Monday, April 20, 2009
Ideal Gay, really
The Ideal Gay, really (short essay)
I had the pleasure of reading a little article in Details magazine called “The Rise of the A-Gay”. “Moneyed, successful, educated, and comfortable in their own skin they’re fast becoming the new archetype of cosmopolitan masculinity,” an expert string about the new stylish, athletic species of male “master-of-the-universe types,” the A-Gay. It goes on to mention models of this ‘ideal gays,’ mentioning Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford, them being poster boys of the A. To top it all off, the article mentions a grading system of gay men. There is the A gay, B gay, and C gay, mentioning the particular characteristics of each level of the system. The article was cheeky and logical in its explanation, readers actually being able to recognize and formulate where they were on the grading system. I found the read empowering and gives gay people a positive model to aspire to. “Out but not loud, proud but discreet, they transcend gayness in much the same way that Barack Obama is said to transcended race,” the article is great in it’s explanation of the A-Gay.
I’m vigilant when it comes to the gay rights movement but what is tragic is that the biggest threat to the gay rights movement is gay people themselves. The ultimate deciding factor about why gay people aren’t granted civil rights is because they aren’t assimilated into society. Instead of a social group defined about their orientation, I see gay people as an entire society in itself. Advertising in the media has portrayed gay men as sexual deviants that sleep with random partners because they are just so damn horny. This archaic portrayal of gay men is rooted from the 1970s and the very strict laws against sodomy brought men to their knees in discreet bathhouses, and speakeasies that made partaking in gay sex requiring a high level of anonymousness. Until of recently, with laws protecting gays about discrimination that gay men can openly be ‘out’ but not be attacked. But this old portrayal still lives on in advertising and the media. More so the media is far reaching and this negative portrayal reaches the young 13-year-old boy who is coming to terms with his sexuality. The tragedy is that we, gay men, feed ourselves into the media’s cookie cutter gay and we don’t even know it.
“We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” has become the slogan of the gay rights movement. Get used to the Drag Queen, shirtless men in leather chaps, and the disorientating barrage of sexual energy at pretty much every gay event, and only at a gay event. Never would you see this behavior at cultural event like, Asian Pride, or Navajo Tribal etc. Gays don’t transcend, they don’t assimilate into society, and what makes it worse is that they don’t want to. 10 years ago, if you asked anyone if the US would have a black president, they laugh, for example Head of State featuring Chris Rock. Can we say the same thing about a gay president? Definitely no with gay cultural climate how it is today.