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Escape from Real Bitch Island
May 31, 2007 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Escape from Real Bitch Island -- Nineteen and gay, too effeminate to hide, and persecuted by haters in his small town, Chris Crocker turned to the web to vent. Now he's a huge YouTube celebrity. Is the internet Chris Crocker's ticket out?
posted by ericb (127 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
His video "...Bitch, Please is one of Chris's most popular. Since it was uploaded to YouTube two months ago, it's been viewed nearly 300,000 times; on MySpace, where it's been since December, the number of views is well over 850,000."
posted by ericb at 8:15 AM on May 31, 2007


If he hates it that much he should leave, but if he came to New York or LA or someplace like that, he's just one more flamboyant weirdo among thousands. Maybe he dosen't want to give up his uniqueness.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


"...Chris's most watched video, This and That, which has been viewed more than 420,000 times on YouTube and nearly 1.6 million times on MySpace..."
posted by ericb at 8:18 AM on May 31, 2007


@jonmc: "I'm the only gay in the village!"
posted by Taargus Taargus at 8:19 AM on May 31, 2007


Did he just trade the haters in his small town for haters all across the planet?
posted by Dave Faris at 8:23 AM on May 31, 2007


I thought gays were trying to escape the "flamboyant" stereotype.
posted by Paris Hilton at 8:23 AM on May 31, 2007


I thought gays were trying to escape the "flamboyant" stereotype.

No you didn't. Uh, the "gay coomunity" consists of all types of people. The flamboyant amongst us are most welcome.
posted by ericb at 8:25 AM on May 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


*community*
posted by ericb at 8:25 AM on May 31, 2007


Some are. (This guy pushes it a bit, but he's got some interesting ideas, basically that as homosexuality becomes more accepted-in some places-it's the Chris Crockers/Carson Kresslers who are the acceptable face of gayness, since they are non-threatening and stereotype-reinforcing. Maybe, but at the same time I think people should be however the hell they wanna be, as long as they allow others to do the same).
posted by jonmc at 8:27 AM on May 31, 2007


He's nineteen. Buy a bus ticket, stupid.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:30 AM on May 31, 2007


I was hoping when I watched his videos that I'd find something unique or entertaining or some kind of talent that would validate why he's being so embraced and his videos are getting so viral. I hate to say this, but personally I didn't find that, really. He just reminded me of someone I knew in high school that used to really annoy me because he always demanded attention wherever we went. Same hair, even.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:38 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's nineteen. Buy a bus ticket, stupid.
"Most young men like Chris, at loggerheads with their families and unwelcome in their communities, quickly give up. They either adapt to a closeted lifestyle or they run off to a big city, locate that city's gay neighborhood, take a job in a coffeeshop or bar or theater, and start anew. Chris may still do that. He's given himself until mid-June, the anniversary of his first internet video, to leverage enough money and opportunity out of his internet fame to escape his small town. If that doesn't work, he says, he'll consider doing something more old-fashioned, like buying a bus ticket.

Ironically, the internet is the reason he didn't run away long ago. It's been a salve for his isolation, and improving communication technologies (the cell phone, the digital camera, the text message) have helped Chris thwart, at every turn, his grandparents' attempts to keep him distant from a gay life."
posted by ericb at 8:43 AM on May 31, 2007


This guy pushes it a bit, but he's got some interesting ideas, basically that as homosexuality becomes more accepted-in some places-it's the Chris Crockers/Carson Kresslers who are the acceptable face of gayness...

The interesting point that I think he makes is that it seems that, for whatever reason, there is this disconnect between male homosexuality and masculinity. If you think about it, that's just doesn't make much sense. Logically you would think the mainstream, "stereotypical" behavior would be for those men to embrace their masculinity rather than diminish it and take on the mannerisms of females. If you are a man who loves men, it would seem that it you would revel in all things male, not affect female behavior.
posted by mstefan at 8:46 AM on May 31, 2007


Is this the first recorded usage of the word "virality"?
posted by GuyZero at 8:46 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


look, he's not leaving town because he's nineteen and not good enough at anything to make a living doing it. If this is his ticket out, it'll be because he will become the gay celeb whose thing is that he survived a homophobic small town. His marketable talent will be his history and for a very short period of time he will finally move to new york or california or someplace hot and trendy to live the life of a celeb until eventually the same thing happens to him that happens to most commercial rappers: the street cred he got from growing up in a tough town won't keep him in the public eye for long once he isn't living that tough life anymore. He'll either start writing books or he'll pick up some small hosting gig on vh1 or something and that'll be the destination his ticket was for.

for myself, I hope things work out for him and that this video blog isn't just the brief meal ticket I suspect it might be.
posted by shmegegge at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2007


mstefan: I've known gay guys who do, who are total sports-watching, beer-drinking, rock-listenening man's men (pun intended), and I've also met effeminate guys who can mince and swagger at the same time, and like I said I'm all about people doing whatever they want. I don kind of like that he's pushing a masculine gay image since right now the acceptable face of male homosexuality is the harmless, effeminate queen.

(I realize that as a straight guy, my theories here might be kind of half-baked, but I like thinking about stuff, and that's what ocurred to me)
posted by jonmc at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ironically, the internet is the reason he didn't run away long ago. It's been a salve for his isolation, and improving communication technologies (the cell phone, the digital camera, the text message) have helped Chris thwart, at every turn, his grandparents' attempts to keep him distant from a gay life

Translation, he uses internet as an escape. This is understandable, but like all escapes, it isn't real.

Most people who want to leave their hometowns do so because they are leaving something, and most do not have internet fame to leverage into money. They just pack up and leave.

Also, from watching these videos, I suspect he knows that what makes him unique is how different he is from his grandparents and his surroundings, and that once he makes it to a city, that uniqueness will disappear. Furthermore, I believe this is why he hasn't left yet.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2007


I'm sure there are plenty of rich old dudes in NYC who would jump at the chance to smother Chris in their leathery, bronzed man-flab nightly in exchange for room and board in a spacious uptown duplex.
posted by The Straightener at 8:57 AM on May 31, 2007


I realize that as a straight guy, my theories here might be kind of half-baked, but I like thinking about stuff, and that's what ocurred to me.

johnmc: The same situation for me, and it's difficut to evaluate these things "from the outside looking in", and I realize that there are masculine homosexual men. I just thought it was curious that it's not "norm" for them. It seems that their own community, not just society at large, which reinforces this idea of equating homosexuality and female behavior. From that Andophilia site:
It has always seemed like some profoundly ironic cosmic joke to me that the culture of men who love men is a culture that deifies women and celebrates effeminacy. Wouldn’t it make more sense if the culture of men who are sexually fascinated by men actually idolized men and celebrated masculinity? The essence of embracing androphilic desire is embracing the fact that you actually are a man who loves men. As a male who experiences that desire, perceiving yourself to be more womanlike is a cop-out, a compromise that places homosexual desire into a more familiar Mars/Venus polarity; it is essentially heteronormative.
posted by mstefan at 8:58 AM on May 31, 2007


It's not as easy as just buying a bus ticket. In a small town like that, where do you get a job so you can make any money at all? It's well known that one of the reasons so many transsexuals, for example, resort to prostitution is that it's practically the only way they can make money looking like they do. In tiny towns, for men as flamboyant and feminine as Chris it's the same. The only sort of places that will hire you are also the places where you'll receive the most unfortunate exposure to the public, like customer service jobs.

