Shhh - I Miss The Gay Stereotype
I know I shouldn't admit it, more importantly I shouldn't even say it but say it I must. Shhh - I miss the gay stereotype. Now before you all get your panties in a bunch, hear me out. It's not that I miss everything about the swishy gestures and lisping, it's just the flouncy, bouncy - fun, fun, fun, fun I tend to miss.
One of the things that I think has always made Jews great comedians is that they see the humor not only in the world around them but in themselves. I'm sure it's some sort of self preservation but I think even in the death camps (that Hitler owned) there was some laughter, if only as a way to stay sane. Let's face it, we've all had really bad days and I've always found it best to laugh or to at least try to find a way to laugh at the situation.
I read gay sites, magazines, give to gay charities and so I feel as though I'm a responsible gay man in this day and age but there's a real part of me that just wants to go back to the times when all you had to do was rush home to see Paul Lynde in that center square to know that you were not alone in the world. No matter what the friends, historians and apparently Mr. Lynde said, the world knew he was gay and while the housewives enjoyed him in spite of his gayness, others of us enjoyed him because we knew his "secret" and knew ours was just about as thinly veiled of a veneer as the one he wore. His pursed lips and head bob with an always stinging remark made us laugh and I'm not so ashamed to say that they still make me laugh. You see, like Mr. Lynde, when I was in high school I thought I was convincing everyone I was straight. Imagine my surprise when I had more than one person (in fact, several people) come up to me at my twenty year high school reunion and tell me how brave they always thought I was for just "being myself" through high school. True, it was a little disheartening to know that I wasn't as good of an actor as I'd thought or wanted to be but it was amazing to have even guys who beat me up or called me names apologize and tell me how brave they thought that I was during those four years.
I know I'm supposed to be running around picking out color choices for the flowers at my guy to guy wedding (no, I'm not getting married any time soon) and fighting to get the "right" candidate in the White House who will maybe allow us gays a few crumbs off the political table but sometimes I just want to laugh. That's right. We gays have become too serious, too dare I say it? Like the counterparts we once were proud to be different from. I guess we're trying so hard to seem like our straight counterparts so that they won't be so afraid of us when we want to adopt children or get married but I also don't want to see us lose our Joie de Vivre.
There are a lot of things I'll do to get the right to visit my mate in a hospital or get tax breaks but I won't (no, it's not won't so much as I can't) become straight for the privileges that I should have just like anyone else just for being a human being and an American. I still laugh at Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Riley and "Jack" from Will and Grace when an episode is on and I'm not ashamed of it a bit.
Believe me when I say that I get it when my gay counterparts turn up their nose at the swishy gays who say, "Girl" a little too loudly in a crowded area to get attention. That's not me either but isn't it nice that we aren't all exactly the same? Isn't that difference (and all differences) we're supposed to be celebrating and teaching our children to celebrate? And isn't it about time that we let gays know that they can bulk up their bodies as much as they want to but it's not going to make them less gay? Sure, it may give them the illusion of the stereotype of masculinity but masculinity and being a man are two different things and don't always live in the same body. Yet good for them if that's what they need to make them happy.
Look, I don't expect everyone to be accepting of everyone else immediately. (I still find it difficult to think of thugs who breed pit bulls for dog fights and to prove their masculinity as anything but sub-humans) Yet by the way, when most people vote they actually give these people more rights than me because they'll take their dog home to someone of the opposite sex.
I didn't mean to get on a soapbox here. Actually I started out to talk about the fun that seems to be passing us by in our never ending need to pass as "normal." But you see perhaps I'm at a disadvantage as I've known I wasn't normal for a long time. I never wanted to be a fireman or a cowboy, I wanted to be a performer and before the days of reality television shows, let me tell you that it made me very different from most of the people I went to school with every day. So I grew up embracing the fact that I was different instead of thinking it was wrong. In fact, I couldn't figure out why anyone would want to be anything else but on television - and now, some thirty years later I find out everyone DOES want to be on television.
Look, I'm not asking for a pansy hall of fame but there were trailblazers who amazingly enough made careers for themselves being themselves in a time before Perez Hilton was "outing" everyone or before even Bravo became a network. Well, at least these people were showing us versions of themselves to make us laugh. I understand this too. You see, I'm not always raising an eyebrow and trying to make people laugh. In fact there are things I write in these pages that are a character I created not too different from the character Wayland created, Madame. But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part (no matter how small) in all of my writing.
It's time for us to begin to get gay again. Gay in the sense of the original sense of the word, "happy." And the way to be happy is to not forget to laugh at the ridiculousness of life and some people's reactions to us. I'm proud to be gay but I'm just as proud to be a fop and while the word "fop" begins with an "f" it doesn't end in "fag."
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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