Comments

  1. reality 101 says

    Very very smart video.

    I experience this more and more with 20something gays – which is fine except that being closed minded makes you miss somethings great – and one of the great things about gay culture is being OPEN to things that “uncool”!

    BRAVO YOUNG MAN

  2. jim says

    thats awesome. Way back in the day my mom and I had a “Barbara Week” …Funny Girl, Yentl, A Star Is Born, On A Clear Day… it was great!

  3. Rob V says

    Youing guys can be stupid. I never was. The icons are icons for a reason. Dude, watch “What’s Up, Doc?” She is gorgeous and hysterical.

  4. Rick says

    I have never, ever understood the gay male obsession with some straight female entertainers and their “iconization” of them. Where does it come from? What are those of you who do the iconizing relating to that you seem incapable of relating to in another gay man, much less a straight man, or even a lesbian. I don’t get it–not because I want to appear “butch” by saying I don’t get it, but simply because I really and truly don’t. Can someone explain it to me? And while you are at it, explain to me why so many of you also express such hostility towards me or any other gay man that actually does like football or other sports, again, not because we want to appear “butch” but simply because we like them, presumably for the same reasons straight men (and many women) like them. I dare anybody to give an honest answer…..

  5. says

    Who’s expressing hostility, Rick? I like punk rock. I like rugby and baseball. I also enjoy Barbra Streisand. Why? Why not? I think her voice is superb, the message of the film YENTL is profoundly emotional, and she’s spent decades, DECADES, being a champion of the LGBT Community, especially in a time when it was unpopular to do so.

    “What are those of you who do the iconizing relating to that you seem incapable of relating to in another gay man, much less a straight man, or even a lesbian.”

    -You’re projecting. None of us are incapable of relating to another, we’re showing that we’re also capable of relating to this.

    I’m not sure what answer you’re looking for, Rick. You don’t understand why some of us relate to a person’s art. Ok. I can’t understand why someone like you can’t like football AND Barbra Streisand. I don’t see why it has to be one or the other.

    I’m not sure what it is about certain female icons that you’re not understanding. Are you unaware of their long histories of championing the LGBT Community? Are you simply not one that enjoys certain kinds of art or performance?

    I have no issue with guys who like football or sports or anything. I just think it’s odd when a guy goes out of his way to let everyone know that he’s “not into stereotypical gay diva icons”

    Seems indicative of insecurity, to me….

  6. Matt26 says

    Very nice and cute. And so gay. I did that, too (with Barbra and Patti LuPone) and still do. The first time I know I am not alone in this.
    @Little Kiwi, I agree, good post.

  7. says

    to be clear, Rick: i also relate to the music and work of David Bowie. Morrissey. The Ramones. Annie Lennox. Melanie Safka.

    Judy. Barbra. Madonna. Cyndi Lauper. Bjork. David Byrne & Talking Heads. Linda Ronstadt. Lena Horne (LEGENDS LIVE FOREVER!)

    It’s odd that you feel that those of us who like Barbra are “incapable of relating to in another gay man, much less a straight man, or even a lesbian”, that’s an utterly incorrect assumption.

    I’d wonder what it is about you that is stopping you from being able to relate to women who have been “iconized” by some in the gay community…..

    …sounds sorta like what this video is talking about, eh?

  8. Rick says

    Little Kiwi:

    Name anyone who is not a heterosexual female that would be considered a “gay icon”. I don’t think you really can and that speaks volumes–I mean, at this point, there are plenty of even straight male entertainers out there who have been emphatic in their support of gay rights, but I seriously doubt they will ever become “icons”, regardless of how much talent they might possess and how pro-gay their activities and politics are.

    And I also have to point out to you that many such gay icons have eventually proved to be homophobes–Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor, just to mention a couple–but even that did not seem to diminish their status as “icons” any more than any amount of pro-gayness enhanced the status of anyone who is not a heterosexual female.

    There may be other actors and singers that many gay people like or appreciate, but that is different from being an “icon” and I think you know what I am talking about….

    As for “going out of my way to let everyone know I am not into gay stereotypical diva icons”, I didn’t go out of my way–this whole “story” raised the question and I was simply posting in response to it, as one would any other story on this site……I suspect that my post just touched a nerve with some whose self-examination that it might have provoked might reveal some less than flattering truths about themselves

  9. BobH says

    Dear Rick, the reason “we” like such iconic divas like Barbra, Bette, Dianna, Judy etc. is because 1) they are/were the best in their field 2) were never afraid of expressing their emotions openly and broadly and 3) were gay friendly to the max in their private lives and enjoyed early success thanks to their gay fans.

  10. Francis says

    Basically, drop the insecurities and be yourself without making apologies. That really goes for anyone, gay, straight and otherwise, with life in general. Unfortunately, most people are too insecure to do that.

  11. Phil says

    @Rick:

    It’s harmless to iconize (i.e., have fun with) female ENTERTAINERS, as long as it all stays in the realm of art and music. I think that’s what Little Kiwi means by “You don’t understand why some of us relate to a person’s art.”

    However, Rick, you might have an intuition about how the business world and national politics work, although you don’t come out and say it. It’s very dangerous for gay men to insist that women should occupy positions of power simply because they are women. Very — f**king — dangerous. This tendency is becoming less common as the years pass, but I still see it occasionally. If you follow that logic, some misguided souls would vote Republican (or not vote) in 2008 because Obama committed the “crime” of beating a woman, and Sarah Palin was on the Republican ticket. If you look at the younger generation of gay and bisexual men, you can see that this tendency is going the way of the dinosaur.

  12. Rick says

    Just out of curiosity, Bob H, would not all three of your criteria fit Barry Manilow, as well, who is actually a gay man, himself. Is the reason he is not an “icon” to gay men, despite meeting the three criteria you set, that he is a gay man rather than a straight woman? Do you see the point?

  13. RONTEX says

    @ Rick, I agree with you and @ kiwi, how many post are you going to make, I think I see what you have in common with the female Icons, Diva much.

  14. says

    Quentin Crisp. Morrissey. David Bowie. Audre Lorde. Ian McKellen. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Jake Shears. Freddie Mercury. BD Wong. Elton John. Harvey Milk. Margarethe Cammermeyer. Bernie Taupin. Gianni Versace. Mark Tewksbury. Greg Louganis. Billie Jean King. Mart Crowley. Andy Warhol. Ethan Mordden. Armistead Maupin. E. Lynn Harris.

    those are just a few non-straight-female Gay Icons.

    the only thing you revealed, Rick, is that either you’re still in a very insecure stage in your own life, or you’ve annexed yourself off from “the community” in such a way that all you’re aware of are uneducated straight people’s concepts of what a “Gay Icon” is.

    You didn’t touch a nerve at all. You just repeated the same things that young gay men who are still insecure about being gay say all the time.

    This video is in fact talking about guys like you, who distance yourselves from something because of an inaccurately perceived ” negative Gay Stereotype.”

    Your true colours are showing.

  15. Noname says

    Straight females have female icons

    Straight males have male icons

    lesbians have their lesbian icons

    How come the gay icons are females?

  16. Phil says

    @ Little Kiwi:

    In my reply to Rick, I posted your sentence, “You don’t understand why some of us relate to a person’s art.” I agree with that sentence because it’s intolerant to diss someone for artistic/musical taste.

