Just a few days away from Queer Eye’s four Emmy nominations, an all-female version of the beloved show might be in the making.
Actor and writer Ally Johnson wants to make Butch Pal for the Straight Gal a reality through crowdfunding. She explained Gay Star News why representation matters.
‘People have been talking for years about a female Queer Eye, but for some reason, it’s never really happened,’ she said.
‘We had that sad little “Queer Eye for the Straight Girl” show back in 2005, but it never went anywhere and consisted of four men and one lesbian. The female queer community really doesn’t have much out there in the way of content, and that really needs to change. We can’t live on The L Word forever!’
Butch Pal for the Straight Gal
‘If you’re like us, you liked Queer Eye, but wondered where’s the female representation,’ Johnson said in the appeal for donation.
‘We’re not just giving women more representation, we intend to broaden the scope on the queer community in general,’ she told Gay Star News.
‘”Queer” means so much more than 5 cis gay men, and we intend to reflect that with Butch Pal. We want to represent as many gender and sexual identities as we can. We won’t be able to cover it all with five experts, but we plan to incorporate this vast community in as many ways as possible.’
Meet the team
Johnson wants the audience to fall in love with an all-female team of experts in the same way they have with the Fab5.
The Fish5 consists of Ally (fashion), Tegan (grooming), Leslie (cooking), Moana (culture & nightlife), and Sam (interior design).
‘Each is unique in their own way and represents a different type of queer woman. Despite the title, these women are not all butch lesbians,’ Johnson explained.
‘However, I will say tool belts and flannel are involved.’
The show pokes fun at stereotypes
‘Lesbians have a lot to teach straight women. How to rock a leather jacket, how to make vegan chili… kidding, sort of,’ Johnson said.
‘Social media has made a lot of women a little too ‘image-obsessed,’ so we can teach those women to tone it down and rediscover their real selves. Others have no idea how to change a tire or even hang a picture in their house. We can definitely help in that department as well.’
Johnson said the show pokes fun at stereotypes, but it also contains an important message for all women.
‘To elevate themselves by learning to be self-sufficient, confident, independent women who don’t feel the need to look like a supermodel every time they leave the house. Women need empowerment so much right now, and that needs to be reflected in this show,’ she said.
‘It can be funny and still convey this crucial message. The gender equality movement is happening now, and getting more female-forward television is an integral part of that.’
Johnson set up a crowdfunding campaign at ButchPal.com where people can donate money to shoot the pilot and get incentives in return, including a personal advice from the team and associate producer credits for the most generous.
‘I wrote the first episode of what I feel is the right way to do this show, and with the people’s support, it can easily become a series. We just have to come together to make the difference,’ she said.
She also organized a lesbian car wash in the LA area on Saturday 22 July, in the final week of the campaign.
At the moment of writing, Butch Pal has raised nearly $10,000, but there are still $5,000 to go to hit their target.
A crossover with Queer Eye
Asked about the possibility of a crossover with Queer Eye, Johnson was delighted.
‘I would absolutely love to! I’m not trying to make people pick sides, and I really think the Fab5 would love what we’re doing,’ she said.
‘Maybe we pick a heterosexual couple that needs a lot of help and the Fab5 gives the guy a makeover and we take the girl. Then, we’d ride off into the sunset, us in our Subarus and them in their Mazda Miatas.’