In 2011 I wrote a comment on Queerty which included the line “Wanting equal rights is one thing, wanting to be like straight people is another.” This brought a rejoinder that began: “Nothing wrong with wanting to be like straights….” Sigh.
I began to read Queerty comments before I read the articles. I found numerous hateful, homophobic remarks. When there was bad news from the porn industry, the comments were a veritable circle-jerk of vitriol, much of it at about the GAY = Got AIDS Yet? level, but coming from those who seemed to have appointed themselves head of a gay morality squad.
I found this phenomenon was not limited to the relatively pristine Queerty. The haters were hot on Towelroad when Wilfried Knight died. The Sword announced that it would stop noting barebacking debuts because haters’ comments so often included unsubstantiated speculation about the HIV status of the featured star.
(Well, I do not cover modern-day barebacking at all, but not because I suppose everyone who does it has the pox.)
Mr. Modeste Tighttwat has been pouring disdain on things gay for a long time. He is, of course, gay himself: that is the point. But he is, he thinks, respectable.
In sociology there is a theory that when oppressed people see a chance to advance themselves, some of them adopt an exaggerated form of the attitudes and values of the overlord culture — or what they think the values and attitudes of the overlord culture are. This is not the lip-service of your garden-variety lick-spittle, but upwardly mobile people really start to think of themselves as belonging to the uberculture.
An unfortunate effect is that climbers begin to despise their own roots. Isn’t this a pretty good account of Mr. Modeste Tighttwat, with straighter-than-straight public attitudes and harsh judgments of other gay people?
He’s the guy who wants the drag queens out of the Pride parade. The gay community is his, but they are embarrassing him. He wants a straight-acting, straight-appearing boyfriend. He wants to be married, to have kids, and to sit in the front pew at church. And if that is not the kind of gay you are, you are a slut and a faggot in his estimation. Shout “ O gurl!” at him, and he tries to melt into the floor. His disco ball is in a new kind of closet.
His display of camouflage plumage does not really help anything. Liberal straights do not need it — many of them know unaffected gay people. Mr. Tighttwat may even come off too straight for many straight people. He’s not really reflecting straight culture as it is, but straight culture as he thinks it is — exemplified by its most out-of-date, backward, and miserable elements. And his cover does not do any good with the rabid doofi who are fixated on what he probably does with his private parts, no matter what he says.
You can see the same thing in countries which used to be European colonies. The judges wear long, white powdered wigs, and heavy robes which are even more impractical in tropical climes than in the European capitals where such garb originated. They think this is the way to rule because it is the way the European overlords ruled. They eschew or even suppress their own traditions. Where there were traditional accommodations with homosexuality, statutes as harsh as European statutes are erected. These are not the European statutes of today, but are the European statutes of Colonialism. Draconian anti-gay laws are passed in imitation of the European overlords about the time Europeans in Europe are repealing such measures.
You might think that a minority which has been itself oppressed and has gained a little ground would, on the basis of its experience, be sympathetic and helpful to the next group that tries to rise. But in many cases you would be wrong. As the theory goes, when you make some headway, there is a tendency not merely to want what the overlords have, but to begin to believe you have become an overlord yourself, and to do what experience has taught overlords do, which is to step on those underneath. And they even have an unkind word for their own who have not adopted the ways of the overlords.
And that too is Mr. Tighttwat. The nearer he believes he gets to equality, the more he mistakes equality for sameness. To Mr. Tighttwat I am and always will remain a faggot.
And I’m okay with that. Flame on!