    However, further down, you say “Are you simply not one that enjoys certain kinds of art or performance?…Seems indicative of insecurity, to me…” That last part of your post also seems a little incapable of understanding other tastes. I don’t think an honest dislike (not based on being bullied by society) is indicative of insecurity. If it’s honest (as Rick seems to be), then it’s just…um…personal taste. Live and let live?

  17. says

    @ Rick let these men embrace who they want to, and you can, well, find excuses as to why these men have made them into icons. At the end of the day if you can belt out a note that has the Met give you a standing ovation for 42 mins, and you are a straight black woman in the 60’s I am sure you can understand why a ‘few’ gay men would ‘gasp’ make her an icon. (her name Leontyne Price)

  18. Rick says

    @Phil

    Your second paragraph is kind of getting at my point, although I think you kind of contradicted your first paragraph with it. You see I think the whole “iconization” of straight women comes from the misguided notion that many gay men have that straight women are our friends and straight men are our enemies.

    You mentioned politics. Who have been the real champions of gay rights lately? Senators Lieberman and Levin and Representative Kennedy on DADT repeal–all straight men, Governors like Andrew Cuomo and Jerry Brown on gay marriage, both straight men, and even athletes like Charles Barkley and businessmen like Bill Gates

    And who have been among the most outspoken opponents of gay rights? Michelle Bachman, Sara Palin, the Concerned Women for America, etc.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that straight men are our friends and straight women are our enemies…..I am just saying that the converse is not true, either, and it is precisely belief in that converse that drives the “iconization” phenomenon…

  19. says

    It’s totally cool to not like certain types of music. I love punk rock and opera, and totally understand how some that like one do not like the other.

    What I don’t understand is the statement that one has to choose One or The Other.

    You can like football and Barbra Streisand. But if one makes a statement that they don’t like “any of the female ‘Gay Icons'”…well, they’re all actually different. it’s not the same music, nor style. If what you dislike is their “Gay Icon Status”..well….

    😉

  20. Rob says

    Just curious…where is this “list” of gay icons, who maintains it, and what are the criteria for being added?

    My icons list include Barbra, Cher, Judy, Liza, Patti, Debbie, Bernadette, Madonna, Gaga, Belinda and Cyndi.

    It also includes Gareth Thomas, Dave Kopay, Harvey Milk, and Gene Robinson, Michael Feinstein, and Cheyenne Jackson.

    Oh, and then there’s Suze Orman, Ellen DiGeneres, and Tammy Baldwin.

    Not to leave out Barack, James Carville, Jim Lehrer, and Charlie Rose.

    Perhaps my list is more expansive than Rick’s because I’ve lived long enough to relaize that opening one’s mind and heart to diversity is enriching, emboldening, and rewarding.

    And this from an aging queen rapidly nearing my AARP eligibility!

  21. says

    Leontyne Price’s AIDA for the win!!!

    Or Lena Horne. Or Dionne Warwick (that’s what friends are for)

    there seems to be a resentment in some gay men that certain performers have gone out of their way to show support for our Community.

    It’s not the fault of people like Barbra Streisand or the late great Dame Elizabeth Taylor that pro-sports figures didn’t Come Out in support of the LGBT Community until recently….

  22. Derrick from Philly says

    “Name anyone who is not a heterosexual female that would be considered a ‘gay icon’.”

    Well, Rick, let’s see…you got Greta Garbo, Josephine Baker, Bessie Smith, Marlene Dietrich, Ethel Waters, Tallulah Bankhead, Gladys Bentley, Joan Crawford, Billie Holiday, ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Janis Joplin, Patti Labelle (well, there were rumors),Grace Jones, K.D. Lang and Madonna and…and …shall I go on. These are all female icons who were bisexual or rumored to be Gay. Part of what makes some female celebrities become gay icons IS their sexual/gender role ambiguity.

    And why shouldn’t we worship female icons. They are the center of human creation, dammit. They just spread open their ever-lovin’ female legs and out comes an explosion of life! Men have worked to contain and dominate that female power of bringing life into the world for 50,000 years–even going as far as inventing some crazy religions based on a male God just to control women…ooops, please forgive me, Dear Lord.

  23. Rick says

    @Little Kiwi; Yeah, man, all the icons are different–the one thing they have in common, though, is that they are straight women. In your earlier post, you mentioned a lot of famous gay men, and while some of those are icons in the larger culture, I don’t think any of them could be considered icons the way certain straight female entertainers are–you know what I mean and so does everyone else here, don’t you? Be honest now.

    Incidentally, I do love opera as well as football and attend the Met on a regular basis…….and I am equally likely to shout “Bravo” at a brilliant performance by a tenor as I am at a brilliant performance by a soprano. I daresay the same is not the case, however, with many, many gay men…..in fact, I know it is not the case….and there is a reason for that, isn’t there?

  24. says

    Maybe it’s a generational thing, Rick. Those men are very-much known to be gay icons to the younger queer generations.

    You don’t seem to understand that. Maybe it’s a generational thing.

    But if a gay man cannot understand why Barbra Streisand has become a gay icon…well.. then that man is either unaware of who she is, or is being intellectually dishonest.

    or, is a product of a very different time and place.

  25. says

    “I daresay the same is not the case, however, with many, many gay men…..in fact, I know it is not the case….and there is a reason for that, isn’t there?”

    you want to lead into a “gay men are scared of/hate men” thing, but it really sounds more like you being a misogynist….

  26. Noname says

    It’s funny how lesbians support and admire famous out lesbians and consider them their icons/heroine… but most gay men would rather choose straight female entertainers than a gay one.

  27. Phil says

    @Rick:

    You didn’t mention the underlying dynamics in your first post, but you did later, and you hit the nail on the head. I’ve personally seen more anti-gay intolerance in the business world coming from straight women than straight men, although it’s fortunately a minority. I very often see straight men bullied into “going along” when companies try to prevent gay men from advancing. If some gay men prefer female musical artists, fine…so far, so good. But when they extrapolate that tendency to the larger world, then it’s counter-productive.

    By the way, when I said that gay iconization of females is harmless in my first paragraph, I meant harmless, not ideal.

  28. Rick says

    @Little Kiwi:

    Why don’t you address my point instead of engaging in name-calling? I actually do think many gay men (not all, certainly) DO hate men and hate all things masculine…..at the same time that they worship at the throne of masculinity and are sexually titillated by the very men they hate….and that all that does, yes, play into the irrational iconization of straight women by some gay men and a tendency to turn a blind eye to the homophobia that some straight women perpetrate (while at the same time turning a blind eye to the heroism of some straight men in fighting homophobia, including those I alluded to).

    Sorry, but I am not the one with the double standard here. My icons are not all heterosexual women, so I am not the one with the explaining to do, as much as you are straining to make me that……

  29. says

    I don’t see an “irrational iconizing of straight women”, i see a very understandable iconizing of a select crop of straight women who have, historically and individually, been vocal and visible supporters of the LGBT Community in a time and place where very few people were willing to do so.

    My icons are not all heterosexual women. I listed many of my own personal non-straight-female Icons, and indeed ones that MY GENERATION is aware of and looks to.

    You’re missing the specifics. It’s not just “female artists”, it’s specific ones. For very discernible reasons.

    Elizabeth Taylor being recognized by an icon in the gay community has nothing at all to do with “turning a blind eye to homophobic straight women”

    it’s not like we’re the wimps at GOProud who are making icons out of Sarah Palin or Ann Coulter because they remind them of their anti-gay mothers who are ashamed of them.

    These are very specific women who have done a lot of very specific work for our community.