So even if you scratch together a couple hundred bucks and show up in New York or LA or even Atlanta, what then? The leap of faith that requires is staggering. I did it myself, from Arizona to LA and then NY. Such a move is akin to committing an act of violence on the natural course of your life, uprooting everything you know or have been taught, starting over with nothing. It's like a sort of death. Worst of all, if you fail, you know you'll probably end up right back where you started, back on the Island.

I'm sure he'll get out, and I hope he is able to live up to (and live down) his web exposure.
posted by hermitosis at 9:00 AM on May 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


No you didn't. Uh, the "gay coomunity" consists of all types of people. The flamboyant amongst us are most welcome.

Except at Log Cabin fundraisers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:02 AM on May 31, 2007


I'm sure he'll get out, and I hope he is able to live up to (and live down) his web exposure.

That's an excellent point. It may seem like a good idea to him now, but how about when he's 35? That's something that a lot of these MySpace and YouTube kids don't seem to get. The stupid that you engage in publically now won't go away when you're older and wiser.

When it's time to "settle down", focus on a career, a partner, kids, whatever ... in short, when it's time for you to grow up, these things are still going to be out there, lurking. The stupid antics of today will still be around in 2027.

Digital media is forever, and it seems like the current generation, awash in the "coolness" of it all, forgets that eventually their past will come back to haunt them.
posted by mstefan at 9:07 AM on May 31, 2007


i just don't understand video blogs, or why people watch them. i've tried tons of them and ever only make it about ten seconds.
posted by andywolf at 9:07 AM on May 31, 2007


If you are a man who loves men, it would seem that it you would revel in all things male, not affect female behavior.

So I guess you'd make the same argument for extreme feminine behaviour in lesbians?
posted by dreamsign at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2007


Boy, those Brits sure know how to do American accents.
posted by dhartung at 9:18 AM on May 31, 2007


Wow, that guy's schtick is annoying as all hell. I have known quite a few queens/femmes with much better "personae."

But I think it's a great thing when young people express themselves rather than passively succumbing to fear and contempt. Makes it incrementally easier for me to be myself without worrying about how annoying I might be. So more power to him.
posted by facetious at 9:21 AM on May 31, 2007


The decision to simply take flight is also hampered by having been totally demoralized and despised most of one's life. The insecurity issues that most gays face can be pretty undermining even if they grew up in a relatively liberal environment, in small-town cases like this they are amped to 11.

I know a few people sort of like this, who still talk about leaving Arizona, while the years sail by. Life sucks for them where they are, but they have a few solid friends and local notoriety as well as a very clear concept of their enemy. Ultimately the concept of sacrificing their current support system-- and their secret certainty that they just aren't good enough to ever amount to anything anywhere else-- will freeze them there for keeps. The fact that others have managed to get out of town
posted by hermitosis at 9:21 AM on May 31, 2007


So, "making it on youtube" is the new "I'm going away to college and joining all the LGBT groups" now?
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:22 AM on May 31, 2007


Whoops. The fact that others have managed to get out of town while they haven't only serves to feed the inferiority they already feel.
posted by hermitosis at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2007


So I guess you'd make the same argument for extreme feminine behaviour in lesbians?

I imagine the guy who wrote that passage would indeed, and then go on to remind the listener that he's pointing what he perceives as a kind of irony in the lifestyle, and that he's not condemning anything.
posted by shmegegge at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2007


So I guess you'd make the same argument for extreme feminine behaviour in lesbians?

As long as they take pictures (I kid). I don't think were arguing for anything so much as making an honest observation. and, fwiw, the principle that people should be however they wanna be is pretty much sacred to me. What I think Malebranche has noticed is that the Chris Crocker face of homosexuality is the publicly acceptable one, media-wise. More and more people are comfortable with the idea of gays, as long as it's a-dude-so-effeminate-they're-almost-a-girl-and-thus-not-scary.
posted by jonmc at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2007


So I guess you'd make the same argument for extreme feminine behaviour in lesbians?

Wouldn't it make sense for women who were sexually attracted to women to emphasize their femininity?

And just from a brief reading of the website, it seems the Androphile author is making the point that he's not talking about "extreme masculine behavior". It would seem to me that affecting hypermasculinity would go back to the same issue: that hyperfeminine and hypermasculine behavior reflects a general discomfort in who you really are. It's the emotional equiavlent of putting on a clown suit. That it serves as a cultural stereotype, both inside and outside the homosexual community, would only seem to further marginalize homosexuals. As he puts it, it makes them out to be "second class men".

It would be interesting to hear what other gay men think of his writing. Being a straight guy, it seems to make a lot of sense to me, but I realize that's coming from a different perspective (and a different audience than the author intended).
posted by mstefan at 9:30 AM on May 31, 2007


"Talking black" is another term for "talking Southern," like "soul food" is just Southern non-rich cooking.
posted by davy at 9:31 AM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't think were arguing for anything so much as making an honest observation

argument as proposition, not argument as disagreement.

It reminds me of the guest lecturer in social psych when I was an undergrad. Fantastically beautiful Bolivian woman. She confessed some confusion at the time that North American feminists were not... terribly feminine.

Anyway, all stripes and flavours. But clearly there is more going on in male-male and female-female relationships than simply "XX + XX = XXXX!"
Added to which that is probably some supremely lethal genetic disorder.
posted by dreamsign at 9:32 AM on May 31, 2007


Digital media is forever, and it seems like the current generation, awash in the "coolness" of it all, forgets that eventually their past will come back to haunt them.

As a generation grows up putting their lives online though, that will change people's expectations of privacy. I think it could end up having a net positive effect on society, because it isn't like that generation is any crazier than any other, they're just documenting it more clearly.
posted by Rictic at 9:44 AM on May 31, 2007


I've really loved your comments here hermitosis

When you're a parent of teens - as I am - you hope at the back of your mind that there are other people around to give them a soft landing from time to time.

I don't mean anything specific - and my boys seem to be vaulting these years more or less happily.

But, yes, it takes courage to "get out of town" - whether it's literally a journey or just figuring out your overwhelming, lonely teenage shit.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:44 AM on May 31, 2007


If you are a man who loves men, it would seem that it you would revel in all things male, not affect female behavior.

(Fortunately) people are just more complicated than that.

For example, I revel in girls who are boys who like boys to be girls, who do boys like they're girls who do girls like they're boys.
posted by hermitosis at 9:46 AM on May 31, 2007 [6 favorites]


Regarding masculine gay behavior, if you've never seen it, I'd advise seeking out your nearest gay leather or beer bar. Still, those are subcultures within the broader mainstream.

