“Even a monotonously undeviating path of self-examination does not necessarily lead to self-knowledge. I stumble towards my grave confused and hurt and hungry. ” Quentin Crisp
Interview with Quentin Crisp
Interview with Bette Bourne
Cris Crocker’s video blog
So, now we have come full circle.
The first openly gay men, who were oppressed by straight society, who were beaten, abuse, and whose careers were de-railed simply by being “out”, were feminine gay men.
Now, it is people in the gay community who are often very prejudiced about feminine males. How sad. They reflect the prejudices in society towards feminine men generally.
With such prejudices within the gay community, such little support for feminine gay men as a positive identity within society, is it any wonder that some feminine men turn out transgender?
People in the gay community get angry about feminine gay men being feminine gay men, and criticise them because of the way they are. I have seen this with my own eyes. Somebody I knew was landlord of a pub I used to drink at, and he was a feminine gay man. He was abused by another gay man in front of all his (mostly straight) customers for being a feminine gay man. At the time, I bought into the twisted logic that my gay friend used to humiliate this man in public – but now I just feel ashamed that I had witnessed that.
There are lesbians and gay men who get angry about feminine men who become transsexual and have SRS, because they see this as co-opting being a woman, a denial of their ‘true’ sexuality by becoming straight women, and feel SRS is a lie. If feminine men who are sexually attracted to women become transsexual, they are denigrated as being some sort of pervert.
Some get angry with feminine men who become transgender and who try to navigate their way through a space between male and female, because they don’t have SRS. They too are denigrated as being perverts.
Some get so angry, they would rather feminine gay men, transsexuals and transgender people were not a part of the lesbian and gay community. And some even denigrate these people in wider society, seeking to turn people who support them against them. They justify this, by arguing they have co-opted LGBT for their own agenda, and so have no reason to offer them any support or solidarity.
Whatever somebody born male does to try and deal with their being feminine, it is wrong.
And when feminine gay men, transgender and transsexual people get angry about being treated this way within the lesbian and gay community as well as society as a whole… that is wrong too. It is especially wrong if they respond angrily, and use derogatory statements like the ones they have been subjected to. This just proves how very wrong they are.
These people are wrong when they fuck with and adulterate the clearly defined, oppressive, heteronormative, gender roles and stereotypes of a patriarchal society. These people are wrong when they do not. Nothing they can possibly do will ever be right for some people, as long as they exist. That is the sad truth.
I have been critical of the way feminine gay men have portrayed being queer in the past, and deeply I regret that. Despite the popular stereotype based on the feminine gay man in our culture, it is feminine gay men who, more than any other group in the lesbian and gay community, have helped to make gay people visible.
I take my hat off to Chris Crocker, and thank him for helping me see my own internalised self-hatred, and touching a place in my heart.
We need to nurture all feminine men, and help them grow to become whoever they would be, whatever they would be. Not to cruelly add to the burden of abuse society so often heaps upon them.
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