Wednesday, November 26, 2008

M-Boy's Verdict on Stereotypes.


Well, i opened this can of worms/bag of snakes/or some other better metaphor...

so i'll try to wrap it up, the best way that a 15yo kid can... :P

Let me first say, before you all get angry at me, that this is just MY opinion, and i'm not the most in-the-know about this. I'm still going to say it though...

I KNOW some of you will disagree with me, and that's what makes this so much FUN!!

We know that gays aren't portrayed in the most positive of lights in the form of the media.

Perhaps that's our own fault.

We literally parade ourselves,

then we try to say that there's nothing different between us and the 'straights'.

There is a stereotype out there, and we know it, that all gays are massive flamers.

We perpetuate that myth ourselves, especially in our stereotype pride parades.

The stereotype is THERE.

We need to CRUSH IT.

We are NOT ALL massive flamers. We are all DIFFERENT.

And because we are so different, that's what makes us NORMAL.

Soft twinks, hairy bears, flamers, queens, butch or effeminate, the muscly macho men, the dancers, the hairdressers and the make-up artists.

That is what we are seen as.

Yes, some of us do fit into that, but i think that the majority of us do not. And yet that is how we are represented.

So, i say we stop enabling these stereotypes.

Bring on the gay accountants! And policemen/women, journalists, sportspeople, computer geeks, emos, chefs, farmers, scientists, butchers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, and whatever the fuck else you can think of, because in all fucking honesty, we as a group are no different than everyone else, because we're all different!

Why must we continue to feel we have to conform to this? Is it because we so desperately want to show that we are proud, that we will get so in-your-face? That we wave our bright flags to show we're not ashamed?

All that's done has created and reinforced a fairly negative stereotype (that is the butt of jokes), and that has made more people fall into it... myself included...

I don't even know why. I just know that one day i DECIDED that my favourite colour would be pink, and i would watch modelling shows and care about 'gay stuff'... and i never looked back.

I did that, because i was gay, and i wanted to show it.

Whether or not that is the true me, i don't know, i never will know, but there's no turning back now.

Gay is flamboyant. Gay is soft. Gay is weak.

Gay has been stereotyped.

We can't let it go on. We need to show that we are just 'normal' people, and that our ONLY difference is that fact that we are same-sex attracted. Nothing else should go with that, just our sexuality. Because not all gays have a fashion sense and love Pop music.

Unlike our sexuality, i believe that who we are is a CHOICE, or can at least be influenced.

We should not be pigeonholed into something that we are not.

We should be free to be whoever the fuck we want to be, and not feel we have to conform!

So perhaps the day that we stop fucking ourselves around with this stereotype, will be the day that we earn some respect in the rest of the world.

Now, bitch at me all you want! Cos i'm going to my bedroom to watch the episode of Will & Grace i taped earlier today.

And do not say that i am homophobic, because I AM GAYER THAN YOU.

See you tomorrow. Set me straight in the comments until then.

love you ALL, from the flamers to the miners,



Anonymous said...

In spite of the fact that some of us started lecturing in our comments to your previous post, I think (hope?) that most of us appreciate a fresh new voice asking many of the most difficult questions that we've all faced. Please don't try to wrap it up. Also, try not to feel that, when we may write passionately, that we're angry, much less angry with you.

I think you're brilliant!

Planetx_123 said...

Totally agree with anonymous above--you are brilliant.

I agree that we exacerbate the stereotypes, and I don't think that the typical flamboyant gay is or should change. Many people are more naturally effeminate and if we try to crush that stereotype then they have to try to act different. At the same time its absolutely true that this influences people when they are forming their identity.

So its a feedback loop with positive and negative implications. We _shouldnt_ have to change because we are proud of our culture and gay identity, but its going to be a LONG time before mainstream society matures enough to realize that there is nothing wrong with a separate identity.

A conundrum...

So I agree with you- am not trying to lecture you- and think you are a really well reasoned guy--regardless of age! And yea you are probably gayer than me :-p



Mr. HCI said...

We should be free to be whoever the fuck we want to be, and not feel we have to conform!

I am in total agreement. The most important and powerful thing we can all do, IMO, is to be out and be ourselves.

Trying to "pass" as straight does no one any good (other than when your life is in danger, of course!).

The same goes for aping stereotypical gayness in order to feel accepted by other gays.

If you genuinely love pink and modelling shows, go for it! My favorite color is red, though, so I hate you now.


Just remembered this:

I once got in a heated argument with my then four-year-old niece about pink. My swimsuit is hot pink. I told her this on the phone and it went something like this:

me: It's pink.
her: It is not!
me: It's pink.
her: It is not!
me: It's pink.
her: It is not!
me: It's pink.
her: It is not!
me: It's pink.
her: It is not!
me: It's pink.
her: It is not!
me: It's pink.
her: It is not!
me: It's pink.

