Archives for posts with tag: Provincetown

Jim Lande

1.

What used to be a trickle of exceptionalism that marred a tiny portion of the white gay male community has recently become a lethal torrent.   Perceived ‘equality’ has revealed the true nature of many, many gay white men.  No longer humbled by their treatment at the hands of an unfair, homophobic society they have sprung ahead of the pack, claiming that a ‘seat at the table’ is not good enough… instead we must build, decorate and chair the table… governing any meeting it may entertain.  Moreover, we don’t really want to share the table with anyone other than really, really good-looking gay white men who all agree and never get angry.

Being gay is like joining a cult.

At gay AA… the greeters don’t greet you unless you are ‘hot’ or ‘famous’.

Provincetown celebrity (aren’t they all) posted a picture of his smiling mug along side two other grinning, bearded gay men.  All three based in Provincetown, on perpetual vacation, they look for all the world as if they are happy.  As if they are care free… as if trouble seldom blights their gay paradise.  Great pic!  They may very well use the pic and pics like them to lure boys on a well-known gay hook up app.  In gay paradise everything is perfect.  That’s what they insist you believe.  Of course… scratch a little beneath the surface of any gay man and one releases the foul odor of resentment, addiction, crippling narcissism and judgement.

I mentioned to Jim Lande who posted the pic that everyone seems so happy all the time in Provincetown?  He replied, “Only for the deserving.”   Of course, we know what that means.  Jim means there is no room in a perfect gay society for an opposing view, an ugly mug, for poverty, for people of color, for mental illness…  the deserving are hand-picked from the glut of meat delivered weekly to Provincetown, Fire Island and resorts like them.

Jim describes himself as a Boulevardier, a bohemian… he compliments a video I posted of Sebastian Horsley my great friend… I remind him that Sebastian was a bohemian, Jim is just a gay man wearing a velvet jacket… there’s a difference.   He retracts the word bohemian from his description.  He attempts to shame me for going to a boarding school that helps kids who have been abused.   It’s the gay go to punishment:  SHAME.   Did you read that?  This exceptional, best little boy who worked in government all his life spying on the good people of the United States is doing what the rancid gay does best… he is trying to shame me for something I could not help.   I had no say.

Jim Lande is trapped in Provincetown, posting pics of his amazing life, his amazing friends… he posts endless reviews of the film he helped fund, Love is Strange by Ira Sachs.  He describes Ira as a ‘Hollywood Darling.’   Blighted by gay exceptionalism… he reminds me how much money he is going to make, the awards they will win… the plaudits they receive.

2.

Dan spends his summer hop-scotching across the world from gay resort to gay cruise to gay sightseeing.  He travels in a pack of identical men.  The same age, the same color, the same body weight, hair distribution, the same dietary obsessions… the same unresolved traumas.  He is the ‘deserving’.

I met a young man on-line the other day.  We had the briefest moment of intimacy.  He is ‘desperate’ to be in the film industry.  He is ‘discreet’ which is short hand for: I’m careful who I tell I’m gay and what I’m into because it might ruin my career chances.  He’s not scared that straight people will find out, little Austin is scared the gays will judge him, the gays will shame him.  He doesn’t want gay men to know anything.  He is secretive, sneaky and as a result… thoroughly unattractive.   He has built himself a hybrid closet (like a panic room) protecting himself from the gays.

(The actor I dated this summer was secretive, sneaky and lied about everything.  The gays live in a shadowy world of fantasy, make-believe and lies.)

3.

The society photographer boasts that the boy who loves him is ‘disposable’, he boasts that he fisted him… when I ask the boy what happened… he tells me that the hardest thing about the photographer were his fingers.    We seldom talk about erectile dysfunction.  Anything other than a hard cock renders a gay man utterly useless.   You know, the gays hate me writing my blog.   They write snarky notes insisting that I correct tiny details… (“I’m not a director I’m a producer”)  as if any one cared!  

4.

On Facebook I am pretending to be an old Whitstable codger, enjoying a thread on Julie Burchill‘s Facebook page.  Julie hates all Muslims, her page is rife with anti islamic rhetoric.  If you disagree with her POV you are immediately branded a ‘jew hater’.  She says, “I think I may have mentioned a FEW times that I am a Gentile Socialist Zionist? Why would people come here just to get cross? If you don’t like the tiny democratic state of Israel, surrounded by fascist fiefdoms, fuck off to one of the thousands of Jew-hating Facebook pages? Cheers!”

