Bret Easton Ellis isn’t overly impressed with the lavender media’s insistence on whitewashing the sexually abnormal In the Reign of the Gay Magical Elves:
Was I the only gay man of a certain demo who experienced a flicker of annoyance in the way the media treated Jason Collins as some kind of baby panda who needed to be honored and praised and consoled and—yes—infantilized by his coming out on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Within the tyrannical homophobia of the sports world, that any man would come out as gay (let alone a black man) is not only an LGBT triumph but also a triumph for pranksters everywhere who thrilled to the idea that what should be considered just another neutral fact that is nobody’s business was instead a shock heard around the world, one that added another jolt of transparency to an increasingly transparent planet. It was an undeniable moment and also extremely cool. Jason Collins is the future. But the subsequent fawning over Collins simply stating he is gay still seemed to me, as another gay man, like a new kind of victimization. (George Stephanopoulos interviewed him so tenderly, it was as if he was talking to a six-year-old boy.) In another five years hopefully this won’t matter, but for now we’re trapped in the times we live in. The reign of The Gay Man as Magical Elf, who whenever he comes out appears before us as some kind of saintly E.T. whose sole purpose is to be put in the position of reminding us only about Tolerance and Our Own Prejudices and To Feel Good About Ourselves and to be a symbol instead of just being a gay dude, is—lamentably—still in media play.
The Gay Man as Magical Elf has been such a tricky part of gay self-patronization in the media that you would by now expect the chill members of the LGBT community to respond with cool indifference. The Sweet and Sexually Unthreatening and Super-Successful Gay is supposed to be destined to transform The Hets into noble gay-loving protectors—as long as the gay in question isn’t messy or sexual or difficult. The straight and gay sanctimoniousness that says everyone gay needs to be canonized when coming out still makes some of us who are already out feel like we’re on the sidelines. I’m all for coming out on one’s own terms, but heralding it as the most important news story of the week feels to me, as a gay man, well, kind of alienating. We are apart because of what we supposedly represent because of… our… boring… sexuality—oh man, do we have to go through this again? And it’s all about the upbeat press release, the kind of smiling mask assuring us everything is awesome. God help the gay man who comes out and doesn’t want to represent, who doesn’t want to teach, who doesn’t feel like part of the homogenized gay culture and rejects it. Where’s the gay dude who makes crude jokes about other gays in the media (as straight dudes do of each other constantly) or express their hopelessness in seeing Modern Family being rewarded for its depiction of gays, a show where a heterosexual plays the most simpering ka-ween on TV and Wins. Emmys. For. It?
I find the Saint Gay thing offensive myself, less because it is a societally damaging attempt to normalize the sexually abnormal, disease-ridden, and not-so-secretly self-loathing, and more because it is an insult to the intelligence of even the intellectually subnormal.
I always find the charge of homophobia from the likes of McRapey to be amusing because I’m far more comfortable around gays than most men are, and not in that fake, perma-smiling, I’m-liberal-so-I-MUST-be-tolerant, politically correct way. I worked at Dayton’s when I was fifteen. I was signed to a gay record label making electronic dance music. I’ve been accustomed to gay men making puppy dog eyes at me as long as I can remember and it doesn’t bother me in the least. Sexual attraction is a compliment and a form of flattery, after all; that’s why women constantly seek it from men towards whom they do not reciprocate it in any way.
Rabbits like McRapey are simply incapable of understanding the difference between the personal and the political, between the micro and the macro.
It is because I have known many gay men and I know the darker aspects of their psychological profiles and lifestyle that I have such contempt for the Saint Gay propaganda. Being homosexual is hard, not due to “Minority Stress” and other people making it hard, but because reality makes it hard. Some find it ironic that a number of those who have made It Gets Better videos subsequently killed themselves, but that’s exactly what one would expect. Gay Pride propaganda has killed far more young homosexuals than the largely mythical gay-bashing ever has; Pierre Tremblay presented a 2000 paper at San Diego State in which he noted: “Empirical data indicates that, to
the age of 16 or 17 years, the lifetime “suicide attempt” incidence for
HOM youth has risen about six-fold, from about 5 to 30 percent from the
1950s to the 1990s.”
Repeatedly beating the young over the head with the idea that something problematic is not only okay, but good, creates a fundamental cognitive dissonance between what they believe they are supposed to believe and what they actually believe. The Saint Gay approach is nothing more than magical thinking; I’ve exchanged a number of emails with the man I call The Gayfather, the self-proclaimed architect of the Gay is Good theme, and he readily admits that there is nothing empirical, scientific, or even philosophical about his theme. It’s simply a postulate. Gay is Good, ergo Gay is Healthy, ergo Gay is Moral, ergo Gay is Normal.
But calling RGB 255,255,255 black doesn’t actually change the color on your screen, no matter how many people you convince to follow your example. Such propaganda is not impotent, but neither is it capable of reshaping reality.
Coming out as homosexual should not be condemned nor should it be celebrated. It should be considered more like a diagnosis of diabetes; something that isn’t fatal in its own right, something that may or may not be curable, and something that won’t necessarily prevent the individual from living a reasonably happy, normal life if managed properly. Even if one doesn’t believe in the existence of sin or its wages, one should be able to grasp that the celebration of Saint Gay has been accompanied by a body count that considerably exceeds that of the dark days of the notorious closet and question its legitimacy on that basis.