The internet is ruining my life. If I am to believe what the internet tells me, as a queer man I should want to be married. Marriage will save me from myself. It will complete me. Once my love is recognized by the State, I may visit my husband in a hospital. I may guarantee the seamless inheritance of assets. Marriage, I am told, is hygienic and prevents disease. And though some states may not want me to adopt children, many lovely people would support my wish to do so, because the children are our future. If I believe what I read on the Huffington Post Gay Voices, my life will have looked something like this: I was born among a foreign people. They didn’t understand me, and so I was sent to school to be bullied. I would come home in tears and think about suicide, but after seeing an earnest video I would learn “It gets better,” and despite the confusion of that indefinite pronoun, I understand that I should find my way to a city where I will discover my LGBTQetc. ethnicity. Gay Pride, brought to you by Budweiser and Absolut Vodka will be my new favorite holiday. If I wanted to join the military and help keep the terrorists from winning, and make a touching video that will go viral in which I come out to my father while looking totally adorable, I can do that too and fear no repercussions. Welcome to progress!
If I am to believe what I see on Bravo TV, we homos are best when we are renovating, revising, making it work, or critiquing a dress made of garbage bags and birdseed, or fashioning the seamless tastefulness of Martha’s farm—our Witch Queen who has got rid of all the men but us. We are told we should pity poor Anderson Cooper when his impossibly hot boyfriend is photographed making out with another dude in the park. Poor Andy! We know to lash out at Azealea Banks when she calls Perez Hilton (one of us!!) a “messy faggot,” even though he is, you know, a messy faggot. And we reserve special venom for Jodie Foster, locked for years in Hollywood’s panic room, publicly declaring herself in a speech as incoherent as Nell—TAY INA WEEN! She did it wrong! Fuck her!!
Is this who we are and want to be? If so I, for one, am no longer gay. The word has emasculated us long enough. I will not be a handmaid, will not renovate, will not help you mate with your dowdy spouse. My place is in the margin—at the edges of things—where the grass (beautiful uncut hair of graves) gets long and the shadows afford us some privacy. I do not want your army, want no one in jail for calling me a faggot (did I just commit a hate crime when I said “faggot?”) Being a homo is not an ethnicity. I will explore my gay shame. If I could I would send us back to a time when we fought for liberation, not for privileges meted out to the most privileged among us. I will not marry. I will not come out. I was not born this way, but built my queerness like a soul. I am no longer gay.
"Not queer like gay. queer like, escaping definition. Queer like some sort of fluidity and limitlessness at once. Queer like a freedom too strange to be conquered. Queer like the fearlessness to imagine what love can look like… and pursue it."
If a young woman in middle school or high school hangs up a poster of Barack Obama in her room, this is seen as acceptable. It’s fine for women to admire men and want to be like them.
If a young man (the same age) hangs up a poster of Hillary Clinton in his room, this is seen as odd (maybe even troubling, is he gay? Oh no!).
Society tells us young men can’t think of women as role models, unless they’re a family member, whereas young women can admire and seek to emulate anyone, regardless of gender.
If you’re a young man, and if you have a poster on your wall with a woman, she had better be half-naked in a bikini, even if the Ronald Reagan or Gen. Patton poster next to it obviously features the man fully-clothed.
Young men are not to taught to think of women as role models. They are taught to think of them as either family members or sexual objects. There is no other category presented.