Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not gay as in happy

Homosexuals have adopted a rainbow colored flag to represent their position of diversity and acceptance. As a gay man, I'm here to tell you that the umbrella of inclusiveness is a load of crap. In society there is a mix of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and in the gay culture it's broken down even further by type. There are many different types of gays. The whole reason I'm writing this is because of a seminar that Jed and I attended a few months ago put on by Equality Texas that was supposed to be about gay parenting in the media. In my opinion, the seminar was anything but.

One of the presenters of this seminar was a member of ALLGRO here in Austin, which is basically a social network for gay and lesbian Latino/Latina business people...I THINK. Note the use of "Latino/Latina", not Mexican, not Hispanic. This will be very important in a few minutes. The seminar ended up being very divisive and pointed out some flaws within the gay community itself. You see, we, the gay community, can't even get along with ourselves. There was a dear sweet woman from PFLAG at this seminar who was chastised by the presenters for daring use the word Hispanic. Apparently it’s no longer P.C. to use this term. Now they want to be labeled Latino/Latina. This is the problem with labels. Nobody hands out a memo that says, "Uh, hey. You can't call us that any more. Now you must call us (fill in the blank)."

I get crap all the time for calling myself a faggot. You know what? Fuck you. I'll call myself what I want. To me, calling myself a faggot has the same effect that black people learned a long time ago. It takes away the power from the word and makes it less offensive. However I'm not sure what you’re supposed to call black people any more. We all know to stay away from the dreadful "N". But now when I say African American I get chastised by friends and am told that's not correct any longer, because they aren't African. Part of the problem with society in general is that nobody can make up their minds what THEY want to be called. Pick a label and stick with it. But don't get offended if I call you something that I’ve been programmed to call you. I don't call somebody something to intentionally be offensive, but if I've called you a particular label, it's because at some point in my process of learning, this is what I've been told by one of your people that this is what you want to be called. When I first realized my gayness back in the early 80s, our community was called GLT or Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered. A few years later the bisexuals (don't EVEN get me started) pitched a fit because they didn't fit into any of those categories, so it was changed to GLBT. I found out a few months ago at this seminar that it’s now called GLBTQQ, because the people who hadn't decided what the fuck they were wanted to be included so the wanted "queer questioning" added to it. This, in and of itself is contradictory, because are we gay, or queer? So who are we?

Leather Daddies/S&M Queens/Bears: You've all seen them. These are the folks that the media opts to choose to portray every time there’s a gay pride parade in your neighborhood. These are the fags that parade around in chaps, leather harnesses, stylish leather caps, and lead their partners around by a leash. These are the people that the media would like you to believe we all are. I have news for you readers. Freddy has never accepted anyone's fist into his anus. We are not all, nor are all leather daddies, freaks like that. Yes, they're out there. But their numbers are small. I have never led Jed around by a leash. I have never strapped him down in 4 point restraints and placed a ball gag in his mouth. And as far as I know, he has never worn a leather hood with a zipper over his mouth.

Drag Queens/Cross-Dressers/Entertainers: This is the second largest group of people who hog the media attention at the parades. If middle-America doesn't already believe that every homo is a leather stud, then they think we all put on a dress so we can look like Celine Dion and lip sync to bad music. Freddy, again, has never worn a dress or make-up. I have, however sang along to Madonna and a few other female singers. This does not make me an entertainer, this just makes me a Karaoke whore. Don't make the mistake of assuming or calling DQs Trannies, because this is a whole separate category.

Trannies/Transexuals/Transgendered: These are the folks that feel that they were born the wrong gender and choose to do something about it. My heart goes out to these people. While genital mutilation is not my bag, I've met some wonderful trannies in my life and they have all of my respect. What I don't get are the sub-culture of trannies that undergo so much to become the opposite sex, and THEN decide to become a homosexual. Yes. There are men who have become women only to become a lesbian. WTF?

Gym Bunny/Steroid Queens: These are the queers that try their bestest to look like mainstream America, pumping iron in the gym 6 hours/day, 9 days/week. We all know the truth about these queers, the only reason they spend so much time at the gym is they have the personality of a lettuce leaf, and the gym is the best place to look at half-naked men (or fully naked men if they're hanging out in the shower...no pun intended). Tragically, these men look FABULOUS from a distance, but then they speak and a purse falls out of their mouth. Must be the steroids.

Abercrombie/Pretty Boys: This is actually representative of the largest segment of our population. Who doesn't want to look good, smell good, taste good? Me. That's who. I’m an Old Navy kind of queer. I hate ironing, and I enjoy feeling comfortable. I am the anti-Abercrombie. I'm the queer that Abercrombie queers take on as their "ugly friend". Eyebrow waxing is painful to me. I just want to be me.

Effeminate/Flamboyant Queers: Everybody has an idea of what these people are. It's Robin Williams in The Birdcage; it's that queer in the pink shirt that was on Deal or No Deal this last Tuesday night. I've got a news flash for you people. I can't arrange flowers. I'm not exactly sure what Flan is. Yeah, I can cook, and yes, I do own Caphalon, but I am NOT a effeminate man. I change my own oil. I change my own tire. I've never had a mani/pedi (though I do know what they are). I drink shitty beer from a can. I can burn meat on the grill like nobody’s business.

"A" Gays: These guys are just assholes and not even worth talking about. They're the ones who think they're better than everyone else and are the lowest form of homosexual you can imagine.

What's my point? I don’t know that I've got one. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have any friends in any of the sub-categories I've mentioned above. It's not that I don't like these people. Call me "gayicst" if you will. I just don't find that I have anything in common with any of them. I don't think dick is enough of a commonality for me to want to hang out with these people on a regular basis. However, I fully realize that in order for us to gain acceptance with the general population, we must first work on organizing and appreciating the differences that make us unique. In that regard, I'm going to start opening up my mind to my own people. Only when we can accept our own group will we find acceptance with everyone else. It's going to take all of us working together to make a change. Just please, for the love of God, don't add any more letters to what we want to be called. It's confusing enough as it is. Everyone out there can call me what they wish. Queer, fag, faggot, gay, homo. I don't really care. As long as you just call me, you can even call me Freddy.

1 comments:

Southern Boy said...

Faggot!

Ok, no, seriously. This is actually the problem in the gay community (Yeah, we need a name. One word that defines "Us." Adding an initial to the acronym everytime someone decides it's more inclusive is, like communism or a moderate Republican, only nice in theory): we label, label, label, then spend the rest of our time trying so hard to defy each of those labels being applied to ourselves.
It's not just "we" who do it, though: I did it for awhile with being southern. Now? I don't care. People can call me what they want. So many people think it's hysterical to point out I'm girly or something, or that I have a high voice (well, can't change that, can I? I'm not a baritone). Why should this bother me? It's clearly only bothering them since they're the ones who have to point it out.
I got over awhile back feeling the need to prove something to anyone in terms of relative "passability" or just how gay I am. I am who I am. To some people, that's going to fit some queer definition that suggests I fart rainbow lube onto Christian children and then shove them up Mormon group-wives to create full-blown butch dykes with AIDS and some will just see a guy who wears jeans and t-shirts to work who can't get rid of the spare tire.
I don't really care anymore. I don't try to define myself as anything other than what I am...although part of me now makes it my job to intervene when I hear disparaging comments from our own. Divisiveness isn't created by the Christan right: we have created it ourselves to say, "see? We may be gay but we're not like THAT" as if we can win them over. I don't need every single faction of the gay community to love me and they don't need me; all we need is to respect one another, the choices we have each made about our lives and our preferences, and keep on keeping on.