James Getzlaff thought he’d be appearing in a groundbreaking gay dating show that would help change middle America’s stereotypical perceptions of gay men – and maybe help him find a boyfriend.
Boy Meets Boy was described as a queer version of The Bachelor, with Getzlaff getting to choose from a group of 15 eligible men. But when partway through filming he was told some of the guys vying for his affection were straight men pretending to be gay, Getzlaff was horrified.
In Sydney to promote the Australian premiere of Boy Meets Boy on pay TV station Arena, Getzlaff said he was tricked and betrayed.
The strikingly handsome, square-jawed 32-year-old from LA -“ who says he’s always been unlucky in love and is too shy to ask guys out -“ said the network spent months making promises to me and seducing me to the do the show.
I was convinced it was going to be this amazing, honest, sweet, never-done-before documentary-style TV show that was going to raise the bar and not go where the other shows went, said Getzlaff.
He also liked the idea of having someone choose 15 men for him to date, which he hoped would open my eyes to people I wouldn’t normally consider my type.
Getzlaff was told the show was going to be really small and wouldn’t even be advertised. When I found out millions of people were watching and we had interviews on TV shows and magazines and papers, I thought, -˜Oh my gosh!’ I realised I was coming out to the country.
I miss having the choice to tell people. Now people say, -˜you’re that gay guy,’ before they know me as a person.
One of the unexpected disadvantages of being recognised everywhere is not being able to get a job. The former human resources manager at a law firm says he hasn’t worked since November last year. It’s impossible for me to find a job because I’m known as this famous gay reality star. They’re afraid of hiring me because they think I’m going to take off and do a TV show.
So I’m stuck in limbo right now. I’ve got some of the benefits of the celebrity and notoriety, but I also have some of the drawbacks.
Getzlaff, who has appeared in small stage musicals for years and dreams of making it to Broadway, did land himself a role in the off-Broadway show My Big Fat Gay Italian Wedding earlier this year. He’s also about to work on two films – a comedy called Don’t Call Me, which is set in a call centre, and Another Gay Movie, which is a queer take on films like American Pie.
Without giving away the ending of Boy Meets Boy