    The only person saying “gay men only worship straight women” is in fact YOU. This might be a generational thing, as I’ve said.

    You don’t seem too in-touch with the younger queer generations and our view of culture.

  30. says

    “I actually do think many gay men (not all, certainly) DO hate men and hate all things masculine”

    that has nothing to do with a person getting over a fear, based on an incorrect cultural assumption that being gay and liking Barbra Streisand is a “negative gay stereotype”

    You said you can’t understand why some of these women are Icons. There are very specific reasons for each. Learn about them.

    They were the ones who were our champions before men in the NFL were, you know.

  31. Phil says

    @ Little Kiwi:

    In your reply to Rick, you said: “but it really sounds more like you being a misogynist….” WTF?! I think that women do a very capable job of standing up for themselves. Gay men who are struggling against homophobia would be spending their energies more wisely by standing up for *themselves*, but a few don’t and only stand up for straight women. Rick is right when he says: “and there is a reason for that, isn’t there?”

  32. Rick says

    They may have been “champions” but there was a lot of self-interest involved in it, as many of them were propelled to fame by gay male fans–so I am afraid the chicken came before the egg in many cases and they were iconized by gay men BEFORE they became “champions”, not the other way around.

    Also, for decades, straight women were allowed to be “champions” of gay men without it being detrimental to their careers in a way that straight men were not…..and in a way that gay men, themselves, were not……because if a man had been such, his career would have been destroyed by it, which was not the case with these straight women.

    So don’t give them more credit than they deserve–even today, most gay male actors in Hollywood are in the closet, not because they hate themselves or their brethren or don’t want to see gay causes advanced, but because their careers would suffer if they came out, so to act as though straight women were somehow uniquely heroic for doing so when they would not fact the same consequences for it is a little disingenuous.

    You mentioned Barry Manilow not being out and that is a good specific example–coming out in the 70’s would have ruined his career which was not a risk for a Barbra Streisand or a Liza Minnelli or any other straight woman at the time…..

    For these and other reasons, the iconization of these women is at best overblown……

  33. Phil says

    @ Little Kiwi:

    Rick mentioned that: “straight women were allowed to be “champions” of gay men without it being detrimental to their careers in a way that straight men were not”, and his comment is dead on target…again.

    That’s because hateful sexual taboos, homophobic blackmail and obligatory homophobia was forced on 100% of the male population in past eras. I think you would be surprised to find that you have much more common cause with all men than you think. That older culture is rapidly falling apart, and change is picking up steam. Straight men are increasingly sticking up for *all* their male friends, not just the straight ones.

  34. says

    Anyone with the slightest knowledge of gay history should know why gay men gravitate towards divas. It makes perfect sense. But if you’re not particularly into Cher or Barbra (and I’m not–we all have our own divas), no one’s going to force you to be. And, as others have pointed out, it’s quite possible to be a Barbra and a football fan simultaneously, if you want, imagine that! Diva-worship has evolved as gay men have come out of the closet and (some) straight men have come out of their homophobia. It will continue to evolve, naturally.

    The bonds between straight women and gay men are long and strong–and one obvious thing we have in common is that we fall in love with and like to have sex with men. We sing to men.

    No one needs to explain or justify their cultural likes and dislikes. If that were the case, I’d be explaining all day why I prefer old-school country music to show tunes and opera. (My b/f still doesn’t get that one.) Honor your tastes, whatever they may be, without over-thinking them. Taste snobbery and disapproval usually rise out of insecurity about your own tastes. Many gay men kept their diva worship private as children for fear that it would brand them as sissies–some gay adults seem to hold on to that fear.

  35. Paul R says

    Umm, some of us don’t like musicals and many of the icons because we don’t like their music and musicals tend to be stilted, unreal monstrosities. It’s a matter of one’s taste. You’d have to tie me down to sit through a musical, but if other people like Barbra et al, so be it.

    Some of the analysis in these comments seems excessive. We’re not all the same, thank goodness.

  36. says

    I believe that gay men tend to worship our divas because they prove that you don’t have to be traditionally masculine in order to be strong. That maxim might not speak to you, Rick; but it means the world to an awful lot of us, especially the young’uns.

    And I realize that not every gay man is effeminate, but in a homophobic society, all gay men are less than ‘real men.’ And our divas look that society right in the eye and say, “SO F*CKING WHAT??!!” That’s why we love them.

  37. Brian in Texas says

    Straight men would list divas like Barbara, Madonna, Gaga, Cher, etc. as icons too if it weren’t “uncool” in our society to do so. That is precisely what this vid is talking about.

    Gay men by liking other men are already blowing the door off of “traditional” society. So we are more free to like who we like and have our genuine interests that aren’t forced upon us like in the straight world.

    That’s why its so great to be gay!

  38. says

    Amazing how a story about a gay man addressing the baseless cultural idea that “it’s a bad stereotype to be a gay man who likes Barbra Streisand” has turned into one man’s venting of his anger towards, well, all women.

    nothing about this video, nor the comments, is about making straight women into gay icons. it’s rather specific in its address of why a certain woman is a specific type of gay icon.

    and in 2011, Barry Manilow still isn’t Out…

    This might be generational. I have been fully, 100% OUT, since I was in high school. The idea that “coming out is hard’ isn’t a new one. Of course it’s hard. it’s also important. Older generations have an obligation to open the doors for the next.

    On that note, this proud Queer young’un tips his hat to the brave men and women, regardless of their orientation, who either Came Out, or came out in SUPPORT OF the LGBT Community, and thus opened the door for me.

    😀

  39. Travis says

    Cool that you like her! I’m still unimpressed with her singing, though I do like her acting. I never was trying to go against the gay stereotype, her voice is just like nails on a chalkboard to me. I loved the video this guy made, and it is true: like what you like and to hell with anyone else’s opinion!

  40. Jeff in NC says

    Okay, here’s the thing about Barbra. Like gay people, in general, she was, at first, looked down upon because she didn’t fit a “norm.” She wasn’t a raving beauty, she had crooked teeth, she had that nose, she wore funky thrift shop clothes, she was overly expressive and kooky with her hands and her long nails; in other words, she just “didn’t fit in” or belong. Yet, when she opened that mouth and that magnificent instrument began to emote, she became something more than the sum of her parts. She was incomparable and unique. It was all those quirks and oddities that made her talent that much more beautiful. The outsider now was one with the inside, “the norm” and no one could doubt what she was: a rare spectacular talent. Gay people can relate to that because they too feel as if they don’t fit in, yet have so much to offer their world. At first others may not see it, but in time they do because they realize what is “to the bone” and look beyond just what is just “skin deep.”

  41. BobN says

    Gosh, why would gay men single out strong, stereotype-breaking, mold-smashing, taboo-shattering people to admire?

    Really, ask the question out loud and you’ll see how silly this discussion is.

    That there were precious few men who dared to buck the rules and that those who did paid for it with their careers is hardly the fault of 1) iconic women entertainers or 2) gay men.

    People also seem to ignore that many of the long-term icons remained in the public eye because they could both act AND sing.

  42. Eugene says

    Awwww! It’s Raymond!!! One sexy beast of the Brooklyn queer community (and a helluva video-maker and activist)! HUGS BRO!

  43. Charlie says

    Well, I am not a big Streisand fan. I think it is because I don’t like the musical genre she works in – Broadway show tunes. And while I like the story line in Glee I don’t like their most recent song selections which are increasingly broad show tunes. It’s not that these aren’t great songs but they just aren’t my cup of tea. (I also don’t like jazz. I suspect people look down on me for that.)