Her fans scream with joy!  Her fans ecstatically revile Islam.  Her fans start out by reminding us firmly that they are not racist (they don’t support the British National Party) then, without irony, they go on to say how much they hate all Muslims and want to kill them.  I suggested meeting one of these crazy women to discuss exacting revenge on the Muslim population of Chatham…. amazingly she private messaged me in the hope of exacting revenge on Muslims!!!

Then it got pretty scary… these people are fucking INSANE.  Julie has no idea what her crazed followers are capable of.   She really needs to take that seriously.   Whipping those guys up the way she does may lead her to some unsightly trouble… exactly the same trouble other radical preachers have, facing the same criminal charges.  You need only one crazy person to do something dumb and cite Julie B as their inspiration…. well, you know the rest.

BTW what exactly is a ‘gentile socialist zionist’?

5.

The only person to spout that kind of anti Muslim shit to me here in the USA was Tom Desanto the gay Producer of Transformers who told me he believed (as a patriot) that all Muslims should convert or be eradicated from the earth because they didn’t like gays.  I said, my deceased father was a Muslim and several of my 12 brothers and sisters too.  He didn’t care.  He still thought they should be murdered.  Whilst I can sort of understand Julie’s naive zeal as a pre op convert to Judaism I found Tom’s Christian hatred and rabid insistence to kill millions of people based on their beliefs… utterly stunning.  He is not a fool.   He knew that I would one day write what he said based on our archived text message conversation.  Mind you, Tom has always been a person to be suspicious of, one of Bryan Singer‘s cabal he tells anyone who will listen that he will help anyone he can… any way he can… but when the time comes… he is nowhere to be found.

Birthday Cake 2014

 

They had the complexion of wealth, that white complexion that is heightened by the pallor of porcelain, the sheen of satin, the luster of fine furniture, and is kept in perfect condition by a moderate diet of exquisite foods.  Those who were beginning to age seemed youthful, while those who were young had a certain look of maturity. Their faces wore that placid expression which comes from the daily gratification of the passions; and beneath their polished manners one could sense the special brutality that comes from half-easy triumphs which test one’s strength and flatter one’s vanity.

Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

It’s a hot and humid morning in NYC. Tompkins Square Park is dripping.  The dog walkers are melting.

We drove from Provincetown yesterday, leaving the pretty streets, the clapboard houses and verdant gardens to Bear Week. Thousands of large, hairy shouldered men smiling and engaging not scowling or isolating like the circuit boys who infested the town two weeks previously during the 4th July celebration.

The past six weeks in Provincetown were, on the whole, a great deal of fun. I met a huge assortment of extraordinary and not so extraordinary people. I saw people I knew from LA and NYC. I met men and women from DC, Nashville and Florida. Mostly enjoying their week off, some of them… not so much.   Americans get so few vacations.

The A gays who live in Provincetown were kind and considerate.  They have beautiful homes and make them readily available to those they trust.

The extraordinary designer Ken Fulk has restored a perfect gem of a house in The East End where I was privileged to spend the 4th July and then see photographed by famed society doyenne Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor.  Editor Robert Ruffino scampering around arranging flowers wearing his Florentine winkle pickers.

The walls are the color of raspberry mousse, the windows frames and architrave painted chocolate-brown.

 

My birthday dinner:  an anonymous donor very kindly paid for.

I really didn’t know anyone very well at my party, except Michael Goff and Michael Cunningham.  So when it came to making my speech, after the candle was snuffed, I said: “I don’t know any of you at all… but this delightful group of strangers came together to celebrate the birthday of another stranger… and with such magnanimity it brings tears to my eyes.”

The following day I told someone from the party that I had no intention of making friends with him beyond Provincetown because our friendship could only flourish on the Cape.  He looked a little perplexed but one has to be realistic.  When we return to the city a tsunami of gay gossip will drown the truth and ones expectations will be dashed.

Michael Cunningham

The utterly adorable Michael Cunningham (who I had known previously through Amelia Rizo) made a necklace for my birthday.  We sat in his exquisitely decorated water front home, surrounded by magnificent art, picking out trinkets for a silver chain.  I had a moment of unrestrained excitement as I realized that a Pulitzer Prize winning author, writer of The Hours, was making me a birthday present with his bare hands.  He continued, throughout my stay, to delight and engage.  We discussed Emma Bovary.   We… of a certain age, share the same literary starting blocks… but he won the race.

We talked about Neil Bartlett‘s beautiful book Who Was That Man.  Required reading for any young gay.

