chasing amy

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Wed Feb 10 07:41:16 PST 1999

-----Original Message----- From: d-m-c at <d-m-c at> To: lbo-talk at <lbo-talk at>

-yes, now that was interesting. but why did they have to represent him as -*that* particular kind of gay Black man? That's the problem. Did he have -to be effeminate? A Drama Queen? A gossiper as I recall. Please.

Now what's wrong with *that* particular kind of gay? Frankly, *that* kind is more likely to be good friends with a bunch of lesbians than the butch macho man gay types. If the story was his story, we might want more complication, but he was not the simple cute flamboyant Queen - that was the point of the Black Nationalist posturing - but a guy with a lot of anger who balanced out a set of identity desires that are not that uncommon.

There are legitimate complaints when gays are all portrayed as limp-wristed hairdressers, but there is also a contrary cultural prejudice by some against acknowleding effeminate gays. If the main woman star stands in for a lot of uncomfortableness with bisexuality in the cultural left, the gay black guy seems to evoke the same left uncomfortableness with the Transgendered community that is a hyper form of effiminacy (in the case of male->female).

A lot of folks want a cultural politics of clear identity divisions - the genetic disposition wish being a part of this - where gays and lesbians are exactly the same as straights except for who they sleep with. And to keep those lines "straight", lesbians don't sleep with men, and gay men don't act like the stereotype of a woman.

One of the reason that younger gay folks created the short-lived sexually polymorphous Queer Nation a few years ago was to try to escape the identity lines of the older activist generation. Many evoked the drag queens of Stonewall who were looked down on by other gays back in the 60s, while Queer Nation's politics was an "in-your-face" public demonstration of uncomfortable differences that horrified many older activists trying to sell

gay marriage and gay military service to the general hetero population.


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