Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's ...

Over the weekend I came across (ahem: minds out of the gutter, please!) this article by Michael Lucas, self-described "adult performer and entrepreneur" who complains that he has been disrespected by "supergays" and "superlesbians." He's not much of a writer, in fact he's pretty bad, but I agree with a fair amount of what he says. It's packaged as though it were somehow cutting-edge, daring, out-there commentary, but it's all pretty standard middle-of-the-road stuff. You'll hear assimilationists say similar things, right down to the obligatory tribute to the drag queens who led us at Stonewall and the clarion call to diversity. Le yawn.

What I don't get is "supergays" and "superlesbians," terms he uses repeatedly and casually, as though their meaning was well-known. For a moment I thought it meant something like A-gays, given their clout and ability to get photos of Lucas removed from a news site, though Lucas himself evidently knows some "GLAAD donors" whose calls caused the pictures to be replaced the next day. Does that make him a supergay too? Are we witnessing a Clash of the Titans at the pinnacle of supergaydom? Does the earth, like, tremble as these colossi contend?

The Urban Dictionary entry was no help. Neither definition it supplied seemed to fit Lucas's usage, though they fit with the way "supergay" is used by other people. Maybe it's this guy?

Naw, too foofy.

I'd just about concluded that Michael Lucas decided that "supergay" and "superlesbian" would be totally cool insults to hurl at Homo-Americans who disrespect him, at least when he found out that the Advocate wouldn't let him call them "poopy faces." But then I found this in a book I was reading today, LGBT Issues: Moving Beyond Categories, edited by Rebecca L. Jones and Richard Ward (Dunedin, 2010). In the book's opening chapter, Phil Eaglesham, a Scottish activist, public health advisor for NHS Health Scotland, and academic, discusses competing labels for the LGBT community, including these:
Table 1.5: Terms used in American social marketing theory to target LGBT people
Super Gays’ – most aware of gay identity and the most conscious of anti-gay discrimination
Habitators’ – in long-term relationships and are primarily concerned with domestic issues like children and health care
Gay Mainstream’ – mix their interest in gay issues and media with mainstream concerns
Party People’ – the most cutting edge and urban in their tastes and the most likely to spend money on personal pampering
Closeted’ – older, living in small towns and aren’t likely to have many gay friends or belong to LGBT organizations
(New American Dimensions / Asterix Group (2007) ‘Real World Lesbians and Gays’)
(For perspective, compare this headline of another report from the Oracle, February 4, 2008: "A New Poll by New American Dimensions Finds that Only Half of Hispanic Immigrants Feel that the United States is Ready for an African American President.") It's good to see that market researchers still have their fingers on the hot, throbbing pulse of GLBTQ America (he's dead, Jim), and I'm wouldn't be surprised if an entrepreneur like Lucas had picked up the term here, even though it doesn't really fit the tantrum he's throwing.

Oh well. There are some things that Man was not meant to understand.