I think the predominance of fem behavior in gay men isn't well understood even among gay men (or maybe I'm just speaking for myself). My personal theory is that it has to do with cultivating in yourself what you think the people you want to attract will find attractive. This is a process that takes place mostly unconsciously, from at least early adolescence, long before any gay boy realizes that he isn't necessarily doomed to trying to find the love of his life among the small pool of straight boys in school.

Perhaps another thing to keep in mind is that "opposites attract" even in same-sex couples -- usually one partner will be at least a bit more butch/fem than the other. Being gay isn't simply about being attracted to what the dominant culture defines as masculine -- attraction, even in most straight people, I believe, is a much more nuanced and complex phenomenon than that.
posted by treepour at 9:54 AM on May 31, 2007


(Fortunately) people are just more complicated than that.

Well, obviously, dude, but what I think Malebranche is getting at is that the effeminates are the only public face of gay-maledom in the mainstream media, and his theory is that's because they're less threatening. A tough, masculine gay guy might make the average guy uncomfortable because he'd have to re-evaluate a lot of pre-suppositions about the world.
posted by jonmc at 9:54 AM on May 31, 2007


oops, "bear" bar instead of "beer" bar.
posted by treepour at 9:56 AM on May 31, 2007


Regarding masculine gay behavior, if you've never seen it, I'd advise seeking out your nearest gay leather or beer bar. Still, those are subcultures within the broader mainstream.

I used to work in the West Village and being a curious guy and a weirdo, I've checked out the scene. I am well aware that there are gay guys who are complete regular dude types. The only gay man to ever ask me on a date was a Jim Morrisson look-alike in a Soundgarden t-shirt and leather jacket who I knew casually through my job, and that whole incident made me rethink some stuff.

(and as a rock-and-roll fanatic and big reader about it, I had to confront the whole sexuality miasma since the footprint of sexual ambiguity is all over the thing I love most)
posted by jonmc at 9:57 AM on May 31, 2007


After watching some clips, I'd say no matter how his life turns out, and whether he's gay or not, it's safe to call him a fucking idiot.
posted by autodidact at 10:01 AM on May 31, 2007


A tough, masculine gay guy might make the average guy uncomfortable because he'd have to re-evaluate a lot of pre-suppositions about the world.

Anecdotally, I've found the opposite, and I think that observation is pretty common. I've had a few bigoted friends over the years (uncomfortable friendships that didn't last) and they've always been far and away more comfortable with "manly gays" than with effeminate straight men. Which made me wonder whether the whole prejudice was based on enforcing gender roles and not necessarily sexual behaviour.
posted by dreamsign at 10:02 AM on May 31, 2007


RE: Stereotypes. Interestingly enough the traditional Japanese stereotype of homosexual men *was* a hyper-masculine "man's man" who was repulsed by all things feminine, including (naturally) sex with women. In modern Japan it seems that the traditional stereotype coexists with the Western stereotype.

Oddly enough, I was once told by a straight woman that it was impossible that Japan could have a different stereotype for homosexual men because homosexual men just naturally acted feminine....
posted by sotonohito at 10:06 AM on May 31, 2007


Like Homer Simpson, I prefer my gays "flaaaa-ming!"
posted by autodidact at 10:07 AM on May 31, 2007


From The Stranger's article:

"At first, I'd figured this level of border crossing and taboo tweaking had to be emanating from an urban area, from a source steeped in cultural collision and promoting some sort of high-concept agenda. "

O, Otherness! Because that's what Chris Crocker is, really: a dominant-ideology-subverting machine.

"He leans into the camera and starts shouting, rocking his head back and forth in anger, blond highlights flopping this way and that. 'Because bitch, you wanna fight somebody, bitch? Let's go, girl! I'm standing right here; you ain't sayin' shit to me, girl. I been standing at the mall; ain't nobody walking up to me, girl.'"

Maybe the people in his town don't dislike him because he's gay. Maybe they dislike him because he's insufferable.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 10:10 AM on May 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


dreamsign: we may be dealing with different definitions of masculinity, but that's a whole other discussion. But, if society is so uncomfortable with effeminate gays, then why are the only gays on TV in the Queer Eye/Will & Grace mold? I'm just saying.
posted by jonmc at 10:10 AM on May 31, 2007


Anecdotally, I've found the opposite, and I think that observation is pretty common.

I have to admit, I'm someone who finds myself uncomfortable around extremely effeminate men. Their sexuality doesn't bother me at all; who they're attracted to is who they're attracted to. But the over-the-top mannerisms, speech, clothing, etc. are just so far out of the norm for men (heck, it's out of the norm for most women I know, too) that I find it discomforting. Of course, I'm also one of those people who cringe in the theatre when the actors break out into (really bad) song or do something humiliating.
posted by mstefan at 10:12 AM on May 31, 2007


I'm a "gay" male who often finds himself put on edge by overly feminine gay men.
It makes me uncomfortable, I don't really know why.
Probably because of how many times I've had idiotic straight men try to undercut aspects of my personality by writing it off as a byproduct of my "gayness".

I have all female friends because I'm gay, they're my fag hags and only like me because I'm gay. They do everything I say because I'm a bitchy gay guy.
There's no chance I could beat someone in some form of athletic competition because I'm gay, in fact, I hate all organized sports because I'm a pansy. Or as an extension of that, harm you in any way (hah, showed him!)
Oh, you act! of course your abilities aren't attributable to training or talent, but, to "the gay".
Care marginally about your appearance? Gay gay gay.
I've even had someone try to link my vegetarianism to my sexuality.

I don't like being seen that way, and I probably have developed a mild antipathy for feminine gay men.

Of course, the feminine gay men I know are also pretty bitchy annoying fake people. Who like drugs a lot. Drugs and promiscuity.

I also try to stop "being gay" becoming part of my identity, I don't like being "Kevin, my gay friend." I don't particularly feel the need to be proud in a parade, or wear rainbows and make it my sole purpose to show people how gay I am.
I see people like this and it just seems like an easy way to become part of a community based on your sexuality- which is of course helpful to people who need acceptance. I think it will become less necessary as homosexuality becomes more accepted and there is no need to affirm yourself against a society that rejects you or aspects of you.
posted by Esoquo at 10:14 AM on May 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


There are plenty of gays on TV who aren't necessarily flamers. Most of them just haven't come out of the closet yet.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:14 AM on May 31, 2007


But, if society is so uncomfortable with effeminate gays, then why are the only gays on TV in the Queer Eye/Will & Grace mold?

I'm not sure that's true.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:16 AM on May 31, 2007


Supposedly some of the first recorded instances of homosexuality were in native american tribes wherein the man would take on the role of the female and live as a man's wife thus escaping the tragic male life of kill or be killed during the hunt.

Thus, for whatever cause, perhaps the more effeminate gays are simply emulating female stereotypes in order to take on the role of the woman. They call them 'bottoms'.

Anyway, it seems more sensible to me that there would be a number of effeminate and not just hyper masculine gays as a lot of manly men would each try to dominate over each other and would serve for ineffective social/sexual interactions. By some gay men fitting themselves into the roles associated with women, it makes the interpersonal dynamics work (i.e. who takes the role of aggressor vs. submitter).
posted by kigpig at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2007


The videos kind of remind me of Jonathan Caouette's in the doc Tarnation. And he made it... sort of big!
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2007


(And I'm not even going to ponder why you're pretending that television is an accurate reflection of reality.)
posted by Dave Faris at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2007


if society is so uncomfortable with effeminate gays, then why are the only gays on TV in the Queer Eye/Will & Grace mold?

