Antidotes to Ignorance Features
In the Reign
Gay Magical Elves
[NOTE: The rush to embrace and console every gay man who comes out is infantilizing and condescending—but it's a script written and promoted by GLAAD and reinforced by a sanctimonious establishment of gay men that rewards those who play by the rules—and punishes those who don't. The following was written by out gay novelist Bret Easton Ellis on why he refuses to take the politically correct criticisms of his compatriots lying down.]
|"Divine," the old, untrue, |
nightmare gay stereotype
|The new, idealized, PC gay stereotype|
by Brett Easton Ellis [truncated, edited and partially cleared of obnoxious trendy jargon by FT]
Was I the only gay man of a certain demo who experienced a flicker of annoyance in the way the media treated Jason Collins as some kind of baby panda who needed to be honored and praised and consoled and—yes—infantilized by his coming out on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Within the tyrannical homophobia of the sports world, that any man would come out as gay (let alone a black man) is not only an LGBT triumph but also a triumph for pranksters everywhere who thrilled to the idea that what should be considered just another neutral fact that is nobody’s business was instead a shock heard around the world, one that added another jolt of transparency to an increasingly transparent planet. It was an undeniable moment and also extremely cool. Jason Collins is the future. But the subsequent fawning over Collins simply stating he is gay still seemed to me, as another gay man, like a new kind of victimization. (George Stephanopoulos interviewed him so tenderly, it was as if he was talking to a six-year-old boy.)
In another five years hopefully this won’t matter, but for now we’re trapped in the times we live in. The reign of The Gay Man as Magical Elf, who whenever he comes out appears before us as some kind of saintly E.T. whose sole purpose is to be put in the position of reminding usonly about Tolerance and Our Own Prejudices and To Feel Good About Ourselves and to be a symbol instead of just being a gay dude, is—lamentably—still in media play.
The Gay Man as Magical Elf has been such a tricky part of gay self-patronization in the media that you would by now expect the chill members of the LGBT community to respond with cool indifference.
The Sweet and Sexually Unthreatening and Super-Successful Gay is supposed to be destined to transform The Hets into noble gay-loving protectors—as long as the gay in question isn’t messy or sexual or difficult. The straight and gay sanctimoniousness that says everyone gay needs to be canonized when coming out still makes some of us who are already out feel like we’re on the sidelines. I’m all for coming out on one’s own terms, but heralding it as the most important news story of the week feels to me, as a gay man, well, kind of alienating.
We are apart because of what we supposedly represent because of… our… boring… sexuality—oh man, do we have to go through this again? And it’s all about the upbeat press release, the kind of smiling mask assuring us everything is awesome.
God help the gay man who comes out and doesn’t want to represent, who doesn’t want to teach, who doesn’t feel like part of the homogenized gay culture and rejects it. Where’s the gay dude who makes crude jokes about other gays in the media (as straight dudes do of each other constantly) or express their hopelessness in seeing Modern Family being rewarded for its depiction of gays, a show where a heterosexual plays the most simpering ka-ween on TV and Wins. Emmys for it?
Why isn’t the gay dude I have always known and the gay dude I have always wanted to be not front and center in the media culture now? But being “real” and “human” (i.e. flawed) is not necessarily what The Gay Gatekeepers want straight culture to see.
I was invited to the GLAAD media awards last April ... The night was going to honor Bill Clinton — bizarre since Clinton had signed DOMA and 'don’t ask, don’t tell,' but GLAAD has also honored Brett Ratner this year after he had innocuously said, “Rehearsals are for fags.” and was forced to repent. ... I accepted and started to worry about what I was going to wear. At the time I really had no idea that GLAAD harbored any resentment against a gay man who sometimes expresses his distaste with the stereotypical way Hollywood represents gays in transgressive language on my Twitter account. ...
[E]ver since I realized I was gay I have always supported gay rights ... I have not, however, supported the way gay people have been portrayed in the media, ... but since I know so many gay men who feel like I do—that they are represented in some kind of unending gay minstrel show in movies and on TV often created by gay writers and producers, or just conveniently ignored—I assumed that the community I was supposedly a part of was as inclusive as I. ... Certainly I hadn’t fucked-up as many gay lives as Bill Clinton had. So: I was going to the GLAAD awards. ...
