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Monday, April 02, 2007

 
>One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. 38 years ago today I founded Homosexuals Intransigent! as a student organization at the City College of the City University of New York. The Stonewall Riots of the same year did not happen until almost two full months later. Each anniversary of the founding of Homosexuals Intransigent! I do a cursory mental review of how far we've come, or how far we've retreated from the ideals we held in the pre-Stonewall and immediate post-Stonewall era. I'm not sanguine.
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On the one hand, a state actually has enacted same-sex "marriage". One state. Out of 50. My own state, New Jersey, which gave rise to a number of prominent gay-rights leaders, enacted this year a discount, bargain-basement, "irregular" version of Massachusetts' proud landmark marriage act, same-sex "civil unions". New Jerseyans must not let things rest there. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, why not just call it a duck: "marriage"? I have no use for cowardice, nor different shades of citizenship, first-class for straight people, second for gay men and lesbian women. Would blacks be content if white people could enter into "marriage" but blacks only into "civil union"? I don't think so.
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Almost two years ago I spoke here about a cable channel for gay men and lesbians, Logo, that media giant Viacom had just premiered. In the intervening time I have tried to watch it at least 2,000 times, but almost always had to turn off in disgust within a few minutes, because Logo is profoundly, aggressively antihomosexual. Logo endlessly tells men and women that they belong together and must always be together. Everything on Logo is male-female, men-and-women-together-now! garbage. The announcer for almost all its promos is female: Logo literally speaks with a woman's voice. How are gay men supposed to feel welcomed or reflected in a (dis)"service" that speaks with a woman's voice? Logo is 70% female, 10% AIDS, 10% "transgendered", and only 10%, at most, gay. And part of that 10% for gay men is reserved to blacks. The "Logo original series" Noah's Arc is all black. Blacks are perhaps 15% of the gay-male population. There is no show about white men, the great majority of the gay male population.
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About the longest men are ever alone with men onscreen on Logo is five minutes. Then women are intruded, as tho well-adjusted gay men always surround themselves with women and spend all their leisure time with lesbians or faghags. Of course we do. Sure. Right. Logo insists that we SHOULD spend all our time with women. We should LOVE women and crave their company. Where have we heard that before? Oh, yes: from shrinks, from the law, from the church, from every part of straight society for hundreds of years.
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For a brief moment, in 1969-1975, there seemed hope that we could break from that and the world would accept that we don't WANT to spend our entire lives with women, we don't want to be surrounded by women; we don't want to hear that we have to love women and that it is abnormal not to crave endless immersion in women's lives. We don't want to be told that simply wanting to be left alone with each other is wrong. But every single day, in every conceivable way, Logo says all those things. Worse, Logo is an enthusiastic member of the Castration Conspiracy I spoke to Friday.
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Logo devotes considerable time to promoting castration of confused gay men so they can pass as women, and to hormone-replacement in lesbians so they can grow beards and pass as men. Logo presumably also favors creation of artificial penises for women who want to be men so they can fool real women into lesbian sex they think is straight. Logo is, in short, The Enemy. There are no words strong enuf to express how awful Logo is, nor how horrendous an enemy its endless antihomosexual propaganda makes it. Because it poses as our friend but tells us that as a condition for its friendship, we have to change our most fundamental nature to conform to its Neo-Heterosexual agenda: you can love and even have sex with men as long as you do it in the dark, and every second you are in public immerse yourself in the straight world and show your total love for and devotion to women.
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Logo's management is so stupid that it doesn't even think about the obvious solution to how to deal with two separate audiences with separate interests, gay men and lesbian women, who actually want nothing to do with each other: separate programs, either on separate services, say, Logo Men and Logo Women, or separate DAYS for the separate sexes, say Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for gay men, and Monday, Friday, and Saturday for lesbian women. (Gay men tend to go out on Fridays and Saturdays, to be with each other in person in the bars.) Instead, Logo is rigid in its insistence that gay men and lesbian women must be together, except of course when women want to be alone. And then, of course, they will be given all the alone time they want. But gay men may never be alone.
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Logo created a "lesbian and gay" comedy festival, "Outlaugh", in which gay men are supposed to listen carefully to lesbians' lives, Margaret Cho's heterosexual obscenity, and drag queen self-despising 'humor' as tho that somehow has a bearing on their own lives. And we're even supposed to laff at such repulsive things. What demented fool thinks gay men want to hear about lesbian sex? and why are we supposed to regard as our own, men who hate themselves and their manhood so intensely that they disown their manhood and dress as women? Does any of that help us accept ourselves? And if we don't accept ourselves, how in the world are we ever to be happy?
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But, you see, the concern today is not with our internal happiness or self-acceptance. It's with acceptance by straight society. And if in order to be accepted you have to pretend to be something you're not, fundamentally to falsify the nature of homosexuality to approximate heterosexuality in every particular except for 'one little thing', that's a price the 'people' behind Logo and those in charge of the 'LGBT Movement' are willing to pay. Sell out cheap and win faint acceptance of a false version of your nature. All you have to do is stop being yourself and you can be accepted, for as long as you play straight society's game. That's living!