You figure their demographic is made up of people like my bigoted ex-friend? Or Esoquo's "fag hags"?

TV doesn't do people. TV does caricatures.
posted by dreamsign at 10:19 AM on May 31, 2007


As for the definition of masculinity I was using, what I got was "you know, guys who work out, watch sports, drink beer -- they're alright. None of that prancy stuff."
posted by dreamsign at 10:21 AM on May 31, 2007


Blazecock: I meant the only gay characters, not actors.

and Dave, I'm not saying that television is accurate representation of reality, but it is a powerful reflection what society's prejudices, so there it does show us something, but feel free to miss my point.
posted by jonmc at 10:23 AM on May 31, 2007


TV doesn't do people. TV does caricatures.

Will & Grace is a minstrel show. Six Feet Under is a better example how TV can present a realistic portrayal of gay people.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:24 AM on May 31, 2007


like "soul food" is just Southern non-rich cooking.

Where'd you get the idea that soul food isn't rich? Fried chicken, potatoes, macaroni and cheese... this isn't rich?

Soul Food = Southern Food. End of story.

(a fat man has spoken)
posted by grubi at 10:25 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Well, obviously, dude, but what I think Malebranche is getting at is that the effeminates are the only public face of gay-maledom in the mainstream media, and his theory is that's because they're less threatening."

A simpler theory? They stick out more. A masculine gay guy is pretty unremarkable without knowing that they're gay— gender roles are much more public than orientation for most people.
And for some reason, many gays, you know, aren't necessarily open about their orientation. It could be because there's a pervasive prejudice in most societies against homosexuality, but it's probably just that they're waiting to get us straights drunk and convert us. Right?
posted by klangklangston at 10:27 AM on May 31, 2007


klang, I really wish you'd quit attributing to me ideas that I don't hold. Thanks.
posted by jonmc at 10:29 AM on May 31, 2007


"Six Feet Under is a better example how TV can present a realistic portrayal of gay people."

Yeah, but that got tedious by the end. Still, their straight characters seemed to be worse. It was interesting, having grown up watching All My Children on sick days (I'm a straight man who loves soap operas, what can I say?) to see the guy who played David's boyfriend, who on AMC was a totally butch hyper-stud, do a really similar character only with a flipped orientation.

There's also the confounding factor that I've seen in some gay pals, where they're ultra-butch about a lot of things ("Football's not bloody enough— give me rugby"), and yet squeeling schoolgirls around their boyfriends. I wish I could find a friend's livejournal post about his anthropological work with Indonesian transexual, transgendered and transvestite men, and the complicated gender roles that they adopt. It's really fascinating stuff, with all sorts of public/private nuance, and a really complex internal and external culture. We was doing medical and epidemiological anthropology there and it's a total reminder of how much gender roles and expressions are socially constructed.
posted by klangklangston at 10:34 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


"klang, I really wish you'd quit attributing to me ideas that I don't hold. Thanks."

Oh, no, I didn't mean to come across like I was attributing that to you. It was just a random snark at a broader straw man.
posted by klangklangston at 10:35 AM on May 31, 2007


Fair enough.
posted by jonmc at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2007


dreamsign wrote "Which made me wonder whether the whole prejudice was based on enforcing gender roles and not necessarily sexual behaviour."

I think you're seeing a subset of the misogyny inherent in the homobigotry. Gender roles tend to revolve around a) coercing women into doing unpleasant work for little or no pay and b) reinforcing the idea that men are inherently more valuable than women.

Look at how much the homobigots fixate on anal sex among gay men. Its even in the Bible (Lev 18:22). I think its not streatching to argue that from their POV if a man is sexually penetrated he has, in their minds, become feminized and thus devalued himself. If one man can become feminized by being sexually penetrated that threatens to devalue all men because it raises the possibility that *they* could be sexually penetrated.

When gay men "act female", that is adopt certain traditionally feminine mannerisms, and violate traditional gener roles, it even more forecefully threatens the misogynists memes by illustrating that the gender roles they are so desperately trying to preserve are cultural artifacts and not anything inherent.

It works the other way too. Homosexual women can be seen as "acting male" or "getting above themselves", and violence has always been the tool of choice among misogynists trying to prevent women from attaining equality or even simple self worth.

Of course misogyny isn't the only factor in homobigory, but I do think its one of the larger factors.

Blazecock Pileon re: Will & Grace. Damn skippy. You'll also notice that most gay characters on TV are celebate [1], another thing that Six Feet Under avoided.

[1] Or at least are never given even the tame sort of sex scenes that exist on sitcoms. I remember scenes involving Grace in bed with various men, dialog indicating that they just had hot monkey sex; don't recall a single scene like that for either Will or Jack.
posted by sotonohito at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wouldn’t it make more sense if the culture of men who are sexually fascinated by men actually idolized men and celebrated masculinity?

See: Tom of Finland (really really really NSFW)

Many personals in gay mags (or online) say things like "no fats or fems" or "straight-acting only".

Some straight men may find the hypermasculinized version of homosexuality threatening because it reveals that even Manly Men can be gay. Some straight men may find effeminate men threatening because men are not "supposed" to "act like women", especially in a culture where it's insulting to call a man a woman ("you're such a pussy!").

On preview: A friend and I were nearly gay-bashed in Dupont Circle (DC's gayborhood) a few years ago. We're both pretty butch dykes, and a guy started chasing down the Metro escalator, screaming, "You think you're a man? You wanna be a man? I'll show you what a man is!" Thank god everyone on the escalator - for once - actually obeyed the stand-on-the-right rule that day. I've never run down an escalator so fast in my life.
posted by rtha at 10:47 AM on May 31, 2007


Look at how much the homobigots fixate on anal sex among gay men.

That was kinda the fascinating thing. This guy would rather go for drinks with a "manly" gay man -- than a straight man who violated his social ideals of what a man should be about -- and the first guy is having sex with men. The hell??? Perhaps too much time thinking about what may be an outlier, but it was all so strange to hear I guess I've never really stopped thinking about it since.
posted by dreamsign at 10:50 AM on May 31, 2007


Some straight men may find the hypermasculinized version of homosexuality threatening because it reveals that even Manly Men can be gay. Some straight men may find effeminate men threatening because men are not "supposed" to "act like women", especially in a culture where it's insulting to call a man a woman ("you're such a pussy!").


rtha: that was more or less what I was trying to say. Don't take my admittedly-unlettered straight guy fumbling theories as some kind of prescriptive agenda.
posted by jonmc at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2007


Maybe the people in his town don't dislike him because he's gay. Maybe they dislike him because he's insufferable.

