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?


Debunkey Monkey said...

Hey, I was wondering if you rethought your opinions since this article written in 2009?

Some people were just wondering. Keep up the good writing, and thanks for sharing your perspectives with everyone.

Bill Samuels said...

Thank you. I have probably modulated my thoughts on the subject somewhat since the original post, although in other aspects I remain implacable. Anyway, the subject of asexuality isn't really of much interest to me, to be honest.

Thanks for your comments.