    I also don’t care for sports. I certainly know gay people who do. Generally I don’t even know what teams make it into the Superbowl. For instance I don’t even know if March Madness is still going or who the final matchup was between. I do know they are getting near the end.

    I suspect the issue is that straight men who aren’t interested are afraid to let that get out. Because then the other men would think they are gay and for many years that was the worst thing you could possible be. That is changing. For most of my life there might be a lot of support for gay rights from straight women but men would never express any support. Because they would be at risk of someone saying “You are not going gay on us are you?” But that is changing extremely rapidly. It is king of amazing that sports figures are willing to speak out in support of gay rights. But these are mostly young people under 25.

    The video made me smile. I liked that he was having fun. I just wish the background wasn’t show tunes.

  44. Astro Boy says

    @ Jaragon – I hear ya about him being cute. I got a little moist watching him dance around showing up them hot arms and armpits.

  45. sean says

    little kiwi thank u for making sense!!! Rick u have some issues. and for the record i believe icons are personal. just because the media says streisand is a gay icon doesnt mean she is my icon. to me jason mraz and lady gaga are my music icons i love them.

  46. JeffNYC says

    Rick is just taking this opportunity to create a straw-man argument (or a straw-diva argument, in this case) so he can make this entire discussion all about HIM.

    Rick’s basic premise is incorrect: “…the gay male obsession.” There is no such thing. Gay men–as an overall group–do not do anything at all as that group…except have sex with and feel affection for members of the same gender.

    Saying “the gay male obsession with…” is just as unfounded as saying “the black obsession with…” or “the Jewish obsession with…”

    There is a far greater number of gay men who do NOT have a stronger than average appreciation for “gay icons” than the number of gay men who do.

    Those who do enjoy the divas do so for the same reason Rick has favorite sports teams: The enjoyment of a sports or musical performance generates certain hormonal responses to different degrees in different people. All humans have an instinct to want to repeat that pattern of pleasure-giving stimulus and pleasurable response.

    Any judgment you make that enthusiasm for a football player or a tenor or Barry Manilow (?) is somehow “better” or more masculine than a similar appreciation for a female performer is nothing more than a neurotic assumption on your part.

    In fact, the sheer number of words you have used in this thread to belabor your completely illogical and indefensible position indicates that it is not just a neurotic assumption but an outright obsession on your part, possibly driven by anger, resentment and (I hesitate to say it, but it was the point of the video in the first place) a pretty unmistakable self-hatred.

    People who “love” entertainment figures or works are no different from people who “love” political figures or authors or books or movies. They love them because they do. If you do not, fine.

    But be careful about ascribing motivations or meanings to what they do when your own actions fall apart under similar scrutiny.

    Oh–and watch the video again.

  47. DR says

    I think Rick got it in one. Gay men love them their so-called “icons”, but only as long as they’re female. I think it says something about the older generation…

    With the outings of various male performers, athletes, politicians, etc, I’m hoping this will change. I come from a blue-collar background and am quite happy never listening to or watching any of these so-called “icons”. I hope one day when gay men talk about icons for gay men, they’ll be talking about them, not a bunch of straight women.

    If I want someone to admire, I’ll find a gay man whose done something with his life, not some bad female performers whose music means squat to me. And if that means I lose my gay card because I prefer Bif Naked to Barbara Streisand I’m more than happy to turn the damn thing in.

  48. hoyden says

    Rick, in what must be a fantastic coincidence, there is a video above which seems to address the very questions you have perplexingly gone on to post in the comments, it’s almost as if you didn’t watch it.

    This argument has been made many times, and much more eloquently, but here it goes again: maybe one (note my use of the qualifier) reason that straight women were gifted with icon status by gay men is that they recognized that the straight men of the day associated homosexuality with ‘femaleness’ and thus weakness (yada yada yada, the routes of misogyny and homophobia being so intrinsically linked) gay men celebrated these women, elevating them to the notice of wider society, helping to undermine the incorrect generalizations about those who were either not male (ie women) or not hetrosexual and male (ie gay).

    The idea that passivity and weakness are qualities central to those who like the peen was directly challenged in almost every Streisand film, establishing a pattern that made an icon. The same performer bought us consistently ground-breaking, liberating, celebratory examples of the strength and the hardship, of those who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes and was celebrated for it by those who recognised the value of such a statement (straight women and gay men).

    Also, unlike the gay films of the day, they often ended happily or with a film like The Way We Were, with a Barbara able to look back a little condescendingly at the man who didn’t have the balls to live up to her. If you cant see the blindingly obvious parallels that gay men would have found at the time, then…

    And so with the video above, a modern day gay man who sees himself as being beyond these issues and is trying to distance himself from the recent past (DR, you could take note here) has actually gone and looked at the past and found that he can appreciate it. Either because he just likes the good entertainment, or he finds that he’s not as far away from the past as he thought he was, and the themes still strike a chord.

    As for an honest answer, it sound to me like you’re a man who wants to see himself as being pretty much like any other man (by that I mean, you know, sports loving, a man’s man, none of that nancy barbara-loving bullshit) who just happens to like dick. Yeah, you’re living one stereotype and hating another. Knock knock, helloooooo once again, see video above.

  49. says

    DR, nobody has talked about “gay cards”, except you. Nobody said you had to like Barbra. Bif Naked, btw, is totally a gay icon in Canada.
    But your being from a blue-collar background and being “proud” to have never listened to “those icons” is just so odd.

    Why would you be proud to have not listened to something? Nobody has made any claim that you have to do anything. You and Rick, however, make it very clear that you both think yourselves superior to gay men who enjoy Barbra or Madonna.

    Again, this video is about you. Your projection of your own insecurities is showing.

  50. rovex says

    Your icons are people you admire or can relate to. Some relate to the straight female, others like me and presumably Rick, dont. I think the reason may of us are a bit sensitive to it is society thinks we are all the same and all have pictures of 50s movie Divas on our walls at home. I couldnt care less about them frankly, i dont like Madges, Chers or Britneys music. This seems to be a shocking concept to many.

  51. Rick says

    @HOYDEN That is an interesting take on all this and it might be extended by pointing out that gay playwrights like Tennessee Williams often expressed their own emotions through their FEMALE characters…..which is one reason I think all of Tennessee’s plays are, in retrospect, greatly flawed–the female characters in them are way more sexual than women generally are….and the reason for that, of course, is that these characters are actually representations of the man who created them and reflect his own male sexuality rather than a woman’s sexuality. I saw the same tendency in “Sex and the City”–again, a case of a gay male writer making female characters overly sexual because he is really writing himself into them.

    The problem with all this is that while you and other gay men may see yourselves in these women, society does not see it that way at all. Which is why, of course, when feminism came along, straight women were allowed to advance while gay men continued to be oppressed. You see, the problem is that so many of you really don’t understand that you really have no common cause with straight women and you never have had, nor does the larger society see you as having one. That is nothing but a figment of your imagination.

    And you only bring disrespect on gay men when you continue to let straight women like Lady Gaga (the latest in this line of “icons”) presume to speak for you rather than speaking for yourselves…..

    If you like their music, fine, listen to it. No problem. But please, stop making them into “icons” that are supposed to “represent” gay men in some way. No other group in society has some other group “representing” it rather than representing itself, nor does any other group iconize another group, to build on what an earlier poster pointed out when he contrasted that tendency among gay men with the tendency of lesbians, straight men, and straight women, themselves, to “iconize” their OWN KIND, not some other group.