Word - I'm afraid I'm kind of siding with the persecutors on Realitch Island...
posted by Flashman at 11:06 AM on May 31, 2007


uh, space-capital B
posted by Flashman at 11:07 AM on May 31, 2007


That was kinda the fascinating thing. This guy would rather go for drinks with a "manly" gay man -- than a straight man who violated his social ideals of what a man should be about -- and the first guy is having sex with men. The hell???

Again I'm confused as to why this comes as a surprise. The upright straight men are no less free from their social roles. As long as the gay man is a manly man he can still engage him in a manner he would other men, competitively, and being that they're both manly men, he can feel comfortable of a sort of code of honor coming from the gay man that he won't ever be hit on.

When we speak of an effeminate man, we are referring to someone who is vain, self-absorbed, and hyper emotional. These tend to be things manly men despise, justifiably, whether the person is gay or straight. That most manly men have been conditioned to see most gay men as being just this is the reason dislike of gays is spread well past the religious dogmas which preach it.
posted by kigpig at 11:16 AM on May 31, 2007


yeah, Realitch Island sounds unpleasant.
posted by jonmc at 11:17 AM on May 31, 2007


Wow, this guy's crazy annoying. I don't care what he's having sex with, I just never want to see or hear him again.
posted by jonson at 11:19 AM on May 31, 2007


Wait, wait, 19 year olds are annoying? Really?

I just don't want that to get associated unduly with his gayness, or at least to be forgiven in light of the real persecution it creates for him. If he's awkward and over-the-top, there's really no one more entitled to be, given that he's still mixed up in a serious case of cultural imbalance and identity crisis.

I don't know how to forgive the uppercrust 19 year old wasps that annoy me, unfortunately. Paging LiLo...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:24 AM on May 31, 2007


I will say that Will and Grace (though a terrible show with 2 dimensional and absurd characters) and Queer Eye for the straight guy did not actually portray strictly effeminate gay men. They may not have had punk rocker gays, or body building macho gays, but they both had guys that simply were not effeminate. Perhaps there is a better example of the media only showing effeminate non-threatening gays but I doubt it.

As far as people being put on edge by flamboyantly effeminate gay men, I've noticed something:

There's no such thing as one effeminate gay male stereotype, and short of outright bigotry there's not such thing as one reaction to effeminate gay men. There are quiet, shy and reserved men and women of all orientations, and most people I know don't really ever get annoyed or put on edge by quiet shy effeminate men or women. There are also loud, obnoxious braying jackasses of all genders and orientations, and most people I know get annoyed by all of them. I suspect that if you took this young man's voice and had some 19 year old pain in the ass girl lip synch perfectly to it and move in precisely the same way it would be equally annoying to those people it annoys.
posted by shmegegge at 11:26 AM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


So he's annoying some people. Guess what: I'm sure he's heard much worse.

I have a very big bag of tolerance ready for anyone who grew up gay in that kind of environment. And who didn't stay in the closet.
posted by imperium at 11:26 AM on May 31, 2007


When we speak of an effeminate man, we are referring to someone who is vain, self-absorbed, and hyper emotional. These tend to be things manly men despise, justifiably, whether the person is gay or straight. That most manly men have been conditioned to see most gay men as being just this is the reason dislike of gays is spread well past the religious dogmas which preach it.

See, I'm not sure if I buy that. I've been called effeminate in my day, and it's been directed at the way I might walk or talk or my mannerisms. I've never felt that homobigotry (good word) directed toward me came from me being perceived as vain or self-absorbed.
posted by CreequeAlley at 11:42 AM on May 31, 2007


what CreequeAlley said.
posted by shmegegge at 11:49 AM on May 31, 2007


Explain it away all you want, but I really think that 95% (or more) of homobigotry stems from nothing more than the fact that it grosses people out to think of two guys doingit.
posted by CreequeAlley at 11:50 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


jonmc: sorry - didn't mean to imply you were. Being prescriptive, that is. It was just a mental jumping-off point for me.
posted by rtha at 11:54 AM on May 31, 2007


I've been called effeminate in my day, and it's been directed at the way I might walk or talk or my mannerisms. I've never felt that homobigotry (good word) directed toward me came from me being perceived as vain or self-absorbed.

People aren't always bright enough to even get their stereotypes right, but the classic walk, talk and mannerisms which we stereotype as female are excessively flaunting of one's personage. So in a sense it very viably could be vanity. By no means are these exclusive though and I don't mean to attribute that what you were doing when accused in any way reflected these. In fact, were someone to be 'clean' which is some circles is a sign of femininity, they could get labeled as effeminate.

So, I should have put often in there somewhere, but then again it was relating to the point of a flamboyantly gay man. You would agree that what we mean by flamboyance is those three characteristics no?

Explain it away all you want, but I really think that 95% (or more) of homobigotry stems from nothing more than the fact that it grosses people out to think of two guys doingit.

I don't have any scope of the percentage. The example given that I was responding to was where the gay manly man was accepted and the effeminate straight man was not. This is an experience that I've witnessed numerous times too.
posted by kigpig at 12:01 PM on May 31, 2007


Beth Ditto blames gay men for the reason why women obsess about being skinny.
posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on May 31, 2007


I grew up gay in the bible belt, and I'm still in therapy over it. I didn't muster the courage to come out to even myself until I was in my 20's.

He may be over-the-top (and he's certainly no anomaly among 19-year olds in this regard) but I've got to admit that the queer, closeted 19-year kid in me really admires this guy for being his loud, obnoxious, out-there self against all the odds he must be up against.
posted by treepour at 12:12 PM on May 31, 2007


I>So, I should have put often in there somewhere, but then again it was relating to the point of a flamboyantly gay man. You would agree that what we mean by flamboyance is those three characteristics no?

I'd argue that effeminacy and flamboyance aren't always one and the same.

I do see what you're saying, I think, but I was going of what I read, which was "When we speak of an effeminate man, we are referring to someone who is vain, self-absorbed, and hyper emotional." I still don't buy that's what we're speaking of when we speak of an effeminate man. I think when we're speaking of effeminate men, we're speaking of men who don't have "manly" voices and don't carry themselves with "masculine" posturing.
posted by CreequeAlley at 12:17 PM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


If you are a man who loves men, it would seem that it you would revel in all things male, not affect female behavior.

What? So if you're a male who loves women, then it would would follow that you revel in all things female and you do not "affect" "male behavior"? There's so much about that sentence that doesn't make sense to me . . . First of all, who says "effeminate" gay guys are affecting anything? Could it be that the way they act, dress, think and talk are integral part of who they are? I mean, what differentiates affectation from genuine identity - your approval/disapproval, comfort/discomfort? Do you call it affectation when frat guys ape some straight guy stereotype by going to a strip bar and getting drunk on cheap beer while acting like assholes?

Logically you would think the mainstream, "stereotypical" behavior would be for those men to embrace their masculinity rather than diminish it and take on the mannerisms of females.
Again, who's "taking on" anything? People is people and we come in all sorts of crazy varieties and flavors. The trouble comes when some flavors have the notion and the power to try and force us all to be the same. Also, who defines masculinity and why is it that if someone is all girlie and femme he or she is "diminishing" masculinity? If I'm a guy who acts like a stereotypically masculine asshole warrior oppressor, why isn't that viewed as diminishing my femininity?

