Julie and Becky meeting outside the loft
Julie and Becky meeting outside the loft

The Real World Homecoming Episode 5: Stonewalled

Whoa, lots and lots of stuff that is in no way connected happened in this episode, so let’s take it bit by bit.

The Return(ish) of Becky

Julie has a meeting with Becky and while it is obviously very edited and condensed, it looks like Julie is nodding at everything Becky is saying, which is the same stuff she keeps saying, except now she has a new tagline: “I don’t want to be the poster child for white privilege.” Uh, guess what honey…

Honestly, I’m disappointed with Julie. She has a chance to be a real ally to Kevin and back up what he was saying. But she doesn’t. It’s possible she was trying to be benign so she might entice Becky back to the loft. But Becky says she wants to only FaceTime with the roommates. As the group discusses whether they want her presence, Kevin asks to speak with her one-on-one via video.

Surprise! Becky won’t budge a smidge. And Kevin. Dear Kevin. He ends up crying because he can’t make headway with her. Make Kevin cry? Hold my earrings! Ok, I don’t wear earrings, but if I did, I’d go through that screen and become an accomplice with my fists. So while the rest of the loft-mates are happily making dinner, Kevin is crumpled on the couch, devastated that despite his decades as an educator, he couldn’t get through to someone who is in his cohort. Will Becky be back? Unclear. But as Andre puts it, “She removed herself from the situation, therefore we should remove her from the conversation.” But Beckys always find their ways into the middle of things. Stay tuned!

I wish that Kevin could have taken the Heather B. route. Heather B. doesn’t have time for Becky’s bullshit. Heather knows a hard-headed white lady when she sees one and just doesn’t want to mix with that mess. As she says, “That’s your real; that ain’t my real.” But that is just not who Kevin was or is and that’s why we love him. Still, Heather affectionately chides him, “Kevin, you ruined the party!” And…

Kevin Needs Love

We love Kevin, but Kevin has not been lucky in love. He’s divorced and he believes his forever love is still out there. And I say Kevin, check your DMs because this whole episode is the equivalent of a souped-up Tinder profile. We also learn more about Andre and his very avoidant past. His very patient wife waited 10 years before he popped the question. That adorable little tot of his makes another guest appearance and she’s a showstopper. Heather B. adores her husband and lets us know that her relationship with her husband is the part of her life that she keeps private so she can treasure it. God, she’s good.

Let’s Hear it for the Norm!

The vintage footage they beam into the loft this time is all about Norman and his sexuality. Kevin (again, ladies, he IS on Twitter here) says how brave Norman was to come out on TV, and how very important his presence was, when there were few others to help shoulder this attention. Kevin says, “You spoke for so many people and that’s a tremendous burden and I just want to thank you for that because it gives a lot of people courage.” And Kevin also says “Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming” which is enough for me to invite him to the queer cookout. After the clips are shown, Norm quips, “This is when they probably lost all their ratings.” He’s not off. Remember how the next season in Los Angeles, they made sure to have a conservative country singer and a cop? This first cast probably didn’t play well in Peoria.

Norm chokes up, all these years later, when he recounts how after the show aired, his childhood friends abandoned him. And then he says some people in the gay community denounced him because they were biphobic and tells the others about being bullied when he was young, and if he wasn’t taken out of the school, he would have committed suicide. Norm explains that he felt compelled to step in front of the camera because of the AIDS epidemic and the need for visibility.

Ever been mean to a gay kid even though you are all grown up now and would, like, never? Buy one of Norm’s fucking rabbits as reparations.

Norm, Heather, and Kevin take a trip to visit the Stonewall Inn, site of the uprising that many believe to be the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ movement. Perhaps coincidentally (is anything coincidental on reality TV?) there is a Black Trans Lives gathering outside the bar. And then the march ends up going past the loft and they all gather and cheer out the window. Heather is whooping it up in support. And that’s the thing with Heather, she directs her energy where it’s most useful: A big movement instead of a small person.

Heather, she’s my real. One last episode to go, y’all.

Image credits: Paramount

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