    I hope you can all see, upon contemplation, how truly pathetic that makes us look…..

  52. Rick says

    And let me just add to that–I remembered this after typing that last post–that Cher, when asked in a recent interview about the whole gay iconization thing as it applied to her (and I am paraphrasing here) “I just don’t get it”……and I am sure she doesn’t, just as I am sure that many of the “icons” themselves don’t–because like society at large, the notion of men living vicariously through women (the phenomenon HOYDEN described in his post) is bizarre….and that is because, well, it is bizarre…..

  53. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I had a straight male classmate in grad school who was obsessed with all things “Madonna”. His cubicle was covered with posters of her and he talked about her all the time. One day he wore a necktie that had the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe holding her dress down over the subway grate. Other classmates gave him a hard time for it, saying it was proof he was really gay. But it didn’t phase him. He laughed it off and said he liked what he liked.

    Now, if this straight guy can deal so healthily with people’s attitudes about his OWN diva adoration, why do some gay men have to be embarrassed about OTHER gay men’s diva adoration? It smacks of insecurity, when it really doesn’t have anything to do with them.

  54. Scott says

    Much of the reason for female gay icons come from a perception of parallel lives of oppression and frustration, especially prior to the 21st century. Those who could not express their true feelings for fear of arrest, violence, or exile from their communities found strength in these extraordinary women who were achieving their goals even the face of great peril. These straight women were weird or strange but found a way to leverage that into stardom and relevance laying out a path of acceptance for others who were also “queer” in some way. Hero worship has everything to do with seeing your projected self in others and, for most of human history, there were few culturally institutionalized ways for those who were outside the mainstream of society to do that with the dominant straight, white men. Just as little straight boys want to grow up to be sports stars or whomever so they can be strong and respected and etc and little straight girls wanted to grow up to be little suzie home maker…we have those who are different wanting to grow up to be those who are different but are making it.

    Thankfully, for you Rich and for others, the cultural and sexual revolutions of the later years of the last century started breaking up this pattern so that people from all walks of life can find inspiration and icons in a wide variety of celebrity.

    Will young gay guys who are slightly on this side of the feminine/masculine more likely identify with a fabulous female celebrity who does outrageous things like wear meat dresses? Yes.

    Will young gay guys who are archetypal masculine men also? Possibly. And they might also like athletes and politicians and scientists and writers, etc.

    We are finally emerging from centuries of oppression but we are still attempting to heteronormatize ourselves in order to fit in…and we just don’t have to. Heteronormality doesn’t really mean anything anymore. And that’s pretty awesome.

  55. Rovex says

    Over all i think we just have to accept that the reason gay men are associated with being fem and liking female icons is just that the ones that are/do are … noisier…

  56. Acronym Jim says

    Have the people who’ve stated that there no male gay icons actually thought about the question before they posted it?

    Elton John,
    Walt Whitman,
    Oscar Wilde,
    Neil Patrick Harris,
    Greg Louganis,
    Ian Thorpe.

    And on and on.

    Thanks for creating the video Little Kiwi. May I hazard a assumption that, based on your design sense, you’re also a fan of Eva Destruction? :-)

  57. says

    “You see, the problem is that so many of you really don’t understand that you really have no common cause with straight women and you never have had . . . ”

    @Rick, of course we have. Don’t be ludicrous. Learn some history. And, one obvious thing we have in common with straight women is that WE DESIRE MEN. That doesn’t mean we all have to worship the same divas, or any diva, but it’s not a coincidence that many gay men have their closest platonic relationships with straight women.

    “I hope you can all see, upon contemplation, how truly pathetic that makes us look…..”

    I hope you can see, upon contemplation, how many silly presumptions you are making about your fellow gay men, many of which seem to be rooted in internalized homophobia and outdated notions of how gay men respond to so-called icons. Grouping gay men into “all” (wrong) and you (right) suggests you don’t know many gay men–we’re a lot more diverse than that, in age, interests, geography, temperament etc.

    Gay men tend to be loyal to their divas because the ones who last have great talent. As more openly gay men and open-minded straight men emerge in show business, they will warrant similar devotion–if they have the chops.

    Your need to dismiss men who like straight women–whether in life or in entertainment–just seems bizarre. No one’s forcing you to related to anyone you’d rather not relate to. To each his own.

  58. Rick says

    @Ernie I don’t know if this will go right over your head and that of others, but sexual attraction between two men for me is a wholly different dynamic than sexual attraction between a woman and a man. I do not possess a vagina or breasts and don’t want to; I have no earthly idea what having either feels like and don’t desire to. I do not have the same errogenous zones as a woman, nor do I desire to. Women do not have penises like mine and can have no idea what it feels like to penetrate another man with one, either orally or anally.

    A recent study indicated that only 17% of American women like fellatio–a totally different attitude than you would find among gay men. Most women hate anal intercourse; most gay men love it. Virtually no women are willing to engage in rimming because they find it even more repulsive than fellatio or anal sex; a large percentage of gay men are and enjoy it

    Men talk to each other differently than they talk to women, relate to each other differently, are wired differently biologically and behaviorally from women, and have grown up in a different culture from women.

    Have I made my point yet? I desire men the way a man desires men, which is entirely different from the way a woman desires men. I don’t know how much clearer I can make that. If some gay men have not advanced to the level of self-realization and therefore have chosen to live vicariously through women because of that, I feel sorry for them. But those of us who have realize that we have absolutely nothing inherently in common with straight women and certainly less inherently in common with them than we have with straight men. I am sorry for those who cannot or will not see it that way…..

  59. Phil says

    In my reply to Rick, I said that gay iconization of straight women was harmless, not ideal. But then I read this statement from Dastius Krazitauc: “why do some gay men have to be embarrassed about OTHER gay men’s diva adoration? It smacks of insecurity, when it really doesn’t have anything to do with them.”

    Yes, Dastius, it *does* have something to do with them because when you claim that a straight female is a gay icon, you’re lying about a huge proportion of gay men. In my previous post, I tried to be diplomatic by saying that this was harmless, but I have to amend that. If you misrepresent the complex spectrum of gay and bisexual men, you’re disrespecting them very vocally in front of the larger society. Essentially, you’re lying about them. Therein lies the harm. A more honest approach would be to identify yourselves as fans of these women. Be honest and say that you don’t purport to represent gay men as a class of people.

    By the way, in a more ideal world, gay men on the more fem side of the feminine/masculine spectrum would iconize performers just like them in every way, including gender. We don’t yet have that kind of world where many people like that succeed in entertainment, but, fortunately for everyone, the world is quickly going in that direction. Until then, I think my suggestions are reasonable.

  60. says

    The only people who think it’s “pathetic” to have females like Barbra and Gaga standing in solidarity WITH us, (not for us, WITH us) are misogynists and those oh-so-pathetic insecure gay men who still live each day looking over their shoulder worrying what The Straights are thinking about them.

    Grow a pair.

  61. Phil says

    @ Ernie:

    You claim in your post above that “of course” gay men have common cause with women, and then you grandly tell those who disagree with you to learn some history. Why don’t you learn some history? For all of human history, until the 1970s, the interests of gay men and women have been unrelated. The political alliance during the 1970s was a matter of sheer convenience because reproductive rights for women and sexual rights for gay/bisexual men depended on a “right to privacy”, which would politically benefit both groups. Now that the right to privacy is seen accepted precedent, it’s becoming painfully obvious that gay men and straight women have no intrinsic bond with each other. Just look at national politics if you don’t believe me.

