Chris Crocker | Gay Youth | News

Real Bitch Island, the World of Chris Crocker

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You may have watched some of the videos I've posted of Chris Crocker. Crocker has, to say the least, a unique personality, and has developed a massive YouTube and MySpace following because of his often nonsensical, sometimes hilarious, spontaneous musings made before a video camera in his home.

What was not known before now was much about the person behind the videos. Eli Sanders at The Stranger was so intrigued he made a trip to Crocker's hometown, a place Chris likes to call "Real Bitch Island". It's a small town in the rural south.

What Sanders found was less of an egomaniacal YouTube star with attitude, and more of a desperate but hopeful gay boy whose experiences in his home town illustrate the plight that many young gay people face in small towns across the country — loneliness, harassment, isolation.

Sanders writes of a trip to the local mall with Crocker: "As we walked around, past the Sunglass Hut, past the pushy smells of scented candles and baking cookies, people stared hatefully at us, and mostly at him. They stared hard, with the kind of presumed right to glare that people in more sophisticated places wouldn't dare show. Chris ignored it all, checked out the cover of the latest W magazine at a bookstore, pronounced it boring, and then nonchalantly showed me the mall video arcade whose back room he'd hid in when, one day while shopping, he'd heard a girlfriend of his shout: 'Run, Chris!' He'd turned around, that day at the mall, to see a gang of boys chasing him down, coming at him over the beige tiles. He knew he couldn't stand and fight and win. He knew that was only a fantasy, perhaps suitable for a web video but not for real life. He ran."

The difference between some gay kids who are bullied in small towns is that Crocker has found his connection to the outside world in the form of the internet, which he hopes will be his ticket out. I hope it happens for him.

Before you read Sanders' excellent piece, I'd urge you to familiarize yourself with some of Crocker's videos, like the ones here. More can be found here as well.

Escape from Real Bitch Island [the stranger]
Chris Crocker [youtube]

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Comments

  1. Xavier, which 'South are you speaking of? Mexico? Since you are stereotyping-I thought I might as well too.

    Btw, how did you get that superb education in the poor, redneck ignorant South to earn that edumacatshun to a bigun Northun city?

    I'm glad you left the South. I did as well with, but made sure I came back after med school. I just wished everyone believed the way you do-and stop moving to the South. Since we have the highest percentage of upper population growth in the country, I guess they don't feel as you do.

    Posted by: otto | May 31, 2007 12:06:50 PM


  2. " he can easily leave his small southern town behind for more tolerant places "
    What?? I grew up outside of DC (hardly small town or southern), but at 19 I didn't have a CLUE about how to support myself. My father CHOSE my major at college as the only way he'd pay for it and I couldn't even perceive of going against him. I didn't come out until I was 27 and he immediately demanded that my entire family break off all ties with me...I was dead to him. I watched my nuclear family explode before my eyes at 27 and can't even fathom what I'd have done if it occurred at 19 and I couldn't support myself or hadn't built up a support system of friends.

    I'm always amazed at younger people today having the guts to admit to themselves and the world that they're gay and not hiding. I say more power to him and I hope, when he's ready, he can leave these neanderthals in his dust.

    Posted by: dcguy | May 31, 2007 12:27:52 PM


  3. Is it Huntsville? Oh my. Here I was thinking it was some back water town like Gordo or Hanceville....but Huntsville?

    Huntsville claim to fame is it's NASA facilities. Huntsville is NOT an uneducated, intolerant hell hole.

    Look, just about any small city is going to be hell to most teenagers who see greener pastures elsewhere. I don't fault this kid for feeling that way because it's quite common.

    But he is, after all, 19 and starved for attention. I admire him for his creativity and his spirit but some of the comments here (both negative AND positive) seem to be painting him as something he probably isn't.

    Huntsville? Really?

    Posted by: mark m | May 31, 2007 12:28:01 PM


  4. I have mixed feelings about his rant against "masculine" gay guys and those who tend to be attracted to them. On the one hand, I think he has a valid point that it takes true guts for feminine guys to be themselves, but I don't think the answer is to uphold them as the model of the "True Homosexual," or to vilify those gay males who *don't* exhibit stereotypically gay mannerisms. Not every conventionally masculine gay male is adopting a macho pose to disguise his sexuality. And while it may be harder for "effeminate" gay males growing up, it's arguably less difficult for them later on (when they get out and find other Queer people) because their visibility forms, as Crocker rightly puts it, the "backbone of the gay community."

    Have you ever seen Carson Kressley's and Harvey Fierstein's children's books? They're geared toward "proto-gay" boys characterised by their "fabulousness," who are isolated as children but grow up to find communities of similarly fabulous individuals. I don't think we'll be seeing any similar picture books designed to reassure non-"fabulous" young gay boys that they're okay anytime soon. Growing up gay is a trying experience for anyone, whether you're carrying a handbag or a football.

