Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

After the Homo Bowl but Still in the Locker Room

"If masculinity, in Freudian terms, is a heavily fortified citadel, gay men are inside that fortress, undermining its foundations from within by being male yet violating the official (read: heteronormative) rules of what it means to be a man in America. It's as if you got into the batsuit, only to find that the Joker was in there with you, naked and way too close for comfort."
-A perspective on American sports, high school gym class, Batman, the Super Bowl and the anxiety of those who can't stand to have those institutions questioned.

11 Comments / Post A Comment

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

This metaphor brought to you by a John Yoo brief.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Oh, silly, it's just boys who like to dress up pretty and touch each other real hard saying to all the guys who love to watch, "You CAN'T!"

Rod T (#33)

Try being a gay male that doesn't (and won't) fit homonormative constructs. It's far more desolate a landscape until you realize that most of those constructs are created and perpetuated by 'society', 'media', and, sadly, 'gays'.

oudemia (#177)

At the Chicago pride parade one year, there was a smallish group of guys walking behind a sign that said something like "Gay dudes who like heavy metal." And they, you know, just looked like dudes that like heavy metal, the kinda guys you might see buying Marlboro reds at Schaumburg White Hen at 1 am. They just marched steadily along and they weren't "fabulous" like drag queens or on a witty float with go-go boys, or making everyone cry like the PFLAG marchers. They were just some dudes who liked heavy metal were also part of the community. I loved them.

oudemia (#177)

Errata: Line three: that s/b who; "reds at *a* Schaumburg White Hen"; Line 6: "who liked heavy metal *and* were also . . .."


DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I don't think this is as bad as it used to be – although it may be generational, and therefore specific to certain age groups. Gays who feel more accepted and comfortable with straight friends have more close straight friends and don't conform to stereotypes as much as those whose close friends are predominantly also gay.

It's a social reinforcement thing: people who interact a lot start to act more alike over time. (Ever pick up a pattern of speech from a significant other? Same basic idea!) So I think as homosexuality becomes more acceptable in the mainstream, the pressure to fit 'homonormative constructs' (I think my diction centers just shut down) will ease.

riggssm (#760)

Thank you.

Rod, I am curious as to where you would place your writing on the continuum of 'homonormative constructs'; specifically, the Fire Island stories for Gawker and "The Pride".

I hope that doesn't sound snarky, because there's much there that I enjoyed, but I didn't see it as deviating too far from other depictions of sophisticated, city-dwelling gay men. (There were parts of each that read like Joe Keenan dialogue in an Andrew Holleran scene, and I say that as someone who likes both writers a great deal…)

deepomega (#1,720)

I didn't realize the joker was so lithe.

This sums up everything I feel and have thought about the fucking Super Bowl over the years. But not because I was victimized by jocks or was a nerd, but because I grew up in New York (although any large, diverse city will do) in a broad social circle of my friends and my parents' friends, of whom there were many gays and lesbians. When I found myself unexpectedly in a rural high school for my junior and senior years (it's a long story involving drugs and other bad behavior), it seemed plain as day that many of the so-called jocks were gigantic closet cases; a fact that Facebook had enabled me to confirm some twenty years later.

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