Its interesting also that someone above equated feminine guys with negative qualities such as vanity and self-absorption. To me, that speaks more to that person's views on women (even though not all women are feminine) than it does on any femme gay guys he's probably met.

Also, one last thing.... that Jack Malebranche guy jonmc linked to is an interesting character, but I would read his stuff with a huge amount of skepticism/wariness. I only heard of his last night when I saw him being interviewed by Kirk Cameron and some other crazy anti-evolutionist about the Church of Satan of which he is a member. He seemed so much more reasonable (and way hotter) than either Kirk or the other dude, and I thought it was awesome he gave them an interview and didn't come across as a complete loon. However, his views, from an admittedly superficial reading, seem very top-down/dominate, "you must be like me or you are not right" and oppressive. Rather than accepting that we all come in different shapes and sizes and flavors, he seems ashamed of his flamboyant, femme, "weak" gay brethren and that's sad and ultimately self-destructive.
posted by flamk at 12:44 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree, Creeque. I think that someone had better work on finishing their plate instead of counting the beans on it...
posted by hermitosis at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2007


dreamsign wrote "This guy would rather go for drinks with a "manly" gay man -- than a straight man who violated his social ideals of what a man should be about -- and the first guy is having sex with men. The hell???"

I don't think that's incompatible with what I said. We're talking about an emotional response, not a reasoned action. The guy you are talking about was intellectually aware that the masculine gay man was gay, but since he behaved "normally" it didn't trigger the emotional response. Similarly the guy knew that the effiminate straight guy was straight, but the "abnormal" mannerisms triggered his misogynist response.

Appearance is often more important than substance when it comes to our emotions. Worse, a person's emotions may be out of sync with their intellect. I think its possible for a person to fully and genuinely support gay rights and simultaniously have a homophobic response to actual gay people. Emotions are weird things.
posted by sotonohito at 1:01 PM on May 31, 2007


Is he related to Lady Raptastic in any way?
posted by well_balanced at 1:14 PM on May 31, 2007


I can't help but think Chris should save his money for that bus ticket rather than count on YouTube fame to vote him off the island.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:21 PM on May 31, 2007


Ok. Yup. This guy is gay.

And that is what? A super power or something now?

Because I don't get the celebrity thing at all. Though I see that being an irritating hag, AKA Paris Hilton, seems enough to make one a celebrity.

Side note:
While I am no expert in all things gay my wife and I do live on the corner of Gay Street and Swish Avenue. My nieghbors are gayer than Gay McGayerson. Butch Manlove lives upstairs. We have lived and worked in gay neighborhoods pretty much for last 15 years. My gaydar is fairly well tuned.

It has been my observation that while not all men who love other men live in gay neighborhoods those that DO trend towards slightly more effeminate than average with a smaller subset of very, very, effeminate. Nobody should be hounded or accused of media brainwashing or stereotyping for seeing this. It just means your paying attention.

Gaydar still not working? In gay neighborhoods go to the local gym. Most of the out of shape guys? They're straight. But, golly, many gay men still high five and go to sports bars and scratch their balls like straight guys.
posted by tkchrist at 1:22 PM on May 31, 2007


As for cool, nonsterotypical gays on TV, look no further than Omar, on HBO's The Wire

That dude is not only the most badass gay dude Ive ever seen in fiction, hes also probably the most badass dude on the show. Id say definitely now that Stringer is gone.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:47 PM on May 31, 2007


Not to continue the derail, but since this came up...
From reading his book, which a good chunk of the blogosphere that's bitching about him hasn't, Rev. Malebranche appears to be saying that sticking out is harmful in the long run, and is harmful to other androphiles that don't fit the stereotype. He, and all the other guys who can 'pass', and who do, want to concentrate on OTHER things, not on their sexual identities. He's a writer and an artist. He doesn't want to be a gay writer, or a homosexual artist, because he thinks that whole hyphenated-American stuff is nonsense. (Now, I've only read the book once, and if I misrepresent anything he's said, I apologize. But a lot of his critics are just picking out passages, and also aren't reading it with some of the background context (like, where he's a Reverend) that helps.)
posted by cobaltnine at 1:54 PM on May 31, 2007


This is why I love MeFi. A basically one-link/YouTube FPP about a really annoying 19 year old turns into a fascinating, wide-ranging and respectful discussion about sexual and gender identity, homobigotry (great word), and growing up "different" in the Bible Belt. Bravo. Seriously.

Having said that - my first thought on watching the YouTube videos was "I don't get it." I don't really see anything in Chris Crocker that warrants enough fame to leverage him out of his town and current life, on the basis of that fame alone. I know it's been mentioned that he's unique where he is and would be considerably less so elsewhere, but really, which of us doesn't know someone like this, gay or not? I can think of 2 or 3 people right off the top of my head, and I'm not really trying. I certainly feel for him, the flashes of anger and pure, naked frustration in his clips (particular the Earl Annie Edna) are intriguing, arresting almost, but what I see is a guy trying to make himself a celebrity for being. . . gay. Um, whoopdie-fucking-do, as my husband would say. The woods are full of 'em.

I think the comment that most fully encompasses my thoughts on this is Esoquo's:

I also try to stop "being gay" becoming part of my identity, I don't like being "Kevin, my gay friend." I don't particularly feel the need to be proud in a parade, or wear rainbows and make it my sole purpose to show people how gay I am.

I see people like this and it just seems like an easy way to become part of a community based on your sexuality- which is of course helpful to people who need acceptance. I think it will become less necessary as homosexuality becomes more accepted and there is no need to affirm yourself against a society that rejects you or aspects of you.


Speed the day.
posted by jennaratrix at 2:19 PM on May 31, 2007


The flamboyant amongst us are most welcome.

Well, that all depends on how the word "welcome" is defined. They're definitely welcome as props to trot out every June at Gay Pride events as evidence of how open-hearted the "gay community" is. Other than that, not so much.
posted by blucevalo at 2:53 PM on May 31, 2007


I'm proud of him. I hope he gets here or to some other big city soon.

You Go, Chris! : >
posted by amberglow at 3:00 PM on May 31, 2007


blucevalo, even if not so welcome everywhere, most if not all know that it was the flamboyant who started gay rights. It was those who couldn't pass who were always out and who moved things along when others were way too afraid. No flaming queens are thrown out of bars because they're too flaming. None are thrown out of community centers or club or group or activist meetings. Many flamboyant people are in fact leading those meetings, and started those clubs, and help keep those bars in business, as a matter of fact.

We're not just one community but many communities. I'm not so welcome in some places. A drag queen is not so welcome in some places. A guy who lives for sports is not so welcome in some places. A showtune guy is not so welcome in some places. A lowclass person is not so welcome in some places. A preppie is not so welcome in some places. ... -- it's just like straight societies and communities and cultures.
posted by amberglow at 3:06 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


While I certainly do respect his bravery to not only be Out as hell, but really annoying right up in peoples faces, I have to play devil's advocate here and wonder if maybe this article (and others like it) doesnt owe more to an urban writer's romanticism of the small town gay victim. Theres a certain lure to imagining yourself in that kind of saintly pose, even if you know how much it would suck to actually have to LIVE through it.

