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Queer Eye For the Math Guy

Julia Green | jgreen20@dtechhs.org | May 16, 2019

Math teacher David Groat shows his warm heart as he hugs a student. Photo by Julia Green

David Groat: possibly your math teacher, advisor, or a happy go lucky orange man roaming the hallways with a huge smile on his face. No matter what your relationship is to Groat, you can probably tell that he is one of the most genuine and selfless teachers you’ll ever meet.

He seems to always has the best interest of his students in mind, and is “everyone’s biggest hype man,” says teacher’s assistant Sarah Lucckesi. No matter what Groat is going through personally, he always has a smile on his face and tries to make every student’s day better. In fact, his unwavering cheeriness despite personal struggles makes him a perfect fit for the hit reality TV show Queer Eye. Or so a group of his students (which include me) believe.

The show, Queer Eye, details the makeover of lovable people who have usually been through hardships in their lives. Because of Groat’s everpresent optimism, one may assume that everything for him has been easy and positive. But that’s just not the case. On multiple occasions, Groat has been known to talk about his past marriage and divorce to give students an insight into his past and an explanation for his now-positive outlook on life. “I had a partner who completed me. She knew me better than I knew myself, and after 26 years, she decided her life needed to go in a different direction, she left and I didn’t have any say in the matter,” says Groat.

He went through seven years of feeling like he had a “hole in his soul” until 2017, when he was able to fully talk to his ex and get some closure on their relationship. He was even able to attend his ex wife’s remarriage to his best friend.

As for the “lovable” part, Groat likes to be very honest and vulnerable with his students not just because that’s the kind of person he is, but also because he wants to create a warm environment for them. Junior Olivia Gutierrez, a student in Groats Algebra 2 class, describes him as “a very emotional man. I learn a lot through his life stories. His stories teach me how to do it the David way. The David way is to cry a little, put the orange shoes on and just keep going.”

Groat’s personality and circumstances make him the perfect contestant for Queer Eye.. On the show,  a team of gay professionals in the fields of fashion, personal grooming, interior design, entertaining and culture, known as s the “Fab Five”, perform a makeover for a (usually) heterosexual man. The Fab Five work on revamping the person’s wardrobe, redecorating and reinventing their house, and offering advice on grooming, lifestyle, and food.

Groat is a prime candidate. For instance, he wears the same orange t-shirt every single day of the year.“I can’t see the color orange without thinking of Dave” says junior Chloe Duong. Maybe Queer Eye could help him explore more orange clothing alternatives, such as a bright orange button up shirt or a jumpsuit.

More than an external change, the show fosters an internal change in each of the participants, as the Fab Five’s goal is to help create a new found self worth for each contestant on their show.

Many d.tech students have thought that Groat would be the perfect candidate for this type of self-worth makeover, including Senior Sophie Dvorkin. “I think Mr. Groat has been through a lot in his life and really deserves to feel loved again, and I don’t know if he does and I want him to feel good about himself, and they could really help him with that.” she says.

Some d.tech students (including me) have made attempts at getting Groat on Queer Eye by sending in applications to the casting team. Here’s an excerpt from the application submitted: “He gives so much to others and we just want him to feel as important and cared for as he makes others feel. He’s such a funny and outgoing guy who just needs a push in the right direction. We hope you’ll consider helping him reach his full potential and gain the confidence he needs to TAKE ON THE WORLD!”

When Groat read the application for Queer Eye he became very emotional. But what really got him was when he went home and watched Queer Eye for the first time. He says, “I went in to it with not much of an expectation. It was very moving, it almost brought me to tears.”

Groat reflected on the ways Queer Eye would benefit him, saying, “I have hundreds of boxes of old records that I haven’t looked at in years that I’m holding onto. This is my life: I just keep stuff, I don’t change a lot. I’m very static. There are parts of me that need to be updated, modified, modernized or just not stuck in the 80’s.”

So, Queer Eye, are you listening? This guy is ready and waiting for his televised makeover!

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