Queer assimilation

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As American as McDonald's Apple Pies

From an old exchange about the contempt androgynous, unmasculine gay men are often subjected to by hetero-acting homos.

Part of it is fear of taint by association. Heterosexual males are often worried about their masculinity the magazines tell us (and the spam). Maybe they are mostly worried that women will think they lack it.

Are there gay men who fear that other men won't see them as manly? A gay male fear that parallels the heterosexual man's worries? Easy to imagine there might be. Not that I've ever known a gay guy to express anything akin to that.

I suspect that some gay men fear guilt by association. For another to be trailing pixie-dust confirms the wearisome image that gay males are necessary less manly than a shrimpy, white-collar straight guy.

On a less particular level most gay men just want to fit in. They are as conformist as the kids who go to pep rallies. A daffodilly (my favorite bit of queer slang) is limp-wristed evidence that some queer folk don't fit into the cult of mom, flag and blueberry pie (or gyms, A&F and striving to be the neighborhood Brian Kinney).

Lots of these guys are strolling naked and fellating and sodomizing at nearby Jordan Lake. I'd say they are living a pretty untrammeled edition of the American dream. Even many decent liberal folk would probably an unhappy shiver if they new. The pious would want them put them in jail for having such an ungodly good time.

Minorities aren't necessarily as tolerant as you'd expect. Creole and light-skinned blacks used to look down on their darker kith (sounds odd without the obligator 'and kin').

The ultimate goal of gay politics is conformity

The only logical result of gay liberation is to be completely accepted. The paradox, dialectical tension, or maybe silly worry of the beer-drinking guy writing this is: is that when gay people are wholly accepted any gay sensibility will most likely vanish. (Gay male sensibility - has there ever been an apolitical description of lesbian sensibility and I don't mean power tool jokes).

Not that I'd want to be pinned down and have to define gay sensibility. Irony has to be a part - from Oscar Wilde to Gore Vidal and David Sedaris. A strong dose of aestheticism. The art of insult. That parallels the African-American verbal game, the dozens. Hostile wit may be a natural heritage of minorities. Ingeniously modulated humor defying a cramped, oppressed life.

Skipping to a more radical parallel. The black blues musicians that found a worshipping audience among the white bourgeoisie had lost many of their black listeners. Or so I've read. It reminded the newly middle-class blacks of a low past they'd escaped. Similarly many a hetero-queer wants sissyboys swept out of site.

Excepting a few scum, we all hope for the days black ghettoes live only in history books. For decades black musicians have been the main driving force in popular music. If our society managed to miraculously abolish racial equality would this unique flow abate? Not that it wouldn't be worth the price. Just an uncomfortable, unanswerable question.

Lots of folks feel that if inequality were established utopia would follow. Reminds me of how a couple of my left-leaning friends thought the internet would force liberal democracy into being.

I'm too disaffiliated to have a political eschatology. I think if the world were to become completely comfortable people would watch move TV, spend more at Wal-Mart and make the junk-food franchisers even richer. Whatever some of us may do with more leisure, the unwashed crave nothing more than pig-hood.

Not a novel view. There have been plenty of cheesy science fiction novels where a man of 'our time' woke up in a utopian future. He'd find people had lost their creativity, maybe even their ability to reproduce. Being a regular 20th century kind of guy he'd shake up those 49th century nabobs and show them what they were missing.

On a crude and narrow level this is where the tedious complaints about politically correct language come from. Of course the humorless feminists who want to, say, rename San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf as Fisherperson's Wharf don't help. Psychotics aside, everybody moderates his or her speech. It is one of the things we do to make our days livable.

Short of everybody being forced to take tranquillizers and antipsychotic drugs there will always be outsiders. People who don't feel enfranchised in the social norms. Their stylizations may be co-opted by entertainment and manufacturing conglomerates for a season or two. Disco evolved into house, then hard-house and other variants. Outsider subcultures will find different ways of embodying and expressing themselves.

Individuality and diversity are born in conflict. Hardly a remarkable observation. Since Shangri-la isn't around the corner not something to worry about.

Old words refurbished in response to a comment by Music for Torching.

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Thanks,
Richard

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