  62. says

    I don’t think some people even watched the video…
    ..a video about a gay man who intentionally avoided Barbra because he was aware of the social-stigma that exists wherein “gays who like Barbra” are looked down on.

    then the boy sees Yentl – which is a film about a person who lives in a time and place of social conservative oppression, who is told how big they can dream, and how happy they’re allowed to be. this person adopts a disguise, and feels that there’s more to life than what is “allowed” and takes the risk to lose it all for that happiness.

    frankly, and gay man who can’t relate to this story is showing that they’re still butt-hurt over how their parents felt about “Those Gays” and isn’t a complete human being yet.

    Nothing in this video is about “gay people having to life Barbra Streisand” and it’s exceedingly obvious why a handful of people are insisting on playing that non-played card.

  63. Phil says

    @ Little Kiwi:

    I had no complaint when Lady Gaga joined Dan Choi at the White House DADT protest. It was great. I was cheering her on just like I was cheering on the rest of the activists. But please don’t call straight women gay icons. Some gay men are fans of them, some aren’t. I should grow a pair? You should learn to respect your brethren — all of them.

  64. says

    I dunno, as a young queer teen I sure related to the heroine of Pride & Prejudice….Elizabeth Bennett, born into a family and a social culture where marriage is decided for you. That she wants love, and is told shes not allowed to have love. That she will lose the love of one of her parents if she is true to her dream.

    But I get it – some of you hate women, and some of you are afraid of being ‘associated with’ things associated with women because your father’s didn’t respect you. get over it.

  65. Phil says

    @ Little Kiwi:

    Your quote regarding the story in the video: “frankly, and gay man who can’t relate to this story is showing that they’re still butt-hurt over how their parents felt about “Those Gays” and isn’t a complete human being yet.”

    I don’t think someone can be a complete human until they develop enough tolerance to accept people who think and feel differently than they do and who don’t identify with the same heroes as they do.

  66. Phil says

    @ Little Kiwi:

    Your personal experience: “I dunno, as a young queer teen I sure related to the heroine of Pride & Prejudice….Elizabeth Bennett”

    And now, here’s your advice for any gay man who doesn’t share your personal experience: “But I get it – some of you hate women, and some of you are afraid of being ‘associated with’ things associated with women because your father’s didn’t respect you. get over it.”

    It’s all about you. But not every gay man is a carbon copy of you, Little Kiwi. You’re the one who needs to get over it.

  67. Acronym Jim says

    “For all of human history, until the 1970s, the interests of gay men and women have been unrelated.”

    Baloney. Homophobia and misogyny go hand in hand. “Fey, sissy, limp-wristed, light in the loafers, girly-man. All are terms that use feminine imagery to denigrate gay men. Homophobes make no bones about their disgust for gay men who “lower” themselves to take on the female role, or gay women who refuse to “know their place” by expressing traditionally masculine traits.

    The interests of gay men and women are inextricably intertwined as long as homophobia and misogyny both exist.

  68. Rick says

    @Little Kiwi Man, you really should read some of your own posts and recognize the anger in them, anger that you don’t see in my posts or Phil’s or those of others that you are hurling accusations at. I think what that reveals, apart from your youth, is that you, yourself, are uncomfortable with your own apparent tendency to live vicariously through women rather than simply embracing a truly male identity.

    I would suggest to you that men who find themselves in that predicament are in it because, whether they are conscious of it or not, they have themselves internalized society’s homophobic notion that being attracted to men makes them something less than a man and that they should be therefore lumped together with women and treated as such. Those men have taken the bait and surrendered their claims to masculinity–in other words, society has defeated them and reduced them to nothing more than wards of women. In the old days, this meant restricting oneself to professions where one would deal only with females, whether it was being an interior decorator or a hairdresser or a florist…..which went along with the whole iconization thing.

    Perhaps the iconization is just a relic and will fade as homophobia erodes and men can feel that they can both be attracted to other men AND have a masculine identity. I certainly hope so, because it will make the lives of those who still choose the vicarious route out of lack of self-esteem or self-acceptance much healthier and happier

  69. andrew says

    Here’s my problem:
    Hunky gay dude talking about Barbara – kinda hot.
    Hunky gay dude doing a faggy lip sync to Barbara – kinda not.
    Leave the theatrical femininity to the Icons/Divas and their art. Growl like a man when you sit on my face.

  70. Rick says

    @Acronym Jim You have taken the bait if you see things that way. There is no inherent relationship between homosexuality and masculinity and the lack thereof any more than there is any inherent common interest between gay men and straight women.

    Perhaps the problem is that we have to advance a little further along the liberation curve for some of you to really realize that, but by continuing to lump yourself in with straight women and tie yourselves to them, you delay that liberation because it results in you continuing to be regarded as something less than a man rather than a fully masculine being who expresses that masculinity through intimacy with other men…….

    Until you all decide that you are men and want to be accepted as men (which will never, ever be the same thing as being a woman), then our progress will be limited….

  71. Paul R says

    So many of these comments are asserting that there’s only one way to be a gay man, whether than means acting as masculine as possible, enjoying performances by straight women, or myriad other things.

    But fortunately, everyone is different. And isn’t one of the best parts of being a happy, out, gay man being able to live however you want and not worry about expectations imposed on you by straight society and other gay men? (Or even lesbians, though that doesn’t come up much—and, frankly, lesbians seem to allow for a lot more variation in their images and attitudes than do many gay men, especially in some of these comments.)

    This doesn’t have to be a sociological dissertation. Some people like female divas. Some people like a lot of other stuff. Those interests are not the end all of a person’s worth, merely a small facet of their personality. In high school I adored Siouxsie Sioux (and still do), but I’ve never gone around talking about her nonstop. I would hope that, unless in the company of others with similar interests, no one (gay or straight) would sit around talking endlessly about Barbra or anyone one else. It’s entertainment. It’s not your life.

    For the same reason, I don’t understand people obsessed with the performance of a particular sports team, but neither do I condemn them. Again, people simply have different interests, and reading too much into that gets a bit ludicrous. You may not agree with it, but who cares? I don’t think not liking Barbra is a marker of self-hatred; it’s just a matter of taste.

  72. andrew says

    There is a lot of discussion lately about how effeminate men are “born that way” due to having feminine genes, or exposure to excess estrogen in vitro. I have a problem with this as most effeminate men are far more effeminate than 99% of women (who are awash in estrogen), and fall somewhere in the stereotypic range of dizzy ditz to brash whore.
    Rick, I think you have nailed it with
    “I would suggest to you that men who find themselves in that predicament are in it because, whether they are conscious of it or not, they have themselves internalized society’s homophobic notion that being attracted to men makes them something less than a man and that they should be therefore lumped together with women and treated as such. Those men have taken the bait and surrendered their claims to masculinity–in other words, society has defeated them and reduced them to nothing more than wards of women. In the old days, this meant restricting oneself to professions where one would deal only with females, whether it was being an interior decorator or a hairdresser or a florist…..which went along with the whole iconization thing.”
    And this includes assuming a stereotypical “feminine” demeanour.
    And I think this is the reason for so much hatred directed to gay men, not so much because of what they do in bed, but because they have abdicated their masculinity and assumed a submissive, inferior and basically silly, public role.
    Your position of a gay man revelling in, and being unafraid to express his masculinity is a real breath of fresh air.

