Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rednecks at the Gay Bar

I was at my favorite gay local watering hole about two weeks ago, when one of the patrons told me and a couple of others in my vicinity a joke.

It was the most vile racist joke I've ever heard in my life. It was not just "politically incorrect" or good-natured racial humor that everyone, black or white, could laugh at -- it's punchline was the "n" word. It is the kind of joke that debases the one who tells it, and also debases everyone who hears it. I was disgusted.

And this was in a gay bar in Greenwich Village in the 21st century!

What's going on here?

Yes, I know there have always been racist gays and homophobic blacks and so on and so on, but on the --mercifully -- rare occasions I encounter these troglodytes I still find it a bit startling. Basically this jerk was telling a redneck joke in a gay bar. His mind-set was the same as people who tell fag jokes. I made this point but I'm sure it went in one ear and out the other.

To their credit, the other people I had been conversing with -- all white -- were also appalled by the joke. The only one who laughed was a guy sitting on the other side of the "joke" teller. The two of them bonded in their thought of me as a humorless [yeah -- right!] person who couldn't take a joke. I and my friends were the assholes -- not them. Amazing. "It's all in fun," said the joke teller.

One of my friends said "If it's all in fun, then go tell that guy at the end of the bar [who happened to be African-American]. " Of course, none of us actually wanted this turd to tell the joke to anyone, but we also knew that he never would.

What creates a gay person like this? Self-hatred, of course. A well-adjusted man has no need to hate another minority group just to feel better about himself. You learn in sociology 101 that prejudice is generally the product of an inferiority complex.

Over the years I have, sadly, met gay men who had issues with Women, Blacks, Jews, and so on, although they are in the minority, let me make that clear. Generally they are not well-adjusted people, and they have issues over their sexuality. I'm sure without a doubt that the person who told the joke is in the closet, and that deep down he's ashamed to be gay. if his parents are still alive he's never told them he's homosexual [although they probably figured it out long ago.] He could probably benefit from counseling or therapy, but he'll never go get help.

He'll just tell his jokes, hoping to encounter the occasional sad stranger who's as fucked up as he is and will also find them funny.

The thing is, he's a middle-aged man who would probably resent being called an old fart. But his jokes -- which used to proliferate thirty years ago and more -- are "old fart," even redneck jokes. They don't make him seem hip or up-to-date, youthful, but very old and out of it. He actually seemed surprised by those of us who found the joke totally offensive. I hope he tries to pick up some younger man someday, tells his little jokes, and discovers just how hopelessly out of date he is. [There was a younger man in the bar that night who also found the joke completely reprehensible.]

It's shocking, shameful, that people like this still exist, but the good news is that where once many others would have joined in with the laughter, nowadays the joke teller is more often put in his place in no uncertain terms.