I’ve been sitting on this story for a couple of days. It’s a story out of Las Vegas and concerns (yet another) case of a teacher sexually abusing a student. I tell you, those public schoolteachers make Catholic Priests look like, um, Catholic Priests. Although none of the early news stories revealed the sex of the student that was abused… I correctly guessed the sex of the student that had been abused. Mainly, because the mugshot of the perp played into some stereotypes we’re supposed to have been indoctrinated into believing are invalid.
My angle on this isn’t that all lesbians are child abusers, or that all lesbians correspond to the bull-dyke stereotype. We know neither of these things are true. But it kind of caroms off a discussion I was having the other night about someone’s experience with his “Gay Straight Alliance” in college, Often, when someone new came into the group the loud and brassy lesbians who ran it would say, “I *knew* you were gay.” And my friend could tell this made a lot of newcomers uncomfortable. The last thing a lot of people coming to terms with their sexuality want to hear is, “I could tell you were gay.”
My friend thought this was because some people, especially college age noobs, have religious issues or family issues that make them want to remain closeted or discreet. I think my friend overlooked another factor: To a lot of people, it’s simply embarrassing to be identified with Gay Culture.
When people use the expression, “That’s gay,” as a pejorative, they’re not attack gay people, but really all of the bullsh-t that attaches to Gay Culture. Not everybody enjoys campy entertainment, wants to adopt shrill leftism as the default political setting, squees with delight over every genderbending perversion that comes down the pike, hates ‘organized religion.’ or thinks the Folsom Street Fair is wholesome family entertainment. The Onion satirized this brilliantly over a decade ago. Family Guy, the only show on TV that gets away with it, also nailed it. I take, “That’s so gay,” to mean, “That’s so silly and frivolous,” which is how I feel about the things Gay Culture celebrates.
To sum, I can’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to be associated with Gay Culture. And for that matter, Gay Culture isn’t a very accepting place for those who don’t fit into its rather tight parameters for entertainment, politics, faith, and behavior.