Gays Misguided - by Bruce LaBruce
Although I’m happy, if a tiny bit hurt at not being consulted, that VICE recently published The VICE Guide to Being Gay, I feel it’s my duty as a homosexual, at the risk of biting the hand that partially feeds me, to take issue with a few of the pronouncements made in this albeit politically incorrect (what else?) and partly tongue-in-cheek mini-manifesto. Of course I realize that articles of this ilk tend to deal in generalizations and stereotypes in order to make broader observational (and comedic) points. But owing to the recent tendency within the gay “movement” itself (I hesitate to call it a movement anymore, considering how deeply entrenched it now seems to be in its assimilationist agenda) to characterize homosexuality as a biological imperative (thankfully, I’ve always considered myself maladaptive)—as an innate, preordained, and fixed characteristic—I bristle at any description that might be analogous to the false assertion that, for example, blacks have natural rhythm. Do gays have a natural predilection toward fastidiousness and the aesthetic dimension, an “interior decorator gene,” as it were? VICE has even published photos that directly refute this argument, and I can back it up with personal anecdotal proof.
"Sexuality isn’t a preference so much as an innate characteristic," proclaims this Gawker scribe, writing about the redundant coming out of Anderson Cooper, with the typical ultracrepidarianism familiar to the subject. How I wish people would stop making this claim! As I recently argued on social media, there’s absolutely no definitive scientific proof that it’s true, and it discourages people who may be identified as heterosexual from exploring their homosexual potential, and vice-versa. When exactly did all this essentialist nonsense become the popular narrative? It may be more politically expedient, but it really amounts to a failure of the imagination, and only serves to play into the new dire homonormativity. I’ve already argued my position on this in VICE so I won’t go into it again, but it’s this same false reasoning that creeps into The Guide to Being Gay. It’s a convenient way for the straight-identified to dismiss or deny their own bisexual potential (“I wasn’t born with gay characteristics or tendencies, so therefore I can’t possibly be that way”). But it also kind of takes all the fun out of such entertaining concepts as sexual ambiguity, homosexual panic, and good old-fashioned queer recruiting. As the LAH, the League Against Homosexuals, used to say on their pamphlets distributed on my old university campus, “Queers don’t produce, they seduce!” To me, it always seemed like a ringing endorsement.