The day before the event my agent texted me and told me that GLAAD was “furious” with [me] and that I had been disinvited. ... The agent had sent me part of GLAAD’s email along with their “instructions,” saying that they hoped I wasn’t disappointed by the news ... They also said they hoped that I would not go public... about this decision. They suggested, like they are prone to do (especially with dudes who have somehow “transgressed” the GLAAD Rules of Humorless Social Etiquette), that they have a “sit down” with me. As a gay man, I could only think: Where in the hell are we? Gay Elementary School? I apologized to the agent for any embarrassment this might have caused her and tweeted about the news. ...
GLAAD was at the red-hot center of creating The Gay Man as Magical Elf in the culture and often awarded the stereotypes parading around in embarrassing queer movies and degrading retro sitcoms as simply “gay positive” because they were, um, gay, and conveniently disregarded the fact that there is a silent majority of gay men who actively loathe and resist the caricatures on display. And, no ... these men don’t hate themselves.
Gay activists dive-bombing other gays who express an opinion that doesn’t lean toward their agenda means that within the gay world we are living in a very simplistic place. ...
When a community prides itself on its differences and uniqueness and bans the gay man because of the way the gay man expresses himself—then a corporate PC fascism has been put into play that needs to be seriously reconsidered by the LGBT community. This is a problem: If you are a gay man who is not The Gay Man as Magical Elf, then you run the risk of being ostracized by the elite gay community. ...
An openly gay director ... said that he agreed with much of what I had [written], especially how aggravating it was to see gay people still portrayed in entertainment as basically bitchy clowns or the [effeminate] best friend or now, on Scandal, “The Evil Republican.”
What exactly drew the ire of GLAAD and threw them into a hissy-fit?
[B]ecause of something I tweeted they assumed that I believe that gay actors can’t play straight roles. Wrong. I never said [that]. ...
I’ve been accused by a few vocal sections of the gay community of being a “self-loathing” gay man. I might be a little self-loathing at times ... but it’s not because I’m gay. I might come off that way because I think life is essentially hard and that scalding humor and rallying against its absurdities is the path on which to move through the world—and sometimes that means making fun of myself or lashing out at media targets ... That a gay man can’t make a joke [about] AIDS ... without getting punished [and labeled as] “self-loathing” is indicative of the new gay fascism.
The real shame isn’t the jokey observation, [it’s] the PC gay reaction to the jokey observation.
The real shame is that most gay men—who are every bit as hilariously filthy, raunchy and un-PC as their straight male counterparts—have to somehow tow the GLAAD party line in public or else be criticized. A lot of gay men probably feel they can’t be provocative, raunchy or politically incorrect in the mainstream media because it doesn’t represent The Cause.
This is where we’re at now, I guess. Within the clenched world of the gay PC police there has been a tightening of the reigns. It’s as if in this historic moment for gay men we somehow still need to be babied and coddled and used as shining examples of humanity and objects of fascination—the gay baby panda—and this is a new kind of gay victimization. The fact that it is often being extolled by other gays in the Name of the Good Cause is doubly stifling. ...
Jason Collins ... is, in this moment a legitimate hero if not just an OK basketball player at the end of his career, but the over-protectiveness and the avalanche of acceptance is also for some gay men a kind of condescension. It says that if you are gay in this moment you automatically represent something, and you are expected to play this role just because of your sexuality.
What this notion leaves out is that: We are not all well-adjusted ... We’re not all happy queers ... some of us are cranky, depressed wrecks. ... Some of us feel the need to express our “gay” selves any way we want to, even if that doesn’t conform to “gay positive” stereotypes. ...
Where’s the not-famous, sloppy, somewhat lazy gay dude who doesn’t mind being gay but just doesn’t care about being PC or being an example of “moral uplift?” the guy who just wants to get on with his life ... without becoming a label? The gay man who feels he doesn’t have to march in the parade while smiling?
The inclusion and promotion of this common gay man by the Gatekeepers of Politically Correct Gayness would be ... shattering. It would be a massive move toward eliminating The Gay Man as Magical Elf.
Someone like Jason Collins may have moved us much closer to acceptance, but the fact ... remains that if you aren’t a happy homosexual totally at ease with yourself, promoting healthy mainstream values mirroring The Culturally Correct Gay Elite, then you’re considered a self-hating homo. This is still the ... heart of The Gay Lie.
When you invite in feral hogs and rabid howler monkeys, don't be surprised that they crap all over everything, tear up the furniture, and impede polite discourse.ReplyDelete
I know you hate Disqus, and it does have it's problems, but it's one of the best troll-stompers out there.
This is very unfortunate, FreeThinke, but it's a fact of life: Somebody creates a clean, comforable place for friends to visit, and other will delight in coming in and smearing feces on the walls.
