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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Daily News Sexy Singles: My 2008-2012 Comments

ex-Eagle Curtis Marsh
Sexy Single 2012
Before I get to 2015, I think I should summarize the last few years' posts on this subject. So I'm writing this first, and the second part will arrive later.

The first time I ever wrote about the Philadelphia Daily News' annual "Sexy Singles" feature was in 2008, their 6th year. It was for the Outsports.com blog. The tie-in was that one of their choices was a Philadelphia Eagle, Todd Herremans. He's no longer an Eagle, and he's also no longer single. But I got to expound on the feature itself, pointing out that the 30 selected singles (over 500 names were submitted by readers that year) included a proliferation of people in the fitness industry (personal trainers, gym managers) as well as six employees for local TV and radio stations -- a full 20 percent. As I wrote then, this was "undoubtedly providing lots of free promotion for the paper on their stations. (Or does it really mean that a full 20 percent of beautiful single people work for TV and radio?)" That made for a total of seven local celebrities out of 30, or 23.3 percent.

I did note that there was a gay man among the 30. I also noted: "On a 'favorite single' poll at Philly.com Herremans is currently in 7th place among the men. The gay guy is in last place with just 9 votes. Ouch."

The following year, I wrote on the Outsports blog that for the second consecutive year the list included an Eagle, Stewart Bradley. But I saved my criticism for this very blog, which was a little over a month old at the time. In 2009 there were 37 singles, and 10 were working for TV and radio stations, up seven percent from 2008. They also selected Davy Jones of the Monkees, who lived part-time on a horse farm far, far away from Philadelphia. I wrote: "The paper promotes it as a 'diverse group from all walks of life' and adds, 'Who knows? This could be the year you meet that special someone. And you'll have the Daily News to thank.' As if 99 percent of us would ever have a chance with these celebrities, pseudo-celebrities, pro athletes, models, etc." 12 of 37 celeb types, just a shade under one of three.

My 2010 post was titled "No Gays, No Eagles." The two pro athletes this year were lacrosse players (from the Philadelphia Wings, no longer in Philly). Still, of the 35 singles, 5 worked in local TV/radio and there was a "reality" TV competition show contestant. 8 of 35, just about 23 percent celeb. However, there were another 14 who were trying to become celebrities -- including shopping a TV pilot, graduating from broadcasting school and trying out for "The Amazing Race." And with no LGBT representation (at least openly -- often there's no specific mention of the type of mate a Sexy Single is looking for) for the second year in a row, I referred to the 9-vote polling result I mentioned above: "Maybe that scared them off. That, or I guess everyone in the local LGBT community is either in a relationship or not very pretty."

2011 was a down year. The constant financial turmoil of the paper's parent companies (the Inquirer and Daily News keeps changing hands) seemed to have taken a toll. Sexy Singles were downsized to just 20, over two days, the profiles were shorter and didn't include contact information such as email addresses, and there was no Sexy Singles party where you, the reader, and a Sexy Single could theoretically meet and fall in love. (Pause for laughter. HAHAHAHAHA.) But of the 20, no less than 15 were models or fitness instructors (plus a belly dancer!), employed by local TV/radio stations, another "reality" TV contestant, Miss Pennsylvania, and Philly-born Raheem Brock, who was cut by the Eagles and became a star and Super Bowl champion with the Colts. From my post: "There's no indicator that any of the 20 come from the LGBT community. I guess you can't be a regular person and/or gay and be sexy, although one of the five non-model, performer, etc. types is paralyzed from the chest down because of a motorcycle accident in 1998."

2012 featured only 20 singles once again. But the party was back! And so were the Eagles -- this time, Trevard Lindley and Curtis Marsh. And four local TV/radio employees, someone from "Bad Girls Club", two part-time models and two full-time, including the daughter of Kathy Sledge of "Sister Sledge." There was a woman whose ex-husband sued to take away her huge collection of shoes, a state representative's chief of staff and someone in a presumably politically-appointed job with the Parking Authority. From that blog: "That leaves five people that I classified as 'regular' people, and even some of them have connections. One works part-time as a host at Phillies games, and another owns a PR firm that includes Michael Vick's wife's business as a client."

But the worst things about 2012: they featured an ex-NFL player but cautioned the readers to not email him because he was in a relationship. That made him, technically speaking, NOT. SINGLE. And, once again, no gays:
Surely some gay men and women were nominated, right? It's absurd that 112 people over the last four years have been named Sexy Singles and EVERY ONE has been straight (at least publicly). They can include someone who's actually in a relationship -- and thus, NOT SINGLE -- but not an eligible gay man or lesbian.
Although the feature itself has become increasingly shallow and celeb-fixated (and, after all, there's no chance in hell that an ordinary person would have a shot with some of these "famous" people), that doesn't mean they shouldn't have some LGBT representation.
I threatened then to nominate someone I know who absolutely would deserve to be considered a Sexy Single for 2013 (assuming he was single at the time and gave me permission). But then came the years of procrastination and fewer blog posts and other stuff, so I never followed up on that.

But luckily for you, I did make notes for each of the last two years when the feature hit the papers! So my next post will feature a summary of 2013 and 2014, and then we'll finally get to this year's crop!

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