Homophobia and Transphobia leveled at Food Network Show
“This is no longer a family show! Disgusting”
The hit reality show The Great Food Truck Race has been targeted by anti-gay activists on social media after casting a drag queen, a gay man, and a transgender woman from Toledo, Ohio who operate a Food Truck called “Maybe Cheese Born With It.”
The pink, sequined food truck, which serves diverse gourmet mac and cheese, joined nine other food trucks earlier this year for the Food Network competition series which premiered its 15th season on June 5th. The unique team is comprised of owner, Drag Queen Sugar Vermonte, the cook, a trans woman named Mahogany Reigns, and her right-hand man, Keith Louge, an out gay man. Although the quirky trio has been a blast to watch for some viewers, the more vocal fans of the show have used social media to issue complaints to producers at the Food Network for “Going Woke.”
From the moment the series launched last month, Vermonte was a lightening rod for the ire of opinionated viewers and the subject of ruthless derogatory commentary across social media platforms, usually replying to promotional posts by host Tyler Florence, the official Food Network accounts or in groups dedicated to discussions about the show.
“Completely lost a viewer with showing tweaking drag queens (sic.)
How is this a family friendly show? Try explaining sexual content and its inappropriateness to a child. Food network, this disgusts me.” Said one redditor. Another accused Vermonte of being “Gross. Gross Gross.”
Some have sworn off watching because of a of a scene showed the trio sharing a celebratory dance in their truck. However, although the three teammates have been criticized for everything from their attire to their performance in the game, the raw and frequently profane protests regarding their participation can be difficult to read, highlighting the increasingly hostile climate for the LGBTQ+ community whose visibility anywhere in public fuels the manufactured outrage of bigots. While legitimate criticism is typically expected from audiences and fans of Reality TV, the expression of intolerance should never be normalized.