  73. says

    @Rick: Desire is about more than just the way you like to have sex. When I say that gay men and straight women both desire men, that is simply fact. We fall in love with men. It doesn’t mean we all desire men the same way or like to have sex the same way (which is physically impossible). Not all gay men like to have sex the same way!

    If you don’t have anything in common with straight women and don’t want to listen to so-called female gay icons, no one’s forcing you to have bonds you don’t feel. Some of us love the company of straight women (BTW, my high school girlfriend loved giving head); some of us don’t find them emasculating. If you prefer the company of straight men, good for you.

    @Phil: A look at national politics should tell you that we still have a lot in common with straight women re: the right to privacy. The right-wing would like to take away a woman’s right to privacy and choice over what she does with her body, and they would like to do the same to us. Abortion/gay rights: they are linked in the minds of the right-wing even if they aren’t in yours. Besides, not all bonds are purely political. Again, if you’d be unhappy and feel too girly having female friends or icons in your life, don’t have them.

    Not sure what punches your cultural tickets, but it’s not important to me, any more than my personal divas should be relevant to you. There’s plenty of room along the LGBT spectrum for us all to like whatever we like for whatever reason. I’m never going to love Barbra, but why would I get all defensive and knock someone who does?

  74. Phil says

    @ Paul R:

    Your quote: “I don’t think not liking Barbra is a marker of self-hatred; it’s just a matter of taste.”

    Thank you, Paul. Your comment is the voice of reason that I was waiting for. I never intended to diss any gay man who is a fan of Barbra, et al. I just think that we should be honest and say that some gay men are fans of straight, female divas, but many others are not. In the 21st century, I’m sure that there will be a larger variety of heroes for gay men to identify with, not just straight women. The spirit of the times will do you no harm.

  75. just a guy says

    great discussion, men. :-). Hey, I don’t really give a s*** re Babs. I mean, I could take it or leave it. I thought the video was funny tho.

    But OMG OMG, Rick, you are awesome and a good counterpoint in this discussion. Thank you!

    For me, I don’t really relate to the guy in the video who says he’s felt compelled to avoid such obvi gay stereotypes. I mean, for me, I have felt nothing but expectancy to fulfill stereotypes, and when I explore and enjoy a stereotype, I don’t have issues with it. THAT is easy.

    But I do feel like I’m kinda not encouraged to explore my casual interest in sports. I follow sports casually, but try to keep it to myself mostly, for fear that someone will notics it and think, that’s odd, he’s gay and casually interested in sports. THAT is a stereotype barrier I struggle with. I mean, let’s get real, a gay guy who overcomes stereotype pressure because he gives in to liking Babs. RU F***ing kidding me?!!

    I mean, it was cute. But I’d rather hear about gay guys who overcame ACTUAL stereotype barriers to do what they felt like doing.

  76. DR says

    I can’t believe how men who don’t buy into this crap about the unbelievable idol-worship giving to certain female performers are called “insecure”. *rolls eyes*

    No, we’re men who would rather our idols be men. Men we can relate to. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never found myself relating to these so-called gay icons, and have always wondered why Bob Mould, Morrissey, Rob Halford, Eric Himan, Nick Name, and other openly gay male singers don’t get the same love from gay men these women do. Rihanna comes to my area and hundreds of gay men line up to see her and the opening act known as Kee$ha. Eric Himan comes to town, and twenty people show up, even though the club could have easily held four or five times that number. And most of those who showed up were women.

    As I said, I’m glad to see more out men nowadays, and hopefully in the future we’ll have even more who have achieved the “status” of Barbara or Cher or Madonna. That’s the part many of you throwing men’s names out are forgetting… the men you mention don’t have nearly the level of respect as the women you worship, usually because the gay male population doesn’t give it to them, preferring to worship women…

  77. Phil says

    This is Rick’s most insightful quote yet: “Perhaps the iconization is just a relic and will fade as homophobia erodes…it will make the lives of those who still choose the vicarious route out of lack of self-esteem or self-acceptance much healthier and happier.”

    Some commenters here are saying that it’s OK to use the term “gay icon” when referring to straight women, which implies that all or almost all gay men follow or mimic straight female divas. That has always been a lie, but the entire male population was successfully terrorized, so nobody knew the truth. As the 21st century replaces this lie with honesty, those very same commenters will enjoy more rights, freedom and respect.

  78. says

    @Phil/Rick: The point of the video is that the young gay guy was under the impression that “iconization is just a relic”–something belonging to past generations of gay men, i.e. uncool. He made the exact same point you’re making.

    As a young gay man he bought into the idea that having a female icon–particularly one important to his elders–was wrong/shameful. (Just as lots of gay boys originally hid their natural diva worship from their parents for fear it would expose their gayness.) Then he watched, genuinely loved it, and got over his preconceptions.

    It’s about learning to get over yourself and like whatever you like, despite perceived peer or societal pressures, whether it’s Barbra or football or heavy metal. Keep an open mind, follow your own tastes, whatever they may be, male of female, straight or gay, and it’s all good, all equally honest.

  79. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “I can’t believe how men who don’t buy into this crap about the unbelievable idol-worship giving to certain female performers are called “insecure”. *rolls eyes*…No, we’re men who would rather our idols be men. Men we can relate to.”

    I think you earn the label, “insecure”, when you call what other people are into “crap”. Good for you that you’re a manly man who idolizes manly men. Enjoy it. But it shouldn’t make you feel all oogie that other men enjoy female artists. Gay men come in all stripes. No big whoop.

    Personally, I idolize no one, but appreciate many regardless of gender, but if someone assumes I worship Streisand because I’m gay, I’d just have to laugh. It’s funny, right? What’s to be offended by?

  80. Acronym Jim says

    @Me:”Homophobes make no bones about their disgust for gay men who “lower” themselves to take on the female role, or gay women who refuse to “know their place” by expressing traditionally masculine traits.”

    @Rick: “Perhaps the problem is that we have to advance a little further along the liberation curve for some of you to really realize that, but by continuing to lump yourself in with straight women and tie yourselves to them, you delay that liberation because it results in you continuing to be regarded as something less than a man rather than a fully masculine being who expresses that masculinity through intimacy with other men.”

    It would seem that you, Rick, are the one who, in your own words, has “taken the bait.” My point wasn’t that all gay men are effeminate; merely that in the minds of those who hate us, we are. The attitude of those haters is an extremely misogynistic outlook. Your original point at the beginning of this thread indicated that you get a lot of flack for liking football or other sports. If that’s the case, I’m glad I don’t live in your town. Me? While I’m not much into Barbara, I do like Judy Garland and Aerosmith, baseball and rhythmic gymnastics (real thing – google it), cooking and sewi…nevermind, cant’ stand sewing. For me, it’s not about “appearing” masculine or feminine, it’s about living life to the fullest without being limited by other’s perceptions.

    There’s a whole whole big world out there with a plethora of exploration to be done. That’s the message I took away from viewing the video. It’s a celebration and exploration of inclusivity, not exclusivity.

  81. Hoyden says

    A. Lady gaga is not straight
    B. She is an entertainer and an activist who is admired by many people, gay and straight.
    C. She does not speak ‘for’ the gay community any more than any other gay individual does.
    D. The word icon these days is thrown around a lot, she is definitely a diva and she is gay therefore she may one day be firmly established as a gay icon of sorts but that still doesn’t mean that she will ‘represent’ the gay community. Your understanding of the word icon in this usage is seriously flawed.
    E. The majority of gay icons these days are men, very few women are still celebrated in this way outside of the lesbian community.
    F. Your depiction of female sexuality is flawed, insulting and heavily based on generalizations you seem to have gleaned from random surveys. Women responded to sex and the city because they finally saw a depiction of their own sex lives on screen, and they didn’t largely resent the fact that it was only a team of gay men that could bring that to them.
    G. I don’t know why we are still talking about this. You are railing against a tradition that now exists only in the most tokenistic sense.

