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May 24, 2006

Comments

Yum Yum

In the article, he's quoted as saying he's gay.

1630r

Sure he's a cross dresser - you'd be one too if they banned you from the prom.

Jamie

BatMal and Robbie the boy wonder?

Another Gaymer

Second story link here.

He'd been cross-dressing every day for, like, a year of school.

And . . . fuschia??? Dayum, that would have to be a darn good dress, because I'd ban him too on the color alone. That's the cross-dressing equivalent of young adolescent males wearing aftershave named "Rampant" or some such.

Let me see your LGBTXYZ card now, pal.

Craig Ranapia

AG;

What's wrong with fuchsia? - I used to turn that colour all the time when I was drinking! :)

el polacko

i'm no fan of the alphabet soup, but it's a long way from gay to transgender. unfortunately, most str8 people still think gay means wanting to be a woman and dancing around in dresses, so it does no good for a news article to bolster that mis-conception.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

unfortunately, most str8 people still think gay means wanting to be a woman and dancing around in dresses, so it does no good for a news article to bolster that mis-conception.

Indeed. And where would they get an idea like that?

It's not just from news articles, of course...

If homos want to change that perception, it will require behvioral changes and different ideals, not just policing the language of others.

I'm just sayin'.

Tommy

"it will require behavioral changes and different ideals"

Whose?

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

Are you looking for that thing to disagree with me about, Tommy?

Well, my quick answer is that mainstream gay culture actively promotes effeminacy and makes drag queens its mascots, so its kind of hard to blame straight people for continuing to equate homosexuality with effeminacy and cross dressing.

As has been noted, I'm not a fan of activism. If homos want to be perceived differently, they have to behave differently. If they want to be perceived as swishy fags, and many are fine with that, they're doing fine. It's up to homos to behave as they want to be seen. That's a change that has to come from homos. You can't just tell people how to perceive you, you have to contradict their expectations and be the person you want to be seen as. Either they're happy with the way people see them or not.

Some of them are, some of them aren't. The ones who aren't happy with that have to change that on a personal level before they can change it on a public one. And they could do a few other things as well...but that's for another day.

Attmay

When I came out to my parents I didn't say "Mom, Dad, I'm LGBT".

These darned acronyms remind me of the old Sesame Street song "Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz," which Big Bird sang as if it were all one word.

Patrick

"It's the most incredible word I ever heard!" - I remember that song.

I don't think that gays "want" to be swishy, if they are indeed swishy. What I mean to say is they're just being themselves. I don't have a problem with that.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

I don't think that gays "want" to be swishy, if they are indeed swishy. What I mean to say is they're just being themselves. I don't have a problem with that.

Please...'if they are indeed swishy'...

Gays invented swishy, and their culture defines swishyness.

I don't have a problem with people being who they are, if that's who they really are. For some, it really is. No one should stop them from being that way. I do think others adopt that behavior in the process of gay socialization, or because they believe that's what homosexuality means.

Other homos aren't swishy at all. My point is that if they want to be perceived differently, they have to assert themselves as such, not merely ask to be perceived differently.

And I'll leave it at that.

Veera Patel

I think that it is absolutely unacceptable that the Principle banned Kevin from his senior prom. Whether or not someone is gay or straight, they have a right to be a part of society; it isn’t a crime to be transgender or gay.
Just today, I saw a transgender on my school campus for the first time. He was wearing heavy make-up and he brought a friend, who was obviously a man, but fully dressed as a girl. At first, my friends and I were absolutely shocked and decided to follow the couple around campus in order to find out if the girl really was a guy. I am not against them, it is just different when you actually see it.
However, no matter how different their appearance, there is no reason they should be banned from their senior prom… I feel like asking the principle “what if YOUR son was gay or transgender… would you accept him? Or banish him from your life???”
Gays and transgender individuals are citizens too; they deserve the same rights as any other human being.

el polacko

what the fuck is this rev. guy talking about ??? swishy drag queen mascots ?! boy.. that image has NOTHING to do with my life as a gay man. that's an ancient stereotype perpetuated by simply ignorant str8s and/or purposefully "anti-gay" bigots.
although ..hmmm.. i suppose that MIGHT be the 'gay scene' in some backwater burg that's stuck in the '50's .. in which case, my recommendation is to move the hell out of there.

Scott

I can't believe no one at the Sun-Times caught the misspelling of fuschia...

(Which apparently the AP did, as it appears correctly in the WaPo story.)

Scott

swishy drag queen mascots ?! boy.. that image has NOTHING to do with my life as a gay man. that's an ancient stereotype perpetuated by simply ignorant str8s and/or purposefully "anti-gay" bigots.
although ..hmmm.. i suppose that MIGHT be the 'gay scene' in some backwater burg that's stuck in the '50's

Actually, it's still a big part of gay life in many communities in the US. While groups such as the Imperial Court may be on a par with a lesbian biker chess club in very large cities, in many smaller ones, they are THE social (and sometimes political) outlet in those communities.

Scott

If homos want to be perceived differently, they have to behave differently. If they want to be perceived as swishy fags, and many are fine with that, they're doing fine. It's up to homos to behave as they want to be seen. That's a change that has to come from homos. You can't just tell people how to perceive you, you have to contradict their expectations and be the person you want to be seen as. Either they're happy with the way people see them or not.

This ties in well with a story I was going to share on another page, but which is just as valid here.

