Longtime Malcontenters no doubt remember all the fun had between me and a certain, um, adversary, after this post:
Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Mark Taylor and Cathy Cox are skipping this weekend’s Atlanta Pride festival, drawing predictable condemnation from local gay leaders.
Chuck Bowen, executive director of the state’s largest gay rights organization, Georgia Equality, said he is "disappointed" that neither Democrat will attend this year’s Pride festival, one of the largest events of its kind in the nation.
"There will be 250,000 people in [Piedmont Park] this weekend, and it’s a tremendous opportunity for them to meet Georgians from across the state and hear what we have to say," he said.
Regrettable, perhaps, but understandable. Quoting myself, in a column I wrote for The Los Angeles Times a few years back, "The gay movement hasn’t matured; it’s grown stale. Pride marches have turned into shopworn cavalcades of been-there, done-that decadence."
Don’t you know the GOP would exploit that to the hilt? It’s easy to imagine a campaign commercial featuring Cox or Taylor speaking in front of a group of bears in leather jockstraps. Democrats have a hard enough time appealing to an increasingly conservative electorate without those sort of distractions.
And should people who wear leather jockstraps in public expect to be taken seriously? Granted, they’re not representative of the majority of Pride celebrants, but the minority is well represented by — shall we say — the outrageously flamboyant. I’m not for discrimination of any kind — and that includes the more freakish elements of the GLBT pie — but if you want "the establishment" to recognize, sometimes you have to play the game.
Besides, is this weekend even about politics? For some, yes, but most are just out for a good time.
Reality may be inconvenient, but we avoid it at our peril. The gay community’s justifiable struggle for relevance also requires a look inward. We may compare our crusade to the civil rights movement of the 1950 and 60s, but can we honestly say we comport ourselves with the dignity of those who marched on Selma?
(If you missed it the first time, I was told I had "a little self hatred for gayness." Just a little?)
Within the previous post I stated I have no trouble with the extremes of our community, but that you can’t expect people to take you seriously when you don’t take yourself seriously. If you wanna shake your ass in public, feel free — I’ve been there — but be prepared to accept the consequences of irrelevance.
In the end, I want the gay movement to mature, not flounder in platitudes and self-righteousness. Isn’t that a worthy goal?
Too bad you had to resort to name calling. Pretty intolerant, if you ask me.
(But the intolerance continued.)
Look, I apologize for not owning a Madonna album … am I not allowed in your club? That’s fine, but I’m not concerned with the petty queer establishment. I came to terms with that long ago.
I remember driving down to the Tara theater to see "Torch Song Trilogy," as I was gay and it was a movie about gays (a rare thing at the time). I looked for some security, but instead found distance. I didn’t want to be a screaming queen. I’m not flamboyant. I don’t cry a lot. I don’t feel the need to start every sentence with "As a gay person …"
And I’m not alone. Many gay kids are kept in the closet because they don’t welcome the "Stepford Fags" archetype that awaits them, the one that listens to the same music, goes to the same gym and idolizes the same washed-up hags.
Criticize me for being contrarian, or even malcontented … that’s fair. But you’ve gone way too far with the self-loathing tag.
Now I suppose if I showed up at Pride today in my tighty-whiteys, then I’d be okay with me (by your way of thinking). Strange logic.
Wearing your undies in public doesn’t make you proud or brave … it makes you an exhibitionist who obviously didn’t get enough attention as a child. I’d say that about a straight person running around in cock huggers, as well. Why not hold ourselves to a higher standard?
And what is this gay culture you speak of? Regrettably, it’s become nothing more than a fulfillment of stereotypes created (mainly) by straight people. They’re comfortable with the nelly queen, a la Jack on "Will and Grace." It’s non-threatening. A gay person who challenges that orthodoxy is somehow unsettling … and apparently you share that conviction.
Does Chris Rock hate himself because he takes on the African-American community? I think not. I wouldn’t dare compare myself to Rock, but my mission is similar.
Maybe you should read my blog more thoroughly. I’ve dedicated plenty of space to the plight of homosexuals around the world (on an almost weekly basis). Sure, I’m plenty critical of our community here at home, but I see it as filling a void that desperately needs to be filled.
Be Pavlov’s dog all you want, I could care less. But don’t belittle those of us who want more.
Now go get your pride on, bitch!