Sunday, January 7, 2018

He Do the Donald in Different Voices

Okay, I'm having an existential crisis here.

I encountered this clip in a thread on Twitter this morning.

The actor Peter Serafinowicz has done a long series of these videos.  (He's done a few with other voices, like Sophisticated Trump, but there are dozens of Sassy Trumps.)  Part of me loves what he's doing, but most of me was instantly wary, which was confirmed when I found that Stephen "Cockholster" Colbert had Serafinowicz on his show and played this very clip.

I could interpret Serafinowicz' project in ways that wouldn't reflect badly on it, but they're not relevant, because it's a safe bet that most people will read it as a major fag joke, one that liberals can roar over without feeling that debilitating liberal guilt.  They can vent their homophobia on a safe target, a certified Bad Guy.  That's why Colbert picked it up: it's the kind of fag-baiting he likes.  Even if Serafinowicz were gay himself (I have no information one way or the other), he'd be enabling and perpetuating liberal bigotry.

And yet I do find Sassy Trump funny.  Partly because Serafinowicz does it well: he's an experienced voice actor.  Partly because there is an uncanny fit between Trump's facial expressions and body language and the queeny voice Serafinowicz gives him.  My first years in a gay community included the society of many people who sounded just like Sassy Trump.  (It would be an interesting experiment to do the same thing to, say, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, and see if it worked as well.  Or to Hillary Clinton, maybe.)  Partly because I grew up in an antigay society which used gay stereotypes to impugn the masculinity of men it wanted to discredit.  Partly because in the gay community I joined in the early 1970s we did that ourselves, deflating straight men and other gay men whose manly pretensions we wanted to undermine.

If only queens saw these clips, my judgment would be different.  But I don't believe that most viewers will see them as I do, and for young sissies it can't be comfortable to see themselves used as the butt of liberal anti-Trump agitprop.