Visibility Matters: MTV Sells Out Gays and Lesbians for Ratings

Visibility Matters is a monthly column by AfterEllen.com Founder Sarah Warn about larger trends affecting lesbian/bi women in entertainment and the media.

In the early ’90s, many Americans still believed AIDS was a "gay disease"
inflicted on deviants who deserved to die.

So when MTV’s reality show The Real World launched its third season
in 1992 with a group that included Pedro Zemora, a likeable HIV-positive
gay man, the series provided more than just good entertainment. It humanized gay
men at a time when the gay community was fighting for their dignity and
their lives, and the company was lauded for it by the gay and lesbian community.

And rightfully so. MTV provided groundbreaking visibility for gays and lesbians
at a time when we desperately needed it, and they continued to do so through the ’90s.

Fast forward to 2008, and gays and lesbians are in another major battle for
basic civil rights, after millions of Americans voted to take away our
right to marry and raise children on Nov. 4.

Gay men and lesbians around the country are using every tool possible — marching
in the streets
, filing lawsuits, blogging, writing, pleading and cajoling — to
convince Americans that our relationships are important and deserving of the same respect as heterosexual relationships. That the right to
marry someone of the same gender does not logically lead to wanting to marry
siblings, or goats.

And in the midst of this epic battle, what does MTV do? They announce
the launch of a reality dating show starring two bisexual, incestuous twins.

A Double Shot at Love with the Ikki Twins, which debuts next year, subs in Rikki and Vikki Ikki for
Tila Tequila, who starred in the first two seasons of the bisexual dating show, then called A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.

Tila as the face of bisexuality was bad enough, as I wrote about in March, but this pair makes you want to take Tila home to give Grandma a lap dance.

Identical twins Rikki and Vikki are models who started off working at Hooters and have graduated to being Playboy Cyber Girls who list their interests and hobbies in a Fast & Sexy magazine as "Boys, dancing, drawing, cheerleading, cars, party’n."

They also share the same bed, claim to be bisexual (despite only mentioning boyfriends in all previous interviews I could find), and boast on their official website that they’re "the world’s hottest twins."

If you’re still not disturbed enough, read this interview with them in which they talk about how excited their father is about them being Playmates.

Or this news report about Double Shot pondering whether viewers will be "grossed out by the incestuous undertones" or "fascinated with the ‘hotness’ of it?"

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