Is Todd Chrisley Gay? He Says No But 'Chrisley Knows Best' Enjoys Suggesting Otherwise
There is no watching Chrisley Knows Best without wondering if the patriarch, Todd Chrisley, might be gay. It’s his first Google result, his first impression, and it seems, the show’s producers' first priority to put the question at the forefront of viewers' minds. And why wouldn’t they want to give their main character some mystery? Or maybe the editors are just poking a little fun at all the rumors. The question is, while Todd knows people are asking that question, does the Chrisley family realize that the show is making Todd's sexual orientation rumors such a big draw?
Chrisley Knows Best is a guilty pleasure to the T. I know I feel plenty of guilt while watching it, maybe because I’m overly concerned for the children being raised under Todd’s particularly domineering parenting style or maybe it's just because they’re always cussing in front of a 7-year-old. Or maybe I feel guilty because every episode I still find myself wondering about the sexual orientation of this man with a wife and five children. 1. Who am I to wonder that? 2. Who cares? 3. He says he’s not gay, so let's take him at his word and move on, right?
Well…sort of. When first asked by People what he thought of the gay rumors flying around, Todd responded, “"There's no coming out…what you see is what you get.” That’s one way to put it. And another, even vaguer way to put it is saying, “I wish I had enough time to be gay,” when again asked about rumors on The View after it was announced that USA was giving the show a second season. Julie, his wife, elaborated further: “He says all the time…'All these kids; if I could be gay, it would be a vacation.'” If you... say so? We're not sure what "having time to be gay" means, but it’s certainly not Todd or Julie Chrisley’s job to convince me that Todd isn't gay.
It does seem, however, that it would be his own show’s job not to constantly throw the question in viewer’s faces when Todd has said over and over again that he is straight. It’s interesting that in a show about quirky family values, the Chrisley Knows Best editors — whether they're acting purposefully or not — regularly cut episodes in a way that implies some secret is lurking under the surface of the Chrisley family.
Here's how they do it:
Todd with his wife
Almost every episode of Chrisley Knows Best ends with Todd and Julie in their huge bed, generally reflecting on how untrustworthy their teenagers are, but occasionally toying around with a moral or two. This could be a fun callback to The Brady Bunch and traditional family values; it could also be a weekly reminder that this man and woman stay 10 feet away from each other at all times.
There's an ongoing gag of Todd implying that Julie doesn't have sex with him enough (he just can't get enough sex!), and then requesting some more sex, to which Julie generally replies, "Ahahahaha, NO." In the seven episodes that have aired, I have seen Julie and Todd touch each other a number of times I can count on one hand. I'm not saying that they never touch, but I'm definitely saying that if they do, that's not something the producers are letting us in on. In the glimpse of the Chrisley family that we get to see for 30 minutes a week, Todd could hardly talk about sex more, and act on it less.
Todd with his children
So many of Todd's interactions with his older children is oddly sexualized, to very different degrees with his sons and daughters. The parenting we're shown with Chase, his 17-year-old son, revolves around Chase being attracted to girls, and his father constantly chastising him for it. If there is any understanding on Todd's part of what it's like to be a teenager attracted to women, it is certainly edited out.
He's much more understanding with his daughters' general point of view: not wanting them to be too sexy, but wanting them to be happy in what they're wearing, like any father might. But it's still always from the angle that every boy wants to get in every girl's pants, with little expression of relating to what it's like to actually be a male attracted to a female. In fact, the only time we get to see Todd show any understanding of his children's teenage crushes, it's when he's lightheartedly teasing Savannah's football player beau at her sweet sixteen. Perhaps he played along with Chase's crushes too... we'll never know.
Most of the remarks Todd makes regarding his daughters' bodies — and there are plenty (“you should always keep your 'badge' sealed and covered”) — seem to be edited to scream, STRAIGHT DADS DON'T SAY THAT TO THEIR DAUGHTERS! That still doesn't make Todd Chrisley gay; but it does seem like we're being begged by the show's creators to entertain the possibility, even late in the season. Just as a side note, Todd also presents his oldest daughter, Lindsie, with a giant boob cake on the eve of her breast augmentation. I present this to you without comment:
I applaud Todd Chrisley for being unapologetically himself. He likes fashion — great. He has more pithy one-liners than an episode of Will and Grace — excellent. Keep 'em coming. That is Todd, and he doesn't need to change. But let me paint a little picture for you of the way Todd just being himself is pieced together in a scene of Chrisley Knows Best: In an attempt to bond with his less metrosexual son-in-law, Will, Todd agrees to go to a shooting range. When Will and Todd meet up, Todd is decked out in full G.I. Joe garb, including face paint. Fine.
Will describes his father-in-law thusly, shifting his eyes the whole time: "The best word for me to describe him would be flamboyant... a peacock. He’s always walking around showing his feathers.” When the camera pans to Todd showing his camouflage feathers at the shooting range, there's an extra-lengthy shot of every other man in the gun shop area eyeing him up and down, a closeup on one employee saying, "I don't believe it." As the two men meet with their teacher and decide who will take which target, Will says, "He's used to being on bottom." Cut to the gun teacher's smirking face.
Again, it's not really important for us to wonder if Todd is gay or not. But as a mildly interested viewer, I might appreciate if, in the second season, Chrisley Knows Best would go with the pretense that its main character is what he and his family say he is: your average straight, flamboyant family man who wants to open a designer department store that only sells sizes two through six.
Images: USA (5); Tumblr/icecreamwithfishies