Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson Debunks Stereotypes with 'Queer Science' (And Makes Us Laugh)

Steve Duffy READ TIME: 8 MIN.

In 2021 hunky out comic Rob Anderson was stymied by the how many queer men were obsessed with the iced coffee, even in the dead of winter. His Google searches as to why came to naught, so he decided to write his own explanation, using what he called "fake science" – that is, to take accepted scientific theories and apply them to cultural stereotypes and come to his own hilarious conclusions. Though not a scientist (Anderson was a successful social media marketer), he saw that if the threw enough science on a subject his answers could appear real, or real enough.

The result became "Gay Science," a successful series of YouTube videos in which Anderson asks questions about cultural queer stereotypes and puts them through his scientific prism to provide hilarious fake answers. The series took off on YouTube, so much so that Anderson decided to compile some of his favorite answers into a book called "Gay Science."

Covering some 60 topics, Anderson structures his book like a high school textbook, replete with diagrams, illustrations, charts, and quizzes. Amongst the stereotypes he explores are: "Why can't gays sit in a chair properly?" "Why don't lesbians have electricity in their movies?" "Are colleges turning people bisexual?" "How does gaydar work?" And, "Will bottoms survive the apocalypse?"

The multi-talented Anderson spoke to EDGE about "Gay Science," which, shortly after publication, placed on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Rob Anderson

EDGE: How did your journey to viral fame begin?

Rob Anderson: In 2020, I was working for a company called The Infatuation. I was the head of marketing, and I made a video on TikTok about granola bars and how they go everywhere. It wasn't an original joke, but the format in which I did it was fun and very TikTok. To my surprise, it took off, so I just started making jokes – mostly about gay culture – on my own personal TikTok account, and it snowballed from there. I was having so much fun, and within a month or two I left my job and started doing it full-time.

EDGE: Tell us about your best-selling book, "Gay Science?"

Rob Anderson: I created a series called "Gay Science" in 2020. I have been posting videos for about three or four years now, with over 50 episodes that dealt with stereotypes, making fun of them and often proving them true with fake science. I thought this would be a really good book, like a satirical textbook that looked like a textbook and felt like a textbook that you got in grade school or high school, complete with the different chapter names and little subsections such as "try this experiment at home" and "here's a quiz for you to take." It was a big undertaking, and then Penguin approached me about getting something like this done. I was thinking about doing it before they reached out. I wrote it over 15 months. I am very excited for everyone to read it.

EDGE: How do you come up with the topic ideas?

Rob Anderson: They all exist somewhere. I did not make any of them up. They exist from real stereotypes that were given to queer people in malice, or while being bullied. Examples are: Why we run the way we do? Why we write the way we do? And why we talk with high voices? So many are pulled from Twitter, where gay people just make up stereotypes about themselves. Queer people love stereotypes. It's so bizarre. These things are so fascinating, and they're so silly. Through this process I asked myself several times, "Where did you all come up with this?" So, I pulled them all from existing jokes, and made my own.

by Steve Duffy

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