers), the scene enables viewers not to take this ‘guy love between two guys’ seriously. In this article, however, I will, because while ‘Guy Love’ may have been uniquely clever, it was not exceptional. Representations of queer straight masculinity could be seen throughout US television in the 2000s.2