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Logan Scherer

I’m Not Queer to Make Friends

Illustration by Eric Chow

Logan Scherer | Longreads | May 2019 | 12 minutes (3,274 words)

On a Sunday morning at a Chicago bowling alley, I soothed five strangers almost as desperate to manipulate people on TV as I was. Then I eviscerated them. After years of being too embarrassed to try out for Big Brother, I’d finally brought myself to attend an open-call audition. I was determined to play the social strategy game I’d followed religiously since 2005.

“I’ve only seen a few episodes here and there,” I said to the tall, gorgeous man and two normcore women standing next to me in line. “I saw an ad for this a few days ago and randomly decided to come. I have no idea what they’re going to ask us to do.”

I didn’t want them to know I had an encyclopedic knowledge of Big Brother and had done extensive research into how to manage reality TV casting call dynamics as an introvert, and that I’d been practicing this for six years. I wanted to seem harmless, to make them feel comfortable to tell me things about themselves.

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