I’m thinking about stereotypes today. Specifically gay ones. We all know them. Flaming queens, limp wrists, high voices, hairdressers, flight attendants, dancers, immaculate/pedantic grooming regimes, effeminacy, trans-sexualities, cross-dressing, campness, etc etc.
There’s always been a push-back by the gay community against these stereotypes, mainly because the homophobia of the straight world places such a negative on such “behaviours”.
I understand why the gay community pushes back, but are they pushing back because being a flamboyant, feminine hairdresser is a bad thing, or are they pushing back because of the negativity and ridicule the homophobic straight world attaches to such a person?
I think anyone pushing back against these stereotypes needs to be 100% clear in their minds of the distinction here, because the fact is, there are many, many gay men in our communities who DO fit those stereotypes closely, and whenever we push-back saying “We’re not ALL flaming queeny hairdressers” we are doing damage to the “flaming queeny hairdresser” on the street corner - we are basically saying to him, “Your kind of gay is bad.” Catch my drift?
When I came out in the early 90’s (1990’s, not 1890’s LOL) I remember clearly the focus was always on DIVERSITY. The focus was definitely one of “Some of us are very stereotypically gay, some of us are not so stereotypically gay, but we are nonetheless all gay and we are all part of the one community.”
I think we have lost a lot of that sentiment in the last 15 years, particularly with the rise of the gay marriage issue. We are moving too much towards the non-inclusive, towards the “we are the normal good gays” and “we don’t like the abnormal bad gays”. This assimilationist, hetero-normative agenda is dangerous, and I see it giving rise to more homophobia (inside and outside our community), rather than less.
See, if the stereotypes were completely false, such as “All gay men have a desire to rape children”, then its completely understandable and natural and desirable to push-back. But instead what we are pushing back against are people who are not hurting anyone, and in doing so, we are hurting them directly.
Being very camp or feminine is not a crime. We need to stop pushing back against the gay stereotypes that do no harm, and only push back against the lies.
So if some homophobic straight person says, “All gay men are limp-wristed flight attendants” we can say, “Some gay male flight attendants are like that, others are not, but either way, they have a right to exist and a right to marry regardless of how limp their wrists happen to be or what job they have.”
If we say instead, “We’re not all limp-wristed flight attendants!” all we start sounding like are an insecure bunch of people who have forgotten just how truly diverse and amazing our gay brothers and sisters are.
Cannot wait for the trilogy.
Love how nonchalant he is in this vid :)
The Weeknds videos are always a treat. Simple, yet striking.