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GAY ANGST ON A SHOESTRING

OK. I am was need of pocket money again. So, I plunged back into my CD collection and carried some off to sell. Selling my music is not fun, but I guess I am lucky I can come up with a way to support my needs for food, transport, Diet Coke and the cinema. Yes, going to a movie is more important than food or a trip to the shrink.

However, I am getting down to what I would consider the “bare bones” of my music collection and it is killing me! This afternoon I sold all of my Jamiroquai as well as several Judy/Liza/Olivia/Janis Ian/KD Lang CD’s! Yes, kids. It was a sad day in Matt’s Gay Music Town — and, to make it all the more desperate — I didn’t get much money. I felt a real kick of pain as I saw the dude toss “Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli: Together!” in the ‘cheap’ stack. Of course, this being San Francisco, it is unlikely that there is a shortage of Judy/Liza CD’s. And, based upon the vast amount of experience gained these past 2.5 months — this is the best place to sell your CD’s. Fair, easy, cool and no attitude.

Selling My Music

Yes, I did apply there a month ago. LOL! I don’t think I have the right “look” — but the manager was quite nice. In addition, I think I might be too old for them.

And, my hope of securing a job at this way cool lesbian owned/operated business seems to be losing ground. Got an email letting me know that they have received so many resumes that it may take them up to one month prior to contacting everyone — and they’ve pulled the job posting. Sigh.

However, the real reason for my angst is “The Advocate” magazine.

I’ve complained about it many times. I mean how many more “Hey! I played a gay supporting character and my wife is so proud of me! She is having my baby next week! But I am a straight actor playing gay! Look I can pose seductively with my openly gay co-star who will not be interviewed” cover stories can there be!?!?!? Oi!

I used to love this magazine back in the 80’s. Prior to my coming out, it was my touchstone to the gay world. It came to me in a protective wrapper to a PO Box I opened at 15. It taught me so much! Back “in the day” it was a political and thought-provoking magazine. True, it always had a touch of the erotic to entice readership — but it had something to say. It had a mission. A purpose beyond commerce.

Over the years it has been sort of high-jacked by what can best be described as the EVIL People/US Magazine Syndrome. It has become glossy and somewhat vapid. We have more than enough of that in the LGBTQ rag section of the book store. Isn’t that what “Genre” is for?!?!?

However, when the latest issue arrived in my mail box yesterday — Well, I was just annoyed.

OK — look, I know that until we have the right to marry, join the army and adopt kids we will NOT be equal citizens of the US. And, in my opinion, until that happens — we should get a tax break. But, I digress. I understand the social and political import of the marriage, armed services and adoption arenas.

However, I feel that in our effort to gain equal rights we are leaving many members on the fringe of our “community” without voice or support. Transgendered people are facing violence and prejudice at every turn. HIV/AIDs is a much of a concern for gay men as it ever has been — contrary to what all those “pretty” ads for AIDS meds tell us. Gay kids in the red states are still being beaten and kicked out of their homes. Sex workers (porn, prostitutes, escorts, etc) are real and are never going away. After all, we make them. And, they are facing a multitude of social/political issues. True, sex workers do make a choice in their situations, but some never had much of a choice to begin with. Sex workers have always been left for the garbage collectors. Does that make it OK? Besides, shouldn’t we aim to do better than our hetro family in this respect??? I know this might be a bit controversial — but if you are GLBTQ (sigh!) and reading this — do you or have you ever supported the gay porn industry? Be honest. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Anyway, it used to be that one of the cool things about being queer was that you didn’t have to get married or have children. …OR serve in the army! LOL! What happened?!?!?!? Suddenly we all want to be the gay version of The Brady Bunch or something. Wait, weren’t they gay already?

But, back to the new issue of “The Advocate” — For starters, this is the family that was put on the cover. Already model-goodlooking and in need of sandwiches — our cover family is given the full lighting/re-touched/photo-shop glory normally reserved for movie stars. This is what I would call the gay media “ideal” — this is what we are all “supposed” to look like.

Gay Media Ideal

I guess I should be psyched that they opted to choose a hot mixed couple. Of course, this also plays into the chic stereotype as well. I doubt it would have “worked” for the editors at The Advocate had both men been Asian.

Now, the family below is quite good looking. In fact I think these two men are actually better looking. However, I would call this “reality” — and this is something that “THE nation’s gay and lesbian magazine” opts to put on page 44 vs. the cover. And, I bet there might even be (gasp) some gay couples of color who have children! Yes, right here in the US! UGH!

Gay Reality

Advocate did this a few weeks ago with their “Future Gay Leaders” issue — where they turned Travis Shumake into a glam movie star. One angry letter to the editors stated that The Advocate continues to promote the sad stereotype that the only gay people worth profiling are those who are cute/hunky/sexy — and white —- this reader stated it wonderfully when he noted that the vast majority of people — gay or straight — are not hunky/sexy movie star types. And, surprise, we are not al white — and male! I wish I still had the issue and I could give the reader cred for his words.

And, even beyond this gripe — our gay sisters have been fighting for the right to parent long before so many gay men joined the battle. And, yet, I think the idea of two movie-star Abocrombie-styled men with a cute little son fits more into the media “ideal” than two dykes with a cute kid (they are slotted to page 42 — and make for the best picture, by the way) …and, I know that gay men have always been involved in raising families, but it has really only been in the last 2 to 3 years that we’ve seen men get this involved.

It is all quite worrying to me.

Oh, and I guess I’ve already maxed out my “free” usage of flicker for the month. So, no more pix till August! Wahhhhhhhh… Unless I can figure something else out.

OK, my gay bitch rant is over. I’ve run out of money. LOL!

Love and kisses, matt

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July 13, 2005. Uncategorized.

5 Comments

  1. Karyn replied:

    Ah, you’re better looking than the lot of them.

    Rant away.

    We can be broke together. 🙂

  2. g8s replied:

    I’m going to digest the main portion of your post & return later to comment, but in the meantime, download the Hello! program (link on blogger.com’s pages somewhere); it’s a function of Google (which also has a download point on their Google services page), and aside from a couple problems months ago, it’s been working like a charm, with unlimited posting. To upload more than one photo at a time, type in two vertical slashes like this: || after your image. The vertical slash key is probably located just over your ‘Enter’ key, and will require you to hold down ‘Shift’. Good luck!

  3. snarl71 replied:

    Oh my! That’s quit a post.

    One thing, though…although in San Francisco you see hordes of gay prostitutes on Polk Street and in the Tenderloin, for the rest of the country, the majority of prostitutes are heterosexual. And those heteros have their fair share of porn, too (mostly male).

    …but I agree with the rest of what you’re saying.

    When are you going to write that letter you keep promising to write to the Advocate? You’ve been threatening that for years!

  4. indytallguy@yahoo.com replied:

    If you make an Amazon wishlist, perhaps your readers might send you a gift of music replacement.

  5. matt replied:

    Hi IndyTallGuy — Well, I do have an Amazon Wish List, but I don’t think anyone ever looks at it or uses it. LOL!

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