Wednesday, June 27, 2007
An oracular commenter on my "Gay Pride" post suggested, in a not-altogether-friendly way, that I should carve out my own little chunk of the so-called gay community and make a place where I would feel I belonged.
He described it as a group of "highly-educated, man-focussed, fun-loving, political extremists".
Now why didn't I think of that?
So, guys, where are you?
at 1:08 PM
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Christopher Hitchens pulls no punches and puts it nicely today.
I repeat my continuing experience here in SF, that while American Christian Republicans are regularly spoken of with horror and/or contempt, I have never once heard a word spoken in anger against the Muslim jihad and its minions.
Armistead Maupin's new book, Michael Tolliver Lives, is peppered with the most depressingly vain and puerile knee-jerk moralisms about Bush, Iraq, etc. The only Muslim character in the book is a faceless attendant at the old people's home where Tolliver's unforgiven mother is dying. Though never suffering any ill effects, he is cast as an innocent victim of American paranoia.
More on this book another time. I was a painful reading experience for me. And the Tales of the City series once had the feel for me of gay scripture.
Note the slip above. I meant to write, "It was a painful reading experience for me." I think I wrote what it really felt like. Later.
at 7:39 AM
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I remember how I turned gay.
It was back around 1979. I had always been attracted to men and by that time had had the experience of sex, and of lovemaking, with a man. But I didn't think of myself as gay because, to me, that meant effeminacy. I was not John Wayne. After all, I was a tall skinny intellectual and no athlete. But I was a guy and had no wish to lose that sense of myself in order to enter some gender limbo with limp-wristed hairdressers or birdlike prissy old queens who called each other "Mary". It never made sense to me. If men are what you love and admire, why turn yourself into a sloppy imitation of a neurotic woman?
Anyhoo. I watched a TV drama mini-series ---remember when the "mini-series" was something of an event?-- set in the days of Germany's becoming Nazi. The fate of the Jews figured prominently, including a major character who was a totally assimilated German Jew. As the story progressed, or degenerated, I realized that this man had made himself as like unto his Teutonic neighbors as possible, but in the end, they carted him off to the camps with the dirty shtetl-dwelling peasants and shopkeepers who kept to the old halakic ways. Dress 'em up, dress 'em down, they were still kikes.
So it came to me in a moment of strange insight that whether I was a masculine guy who just happened to be attracted to members of my own gender, or a nelly queen...dress us up, dress us down....as far as the world was concerned, we were still all faggots. I may as well get used to it. That's when my homosexual desire became the basis for a social identity. I turned gay.
I have gone through a lot since then. My homosexuality has massively restructured my life. It has caused me significant suffering and it has been the occasion for some of the most blazingly beautiful moments of my existence. And as I get older, my desire for and attraction to and...this is crucial...my appreciation for men has seemed to me even more deeply a pillar of who I am. I am unthinkable to myself, unrecognizable, without that. It is as fundamental to me as my gender.
Yet, in the last several years I have felt more distant from...well, let's say more "loosely attached to".... the visible gay community than I have at any time since 1979. My review of and reactions to Jack Malebranche's Androphilia, as well as my earlier postings on "What's Wrong With Homosexuality" detail why. A deeply-thankful-to-God-for-it homo I am. But a member of the "LGBT etc." community?....nah. I'll pass.
For fifteen years plus, I have lived smack dab (what the hell, btw, is a "smack dab"?) in the middle of the most famous gay ghetto in the world, the Castro in San Francisco. Last night and today, the place will be hopping...and skipping and jumping. The huge rainbow flag at the Harvey Milk Plaza is visible almost as soon as I leave my front door.
Regardless of my shifting opinions about gay politics and about the deep ambivalence over masculinity among gays, I still look at this sea of fellow-perverts with affection.
I remember the years in which I lived in a state of almost constant anxiety and fear, where a sense of self-loathing, self-disgust and horror could be provoked inside me...and I see this place where I now live. For all its craziness....I am deeply grateful for it. Had I been born in a different place and time...I shudder at the thought.
As they say now among the post-gay androphiles, there's no sense in being proud about being gay. It's just a form of desire and no accomplishment. Well, yes and no. Having the passion for your own gender is surely no accomplishment. It's a gift ;-). But overcoming the shame and fear that usually accompanies it....that is an accomplishment. It saved my soul.
So...Happy Gay Pride Day!
at 7:51 AM
Friday, June 22, 2007
One of the most insidious slogans of the Left is: The personal is political. On the surface, it sounds like a call for integrity. But it is actually a recipe for totalitarianism. Watch the story of gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in "Before Night Falls". It's all there.
Of all the men I know, or have met of late, only one of them shares anything like my political viewpoint. The rest, with few exceptions, are all ordinary liberals or even self-described lefties. Yet, if I discern in them the kind of character that I like, it does not stop me from getting to know them. Some have even become friends. Or more. Of course, they have to be the same kind of man, that is, they have to be able to accept me despite my troglodytic views on The Great Questions Of The Day.
This is an odd and, to me, wonderful capacity. It is odd because it makes us so inconsistent. I voted for the currently hapless George Bush, and would do it again, given the same choices. ( Choice? What choice?) Most men I know carry a visceral hatred for him. But the ones whom I connect with and who do not make agreement on this subject a requirement for connection...this is intriguing.
What would happen under stress is anyone's guess. I don't like to think about it. Sarajevo. The American War Between The States.
I have had rifts with beloved men over politics. It is achingly awful and always feels stupid. But it is humanly logical. Maybe I am feeling Freudian today, but the triumph of love over ideology strikes me as something numinous. The dear love of comrades.
at 7:07 AM