Monday, January 20, 2014

Begging to be made fun of

Here's the funniest thing I read today. The title says everything: Landmark 'Add Health' Sexuality Survey May Have Been Foiled by Teens Joking About Being Gay. Excerpt:

A likelier scenario is the "immature jokes" hypothesis, Savin-Williams argues: Namely, that the teens thought it would be funny if they told researchers they were homosexual or bisexual.

Other signs suggest the teens were having a joke at the expense of the surveyors.

"We should have known something was amiss," Savin-Williams said. "One clue was that most of the kids who first claimed to have artificial limbs (in the physical-health assessment) miraculously regrew arms and legs when researchers came back to interview them."

Here's the truth of the matter, or at least my theory. Only honest, brave people want to talk about what being gay is really about. So gayness as it is promoted in the media deals with secondary characteristics which are all easily made fun of. I challenge you to find me a male aged 13 or older who cannot do a perfect "gay voice". Very few white people can do a black voice nor even a decent imitation Southern accent. It's an easy gig even for the comically uncreative. Men who are into hairstyles, make-up, silk undergarments and musicals provide infinite possibilities for humor even among people who are not "homophobic" by the definition of the politically correct and people who would never wish to offend with crude humor. Dressing in drag won't give you AIDS or the other horrific diseases associated with sodomy any more than playing fantasy football will give you a concussion or a pulled hamstring. And what is sinful about liking the Wizard of Oz? So it's not like you feel like you are making light of something deeply serious since this is the presentation of gays in the media, just people who are a lil' bit different than you an' me.

But the endless stream of gay stuff being pumped out there at this point in history is going to inspire the sort of goofing that these teenagers did, especially if they were paid to be surveyed. We can laugh along with Monty Python with the Lumberjack Song without feeling bad about referring to disgusting or sinful behavior. Maybe we're wrong to do that, but that's not my point. My point is that if you "come out" and then try to make it about anything other that misplaced sexual urges and self-destructive behavior, some people are going to laugh.

There was a ridiculous sign at Christmas time at the Westlake, OH public library for the musical Keeping the Yuletide Gay which was at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. The poster featured topless, muscly dudes wearing Santa hats and Christmas tree ornaments. I couldn't help thinking this at the time: Are these male models really gay? Probably not. Just another paid gig that they can laugh about in the weight room later.


  1. Sometimes I like to go into a progressive place like Starbucks and say, "You know, we really need to be having more frank and open conversations about gay sex - you're not homophobic, are you? Good. So what parts of it do you find most beautiful?"


    1. Fortunately, Keith, there is a whole section about gay-sex in Dante's Inferno which is highly appropriate for discussion in coffee shops.

    2. Well, sure, but buttonholing - I said buttonholing - liberals and trying to get them to expound on it publicly is sometimes more fun.