In another lifetime, when I was involved in organizing rallies for pride events, I sent out press kits for the event with tactful pleas to the attending media to recognize the rich diversity of our community and not focus solely on the drag queens, who always seem to appear in any coverage of any gay event since time immemorial. Nevertheless, most of the coverage, from the TV news packages to the print stories the next day usually had ample coverage of drag queens and their pearls of collected wisdom.

After a couple of years of being frustrated by the end result despite my futile attempts otherwise, epiphany finally struck and I realized that drag queens and cameras/reporters are like flies and shit: you just can’t keep them apart. Most drag queens would gladly break a heel or rip an expensive dress just to reach a camera in time to appear in front of it.

So, one can’t really blame the media for portraying something in an inaccurate or incomplete light when what they see is blocking their view of a bigger picture. Likewise, if you want to change the perception of GLBTQXYZ people as being one way or another, then it’s up to those people to not only make themselves available as alternative subjects to the exhibitionistic publicity hounds, but those hounds to be aware of the message they are sending and to step aside every once in awhile and let someone else shape the message. That said, you still can’t appear in a fuchsia dress and strappy heels and expect someone to see you as if you are in a tuxedo and patent leather shoes.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

that image has NOTHING to do with my life as a gay man.

It has nothing to do with my life either. But to say that it's not the public face of gayness is just silly. Gays perpetuate that image more than straights do. Turned on a TV lately? Been to a gay club/bar that wasn't part of the leather/bear scene? I've lived in major metropolitain areas all my life. Swishyness is very much still the status quo. Not just in Topeka. In West Hollywood, and every other major gay spot I've ever been to. There are exceptions, and these are the sorts of places I've frequented and the people I've gravitated to. But they're still very much the exceptions.

that's an ancient stereotype perpetuated by simply ignorant str8s and/or purposefully "anti-gay" bigots.

I'll agree with the ancient part. The stigma of effeminacy applied to homosexual men is deeply engrained in Western culture and has yet to be erased. Gay culture still perpetuates it.

Scott -

Most drag queens would gladly break a heel or rip an expensive dress just to reach a camera in time to appear in front of it.

Indeed. They are an attention-seeking bunch.

LikeOMGFab

Why put on a 3 foot wig, 7 inch heels, a pink mini skirt and black feather boa if you weren't an attention whore?

I like queens. They're fun.

Furthermore- Screw anyone who doesn't like it. Screw them right in the ear. Who gives a fig if that's what they think about us. We're sinners. We're sexless best friends. We're sodomites. I couldn't care less.

Screw all of this- I'm moving to Canada.

Yum Yum

Mal, I don't know what you're complaining about. In the article you linked to, he admits he is both gay and transgender.

That being said, I don't think his mother should have encouraged him. She shouldn't punish him either. It's just that she has a responsibility for raising her child in such a way that will maximize his survival.

anapestic

I don't understand your angle on this post, Robbie. The student wasn't allowed into the prom because he was a cross dresser, so the headline described him as a cross dresser. The article later describes him as gay and transgendered. So your beef here is that you imagine that someone is going to be up in arms because an abbreviation wasn't used? Are you upset that HRC hasn't done anything sufficiently boneheaded today for you to complain about, so you have to rail against outrage that hasn't even happened and probably won't happen? Do you truly believe that someone's going to write into the paper to complain that a gay transgendered high schooler wasn't referred to as GLBT or whatever?

This reminds me of the post about religion-based clothing labels in Iran. That was a fabricated story which you passed on and then didn't retract or clarify. There are plenty of things that actually happen that you can get outraged about; there's no need to make stuff up.

Robbie

Oh, I'm not complaining about the newspaper. I simply found their indifference towards parsing the various labels enforced by GLBT activists hilarious. I'm sure they meant well, but you know someone, somewhere is going to complain about it.

Even I've gotten these labels wrong, and there have been many a time I've been lectured that cross-dressing isn't the same thing as being transgendered, which certainly isn't the same thing as being gay. Considering how using these labels wrong has had people freak out before my very eyes, I just thought it was amusing the paper threw all kinds of terms in willy nilly, without a thought for the "official" use of the terms, as promoted by organizations like GLAAD. I very much had this article in mind while writing the post.

So, calm down. No outrage. I simply found it funny.

As for the Iran article, that's called laziness. I have about ten things for the blog I mean to do but haven't quite gotten around to yet. If it's bothering you ever so much, I'll fix it. Eventually.

Patrick

Please...'if they are indeed swishy'...

Gays invented swishy, and their culture defines swishyness.

I just meant that some gays aren't swishy. Some gays are. But gays are not showing out because they think that's "how you're supposed should be gay", they're just being their fabuloussssss selves. They don't want to be percieved differently, they are different. And I love them for it!

Tommy

In places with huge social pressures to conform (high school, small towns, rural communities, etc.) only the ones who either cannot conform or with truly unique senses of self, don't conform. I don't know if it was Aatom, but someone on this site I believe referred to these outre-types as something like our 'canaries in a coal mine.'

At any rate, Rev. Jack, I am sure it will come as no shock to you that I view it more like Carl Wittman in his 1970 "Gay Manafesto" (which we have discussed before):

"Gay ‘stereotypes’: The straight’s image of the gay world is defined largely by those of us who have violated straight roles. There is a tendency among ‘homophile’ groups to deplore gays who play visible roles - the queens and the nellies. As liberated gays, we must take a clear stand. 1) Gays who stand out have become our first martyrs. They came out and withstood disapproval before the rest of us did. 2) If they have suffered from being open, it is straight society whom we must indict, not the queen."

Michael

AMEN Tommy..thank you..I started to expect to see the words "straight acting" interjected somewhere.

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