Well, my friend, I didn't exactly INVITE them. They -- in the manner and spirit typical of The Great Unwashed and all party crashers -- just came unbidden and unannounced.ReplyDelete
As I'm sure you know, this sad turn if events occurred because of my determination to befriend -- or at least attempt to build an entente cordiale -- with certain individuals who have political convictions opposed to mine.
If that has, indeed, become impossible, there is little hope left for this world.
I guess that Hate week really didn't end. Some people still Hate republican bloggers.ReplyDelete
Darth, lease understand that the unacceptable remarks recently showered on this blog have come from every conceivable direction -- not just from leftsts. If anything the 'hate mail" has mostly been directed at me for not being "conservative' ENOUGH.ReplyDelete
Well, if THAT be "conservatism," I want no part of it.
Now, PLEASE, let us say no more about it, and try, instead to focus on the very provocative article I just published in truncated form, somewhat sanitized, form.
FT, keep blogging as YOU see fit. YOU own this little spot in the cloud, no one else. Your visitors can read what they like and ignore the rest, as I do. As example, I read only the first bit of this post because I don't care for the content. That is not a reflection of you or your writing skills, just my personal opinions concerning queers and the closet they came out of. Yup, I am not very PC. heh hehReplyDelete
In the era of magical negroes, magical gay elves are hardly surprising.ReplyDelete
Thank you, AA. I did not write the article, I only cut it waaaaaaaay down and changed some of the (abominable) syntax into acceptable English (by MY standards!) but I think you should give it a second glance anyway.ReplyDelete
Because it provides a rare example of an openly gay person being openly critical of the Gay-Liberation Establishment and of the Liberal Agenda in general by implication.
I applaud the author. There's no worse feeling than when your own tribe rejects you. However, those strong enough to stand alone are the better for it.ReplyDelete
FT, have you ever considered having a private blog, in which you personally invite chosen readers?
No one enjoys being openly patronized. Especially the beneficiaries of said patronage.ReplyDelete
What an interesting suggestion! I can't say I've ever thought of such an option.
I do maintain a pretty lively email correspondence, so I guess a "private" blog wold be like an extension of that maybe.
I seem to have a knack for alienating just about everyone sooner or later, because I don't believe in taboos -- except against the expression of insincere, deliberately insulting, childishly stupid remarks.
In the next few weeks I have a few medical issues to take care of. Nothing serious, but a bother nonetheless.
As usual, I hank you for your participation and good will. Come what may I hope we remain in touch.
You know, Thersites, I would agree with you if it weren't for the delight the pawns, acolytes and intellectual morons who avidly support the D'Rats take in being used, abused and taken for granted by their haughty, obnoxious overlords, who keep the sycophantic rabble at bay by tossing them bones from the over-loaded tables and brushing crumbs off the over-larded laps of the oligarchic elite.ReplyDelete
A revolting spectacle of ever there was one!
Good for a Giggle or TwoReplyDelete
The poor Sultan who lived with a harem
With captive wives who couldn't bear 'im.
Said, "My wives are not wise,
If they'd just organize
In shifts, I'd more easily share 'em!"
~ Lime Rickey
Well, Michael Musto got canned from the irrelevant Village Voice today. The purging of vapid gay culture is moving along.ReplyDelete
When Armistead Maupin hears this I imagine he'll be so upset he'll just spit into his decaf espresso.
Gay culture really has overstayed its insubstantial welcome.
Question: Why do we care about who someone chooses to have sex with?ReplyDelete
I'm really itching to understand why anyone really gives a damn.
Like, because two dudes decide to get it on between the sheets, does that somehow affect my life? No.
So in all honesty, why do we care? Do you care that I prefer Dr. Pepper to Pepsi? Do you really care that I prefer red heads to blondes? Does it make any damn bit of difference that I prefer full figured women to bean poles?
THe fact that I enjoy the company of women has no more bearing on anyone's life than the fact that some men enjoy the company of other men.
Gay people exist.
I find the LGBT activist parades disgusting spectacles.ReplyDelete
Must I forever point out the over-obvious disease vectors associated with homosexuality specifically, and heterosexual promiscuity, generally?ReplyDelete
It matters. And until there are permanent cures for the socially transmitted diseases, it will continue to matter, "...that which goes on between the sheets".
The "return" of the "gay lobby's" repressed is in "Obamacare".
