“It was about showing the world that gay people can do anything that anyone else can do.” — Chip

Really, Chip? Is that what winning the Amazing Race was all about?

Well, then, what if you had lost? Would it have proven the opposite? Would viewers across the country be saying, “Well, that seals it. Gay people can’t do everything other people can do. I know for sure because I saw it on a reality television show.”

At 7:59pm last night, right before CBS aired the finale of Amazing Race 4, there was still a lot of homophobia in this world. Did you take care of that problem for us, Chip? Was the debate over gay marriage rendered moot when Phil Keoghan handed you and Reichen the million dollar prize check on this morning’s Early Show? “I guess we were wrong,” a chorus led by George W. Bush, Rick Santorum and Antonin Scalia will say. “We thought homosexuals couldn’t marry the same way as straight people, but damn it if those two gay guys on TV didn’t do that tandem skydive in Australia the same as all those straight teams. I guess that means they can do anything, including live in a state of legally-santioned matrimony. We sure look like fools, don’t we?”

Tell me, Chip. When your team crossed the finish line first, was it a blow to heterosexuals worldwide, who would now be seen as inherently inferior to gays in terms of amazing racing?

And did you really prove anything that hadn’t already been “proven” by countless other reality stars? Were there really people out there who hadn’t already been swayed by Richard Hatch or Pedro Zamora or the token gay guy/couple on any previous reality show? Was the world still waiting for a gay victory in the Amazing Race to change their minds? “So what if that naked guy won Survivor?” people were saying. “Until I see some queers eating raw octopus, I won’t accept them as equals.”

Would the fact that I wouldn’t have touched that octopus make me a bad representative for the gay community? If I had gone on the show and said, “Hell, no, I’m not going to strip to my underwear and dive into a frozen lake and swim under a sheet of ice, because I’m afraid I’ll, like, die” would I have set the cause of gay rights back fifty years?

Was this our “I have a dream”? Our 19th Amendment? Are you our Rosa Parks?

Thanks to you, will the next gay victory on a reality show be a nonissue? Will it be a guy who, because of a trailblazer like you, can just accept his prize without patting himself on the back for the sea change in popular thinking that his victory will bring about? Will he just, you know, take the check and go home?

Well, if so, then thank you.

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