Amazing Race Favorites

Mel and Mike White

Mel and Mike White, former contestants on The Amazing Race

I love Mike and Mel White. I love these two: what a beautiful family and example of how to be a father, son, and man. Mel and Mike White were contestants on The Amazing Race (CBS). Mike White is a screenwriter and director, who has worked on blockbusters like School of Rock. Mel White is author of Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. Both were recently on Terry Gross’ NPR show Fresh Air – listen to it here.

The two have a powerful story, not only about their participation in The Amazing Race, but also in Mel’s journey to recognizing his identity as a gay man, who spent most of his adult life, determined to suppress his sexual identity. Mel had been a ghost-writer for Christian Evangelicals, including Jerry Falwell. Mike White has done some interesting work on shows like Freaks & Geeks and speaks about the subversive possibilities of comedy – I assume he’s referencing the long history of kamp, and he’s also stood up for wanting to make comedies that parody the bully and not the bullied.

On Amazing Race, the pair were hilarious, Mike saying his dad was like Judy Garland, Mel cheering Mike on, Mel and Mike dancing. They were just adorable, kind, smart, and funny. Mike’s facial expression in this photo seems to me to characterize the pair perfectly. I loved the pair before I learned more about their relationship and story – I was struck by how thoughtful, funny, and compassionate they were, not only with one another, but as they traveled on the race. To me, they seemed to have a exemplary father-son relationship: consistently supporting one another, accepting, filled with humor, unafraid to show or share emotions, willing to apologize to one another, listening to each other. It’s not that they never appeared to irritate one another, but you could sense and witness, that they have a great deal of respect for one another.

I was so sad to see them go on the race, but know that they will be up to great things!


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