Gay culture really has overstayed its insubstantial welcome.ReplyDelete
Something had to replace the vacuum created in urban centers around the country by the white flight of the late sixties/early seventies.
ps- The whites may be coming back... but until someone creates an industry to employ what remains of the unskilled labour that saturates America's inner cities, NOTHING will become of it. Till then, the future lies in the 'burbs.
It's obvious that you didn't read the article. Come back, try again, and tell me please what you think of the unusual point of view of the ARTICLE.
Admittedly, I was drunk when I wrote that comment. I was at a place that had some sort of local brewed porter, the name of which I can't even remember, and they had it on tap using nitrogen instead of CO2.ReplyDelete
Anyhow, after reading my comment and the article, I still stand by my statement.
If homosexuals are to be socially accepted, then people have to get over their own discomfort about it. More plausibly, people need to just stop caring about who people have sex with.
The media protrayal is an attempt to un-marginalize the gay community. Yes, there is an agenda, but it's not necessarily nefarious. I don't think there is anyone alive who believes they are going to change someone's mind about whether or not they think homosexuality is sinful, or okay, or whatever.
The whole agenda is trying to get Americans to stop treating homosexuals like second-class citizens. Yes, it's trying to make homosexuality a mainstream thing.
The author of the article believes the portrayal of gays in the media to be doing more harm than good, but we have to remember that the media reaches out to some 150 million complete morons.
I am NOT saying that if you think homosexuality is wrong that you're a moron. But what I am saying is that there are a whole hell of a lot of people who discriminate against gays, and most of those people are indeed morons. So, like most media today, it has to be dumbed down.
But my point is that we, as a society, need to stop being so damn nosey in the first place. Sure, flamboyantly gay people can be super annoying at times, but so can hardcore, fundamentalist Christians.
I don't shit on them for being Christian, just for being morons.
ANNA RUSSELL EXPLAINS IT ALL TO JACKReplyDelete
in a few well-chosen words
"If you want to woo a fair maid,
You must concentrate on her Papa.
If he doesn't like you,
Your chances are not worth a cent.
"Things would be so different,
If they were not as they are,
If I were more persistent,
And she were less obedient ..."
Yes sir, it's much too bad that things are the way they are, and I'm sure they would be ever so much better if they were the way you think should be, Jack, but the remains that THEY AIN'T.
And all the preaching and the weeping , and the wailing and the badgering and the legislation ain't never gonna make no difference.
Did you know that bold determined efforts to CHANGE the WORLD either by force or fiat have ALWAYS failed?
Just LIVE. Forget about changing the nature of Existence. You'll just exhaust yourself and make yourself miserable.
One's thing's for sure:
GETTING DRUNK won't HELP ANYTHING.
I think Jack's a little touchy on the subject.ReplyDelete
Jack: FT is not criticizing gay people. He consistently defends their god-given right to live their lives the way they want without interference.
Finally, so where are gays "treated like second class citizens" in this country?
Here in the rightwing redoubt of Southern Colorado, home of rightwingchristian Focus on the Family and Cook Ministries, gay couples shop at Home Depot and enjoy chats over coffee and sandwiches at Starbucks and Panera. We have a Pridefest every year downtown. People get along and respect one another, as it should be. I can't remember ever hearing of an ugly anti-gay incident.
And all the gay people I've ever known, and I've known more than a few, hate the flamboyant San Francisco Queer stuff, as well as the whole "gay culture" treatment in the popular media. It's all stereotypical, demeaning, and reductive to the point of being dehumanizing.
We will "get over it" when we stop fetishizing it.
You are kidding yourself, SF. It will NEVER be over. "We" are NOT the problem.ReplyDelete
It's not about preaching, and it's not even about changing anything. It's just an observation.ReplyDelete
Silver, denying people the right to be legally recognized as married feels pretty second class to me.
And I know that FT is not criticizing gay people. What I'm saying is that instead of looking at the means being used to mainstream homosexuality, how about we take a look at WHY those means have to be used in the first place.
denying people the right to be legally recognized as married feels pretty second class to me.ReplyDelete
Sell it to the Mormons. Then sell it to the pedophiles.
