Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I strongly urge you to read the two part post by my friend Don Charles entitled, "Runnin' Out Of Fools," that appears on his blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr.

When we find out that our idols have feet of clay we are naturally disappointed. However, when we find out that our idols betray us and other Gay people, by referring to themselves and other LGBT people in ways that they would never do regarding any other identity they or others possess, the disappointment runs even deeper.

It is always important to remember that a meaning of the term, "queer," is "abnormal!" Random House Webster's College Dictionary gives the following definitions of "queer": "1. strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; eccentric. 2. something of a questionable nature or character; suspicious; shady...3. not physically right or well...4. mentally unbalanced or deranged"...5. "Slang (usu. disparaging and offensive) a. homosexual. b. effeminate" 6. "bad, worthless, or counterfeit..."

These are the conventional meanings of the word "queer," and no amount of its use by LGBT people is going to change the meaning of that term, and other definitions and epithets that are routinely also used by homophobes while they verbally and even physically bash and even kill LGBT people! By naively thinking that use of those words are in any way "neutralizing" them or "appropriating" them (without even thinking as to why one would want to appropriate them in the first place) is merely fooling oneself and playing into the hands of the oppressor.

In discussing the famed Ari Gold, whom Don Charles characterizes as "a formidable R & B vocalist, songwriter, producer, fashion model, video star and dance club diva," he details the nature and depth of the betrayal and it's a two part post that is very well worth reading.

"I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. How dare Ari dismiss my aversion to hate speech as an “opinion”? How dare he patronize me with that lame argument about “ownership” of insults? How dare he try to include me in some misbegotten “queer” diversity against my will? How dare he try to placate me with idiot logic straight out of a Mad Hatter’s tea party? And how dare he not mean any of it? He knows damn well 'queer' is a slur! That line about him “only using the word because” of LOGO and needing to support the network in spite of "the language they choose to use" is a dead giveaway. Dude must be running out of fools, but he sure chose the wrong candidate to fill that vacancy!"

You'll want to read the whole two part post, "Runnin' Out Of Fools," on Don Charles' blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr.
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Thank you for the use of the quotes from your important "Sabotage" essay. It put everything I wanted to say about my experience with Ari Gold in perspective. It's always comforting to know that somebody other than me understands the meaning of dignity, especially when 99.9% of the world seems to have forgotten.

Jerry Maneker said...

It was a pleasure!