Theres nothing terribly remarkable about the kids personality itself, he just comes off as someone that hasnt found his real identity yet, who's adopting a hyper-charicatured persona to deal with it. Much like alot of gay guys that I know did when they first came out.

Im not gonna knock him for that, altho I personally find him to be vacuous and annoying. I just dont understand the attraction that both gay teens and teen girls have to wanting to act like a Bratz doll.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:10 PM on May 31, 2007


For example, I revel in girls who are boys who like boys to be girls, who do boys like they're girls who do girls like they're boys.

Always should be someone you really love, hermitosis.
posted by jokeefe at 3:12 PM on May 31, 2007


Senor, all the more reason why he needs to get out and into a safer place to grow up, no? What does he really know about things? He's still a kid. He needs to see that he can just be him, whatever he is like--and not get beaten or killed because of it. That's not possible in many many places in this country.
posted by amberglow at 3:30 PM on May 31, 2007


Oh Im not arguin that with you at all.
I hope he does get out.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:37 PM on May 31, 2007


When we speak of an effeminate man, we are referring to someone who is vain, self-absorbed, and hyper emotional. These tend to be things manly men despise, justifiably, whether the person is gay or straight..

This is a great example of how to be bigoted against women and homosexuals in a single sentence. Effeminate = vain, self-absorbed, hyper-emotional. Wow.

A straight man is not usually criticized for being effeminate; people understand he is straight, and thus the occasional hand gesture or idiosyncrasy is often dismissed. The "metrosexual" phenomenon is an excellent example of this; manly men that somehow exhibit many traditionally "gay" traits. The double standard at its best.

On the other hand, a gay man's mannerisms and method of speech will be quickly condemned as proof of his inherent homosexuality. I speak like a university student, I use words with lots of syllables; this is often considered "gay." Even a candid demeanor or willingness to share can be seen as effeminate, as straight men are supposed to conceal their feelings, etcetera.

The public's embrace of the "flaming" aspect of homosexuality is absolutely not coincidental. There is nothing more terrifying to the closed-minded as a completely invisible minority. How do you reject what you cannot identify? If homosexuality is really kept in the bedroom, it cannot be publicly persecuted, as it is publicly nonexistent. The answer? Lure them out. Media's complete silence on the topic of bisexuality, despite its steadily increasing acceptance, is an excellent example of this. Normalizing bisexuality will destroy any possible anti-gay argument, and thus it is even more taboo than the gay-and-flaming.

Name a single TV show (HBO doesn't count!) with a bisexual character. A bisexual male character? As if.
posted by mek at 3:52 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]



Wouldn't it make sense for women who were sexually attracted to women to emphasize their femininity?


As someone pointed out, men who are attracted to women don't necessarily emphasize their own femininity.

I think the question hiding in the question above is actually "wouldn't it make sense for women who are sexually attracted to women to prefer women who emphasize their femininity?" Or in less complicated terms, wouldn't it make sense for lesbians to be attracted to feminine women?

Not necessarily. Being attracted to the female sex doesn't necessarily mean you're especially attracted to femininity (typically female gender). Some people are attracted to specific sexes, some to specific genders, others are attracted to specific combinations of sex + gender...
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:13 PM on May 31, 2007


Name a single TV show (HBO doesn't count!) with a bisexual character. A bisexual male character? As if.

Torchwood, or does BBC not count?
posted by cobaltnine at 4:36 PM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


My friend's theory about effeminate gay men and butch lesbians is simply that gay people adopt the role models straight society offers them. A lot of gay people aren't comfortable with the straight same-sex role models and adopt the opposite sex role models instead.

However, some people will take on extreme, even caricatured, opposite sex role-model traits. In my opinion, these extreme affectations are often, or perhaps even usually, the most annoying and unattractive characteristics of each sex. This is what makes me uncomfortable, actually. I don't much like gender roles in the first place—blown-up and cartoonish versions of them are even more unpleasant.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:39 PM on May 31, 2007


In my opinion, these extreme affectations are often, or perhaps even usually, the most annoying and unattractive characteristics of each sex.

Amen. Especially amongst the dyke and "babydyke" set.
Its like every 10 years they find the most douchebaggy straight guy archetype and then run with it.

This is why so many of them dress like late 90s frat mooks or chain-wallet wiggers nowadays.

By hey, at least it helped to (mostly) irradicate the "Fem-Mullet"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:56 PM on May 31, 2007


In my opinion, these extreme affectations are often, or perhaps even usually, the most annoying and unattractive characteristics of each sex.

Exactly. Well said.

And I must be getting old, because I had to get Google to tell me what the heck a "chain-wallet wigger" is. Good grief. Not something I'd use in polite company, for sure.
posted by mstefan at 5:51 PM on May 31, 2007


When we speak of an effeminate man, we are referring to someone who is vain, self-absorbed, and hyper emotional. These tend to be things manly men despise, justifiably, whether the person is gay or straight..

This is a great example of how to be bigoted against women and homosexuals in a single sentence. Effeminate = vain, self-absorbed, hyper-emotional. Wow.


huh...because I did also say this:

Thus, for whatever cause, perhaps the more effeminate gays are simply emulating female stereotypes in order to take on the role of the woman.


I mean I thought that saying something was a stereotype did not mean implicit endorsement of the idea and often suggested quite the opposite.

And considering the discussion was about a straight man who was effeminate vs. a gay man who was manly, I'm curious how effeminate gets turned into homosexual in your response when it runs directly against the example.
posted by kigpig at 6:01 PM on May 31, 2007


I begun thinking, that I too know people much like Chris in the video, and they are perhaps a few degrees shy from his level of insufferable drama queen nature. While I realize effeminate nature is very complex, I realized that because of their effeminate nature, and thus the abstraction from myself, I treat them differently.

I realize that this is a classic "chicken and the egg" problem, but I would wager to guess that acting like a caricature facilitates communication. It has been a little while since my international communication theory courses, but I believe one of the tenets that facilitates effective communication from people of different groups is more or less how the interaction conforms to expectations. This becomes more complicated under a variety of conditions, in a longer time-series the dynamics change and that often becomes a hindrance to communication, but on a basic level if we act as stereotypes communications becomes more effective, more quickly. The less mixed messages the better.

Again, very "chicken and the egg", but I would imagine it is much easier for someone like Chris to be very flamboyant in such a community, especially in a time like puberty, as oppose to everyone defaulting him as straight (and potential severe backlash if they believe him to be "in the closet"). I would posture to believe, that while Chris's behavior is extreme, in a community where interaction with different cultures at even the most basic levels is nearly non-existent, identifying himself immediately and without subtle clues probably benefits him in the long-run. In a very diverse place, such as Manhattan, the interaction expectations are completely different and flags such as his flamboyancy are simply not needed for interaction.