    Posted by: Marc | May 31, 2007 12:33:15 PM


  5. I'll give everyone a hint. We have already established that it is in SC. It is neither a beach, or an island. Discuss. BTW-I am not Chris-so carefull on the emails.

    Posted by: otto | May 31, 2007 12:38:11 PM


  6. Ugh, I don't find him funny at all.. just annoying as all hell.

    I'd feel so much worse for him if he weren't so freaking annoying. And I agree with other replies: he's not helpless. He can leave the area, if he wants. I know how hard and difficult that is, but it's not impossible to save a little starting-off money and to pack it up and leave. Heck, there are even fairly tolerant areas in the South if he wanted to stay in that region of the country.

    Posted by: Ryan | May 31, 2007 12:45:44 PM


  7. Yes he's annoying....He's 19!! I don't care how effiminate or masculine you were at that age, we were ALL annoying. It's as natural as being gay.

    Posted by: dcguy | May 31, 2007 12:49:57 PM


  8. Oh, I do know the South, Otto. Allentown, GA. Which was even bigger than other towns around. And you may have mistaken my handle by my real name. My handle here is the name of my university. Oh, the stereotyping.
    And hopefully Crocker will be able to get his startup money and leave SC soon and post here to let us know how he's doing...

    Posted by: xavier | May 31, 2007 12:54:09 PM


  9. True DCGUy... But we didn't have YouTube to document just how annoying we were... And THANK GOD. I shudder to think what images from my youth would still be floating out there for all the world to view.

    Posted by: mark m | May 31, 2007 12:54:29 PM


  10. hey chris crocker, want to leave the south? start making a big rock into small rocks. use some of the energy you make videos with to develop a plan and a timeline. if nyc, for example, is your goal, find out what the cost of living is, http://www.bestplaces.net/col/. do you have the means to go to a smaller town (smaller/more affordable than ncy, but bigger and more gay friendly than your home town) and use that as a stepping stone to your dream town? is it possible to get a second job (if you don't have a 1st job, get one), maybe 20hrs a week, and save that money for your move? breakdown your situation into smaller more doable steps, it may take some time, but if it is what you want go for it. best of luck.

    Posted by: bp | May 31, 2007 12:57:41 PM


  11. Yikes. He spends half of one of those videos attacking every gay man that has ever used the words "flamer" or "queen" to describe an effeminate gay man because it's discriminatory, but then spends the second half of the video viciously attacking more masculine gay men. What a queen.

    Posted by: Aaron | May 31, 2007 12:58:30 PM


  12. At 19, people are in radically different places in their lives depending on their situation. If this kid is finding his own inventive way through it, more power to him. I know at 19 I wouldn't have been willing to try supporting myself, either, but many people do.

    I don't really find his clips very entertaining, but hey, lots of people seem to enjoy them - so he's certainly spreading more joy around America than I am.

    Posted by: karashi | May 31, 2007 12:59:02 PM


  13. Xavier hit it right on the head.

    unapologetically, flamingly queeny

    I wouldn't be surprised to find out some of the guys who chased him down in the mall to bash him were gay themselves and were not reacting to his gayness but rather his queenyness. I admit my own aversion to nelliness and queenyness. It is something that I need to work on. I wonder how many on here are reacting the way they are becuase of this kids queenyness though they are trying to cover it up with defending the honor of the south crap.

    Oh, Alabama last election voted (the majority of the people) to not remove segregation from the state constitution though Fed law nullifies it. in other words epmty powerless words of ignorant ass red neck racism were voted to be kept in the state constitution. That is just one example of the problems of the south and how it has NOT progressed as far as some on here are trying to claim (yeah yeah, I know alabama is not the entire south, but all you need is 1 example to blow the South is Great hypothesis out of the water)

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | May 31, 2007 1:02:10 PM


  14. POB,

    It's like when you come from a crazy family. You love them but some of them are clearly a problem. You are the first to admit your family has problems. But when someone who did not grow up in your family starts spouting off about how worthless they all are, you get defensive. It's a natural instinct.

    I will be the first to admit that the south lives up to many of the negative stereotypes, but in many ways the south also surprises and continues to evolve. So unless you live here, don't paint the entire region with the brush you were just about to...

    y'all have a good one now :)

    Posted by: mark m | May 31, 2007 1:09:34 PM


  15. I feel for any kid who feels alienated/alone. I guess my other thought is that I wish antidiscrimination laws for gays and lesbians had been the primary focus of the gay movement in the past few years-- not "gay marriage." It's not just the symbolism of the being equal under the law, but also the fact that these laws provide people a means, however imperfect, to actually fight injustice. Once folks start knowing that it's illegal to treat people differently, some of them (even those that hate us) might refrain from chasing a boy through the mall.

