Gay Culture and Me

Earlier today, I was reading The Dish and Andrew Sullivan had this to say:

A confession. I have long had an aversion to gay-themed plays, TV shows, movies, etc. I wasn’t born with it. I learned it. I learned it through what can only be called a series of cringes. I cringed at Philadelphia‘s well-intentioned hagiography of the “AIDS victim”; I cringed through Tony Kushner’s view of the plague as a post-script to the heroism of American communists; I winced at the eunuch, the sassy girlfriend, and the witty queen in Will And Grace; I had to look away as Ellen initially over-played her hand (understandably and totally forgivably, but still …). The US version of Queer as Folk was something I could not get out of my recoiling head for weeks – and I barely got through fifteen minutes of it. And please don’t ask me about Jeffrey. Please.

He then goes on to talk about Looking, the new gay series from HBO.

I’m 100% with Sully in his views about gay-themed movies and TV shows. I’ve enjoyed a couple of them, but most of them I find to be boring, repulsive, dull, repetitive, or just plain bad. The vast majority don’t show people like me or anyone that I know. I don’t hang out with the circuit party crowd, the bears, the leather men, the drag queens or any of them. I’m just a normal guy who, in the immortal words of Jay, “loves the cock”. I define myself by many measures, but not my preferred body part.

And that’s where most of gay culture loses me. I’ve never been comfortable in a gay bar. I’ve attended exactly two gay pride parades, and found them kind of pointless. I’ve never felt the need to put on a dress, or chaps, or grow some extensive amount of facial hair, and I’ve certainly never felt the need to do any of those things while singing “I Will Survive” and drinking a mojito. I have no real connection to gay culture, and I’m completely fine that way. I don’t feel that I need that in my life.

I will concede that back in the day, when gays in this country were hounded by the law on a pretty much regular basis and heavily marginalized by society, having some sort of gay culture made perfect sense, if only on a survival level. But now…I don’t need it.


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