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Logo shows music videos we are supposed to be interested in, all of which are basically heterosexual. All the lyrics of all the songs are heterosexual or neutral. A pair of gay brothers formed a 'gay' group and then made a straight video to promote it to straights as well as gay men. It starts with a man looking raptly at a guy in a bathing suit by a pool, and ends with the two brothers going off in a convertible with two girls. Very homosexual. Thank you so much for betraying us, you worthless pieces of sh*t.
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Logo has also effectively told the straight world that it is perfectly acceptable, perhaps even required now, to call gay men "queers". And, yes, even lesbians are "queer" now, if they choose to be called "queer", which they never were in the supposedly Bad Old Days. So, at a time when some black groups are working to end the promiscuous use of "the N-word", the Q-word is being actively promoted by Logo and various other antihomosexual forces posing as our friends. What next? Call us fag, faggot, fruit, nancy boy, fairy, and various sex-act-specific terms, to our face, as "acceptance"? I can do without that kind of acceptance, thank you very much.
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If you are straight and don't know what to call a homosexual man, "gay" is always safe. "Queer" or anything else is going to offend somebody, especially coming from a straight person. Don't EVER call anybody "queer" as a 'harmless' equivalent of "gay". Think of it, instead, as the exact equivalent of "nigger".
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So where do we stand, 38 years after Stonewall? Gay men have retreated from the idea of living their own lives by their own lites, and substituted the goal of an "acceptance" by straight society that requires them to accept every single value of the straight culture and spend as much time kowtowing to feminist sensibilities and surrounding themselves with women as do straight men, but without any of the benefits. No marriage. No sons. No social respect nor standing in the community. Exclusion from the military as a career choice. Being careful never to mention anything on a job application that might cue the Human Resources Department to your nature. Being too ashamed, and fearful, to walk hand-in-hand with the man you love. Being unable to find a man to love because you are constantly surrounded by women and required to pay more attention to women than to men. (Gay men are expected to take women into men's bars and then spend all their time talking to those women, ignoring the men they presumably went in there to be with.) Toeing the feminist line and spending a maximum of a few hours a week being homosexual, hidden away in the dark somewhere. That is not what gay men organized for in the early and mid-Sixties and rioted for at the end of the decade. But that is what we have 'won'.
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There is more pro-gay imagery and more accurate depictions of homosexuality on straight TV, by far, than on Logo. But even then, it's as tho nobody in Hollywood has ever met a gay man. From supersissy Ross the Intern to loathsome Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and tattooed sado-masochists wearing assless chaps, TV's depiction of gay men is rarely more than a parade of stereotypes, the sexual-politics equivalent of Stepin Fetchit and the happy, singing, dancing slaves of yore.
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38 years after Stonewall, there is no gay music. Every song in every gay bar is straight. Every lyric is straight, men singing love songs to women or women to men. Every mental image that every song is supposed to produce is straight. Every video is straight or neutered.
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There is no gay art. Stunningly, there is no gay dance!
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What passes for gay literature focuses on three extrinsic themes: coming out, AIDS-as-gay (an absurd lie, of course, but one that some maladjusted faggots cling to as 'our special thing', our very own cross to bear), and dealing with straight society. In the real, gay world, coming out occupies a tiny, tiny fraction of our lives. Why is it the main concern of so much 'gay' literature? Where are the stories about our lives after that blip? Forget about coping with straight society. Where are the stories about our internal emotional lives, vis-a-vis each other? the stories and poetry that help us appreciate our lives and find our way to permanent and loving relationships? Where is the wisdom, hard learned, about how to get past the first 'date' and turn a one-night stand into a lifelong love affair? Where are the portrayals of fidelity and examples of success in making a life together? Where are any of the meaningful themes that have filled heterosexual literature for millennia and helped straight people learn how to be straight yet fully human? Nowhere, that's where.
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In the preponderance of today's gay lit, relationships among gay men are trivial, and a new stereotype, practically compulsory, has emerged: the female roommate and best friend. Tonite, Logo broadcast one such fiction, a movie (A Home at the End of the World) in which Colin Farrell plays a (straight) man who visits New York and falls in love with his gay friend's WOMAN roommate. Of course, we all have female roommates. Gay men all live with women. Oh, no, that's straight men. And gay men don't have male best friends. Of course not. Why might that be? Because gay men can't be trusted with one's confidences? Because gay men are callous and don't care about each other's problems and feelings? Or because all literature must deal with the relationships between men and women? It's the law.
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Does black literature insist that every black person's best friend be white? That blacks and whites be roommates? That blacks spend every hour of every day with white people? Does Hispanic literature insist that Latinos' best friends and roommates be Anglo?
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Imagine a heterosexual literature in which everything centered on homosexuals and straight people's having to deal with homosexuals. The dynamics between men and women are scarcely touched upon, ever. All the relatives are gay, all the children are gay, all institutions are gay, and straight people have to spend all their time coping with a world they don't fit into. That's not what heterosexual literature is about. It is about heterosexuality, not coping with homosexuals. And gay literature should be about homosexuality, not coping with heterosexuals.
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Gay musicians should be writing gay lyrics and singing gay love songs, men using "him" for the object of their affection. Gay dancers should be dancing pas de deux and modern moves with men they embrace gently but firmly. Gay everything should be about Us, not Them. We are the center of our lives, not Them. They have their own lives, and their own arts. We could learn from them. Just turn everything around, and that is probably how it should be. A mirror can tell us much, but it is all backwards.



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