There were many occasions these past weeks when I noticed how relaxed I was, at peace, living in my own body, inhabiting the life I have rather than the life I thought I wanted.   There were, of course, other occasions when a face from the past popped into view and caused momentary consternation.  The vile, blond publicist/image consultant, owner of Black Frame Brian Phillips who, wether he likes it or not, is in my social orbit but never bothers to be cordial.  Or the ex boyfriend Chris Shipman who cycled around town with his thin calves and sad eyes.  I ignored the ex and engaged with fey Brian Phillips who sat in his chair as I forcefully reminded him what an evil cunt he can be and how he seems unable to keep and love another man due to his crippling narcissism.

I met Jim Lande, producer of the hit burlesque/freak show Audition and talked about his flawed film: Love is Strange directed by Ira Sachs.  Shown at The Provincetown Film Festival this beautifully shot and directed film promises so much but fails to deliver… relying on coincidence and melodrama.  The film lacks any real emotion.  Two old gay married men separated by circumstance and bad choices.  Could have been brilliant but… wasn’t.

I kept away from the drag shows and the theatrical events but I saw Ryan Landry‘s inventive and surreal Pantomime: Snow White and The Seven Bottoms which reminded me of Charles Ludlam.  Go see this if you can.

Jim Lande

I spent a great deal of time chatting with the adorable Andrew Sullivan and his husband Aaron Tone. The gays, on the whole, are openly hostile to Andrew, they accuse him of being a ‘traitor to the gays’ because he aggressively posits an alternative view. Our politics couldn’t be more different yet we agreed about so much, mainly our loathing of powerful lobby groups like AIPAC, GLAAD and the HRC.  I found him to be gracious and engaging.

 

Andrew told fascinating stories about his private dinners with President Obama, his short-lived stay in NYC, the history of his three-legged dog. We sat outside The Wired Puppy coffee shop on Commercial Street where I witnessed at first hand the disdain the gays show him and the delight straight people have… in equal measure.

The white gays may never understand his POV because by now they think they rule the world.

Andy Towle

I spent time with Michael Goff and Andy Towle in town to promote their site towleroad.com, we greeted the first of the bears at the dock with 20 drag Goldilocks who boasted that they had eaten all the porridge.  We sat in their charming house and ate whatever they had in their fridge.  We took my friend Caroline Reid to a Bear-B-Q, Caroline is cult performer PamAnn.  We took her to more bear events where she was the only woman.   Her fans adore her.

Andy Towle, Caroline Reid and Michael Goff

And that was that.  There were other amusing people to play with who I haven’t mentioned.  There were less amusing people who I hope I never see again.

Thanks Provincetown and… adieu.

 

 

Meat Doll, John Derian

Provincetown, for those who have never been, is basically one long Victorian street… Commercial Street.   Primarily an LGBT resort most everyone seems welcome here.  At all times of night and day Commercial Street teems with pedestrians, bicycles and many dogs.  Cars edge cautiously amongst the chaos.   During the season (June-September) there are themed entertainment weeks (Saturday to Saturday) for gays, lesbians and trans visitors.

Near the Town Hall at town’s center there are bars, candy stores and tourist favorites like The Lobster Pot serving lobster rolls and oysters.  Provincetown has become an unlikely hen night/bachelorette party destination.  Rowdy, drunk girls dressed in cheap veils patrol the streets screaming raucous songs and hitting men on the head with large dildos… true story.  Drag queens, by the way, love dildos and hate Bachelorettes.

My Two Mums

Commercial Street is divided into East and West Ends.  It’s probably best to work out which end is which within minutes of arriving here.  So, facing from the bay where the ferry disgorged… the west will be to your left, the east to your right.  I start my day, every day at 7am, after my beach walk with the dogs… unleashed, on the patio at:

1. Joe‘s

170 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-6656

Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

West End.

Delicious, fragrant coffee served by an attentive bunch who remember both your name and what you want.  Joe’s is a  staple breakfast haunt for most of the cool ‘townies’ (locals).  It’s common to see straight-backed, imperious Andrew Sullivan arrive with his husband on their ancient dutch bikes or watch John Waters sail elegantly by dressed in Issy Miyake.   Ryan Murphy and his adorable family chowing down on their morning baked goods.

Try the delicious, freshly baked almond croissant… but get there early to avoid disappointment.

A perfect place to eavesdrop!  Who fucks who?  Learn all the local gossip:  “They bring their terrible taste from the suburbs…”  A great way to start the day with everyone who works or lives in Provincetown… and a few tourists.