  82. Paul R says

    @Andrew: Sorry, but your comments that “This is the reason for so much hatred directed to gay men…because they have abdicated their masculinity and assumed a submissive, inferior and basically silly, public role” can be read as both homophobic and misogynistic. Let people act however they want; they deal with the consequences, on many levels, far more than you do.

    @DR: Bob Mould, Moz, and Rob Halford all seem to have been given a pass that, say, Ricky Martin and George Michael have not. The first three didn’t come out until late in their careers, and Mould and Halford certainly came as bigger surprises to their fans. As far as I know, Moz remains a bit coy on the topic, but I grew tired of his evasive interviews years ago—though anyone with half a brain who reads his lyrics knows he’s clearly gay, yet he seems to have more straight male fans than gay or female. Eric Himan and Nick Name simply aren’t well known, so I don’t think they’re as relevant to this discussion. Then there are slightly better-known singers like Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal, who is straight but acts more stereotypically gay than all the above combined.

    My main point is that people should be able to act however they want, gay or straight, and hopefully be honest about who they are to show that there’s a broad spectrum of behavior and proclivities. Second, did Ricky Martin and George Michael get attacked simply because they’re so successful and waited to come out? I don’t care about the music of either, and I don’t think anyone was shocked to learn they’re gay. But (at least before Ricky’s Target deal) neither had done anything to undermine the LGBT community. Halford has always struck me as a heavy metal version of Freddie Mercury. I just don’t see much point in attacking anyone for their behavior or interests. If it’s not your thing (and I don’t mean you specifically, I mean in general), don’t worry about it.

    People should feel free to act however and enjoy whomever they like. Why this has become such a massive debate suggests to me that some people still want everyone to fit into neat little boxes. That would make the world incredibly boring. Don’t like femme guys? Then don’t hang out with them, but don’t sit around complaining about or acting like you’re better than them. People always assume I’m straight, but I know that in many parts of the US (much less the world) it takes a lot more balls to be a femme queen than to seem stereotypically straight. Note that I don’t say “straight acting,” because I’m not putting on an act. It’s just how I am.

    Finally, @Hoyden, what makes you think Gaga is gay? She has a boyfriend for chrissakes, who she keeps very well hidden to keep the focus on her. She’s claimed to be bi, but I’m not I even believe that, save to the extent that nearly everyone has their bi moments and I’m sure she’s not intimidated by the notion of sex with women.

  83. hoyden says

    @ Paul, I said she wasn’t straight, she says she’s not straight. So, I dont understand your question? Bi isn’t straight.

  84. says

    The only people who feel their “masculinity is being stifled”, or some nonsense, are you Uncle Tom gays who are still resentful because your fathers didn’t respect you for being gay, and you’re still butt-hurt about other gay men who aren’t begging for their dad’s respect like you are.

    for real. thanks for the posts. they proved my point perfectly.

    A video about the knee-jerk negative responses to a specific perceived stereotype, and a group of you come into prove that you’re the ones who needs this videos message most of all.

    I’m sorry your fathers didn’t respect you as gay man. I truly do. but be a real man, grow some balls, and stop being such wimps.

    “And I think this is the reason for so much hatred directed to gay men, not so much because of what they do in bed, but because they have abdicated their masculinity and assumed a submissive, inferior and basically silly, public role.
    Your position of a gay man revelling in, and being unafraid to express his masculinity is a real breath of fresh air.”

    thank you for posting that. it proves my point, perfectly 😀

  85. Derrick from Philly says

    THanks, LITTLE KIWI:

    You put up a valiant fight in this discussion. I don’t have the energy (or interest) to argue with misogynistic homosexuals. They appeared (finally OPENLY) out of no where in the late 1970s, and they’ve bored the hell out me ever since. Where were they in the 1960s and before–the closet, that’s where. They are so damned insecure–women like Striesand aint insecure–have overcome insecurity, and that’s part of the reason why we love them.

    There should be room for everybody in this “new” Gay world. You don’t see gender role non-conforming Gay males going on the offensive, but we will respond to attacks from the wannabe macho boys. I think all that attempt at machismo is just an excuse for not wanting to take a bath before sex.

  86. says

    Angelo Pezzote discusses his book: Straight Acting: Gay Men, Masculinity and Finding True Love.

    Some quotes (some are paraphrased to fit):

    “…Homonegativity is so strong and pervasive that even though we may not be aware of it, it can still run our lives.”

    “We’re constantly bombarded with messages of how to be a “real man” in America. We collude, even in the subtlest of ways, to tone down our gayness and pump up our manhood to escape feminizing gay stereotypes. We deal with anti-gay sentiment from the time we’re very young. That homophobia and heterosexism can be traumatizing. We learn to mute our gayness to conform in order to be more “acceptable.” The “straight acting, straight appearing,” “discreet,” straight guise that most of us do to some degree to protect ourselves, and win more love, is gay male drag. It’s buzz-cuts, ink, goatees, military, athletic, or other manly uniforms, youthful gym bodies, and more. It’s gay men’s camouflage. It’s a gay decoy that says “I’m gay, but I’m not a faggot. I have value because I’m masculine.”
    This is not to say anyone with any, or all, of those ‘identifiers’ is doing so out of shame or fear – not at all. It’s about those who DO do it out of shame and fear. Motivation and Intent.
    It’s not what you do, it’s the honest reason WHY you do it, and HOW YOU ARE ABOUT IT.

    “I’m not anti-masculine. If you’re masculine that’s fine. If you’re not, that’s fine too. A mix-fine. The problem is when we take on society’s idea that to be a man means being masculine. It’s using masculinity as a cover, to not be “too flamboyant.” You don’t have to be effeminate if you’re not. You just have to be the gay man you are without any facade.”

    “The internalized homophobia we ingest from our polluted environment is the most pressing issue affecting gay men today. Anti-gay sentiment creates shame and low esteem, which in turn drives self-destructive behavior like unsafe sex, alcohol and drug abuse, excessive dieting and exercise, as well as anxiety, depression, addiction, attitude, straight acting, and disconnection. It impacts every facet of our lives.”

    “I think there are two camps of the young generation: One that is progressive and fully embraces who they are, censoring nothing about themselves, and wanting to be recognized and treated just like anyone else-which represents progress. The other gay youth ditch the gay label, wanting to be seen as “normal” from that place of shame I’ve been talking about. Whether it’s progressive, or just an extension of the closet-the closet of masculinity, depends on where the youth is coming from–a place of esteem or a place of shame. We can’t forgot the staggering gay youth suicide rates as well as the rising practice of unsafe sex, new HIV infection rates, and alcohol and drug abuse among gay youth. Obviously shame and low esteem, that come from internalized homonegativity and drive these self-destructive behaviors, are still an issue.”

    There is no honesty in saying “you’ve forgotten what it means to be a man” – it’s actually a challenging of the societal idea of what it means to be a man.

  87. Tommy says

    I just saw this video for the first time! How did I miss this? If nothing else the comments on here show that this Rick guy has some seriously wack issues.