Monday, December 27, 2010


UPDATE, 12/29/10. This is the comment I made regarding this cover:

I fail to see how public displays of frivolity, publicly affirming stereotypes that have helped consign Gay people to pariah status devoid of full and equal rights, can do anything but retard the quest for full equality. Anyone who is serious about this civil rights struggle should not be amused!

It seems to me that within the many parts of the LGBT communities there can be culled out two major types: 1. Those for whom being Gay means being ensconced within the mainstream of society, expecting and/or demanding all of the rights and privileges that currently accrue to heterosexuals, and where being Gay is largely based on romantic/sexual affinity; 2. Those who may or may not be content with the status quo, but who see their being Gay as largely, if not solely, based upon their sexuality, often divorced from any romantic attachments.

It is this latter group within the LGBT communities that may be seen to be the major encumbrance to acquiring full and equal civil rights, as all too often they are content with, if not proud of, their being cast as outsiders and sexual outlaws.

The latent conflict between these two groups are seemingly irreconcilable, and it is this latter group that has unwittingly internalized the stereotypes that have been visited upon Gay people for centuries by assorted clergy and others.

Of course, the heterosexual communities also have their hedonists who engage in sexual activity that is divorced from any romantic attachments, but heterosexuals are neither characterized by that fact nor are they denied civil and sacramental rights by appeals to that fact.

On the other hand, the hedonists within the Gay communities can be seen to thwart the quest for civil rights by their seeming contentment with the status quo, and by their often public displays that are virtually guaranteed to prevent the recruitment of potential Straight allies; are also used as seeming justification by strident, often religious, homophobes to engage in rhetoric that seeks to deny all LGBT people full and equal civil and sacramental rights.

I'm delighted that DADT was repealed, but I'm very suspicious that its repeal had far more to do with military needs than it did with any amount of embracing of Gay people or of their civil rights!

The true and only test will be passed when same-sex marriage is nationally recognized and codified into law under the Constitution of the United States!
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Kyle J said...

You have hit upon an excellent point. Many times, our adversaries point to the licentiousness prevalent within our community as a reason to deny us rights. We are a "health threat", our marriages are "open" they say, thus we cannot appreciate fully these institutions. The husband and I were watching a documentary the other day called "Gay Sex in the 70's", and we were disgusted. In this documentary promiscuity was celebrated as an expression of our culture, rather than something that needs to be avoided. Though many of the men and women who are engaged in this promiscuity are undoubtedly in favor of us having full equal rights, their actions speak otherwise.

But, on the other hand, I do see a glimmer of hope. As the LGBT community becomes more mainstream, many realize that the reactionary behavior that we have exhibited does not work the way that it used to. Thus, over time we have started to attach sex with romantic feelings.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, KyleJL. The more politically savvy people become, the more they will likely engage in meaningful activism at both the grassroots and organizational levels, aiming for favorable court decisions, that will require a healthy maturity in that activism. Best wishes, Jerry.



I saw Gay Sex in the '70s, too, and was equally repulsed. You can easily see how a door was opened to the AIDS crisis . . . all the unsanitary behavior. Nothing but self-hatred disguised as carnal pleasure.

genevieve said...

I do agree that DADT was passed out of need rather than gay people being embraced. The military has to maintain a quota every month. I wonder if all the highly senstive positions were adequately replaced?

What galls me about much of LGBT media is that they too promote the hedonistic lifestyle which undermines the movement. I'm tired of readingLGBTnewspapers where over half the pages are filled with sexand entertainment.


Amen, Genevieve! Gay men are hyper-sexualized, Lesbians are barely mentioned, and Transsexual persons are constantly (deliberately?) confused with "drag queens" . . . and the word "queer" is (ab)used ad infinitum.


Regarding that Village Voice cover of Michael Musto: It's been clear to me for a long time that lots of Left-leaning media outlets are more than content to peddle counter-productive, "Some Like It Hot" burlesque images of Gay men. They are the flipside of the "ex-Gay," Focus On The Family, William Bennett, reactionary-type media coin we're all familiar with. It amounts to a tag team assault on Gay identity: While the Right vilifies it, the Left ridicules it, and the result is profound marginalization.

Jerry Maneker said...

Beautifully put, Don Charles! Best wishes, Jerry.

FQ said...

"we also have some Gay people who seemingly willfully stick their finger in the eye of potential allies by deliberately dressing in bizarre ways for public consumption,"

Interesting theory. Does that include gay men who are very feminine in their appearance and behavior? Or only those just dressed outrageously at a club or pride? And doesn't this include trangenders by default? Their appearance is quite "bizarre", according to most/many straight people.

This is fascinating, Jerry. You and Don seem to be rather focused on so-called stereotypical gay behavior and dress and the "this is why they hate us theory". It doesn't seem to be working for gay conservatives, who are making few inroads with Republicans and evangelicals. It surely isn't helping with marriage, ie, "we're normal and want a house, kids and picket fence just like you."

So what about gay men who are 'girlish'? Are they setting our movement back? Are gay men whose 'sugar is raw' turning off potential allies? Many people say so, what are your and Don's thoughts?

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi FQ: "So what about gay men who are 'girlish'? Are they setting our movement back? Are gay men whose 'sugar is raw' turning off potential allies?"

I can't speak for Don Charles, but clearly neither he nor I have ever even intimated that effeminate men or transgender people are in any way offensive! What is being discussed is traitorous behavior such as evidenced in the Million Fag March and the Folsom Street Fair that a couple of years ago mocked The Last Supper and, in my opinion, ironically mocked the Leather Community.

Homophobes are going to hate Gay people regardless of how Gay people look and act! My point is that potential Straight allies are not won over by hedonists walking nude down Market Street in San Francisco, or by any other such displays.

Unless the public face of Gay identity is presented as being just as viable, valuable, and decent as is heterosexual identity, the realization of equal rights will be retarded, and it is my contention that all too many people who embrace indecent displays and hateful epithets as self-identifiers are not at all interested in acquiring equal rights and, in fact, are wittingly or unwittingly betraying this civil rights struggle. Best wishes, Jerry.


You said it, Jerry! A shame, isn't it, that some people can't tell the difference between a naturally effeminate male and a frivolous fool who puts on campy airs and acts out in public to draw attention to himself! Or maybe it's that they just don't want to see the difference, eh?

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Don Charles: A lot of hedonists don't want to see the difference, as to see that difference highlights their burlesquing of the hateful stereotypes that homophobes thrive and feed on. In that sense, they are in the same camp as are the homophobes, and provide fodder for their hateful rhetoric that adversely affects potential Straight allies, allies that are very much needed in this civil rights struggle about which most hedonists couldn't care less. Best wishes, Jerry.