Meet this man drinking coffee and eating his breakfast:

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2. Loveland

West End.

120 Commercial Street  Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657  Phone: 508 413-9500

Run by Josh Patner ex Rome based fashion journalist and stylist, this charming haunt is brimming with local and international art.  Possibly the chicest most eclectic store in town.  Beware!  By August almost everything has been sold.  Look out for beautiful and reasonably priced ceramics by:  Gail S. Browne.

I bought a beautiful vase by Gail Browne and a gorgeous 18th Century throw.

Gail Browne

3. Room 68

East End

377 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 617-942-7425

Room 68 is Eric Portnoy’s 21st century gift shop.  Originally out of Boston’s Jamaica Plain – 68 South Street, originating the store’s name.  Look for Debra Folz  ingenious extending ash table and more of her award-winning work.  For those drowning in bad art glass and cat portraits… Room 68 is a welcome high style lifeboat on the choppy sea of capey mediocrity – quite unlike any other found on Commercial Street… or on Cape Cod.

4. Canteen

Town Center

225 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508  487-3800

Opened in 2013 Canteen continues its stunning success.  This charming restaurant is perfectly situated at the heart of Provincetown, offering a simple, unpretentious menu that capitalizes on local favorites like the ubiquitous Lobster Roll but served in a wholly original way.  Like the interior of this nautical themed dining room the food is fresh, clean and authentic.  The deep-fried smelt with tartar sauce are not everyone’s cup of tea… but I love them.  Order everything with re-fried Brussels sprouts doused in an aromatic balsamic reduction and remember to sit in the newly opened garden overlooking the dunes and the spectacular sunset.

5. Red Inn

West End

15 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-7334

Away from the madding Provincetown crowd, either a 30 minute walk or a ten minute rickshaw ride is the legendary Red Inn.  Consistency, taste and prompt service make this elegant venue an essential but expensive must see.  Last night we ate perfectly prepared filet mignon, served by delightfully charming staff at the bar over looking the spectacular bay.  Older bearded gay men with their well behaved hounds sit on the terrace and drink cocktails.  One eats reasonably priced oysters during happy hour (4pm-5pm) or lounge in the very British country garden: lavender, roses and sweet-william perfume the early evening breeze.

Provincetown Garden

6. Mimere’s Homemade

Town Center

281 Commercial Street #4, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 917 670-7561

Opened by ex-banker Andrew Hood just this year to sell his vast array of delicious home-made, seasonal jams and jellies using old-fashioned techniques.  I bought 6 different flavors including hefeweizen (wheat beer and orange) and red onion preserve.  The chunky peach jam is particularly delicious, slathered on crusty toast from the Pain D’Avignon French Bakery found at Provincetown Farmer’s market held every Saturday by the Town Hall.

 

7. Provincetown Film Festival

Town Center

Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-7000

This years Provincetown Film Festival, hailed a huge success, attracting viewers from all over the world.  I met women from Europe and a couple from Australia who coincided their holiday with the film festival.   A well-organized and international feeling festival The Provincetown Film Festival grows in reputation every year.  This year I saw Andrew Sullivan rip a new ass hole in the makers of the ghastly Chad Griffin propaganda film: The Case Against 8, at a festival breakfast.   I couldn’t think of a better way to spend $25.

As I left the breakfast feeling exhilarated, I bumped into a huge and handsome man, I said, “Did you see that! Andrew Sullivan is my hero!”

He replied, “Me too, that’s why I married him.”

Andrew Sullivan at Ptown Film Breakfast

8. Fag Bash at The Governor Bradford

Town Center

312 Commercial St  Provincetown, MA 02657

I’ve already written at length about this wonderful, subversive spectacle.  A delightful Wednesday night basement party.  Arrive at 11pm, leave at 1am.  Wear your finest drag.  I expect the ghost of Leigh Bowery to make an appearance at any moment.  Remember, most everything closes at 1am in Ptown.

Tranny Fun at Fag Bash

 

9. John Derian

East End

396 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-1362

The queen of decoupage Derian runs a tiny showroom a world away from his NYC empire.  It is packed with essential nick nacks at the back of his Greek revival Ptown home.  Black, $500 paper hollyhocks are not immediately alluring or justified… but… with time… anything is possible.  I love the meat dolls by Nathalie Lete and the papier-mache hippo head.  At night, as you pass by, envy his candle lit parties for Martha Stuart… and other gorgeous celebrities.

This boy will serve you.  His name is Kevin and he is DIVINE.