Then sell it to every freak that wants to pork his own mother.ReplyDelete
DON'T PREACH YOUR MORALS on ME! :PReplyDelete
The result of this confusion is that one affirms the essence of justice to be the authority of the legislator; another, the interest of the sovereign; another, present custom, and this is the most sure. Nothing, according to reason alone, is just in itself; all changes with time. CUSTOM CREATES THE WHOLE OF EQUITY, FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT IT IS ACCEPTED. IT IS THE MYSTICAL FOUNDATION OF ITS AUTHORITY; WHOEVER CARRIES IT BACK TO FIRST PRINCIPLES DESTROYS IT. NOTHING IS SO FAULTY AS THOSE LAWS WHICH CORRECT FAULTS. He who obeys them because they are just, obeys a justice which is imaginary, and not the essence of law; it is quite self-contained, it is law and nothing more. He who will examine its motive will find it so feeble and so trifling that if he be not accustomed to contemplate the wonders of human imagination, he will marvel that one century has gained for it so much pomp and reverence. The art of opposition and of revolution is to unsettle established customs, sounding them even to their source, to point out their want of authority and justice. We must, it is said, get back to the natural and fundamental laws of the State, which an unjust custom has abolished. It is a game certain to result in the loss of all; nothing will be just on the balance. Yet people readily lend their ear to such arguments. They shake off the yoke as soon as they recognise it; and the great profit by their ruin, and by that of these curious investigators of accepted customs. But from a contrary mistake men sometimes think they can justly do everything which is not without an example. THAT IS WHY THE WISEST OF LEGISLATORS SAID THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO DECEIVE MEN FOR THEIR OWN GOOD; and another, a good politician, "Cum veritatem qua liberetur ignoret, expedit quod fallatur."ReplyDelete
Pascal, "Pensees" -
Astonishing the degree of passion and rumination this particular issue almost invariably raises!ReplyDelete
"Of all the sexual aberrations found in mankind, the one I find most difficult to comprehend is chastity."
~ Anatole France
I prefer the cult of Artemis to that of Aphrodite eight days a week.ReplyDelete
I'm MUCH more concerned -- and FAR more disturbed by what has happened to popular music and most popular entertainment we see on TV and at the movies than I am about encouraging the acceptance of homosexuality as a normal variant in human behavior.ReplyDelete
The images I chose to accompany this article clearly show two extremes. The first -- a picture of the ever-revolting drag-queen clown "Divine" is exactly what no sane person should EVER encourage -- or PERMIT. On the other hand the picture of two attractive, clean-cut young men showing playful affection to a child they have presumably adopted may be "idealized" for the purposes of promoting "The Agenda," but it's certainly a wholesome image and a desirable goal for homosexual men who WANT to live in a stable, mutually-supportive, financially-sound, loving partnership to look up to as a worthy ideal.
The article is refreshing. I have written elsewhere: "so what".ReplyDelete
Those of us who have spent time in elite athletics since the 70s have known gay players. I can't remember anyone complaining. I didn't care then and I don't care today. He came out. Good. More will come out. Ho hum.
KP, you seem to have achieved an admirable degree of pleasant equanimity towards homosexuality. That you seem able to take it in stride without getting unduly upset at the way others see it, even if they disagree with you, seems spiritually advanced to an unusual degree.ReplyDelete
I've seen enough of your picture to know you are a most attractive specimen of manhood, so how do you handle the inevitable advances that must from time to time have been made towards you by gay men?
So often people eager for acceptance, and "hot to trot," as most of us are in youth and middle age are want to see any signs of friendliness, understanding or recognition of good points as "encouragement" in the wrong sense of the term.
Lack of hostility does NOT mean an open invitation to begin a sexual affair. Neither does a normal show of ordinary friendliness.
I've had that kind of trouble with women many times, and I've ever found the 'right' way to tell one of them "I just want us to be friends," or "I feel you are like a sister to me."
What's YOUR solution?
"how do you handle the inevitable advances that must from time to time have been made towards you by gay men?"ReplyDelete
First, it's helpful to recall that men and women, gay or straight, don't like to be rejected in social settings. So most of us flirt in a way that avoids hurt feelings. I have approached women that were gay and appreciated their politeness when they let me know men were not their thing. I treat gay men with the same respect.
But this is not something that is a frequent occurance. Ask a gay man and he will tell you his gaydar is pretty well developed. And for the most part, they are the ones that are aplogetic, even embarrased, when they approach a straight man.
I wish that were true for women. In my experience most of them refuse to believe you when you politely indicate a lack of romantic interest.
You may be a very rare person, KP.
There doesn't seem to be any rage in you. I think it's wonderful, but winder how you can do it in a world like his?
Re: lowering the level of anger; the turning point comes when we seek humility; very different from humiliation. Being humble comes from being truthful and honest with oneself.ReplyDelete