Monday, August 23, 2004

Hell hath no fury like a poofter one-upped in the sainthood stakes

Gay men make bad winners – put us in a competition (and Australian reality TV is a classic example), and watch us alienate the rest of the field, well before any approaching-the-finishing-line nerves could possibly be claimed in mitigation.

Winning – as in being the best performer over the whole race – is strictly for wusses and plodding straights; gay men time their peak at about a third of the way in, and then simply expect to hold-by-right pole position from then on. We’re good, and we know it; so fuck off, straights – you really don’t want to see my high dudgeon hit the stratosphere, do you? DO YOU? . . . See, I told you not to stereotype my behaviour as a poofter’s hissy-fit – look who’s crying now, eh?

This general point was well-made in a recent article by Troy Gurr in one of Melbourne’s gay rags*:

It’s becoming painfully apparent that gay couples shouldn’t be allowed to renovate on television. Actually, maybe they just shouldn’t be allowed to compete in renovation television, since none of this carry-on occurs on “DIY Rescue”. There it’s all pastels and good teeth. When we’re involved, it’s gaudy faucets and a hostile work environment.

I blame gay rights. It’s led to a snotty little entitlement thing, and we’re walking around saying things like “Don’t try and oppress me with that wallpaper. My relationship is valid and floral prints are just part of your heterosexual hierarchy.” We won’t be trifled with anymore. We’re competitive, which is ugly on us. We’re there to be role models (heaven forbid we were just there to make money and be on TV), and we tend to lose our cool when there are other couples who are prettier than us. We’ve been on the outer too often, and it’s someone else’s turn. And well find a way to do it.

We think we’re so smart, that’s our problem. Too savvy for the media who are trying to catch us out, trying to paint us as villains. Constantly worried about how we’ll be portrayed, we behave badly to pre-empt it, become the villains we’re expected to be. It’s almost like a type of defense mechanism. We’re so used to the fight.

Gurr was writing particularly about three gay couples on reality TV: Richard & Steven on “The Block 2”, Gav & Waz on “The Block 1”, and Brett & Jeff on “The Hothouse”. Since I only caught a few minutes in total of the former two shows, and a couple of hours of the latter, I can’t really corroborate the factual specifics behind his arguments. I’m tempted to say that maybe it’s only a gay couple thing – but then there’s the example of Johnnie Cass from “Big Brother 1”.

In any case, this piece in today’s Age adds reams of hard evidence. What on earth is Phil Quin trying to say? That he handled telling his wife that he was gay better than New Jersey Governor, James McGreevey did recently? Whoo-hoo for you, Phil. And all done without the benefit of skilled speechwriters – gee, that alone deserves a gold medal pour tu, tout de suite.

As for precisely what McGreevey's cynical “political gain” was, I’m puzzled. Putting the extremely worst spin on the story – yes, it’s possible that McGreevey resorted to using his ole dick-o-meter when making a key staff appointment. And?

I’m sure that this factor made the situation so-o-o much worse for McGreevey’s wife – her husband not only being a closet poof, but a sleazy one, to boot. Heavens, the latter detail must have caused Mrs McGreevey all the extra trauma of, say, her great broken nail fiasco at the 1978 school science fair.

What is the act of a callous bastard is Phil Quin’s article – when shorn from its embarrassing political naïveté, it is just drama-princess pettiness incarnate. I hope you feel better for shooting your wad at this point, Phil – the rest of us were kind of hoping that you’d at least make it to the starting blocks first. Oh, and as you stand up there on the podium of I Am So-o-o Right gay sainthood, just make sure that you squash the fingers of the clambering pretenders to the dais, good’n’proper. Under my calculations, only about 99% of world poofterdom have equal, if not better right to your premature and self-awarded medal.

* Troy Gurr “Making a mountain out of a molehill: or Why Can’t You Play Nicely With the Other Kids?” MCV 30 July 2004 (no URL)

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?