Col said...

I wasn't going to comment on this subject, especially as I have already made notes for a future post that includes the same kind of points that you gave. Maybe I'll delete them now lol.
Anyway, I agree with EVERYTHING that's been said by others, it's not a Black & White issue.
However, I agree most strongly with Steevo's second comment (all three points).
Also, my favourite type of humour is camp, stereotyped gay stuff like The Birdcage (one of my favourite movies)and Drag acts like Lily Savage and Dame Edna. One of my favourite comedy characters is Bob Downe (one of your own, and they don't come much camper than him). I'm one of the non-stereotypical guys but I can't imagine not being able to laugh at my comedy heroes.

Live and let live is what I say!!

Btw, re Steevo's comment; I visited the Liberace museum when I was in Vegas last year and it was great, especially reading all about his history.



Mr. HCI said...

Dame Edna is from Down Under, as well. We saw her in Atlanta a few years ago and laughed so much it hurt.

AJCon89 said...

Personally I don't get the whole "pride" thing.

I mean, I am pround to be an accomplished musician, but I am not pround to be above average height... I am HAPPY I am above average height.

For me, pride is something you feel in an accomplishment. Being gay or bi or straight isn't an occomplishment... Its just who we are as humans... So I am very HAPPY that I am bi...

I am proud that I have come out to my friends because thar is an accomplishment... But just being isn't...

I think this goes for people who are proud to be irish or italian or black or whatever... You didn't do anything to be irish or italian or black... Its just who you are and how you were born... However, you should be happy that you are irish... Happy you are italian... Or happy you are black...

Does that make sense to any of you?

Ok... Back to cooking... :-P


Seth said...

Calm down dear. No one is mad or angry at you and you opened a valuable dialogue, not a can of worms. You're entitled to your opinion!!! (Besides, its YOUR blog - LOL I think you said the same thing to me recently) - you can post whatever you want.

You're getting alot of information just from the comment replies to both posts - and its always refreshing and fascinating to see how someone one generation apart from me (or is it two LOL I'm getting old)sees things that I thought about and dealt with 10 or 15 years ago. Good to have a fresh perspective.

PS: I know you love emo boys but they have their own stereotype images to deal with LOL. (So do *ahem* bears... especially ones named Teddy...)


PS: I like how AJ talks about Pride and "happy" and "gay" in his comment. Remember, "gay" used to MEAN "happy" and similar connotations, not its current use describing a homosexual. Err. did that make sense?


Mr. HCI said...

I'm with you, AJ. I have pride in my accomplishments but not pride in my sexual orientation or any other aspect of myself that was outside of my control. Nor do I have shame, either, mind you!

I think most of us probably fall along the same lines in that respect. Pride in who we are not what we are.

Gay Pride, to me, is pride in standing up for who we are and how we handle what we are. Not taking the shit society wants to force down our throats. Not accepting the punishment society wishes visit upon us for daring to be openly be gay/bi/tg. Not accepting the claim that we are sick, evil people when we know full well we are not. And so on and so forth . . .

Planetx_123 said...

Well said Mr. HCI- but I do agree with AJ... there is a semantic problem with the word pride.

I think what AJs point is, which I agree with, is that your sexuality shouldn't be anything other than just another attribute of _you_ much like your height or eye color.

I think sometimes things like pride parades only help accentuate something that just shouldn't be a big deal. I understand why people do them, but I'm just not into it.


"preat" - a car that is the offspring of a fiat and a prius

Doomed but cheerful! said...

Fascinating! You did well to touch this particular nerve: thank you for your own forthright resolution; it is *your* blog, as you point out!

Have we all noticed the subtle differences in views, that I think might owe something to different generations' perceptions (I suspect you have representatives of at least three among your readers), and national/cultural differences.

Wouldn't it be great to watch out for a similar discussion in, say, 10 years. I wonder how it will go?

Better go now and check the tide table.

Anonymous said...

my 2p's worth...

first, not everyone that participates in the parade are flamboyant. having said that, i can only imagine that from a hetero's (and maybe gay, as well) perspective, it is the flamboyant characters that are worth taking a picture of, filming for the news, or talking about. the point is that the gay community is well represented in all facets, but only a few garner the attention. in my opinion, flamboyance shouldn't be suppressed. instead, the other facets (i.e. those you labelled "normal") should be emphasised.

now go out there and be a pink-loving, emo-lusting, awesome-blogging gayboy! now that you are out, you don't want to suppress the real you again. if you do you will regret later the years you lost from denying who you really are. there are plenty of these type of people out there. that sentence will sound arseholey to some readers, but there is a lot of truth to this.

good post!


mirrorboy said...

