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View Diary: Homophobic Slurs Are OK If You Don't Mean Them (280 comments)

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  •  Who is this someone (5+ / 0-)

    who thinks that is how gay-friendly people look?

    And whence comes that stereotype?

    •  I'd ask "Finnagen the Poet" about that one ... (6+ / 0-)


      Finnegan the Poet is a bisexual queer American expatriate Poet, Writer and Performance Artist of Afro-Caribbean, Irish & Cuban decent. Originally from NYC he is currently on tour and based in Amsterdam. These days Finnegan can be seen in performance monthly at Amsterdam's 'ABC Treehouse', his latest work is 'Poetry Is Not a Sickness'.
      He knows the story ... and might even be able to name the name of the staffer at the Coalition who chose this particular "Goodwill Ambassador."  

      I don't know if you've ever been to an ActUP meeting, or a General Assembly at an LBGTetc. Community Center.  There ARE "types" on which stereotypes can be based, of course.

      Unfortunately, on this occasion "someone"  (probably NOT Rev. Jackson) decided that this type " a cross between a young Pee Wee Herman and a younger Richard Simmons -- except sort-of Black, and not so energetic" would be EXACTLY who a mixed bag of PWAs and AIDS activists would best respond to.  

      (Or maybe this guy was the only Coalition volunteer willing to set foot in The NYC L/G Center -- )

      •  I think exploration of this could be (5+ / 0-)

        worth a diary.

        In some ways, the stereotype reinforces itself, because we see "gay" where we think it is. In this way, I think, it is much more like Jewishness than Blackness among the stigmatized groups. With exceptions, of course, it is easier to tell if someone is Black than if he/she is Jewish or gay.

        The heuristics of this could be very interesting.

        •  "THE" stereotype ? "Interesting heuristics?" (0+ / 0-)


          the stereotype reinforces itself, because we see "gay" where we think it is.
          is so wrong in so many ways ,  it would take more than a Diary to set it straight (sic.) I'd say a semester of Gay Studies at the graduate level might not cover the topic.

          Stereotypes are ALSO reenforced, of course, because "we" do NOT "see gay" that doesn't fit the published specifications.  ("Liberace, maybe ... but Superman ???)

          FWIW  AAs and Jews learn HOW to signal their group-belonging from their families and communities from earliest childhood. Either may expend a lot of effort to "lose the accent"  Gay men and Lesbians acquire their signaling mechanisms  later in life from age-peers and entertainment media ... like Masons and Police Officers -- and often have to expend a lot of effort to ACQUIRE the accent.

          Now, there's probably a generation thing at work here:  When I was growing up, making yourself visible on gaydar took a certain amount of conscious imitation of adult role models  (So ... do you think you're more like Rock Hudson or more like Paul Lynd? Rudolph Valentino or  Charles Atlas ? J. Edgar Hoover or Alexander the Great ?  Eleanor Roosevelt or Amelia Earhart  ? Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Josephine Baker ? )

          In general you couldn't go wrong with "well spoken, well groomed and slender"  -- adding a "sibilent S" for evening wear.    

          That's exactly where the Coalition screwed up.  Someone thought there WAS a single stereotype  (all gays look and sound like the music director of a gospel choir) ... and that an ActUP general assembly would would think it was  just fabulous that Coalition would entrust this delicate mission to "someone like that."

          Today, thanks to electronic meeting media "the affectations" and public "cruising grounds" are probably going the way of celluloid political buttons and newspaper classifieds.

          "Who would have thought" that  straight "friends from school, work and church " would EVER be matchmaking for gay and lesbian mutual acquaintances ?

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