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10. Monument Barbershop

West End

145 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA Phone: 508 487-5151

Once a week I drop into see the charming, flirtatious Joey to have my hair and beard trimmed.  It’s essential whenever you are anywhere for longer than a week to locate a great barber and Joey is he.  Very reasonably priced, very funny and he’s… totally gorgeous.  In fact, I’m off there, right now to get my neck shaved.

Quebec Boy

 

 

Kevin Campos at Fag Bash

There’s a party thrown every Wednesday night in Provincetown called Fag Bash.  I popped in late last night.  It’s perhaps the best $5 you can spend in this little town.  It seems that everyone (crammed in the tiny dark basement) takes hours applying meticulous makeup and dressing in gorgeous goth/romantic costume.  Thick black eye liner, masks and glittering lipstick.   Organza capes, knitted horns for devilish girls and boys, a carnival of creative wonder.

This procession begins weaving its way up Commercial Street at 10 o’clock and back again, disheveled and drunken, after the decadent party in the wee hours.  It’s so heartening and invigorating to see.  Inspiring!  I’m going to dress up next week.  Count me in.  She’ll make an appearance.  I promise you.

Thank God for Fag Bash!   Earlier,  yesterday evening,  I had to sit through perhaps the worst gay themed film… ever.  Tom Dolby and Tom Williams’s co-directed travesty: Last Weekend.

Billionaire, Tom Dolby is the Dolby sound system heir.  In lieu of any real talent he has bought himself a free pass into the film industry.   Last Weekend is his debut film made after the crashing disaster of his first novel… I’m assuming another vanity project?  Tom embraces the ‘right to fail’.  Why not?  Tom and his husband and their two surrogate daughters have nothing to worry about.  It really doesn’t matter how miserable their artistic endeavors… because money is no object.

Co-Directors Tom and Tom arrived at the opening night screening wearing their crisp navy/cream linen suits, their Hollywood team in tow… their ‘award winning’ producers, their manager; my old friend Danny Halstead and their leading lady Patricia Clarkson.  Tom introduces the film with a sullen one liner and so it began… the dirge.

After a confusing opening moment… Clarkson gazing wistfully, maybe perplexed (perhaps she has cataracts) over Lake Tahoe, family members arrive for Memorial Day Weekend.  They are served by a phalanx of miserable latino staff.  There are bad jokes about celebrity, alcoholism and how ‘crazy’ Clarkson’s character is.   The pace is languorous and indulgent, the characters are clichéd and increasingly… unwatchable.

After twenty minutes the roof of The Provincetown Town Hall begins to sag with disappointment.  Members of the audience leave.  Feet shuffle, somebody drops their change.

Patricia Clarkson is an accomplished actress, yet in Last Weekend she is left flailing, undirected, spewing appalling lines in badly constructed scenes. Left to her own devices… she resorts to pleading hand gestures (elephant’s testicles) and shrill, post menopausal delivery.  The director of photography does her no favors with unflattering close-ups and clumsy framing.  I felt so sorry for the actors.  Trapped in trite scene after trite scene.  Forced to act out the life of the writer/director… was it shot in the Dolby family lake house?

Heartless, bereft of emotion, contrived.

My friend, the talented actor Zachary Booth plays a screen writer… obviously Dolby.   Yes, another film about a conflicted writer.  Why can’t these people have real jobs?  Lazy writing by rich, entitled, white gay men.   Neither director seems to have any compassion for their characters, just as they had no compassion for the Provincetown audience.   This film is terrible and no amount of Dolby gay millions could save it.

These two local events (Fag Bash and The Provincetown Film Festival) serve as a metaphor for gay life in the USA.  On the streets and in the bars the club kids are brimming with creative genius, embracing modernity. Wearing their extraordinary costumes they stand in opposition to mediocrity.  Last Weekend is what affluent, heteronormative, white gays serve up as ‘gay culture’.  My fear is that the obscenely rich and bourgeois Tom Dolby and his terrible film will be used as evidence for what queer life is like now rather than the vibrant party thrown by the disenfranchised in the dingy Fag Bash basement.

Penny Arcade

Gay men in Los Angeles told researchers that they believed a culture that focuses on one-night stands and partying, that emphasizes perfect bodies and good looks, that prizes material possessions, that sees gay men tearing each other down as they compete for attention and that pressures gay men to fit in or conform is bound to create unhappiness, stress and unhealthy behaviors.