That is very true Razz. A journalist goes to report on the Gay Pride parade, and so has to find the gayest ones of them all. It makes much better television than a bunch of 'normal' people. :P

If only there were a way to put the others out there more....

Zee said...

There is one reason the stereotypes seem true. It is because the not flaming gay guys don't do anything about it. They tend to be the more reserved people who don't want to be associated with the idea of GAY. They don't want it to define them. Flamers at least have the balls to grab GAY by the horns. The stereotypes just get so much more air time because they want the airtime more than other gay people. Meanwhile those who defy the stereotypes never really broadcast themselves.

AJ, it is a minority thing. Ever other minority has a parade celebrating their heritage. The idea is celebrating that we have something to bring to America. That we (I say we because I am like a triple minority here in America) as a people have cut our own little niche in the American Epic. Also, I think minorities in general feel more like a community than White Americans. They feel success of one as if it is the success of the whole community.

BTW MB, you remind me of myself when I was your age (lol, it was only 4 years ago). Only you are little more gayer, braver, seem friendlier, are a better writer. I guess you aren't like me at all, lol. More power to you though.

Mr. HCI said...

I'm not a flamer but I have no problem being "associated with the idea of GAY" as it's what I am.

I'm not the in-your-face type but I also will mention my husband by name or by gender, if the situation is appropriate. For example:

acquaintance: Would you like some Tabasco for your eggs?


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be great to live in a world where being gay meant absolutely nothing. We probably wouldn't even need to have a Gay Pride.

There are still pockets in every country that still has 'The only gay in the village', places where someone might have to take a long bus ride out of town just to buy a copy of gay news, so that they can be reassured that they're not freaks.
The events of Stonewall was a landmark moment. One of the first times people finally said we're not going to take this anymore. And groups like Outrage and Peter Tachell might be in your face but they have in fact helped to advance the cause. Yet at the annual Pride Parade you would hardly notice them walking by. I guess it's the crowd in pink boa feathers and the g-stringed go-go boys that take our fancy.

But it's probably true as Zee said (above) that some will firmly stay in the closet for fear of being associated with the out and out stereotypes.
I remember growing up and hearing about Rock Hudson dying from Aids. I was kind of shocked. To me he seemed like your ultimate macho man. And then soon after I think Liberace went the same way. But we all knew he was gay. He was Camp personified. But he was forced to lie through his teeth to the media and his fans throughout his whole life.
Over here in the UK we've had a pop star that has apparently been in the charts since the late 1950's. He's a household name. They say he's been living with a man for ...oh years and years. He also hides behind the Christian faith. But his whole life is a big lie. What sort of a life is that. I mean it's all going to come out in the wash eventually.
Iv'e worked in places where coming out simply wasn't an option. You can forget promotion. You get home every night exhausted at the acting and pretence. And you wouldn't believe how many guys there are out there that are trapped in heteroville, stuck in false marriages for fear of coming out. But this should't be happening in 2008. It makes you think that we're not really advancing.

Is it really because many dont want to be associated with the typical gay stereotype?
Yet I laugh my head off at the camp comedians.
But Mr HCI I wonder if you've ever heard of the drag act The Dame Edna Experience? She is viciously funny and outrageous, more than the real Dame Edna.

But great post m/b. You've picked on a subject that was sure to create a lot of feedback.

Mr. HCI said...

UK pop star . . . Cliff Richard immediately popped into my head but I'm not sure exactly why. Is that to whom you are referring?

The "real" Dame Edna is hilarious, IMO. We saw her here a few years back and I laughed myself right into agony.

Anonymous said...

Mr HCO, Yeah thats right. Poor ol' Cliff. Well and truly locked in the closet. And like Liberace's fanbase.. the old bluerinse brigade, well they wouldn't dare entertain such thoughts.

Oh if only you saw the other Dame Edna. Her weekly Sunday tea time show at the South London Vauxhuall Tavern has almost become like a religious gathering. She has a vicious tongue and no subject is taboo. After about 40 minutes she rips off her wig then shouts out 'Oh F**k it, and breaks out into a demented impression of Kenneth Williams. The best drag act I ever saw. You simply have to keep ducking for fear of being soacked by beer swillers that are trying to laugh and swallow their drinks at the same time.

But what was it the real Dame Edna said the other year on New Years Day... Oh yes, 'My New Years resolution is to think just a little bit less about everyone else, but more about myself.'

Sphynx said...

i am afraid that it is not just your opinion it is truth. oh, and im the gun guy... sorry i got a bit carried away. but you are my newest best friend because of the fact that you can SEE. I hope that never changes.
the sphynx

Landyn said...

I agree with mboy on this one. Also with AJ.

haha love u
Landyn <3