To put it more academically, he lives in a very high context culture. He is an outsider and displays this in a way that such a high context can interpret (and subsequently label him as an outsider and approach hims differently). If you're in Manhattan, you can be a Buddhist, transgendered, Republican investment banker for all I know, and I would approach the situation in a much more rule oriented way. When nothing is assumed, you enter a much more tolerant culture.
posted by geoff. at 6:08 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


My friend's theory about effeminate gay men and butch lesbians is simply that gay people adopt the role models straight society offers them. A lot of gay people aren't comfortable with the straight same-sex role models and adopt the opposite sex role models instead.

Hmmm. This may be true for some folks, or may have been moreso in the days before Stonewall. But as a butch dyke, I simply don't fit into the box marked "female" - but I'm not trying to live in the box labeled "male" either. I was once challenged on the street by a guy who asked me why I was dressed like a guy (I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and sneakers - oh, and at the time, my hair was very long). I was astonished. I had been reading Leslie Feinsberg's Stone Butch Blues and thinking a lot about gender and its projection and interpretation. By wearing shorts and a t-shirt and having a certain body language that is somehow not acceptably female, I had run up against this weird barrier declaring that I had gone beyond the Pale. I didn't make this choice, you understand - it was made for me when I decided to express my femaleness in ways (dress, haircut, body language) that aren't okay.

Butch dykes and faggy boys aren't necessarily trying to adopt opposite sex role models; they are expressing different ways of being male and female. Some people (not you, EB, or anyone here that I've seen) are threatened by that.
posted by rtha at 7:01 PM on May 31, 2007


That's something that a lot of these MySpace and YouTube kids don't seem to get. The stupid that you engage in publically now won't go away when you're older and wiser.

What you don't get, mstefan, is that these kids are people whose future is significantly different than your past.
posted by humannaire at 8:11 PM on May 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


BTW -- it goes without saying there have been/are many "flamboyant" gay men these past few decades who have been/are highly regarded and appreciated by a vast majority for their contributions to society [e.g. art, entertainment, literature, etc.] -- often way beyond "camp," et al.

Truman Capote, Elton John, Paul Lynde, Oscar Wilde ... and the most recently deceased Charles Nelson Reilly.
posted by ericb at 8:17 PM on May 31, 2007


First of all, Chris Crocker was famous long before he got FPP'd on MetaFilter. And now that he is being discussed on MeFi, he is more famous, but no less talented.

What most everyone seems to be missing *here* is that this kid is doing this on his own. He's had some good teachers who recognized he is naturally talented, some people who encouraged him along his way, but he is entertaining all on his own. Some of the ideas he discusses, and subjects he references - such as the Queen of Ghetto where he brags about [ghetto] "being a second language for him" (compared to its being his detractors' "first") shows sythesis, compassion, and understanding beyond his years.

Naw, I disagree with most every dig or waysiding of Crocker's performances. He's the real McCoy, and he isn't jumping the gun, he's just biding his time.

Yeah, NYC is there waiting to suck him up and make him its own, but in the mean time, I'm giving him credit where credit is due. He's talented AND he's gay. Not the other way around.
posted by humannaire at 8:20 PM on May 31, 2007


I'm pretty convinced its not the gayness that makes most people uncomfortable - it's the gender bending. I think people are way more uncomfortable with cross gender issues than gay issues. Vis a vis - The post about the non-gender bathrooms. There was more consternation for no reason in that thread than any gay thread I have ever seen around here.
posted by jopreacher at 8:31 PM on May 31, 2007


BTW, for the record we have all learned that...

klangklangston (x 2)
jonmc (x 2)
mstefan (x 2)

...are all 200% gay-free!
posted by humannaire at 8:39 PM on May 31, 2007


Regarding the gay man effeminate thing, Jaye Davidson who was in "The Crying Game" in an interview was asked about him being popular in the gay community, and he said he wasn't because he was so effeminate, and that gay men were looking for other masculine gay men.

Regarding this kid. I just don't see what the interest is, but then I'm old and tired.
posted by Eekacat at 9:32 PM on May 31, 2007


A drag queen is not so welcome in some places. A guy who lives for sports is not so welcome in some places. A showtune guy is not so welcome in some places. A lowclass person is not so welcome in some places. A preppie is not so welcome in some places. ... -- it's just like straight societies and communities and cultures.

You may be right. I don't get out in the gay community that much anymore. When I did get out more, that wasn't my experience of gay culture.

It may also depend on what gay community or communities we're talking about. One gay community may be accommodating and inclusive. Another may not be.
posted by blucevalo at 9:49 PM on May 31, 2007


He's talented AND he's gay. Not the other way around.

Oh good grief. The word "talent" is not exactly something that I would use to describe his so-called performances, which are more akin to a public display of someone suffering with Tourette syndrome. Whether he's gay or not is irrelevant. He acts like a spastic nitwit, in search of his fifteen minutes.
posted by mstefan at 10:07 PM on May 31, 2007


If he could tone it down a few notches, and with a few connections, he could have easily been in line for the casting of JT Leroy a year or two ago.
posted by theperfectcrime at 10:13 PM on May 31, 2007


I feel sorry for the kid; it's hard living in Tractor Pull Heaven even if you're straight. I wonder if he's from my hometown; it's certainly a possibility. (my hometown makes Laramie, Wyoming look like San Fransisco during Gay Pride Week)
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:25 AM on June 1, 2007


@hermitosis
I revel in girls who are boys who like boys to be girls, who do boys like they're girls who do girls like they're boys.

That was the most fabulous song, evar.
Gimmee that park life.
posted by Twang at 5:15 AM on June 1, 2007


but no less talented.

It's a shame. He could use more.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:36 AM on June 1, 2007


I'm pretty convinced its not the gayness that makes most people uncomfortable - it's the gender bending.

Jeez, how could I have missed that? Thanks, jopreacher!
posted by humannaire at 7:19 PM on June 1, 2007


OH MY GOD.

It's that kid?

He is such an insufferable little douchebag. He's all over LiveJournal, and frequently gets into pissing matches with people who say "You're annoying, go away" or "Yes, fine, whore your pictures out, that's what this community is for.. except that your pictures don't actually fit what we're trying to do here"

Seriously. He's basically the Ubertwink: zero self-awareness, monstrously selfish, overweening ego, empty-headed little turd.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:00 PM on June 2, 2007


he'll grow up, dnab--he'll get wiser.
posted by amberglow at 8:30 AM on June 3, 2007


Maybe, maybe not. The gaybourhood here is positively littered with 30-40-50 year olds who never got out of that phase. Can't throw a brick without hitting half a dozen of them.

Why yes, I carry bricks with me whenever I'm in the area, why do you ask?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:56 AM on June 3, 2007


Why yes, I carry bricks with me whenever I'm in the area, why do you ask?
*takes bricks, and pours glitter on one of them, and sticks feathers on another, and a fabulous retro 70s fabric on another, and makes another into a pom-pommed monstrosity, and another gets leather, and another gets chenille, and another gets diamonique chandelier pieces, and...*
posted by amberglow at 9:09 AM on June 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


... "He has to learn to live in this world and this world don’t abide boys like that." ...
posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on June 3, 2007


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