Monday, August 20, 2007

Dizzy Queens

Okay, it's a term you don't hear much anymore. "Dizzy Queens."

Although I'm a bear, I get along better with femmes than some bears do because I'm more of an "art and culture" kind of guy -- I'm an author, after all -- than a camping and backpacking type. (Let me state at the outset that there are plenty of bears who enjoy culture and no doubt there are femmes who like to go camping -- uh -- let me rephrase that... There are femmes who enjoy outdoor activities. There are also bears who are femmes and so on. Confusing, isn't it?)

To get back to my point, I also get along better with femmes than some of my bear buddies because I'm a nice guy who cares about all of his gay brothers (and my lesbian sisters). I can even get along with dizzy queens. But I have to confess on the (thankfully) rare occasions I encounter one they often drive me nuts. (There are plenty of "dizzy" men and women in the heterosexual community, of course. But as this is a gay blog, we'll stick to our own beloved variety of dizzy person. )

So, what exactly is a dizzy queen (also known as a "superficial queen")?

First, most femmes are not dizzy queens. Intelligence, bravery, courage, toughness, are qualities you can find in the more stereotypical gay men as well as in the less stereotypical butch numbers. Second, there are dizzy butch numbers in the world (or rather "dizzy queens" can be butch.) And dizzy queens don't necessarily lack some of the finer human qualities.

Dizzy queens can be perfectly nice guys, but they're ... well, they're just not too bright. I'm not saying every guy who walks around in weird outfits trying to get attention and screaming about how "fabulous" he is is dizzy (or that all dizzy queens are "fabulous" or weird dressers but that's a discussion for another day) , but -- he's probably not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Dizzy queens tend to have a very old-fashioned sensibility, and to think of gay people in terms more stereotypical than the average straight person. If it's outside their experience they can't imagine it. They think every gay person is just like them because they haven't the smarts to think differently. They can't think of anything in depth because they're not that deep. They walk around in a dither of campiness and superficiality, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitchy, often both, always with their brains in a fog of simple, simpleminded dumbness.

Dizzy queens (or dizzy butch numbers) are rarely political animals -- I mean, gay rights -- but when they are their fuzzy-headedness and lack of depth and judgment leads them to have truly startling opinions. If someone in a bar, butch or femme, ever says about a third party "He's not gay, I met his girlfriend" or "He's not gay, he has a wife" then the chances are good that they're pretty, well, dizzy. (In certain circles people feel that if you prefer Elton John's Aida to Verdi's, then that is not only dizzy but inexplicably dizzy.)

Now I don't want to be mean, but the problem with dizzy queens is that they can be surprisingly influential. Some of them have popular platforms or work behind the scenes on shows and the like that test the patience of the average out, proud gay person. Surely it was a dizzy queen who came up with Queer Eye or Gay, Straight or Taken. You might think these characters only have influence over other dizzy queens, but as they're seen as representatives of the gay community by certain straights -- well, if you wonder where straight people get some of their odd ideas about gays, look no farther than the nearest dizzy queen. [And dare I say it -- isn't it true that at least 25% of our gay bloggers are dizzy queens? I'm sorry, but take a look at what's out there and you'll see what I mean! Dizzy Queens may only account for a tiny percentage of gay men, but on the Internet they are ubiquitous! And not just the more obvious bloggers who call themselves "Pink Pearl" or "Honeystuff" or something like that, but even posters on the more "political" blogs, although DQs tend to dominate more in the pop culture/celebrity-oriented sites.]

Possibly the dizziest dizzy queen that I have seen within recent memory is "Ross the Intern," who is Jay Leno's "house faggot" -- a gay version of Stephin Fetchit -- on The Tonight Show. Ross seems oblivious to all the fag jokes that Leno tells on the show. Someone makes a homophobic remark or gesture and he only giggles. I'm not even being funny here -- this is a man who is completely without a brain. Leno keeps him around because he helps reinforce every possible stereotype about gay men. Some people think he's sweet. So is saccharine. I find him completely and totally repulsive on virtually every level.

Some dizzy queens are dizzy only on occasion. There is a certain gay advice columnist and blogger -- I think his name was Something Savage [get real!] but don't quote me or him -- whose militant opinions I often agreed with. But one day he got an email from a guy who said he was messy, had long-hair and a beard, and despaired of ever getting any of the really "great guys" to date or for a lover. The columnist -- get this! -- told him he had to clean up his act, straighten out his apartment, shave, cut his hair -- or else he'd be forever stuck with the "dregs" of gay society.

Think for a minute (I hope you won't have to.) What's wrong with this advice?

Here's what's wrong in case it hasn't occurred to you, for shame: Hasn't the columnist ever heard of bears for pete's sake? I would have told this guy to keep his beard, keep his long hair, leave his apartment as messy as he wants it to be -- and get to the nearest fuckin' bear bar where (hopefully) few supercilious, precious, overly fastidious dizzy queens ever go. I mean, I read the columnist's answer in utter disbelief. Bears were outside his field of experience, so of course they didn't exist. He was completely unable to give some good advice to this poor, lonely guy who would have found a lot more acceptance in the bear community than at Bingo night at the nearest gay bar full of hairless twenty-something "twinks" and "girls" talking about the latest episode of Desperate Housewives (which I have watched myself, thank you very much, but I'll deny it if I want to)!

Gay life might be a little duller without our gay "fabs" but if we could only somehow arrange brain transplants for our dizzy little queens how much more productive they might be.

I've no doubt that there are dizzy lesbians, but I have no idea what they're called, and won't even hazard a guess.


Chuck said...

I know what you mean, but years ago I had a friend who everyone thought of as a dizzy queen but it turned out that that was all on the surface, he had a sensitive side and was more intelligent than people realized. It was his sense of humor, his way of taking nothing seriously, that made him seem dizzy. But he could really get on people's nerves until they got to know him. Cheers.

Bill Samuels said...

Yes, I have met a couple of people who seem dizzy when you first get to know them but turn out to be more intelligent than you thought. They, of course, are not true dizzy queens. Thanks for your comment!