Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some Things Never Change ...

So I'm on the subway heading downtown when I see two straight couples standing nearby. Late thirties, early forties. The women are both white, the men are black and white. The guys are average-looking, as are the women, who are dressing perhaps a bit too loudly to accentuate their sexiness and minimize their age. There is something rather common about both of them. The white guy seems to be a bit of a lout, while the African-American guy at least appears to be the most intelligent and best educated of the bunch.

However, as the train pulls into a stop in Greenwich Village, it is the African-American guy who decides --since this is "gay" Greenwich Village -- that he has to tell the story of how -- gasp! -- a gay guy came on to him at a subway stop in the area. [This is another example of how dated these people were, as it is Chelsea that is now considered the big gay neighborhood in Manhattan, not Greenwich Village. Of course, they don't quite get that we are everywhere.] It is almost a dating ritual when straight couples go down to any area that has more than three gay people in it that the guy has to make clear what he thinks of gays, and that he is definitely, positively, thoroughly heterosexual.

Believe me, this particular gay guy wouldn't have cruised the fellow telling the story even under the influence. Guys like this feign disgust and disinterest at gay attentions when you sense deep down that they kind of like the fact that somebody thinks they're attractive. One of the women, while wearing a nauseated expression, said "Why didn't you tell him to get the fuck away!"

Good question. Maybe the guy telling the tale was on the down low. But he was establishing his heterosexuality for his date, hoping to bond with the Jersey gal in their mutual homophobia.No, I didn't hear "fag" or any obvious slurs, but the disapproval and negative attitude were definitely there.

Just a reminder that not everyone is cool with gay people, even in liberal New York City, and it's foolish to think that they are.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oh Those Queens!

I was at my favorite gay bar the other day when this guy I barely know saunters over to me and a friend and says, "Hello ladies, how are you, girls" and some such shit.

I didn't even turn around. I just said "Jesus, how pre-Stonewall can you get."

I don't want to make too big a deal of this, but aren't we past this business of gay men referring to each other as women or giving themselves pet female names or calling each other "Mary." [It's not just older guys who do this. I'll never forget when a thirty-ish editor of a paper I wrote for emailed me about the Gay Pride March and wrote "we need all the Marys we can get." Marys? [I may not be super-butch but a "Mary" I ain't.] Who the hell says "Mary" anymore?

So today I get an email from New York's Gay -- pardon me, LGBT -- center with a list of upcoming attractions and I read this little blurb. Get this:

"Simon Doonan knows that when it comes to style, the gays are the chosen people. A second anthropological truth comes to him midway through a turkey burger with no bun, at an otherwise hetero barbecue: Do the straight people have any idea how many calories are in the guacamole? In this hilarious discourse on and guide to the well-lived life, Doonan goes far beyond the secrets to eating like the French -- he proves that gay men really are French women, from their delight in fashion, to their brilliant choices in accessories and d├ęcor, to their awe-inspiring ability to limit calorie intake. A Gucci-wearing Margaret Mead at heart, Doonan offers his own inimitable life experiences and uncanny insights into what makes gay people driven to live every day feeling their best, and proves that they have just as much --and possibly better-- wisdom, advice, and inspiration beyond the same old diet and exercise tips. So put down that bag of Pirate's Booty and pick up this fierce and fabulous book. From slimming jaunts through Capri in the evening to an intrepid "Bear" hunt, Gay Men Don't Get Fat is the ultimate approach to a glamorous lifestyle -- plus, you are guaranteed to laugh away the pounds!" 

Hasn' t this Simon guy ever been to a bear bar [I suppose that's what the "bear" hunt is about, but he couldn't have absorbed much from the hunt]? I know this is all supposed to be just good fun, and Doonan might be a completely funny and lovely fellow, but all of  this stuff -- gay men are really French women!! Yuck! -- is so completely dated, so 1950's, so stereotypical and just plain old hat. I'm sure I'm not the only gay man who couldn't care less about hair dressing or make up or fashion or who has little desire in being a limp-wristed, glamorous "ladies accessory" while dispensing fountains of dopey alleged "wisdom."

Yes, big queens exist, god love 'em, and can be a fun and colorful part of the gay community. But, sheesh, they are not the entire community or even a very large part of it if truth be told. They just stick out a lot more than the average gay guy.

As I've often said gay men have spent decades trying to be accepted as men and this kind of stuff certainly doesn't help. Sure, Doonan has a perfect right to express himself and to camp it up and be a big ol' fabulous "faggot" if he wants to.

But honestly, haven't we come a little further than that in all these years since Stonewall?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


J.A.T.G.A.B. will be back on track and published on a [hopefully] regular schedule very shortly.

2011 was quite a fuckin' year.

Looking forward to new challenges -- and new things to bitch about -- or celebrate! -- in 2012!

As for my other gay blog, Ask Gay Dr. Bill -- the doctor will be in and answering [a back load] of questions very shortly.

Have a Happy Gay Year!