    Posted by: Brandon | May 31, 2007 1:14:46 PM


  16. PacificOceanBoy: Chris Crocker's story and the comments here have absolutely nothing to do with any legislation in Alabama. This is about real people's reaction to another human being, no matter how different he may seem. You'd be surprised at how tolerant and friendly folks in the south can be if you'd just get past your outdated stereotype.

    Posted by: chrisb | May 31, 2007 1:19:20 PM


  17. pacific ocean boy...don't be so selective in your claims about assholedness...there have been anti-gay marriage and other ammendments in states like colorado, california, ohio, michigan, etc etc etc...you can't write off one region in such a close-minded way. if you are going to make your case against the south by citing legislation, then you have to cite it all...sorry, but your case is weak.

    Posted by: dan | May 31, 2007 2:06:17 PM


  18. ChrisB - I can't keep quiet anymore. "Tolerant and friendly the South can be..."

    Tolerance in the South is "I'm not racist, I have a black friend." It's "i'm not a homophobe, I just believe in what the Bible tells me." Southerners have gotten smarter about how to hide their hate and their intolerance. They still don't love and appreciate different races and cultures. Teens are still killed for being Gay. Parents are sending their kids to "DeGAYification Camps."

    Alot of these comments are hateful and ignorant. There may even be some internalized oppression in this thread.

    And before I go, I wasn't able to get out of the South until I was 22, only from a scholarship and middle-class privileges I was born into.

    Posted by: Evan L. | May 31, 2007 2:20:24 PM


  19. Mark M is right. And damn, you Southerners are the most defensive people about your region of the country that I've ever encountered. I'm not saying that all areas of the country don't have problems, they do, but when somebody shines a flashlight on areas you'd rather not discuss openly, you guys go get the gun to shoot out their eyes.

    Posted by: Dono | May 31, 2007 2:38:08 PM


  20. Ahhh Evan, I can't decide if you're a genius or a simpleton... somehow you managed to make a comment about other people's hatred and intolerance by spewing your very own brand of hatred and intolerance. Brilliant!

    If I recall, Matthew Shepard was killed in Wyoming. Intolerance and bigotry exist everywhere in the good ol' USA. Not just in the south. But thank god you escaped.

    Posted by: chrisb | May 31, 2007 2:42:05 PM


  21. Wow Chris. Are we already at name calling?

    And you are damn right I am intolerant to the South's hateful ways. I do have some Southern Pride, but not when it comes to the South's intolerant ways and I can only assume how far removed you must be to defend the South by saying how tolerant it can be.
    I wholeheartedly agree that bigotry exists everywhere in the US. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Posted by: Evan L. | May 31, 2007 3:05:44 PM


  22. Last night on Mind of Mencia

    He summed up the south perfectly in reference to civil war enactments, "They celebrate a war they lost....."

    Sums it all up right there.

    :-)

    To destroy a hypothesis all you need is one example. hypothesis = the south is progressing 1 example= Alabama voters continue to enshrine "seperate but equal" in state constitution.

    Hell chris B we all know the entire world is homophobic, but it is the south which likes to cling to the 17th century hatred of racism. The rest of america and the world has at least updated their hate just a bit.


    The south = red states = per the GAO Government Accountability Office (investigative arm of Congress) says red state south has higher rates of out of wedlock births, higher rates of abortion,
    higher rates of high school drop outs, higher rates of poverty, higher rates of welfare recipients, etc.

    That this is reported on the entire south, and that report came out when the GAO was controlled by a repub red stater congress (people who would want to color over the failings of their constituents)says a lot.

    Hell they voted Bush 2 times, that tells you a lot about the south.

    Then again my own cracker lint headed Gerorgia penal colony debtor ancestors did contribute to making crazy me so there are glimmers of coo coo coolness there.

    I still think much of the hate towards this kid is of the kind that likes to use the self hating word "straightacting". The kid is queeny and nellie and that disturbs many. Though the "straightacting" guys (as vs Butch and Masculine words using guys) need to realize that sucking dick is not a straght action.

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | May 31, 2007 4:34:44 PM


  23. Did you just quote Mind of Mencia? Seriously?

    Posted by: chrisb | May 31, 2007 4:51:23 PM


  24. LOL

    chris B Yes I did

    :-)

    seriosuly though

    "The only people to celebrate a war they lost......."

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | May 31, 2007 5:03:06 PM


  25. Let's see I'm Southern and I have never celebrated the Civil War, nor has anyone in my family (of about 100 strong) nor have any of my Southern friends, nor have any of my Southern classmates nor....

    Hmmmm, that Mind of Mencia quote isn't winning you the argument POB. Reject stereotypes. It's the path to enlightment.

    Posted by: mark m | May 31, 2007 5:13:43 PM


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