The word on the street in gay resort/haven Provincetown?  The straights are coming, they are coming thick and fast, young affluent heterosexuals buying property, renting holiday apartments and day tripping.  I was reassured by a cool, 31-year-old, straight person yesterday that this was the heterosexual ‘tipping point’.  Of course (if true) the reasons are obvious.  The older more affluent crowd of gay men and lesbians who bought affordable homes here twenty years ago are simply not that interesting to a less ghettoized younger gay crowd who go to Fire Island or Mykonos where a good gay thumping time is assured, where they can find an affordable share for the summer… anyway, the drag is so much better the closer you get to NYC.

Provincetown Garden

Young straight men and women who used to actively avoid hanging in gay ghettos… or felt uncomfortable no longer have any reservation.  This, my dears is one of the more unexpected changes that comes with ‘integration’.  Our gay communities, gay clubs and gay bars will dilute as we become more heteronormative.

How do the gays feel about straight people buying into the gay and lesbian ghetto dream?  I hear grumblings from some, but what can they say?  We can’t restrict straight people from joining the party?  Before the great shift, the Obama ‘evolution’, the Blair/Mandleson equality bill I would regularly challenge straight people who came to our clubs and bars, wondering why they were there… if they understood why gays and lesbians created safe spaces for themselves… now apparently we all live in a safe space… together.

If the war is won do we abandon the notion of a safe space, a gay bar, an LGBTQ community? Is that what we were fighting for?  As it turns out, gay men are still living shameful and secretive lives… safely hidden from prying eyes.  No longer behind the blacked out windows of the gay bar but on the internet where we can fully reinvent ourselves as muscle-bound avatars, 10 years younger than we really are.

The gay bar, meanwhile… becomes a themed experience for enlightened neo-liberal heterosexuals.  After all, gay men don’t need to meet one another in real life when we can meet on-line, reducing our interaction before a sexual encounter to the barest possible exchange of relevant facts.  Hung? Looking? Party?

The same heterosexual land grab is happening in the Fire Island Pines gay community.  Straight people are buying and renting homes at a faster rate than gay people. Of course… the truth is, we never really owned the lions share of Fire Island Pines… it was always owned by straight people.  Three heterosexual families who control The Pines real estate market.

In San Francisco‘s iconic gay area The Castro we are facing extinction in our natural habitat, bought out/selling out to silicone valley billions.  What are we left with?  Our sad LGBT ‘pride’ parade: a blinded corporate-sponsored dinosaur serving only the breweries and distilleries, no longer a political defiance… no longer worth a pilgrimage by those newly out yearning to see gays en masse… the gay parade and all it seeks to celebrate merely adds to our woes, confirming the worst about who we have become.

Little Dog

How long will it take for Provincetown to lose its unique identity and become just another Cape Cod town? The Pines,  just another beach community on Fire Island?  How long will it take for our history to be lost, forgotten or ignored by apathetic gay white men who have no interest in those who came before?  The heroes who fought decades of violent oppression, the ‘gay plague’, who demanded equality… how long will it be until their names are erased?

Do you know who they are?  Harvey Milk… and…

The politics of invisibility.

As the quality of our lives collectively ‘improves’, as we ‘integrate’ due to the passing of progressive equality laws why are we still facing a crisis?  Why do gay men continue to struggle with life-threatening health problems at alarmingly high rates compared to straight men — alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Gay and bisexual men are still most impacted by HIV/AIDS and syphilis, they suffer higher rates of substance abuse, they are more likely to drink heavily later into life, and they are more likely to commit suicide and suffer major depression and anxiety and bipolar disorders.

Gay men with mental health problems are more likely to use illegal drugs and commit suicide. Or regularly using drugs and alcohol can lead to risky sexual behavior, which increases the likelihood of getting infected by an STD.

Our health problems, in other words, are feeding into each other, we’re literally killing ourselves through suicide, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS at higher rates than straight men.  Let’s say that again: We are killing ourselves at higher rates than straight men through suicide, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.

Some gays are quick to point to the stresses of living as a gay man in an overwhelmingly straight world — one that passes anti-gay laws and constantly spews homophobic rhetoric — as a reason for mental health and substance abuse problems. With that argument, they are coming very close to saying that we are powerless victims who have little control over our own lives and choices, that homophobes have more power over us.

That’s a ridiculous notion — lethal and self-defeating.

Since homophobia still exists and is not going away any time soon, the victim theory, if embraced, dooms us to a life of external, homophobic stressors that forces us to drink too much, commit suicide too frequently and get depressed too often.

The quote is from the LA Weekly.  You can read it HERE.

 

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