Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unclean! Unclean!

Okay, I vented a little bit about Michael Lucas's Advocate column, but what was the point of that thing anyway? The reason I read the damn thing in the first place is because this gay blogger linked to it. (I have no free will, just as Galen Strawson says. I see link. I must click to it. Mongo just pawn in game in life.) The majority of the impetus was the word "supergays": I decided to see what this word could mean, and found that Lucas didn't know what it meant either. It seems to work sort of like "Politically Correct," or "You think you're so smart! You think you know everything!" In this case, "These Supergays and Superlesbians think they're so special, but they buy my porn!" (Do superlesbians buy his porn?)

The blogger, one Joe Thompson, provided the following poll:

  • He's right - 100%!
  • He's insane and just trying to score press.
  • He's right, but I don't care. Porn stars should not represent us.
  • He's somewhat right, and maybe we should discuss this further.
  • I don't care, I just want to sleep with him.
It seems to me that these options, dumb as some of them are, probably are an accurate reflection of many people's reaction to the article. (Especially the last one.) What stuck with me here was "Porn stars should not represent us." Who said that Lucas represented gay people, or wanted to? His column was about personal slights he's suffered, which he blamed on the very real and troublesome PR obsession of certain subgroups of American queers with respectability, flag-waving, and hypocrisy.

Some of the comments posted to Lucas's column sank below even that, though, like the one (4/5/2010 3:36:58 PM, no permalink) which began, "Well, the truth of the matter is, Lucas, that you are a whore. And you like it. But, as it has been true throughout history, people may like whoring but not be seen with one in public." I presume that the commenter is a queer, and likes it, and as it has been true throughout history... Another (4/5/2010 1:53:52 PM) admonished Lucas that "you're a porn 'star', not Nelson Mandela. ... So until hell freezes over you'll just need to deal with the fact that your chosen profession as a porn 'star' doesn't make you a front man in politics or entertainment. " I don't see where Lucas claimed to be Nelson Mandela in his column, or even demanded to be a "front man." Some commenters (for example, 4/3/2010 1:45:29 AM) speculated that he may have had trouble at logo because of his vehemently anti-Muslim views, and that wouldn't surprise me, though from the look of things, Lucas could get more mileage by waving the flag, brandishing a crucifix, and claiming that he's being discriminated against because he stands up for America against the Mohammedan barbarians.

If he had somewhere claimed to speak for all gay people (as opposed to all of us, which is different), I'd object, but he hasn't. He says he has been "invited to speak at some pretty prestigious institutions, including Yale, Rutgers, Stanford, and Oxford, among others. The mainstream press has written numerous articles about me. I have been profiled in New York Magazine and The New Republic. And I have appeared on TV channels from HBO to NY1"; it would be interesting to know why.

Michael Lucas doesn't represent me, he's too dumb. But then, neither does The Human Rights Campaign. Neither do the Log Cabin Republicans, or gay Democrats for that matter. I don't know of any gay organization that does. Neither does Dan Choi, or Rosie O'Donnell, or Don Kilhefner, or Canon Mary Glasspool. I speak for myself. I have not delegated anyone to do that for me.

Who does speak for "the gay community"? None of us, and all of us. As I remember with some embarrassment, we who were openly gay in the early 70s sometimes at least talked as though we thought we spoke for all gay people. We didn't, but we did speak for ourselves, which not many gay people were willing to do in those days. One of the best things we did was to provoke them to do so, even if it was in the form of "Hey, wait a minute -- these guys don't speak for me! I'll have to stick my head out of the closet for a minute and speak for myself!"

I can say, "I'm a gay person, and I think ..." with perfect validity, though, not because I speak for other gay people, but because I am one of the individuals who make up "the gay community", and no statement about that vast nebulous abstraction should be taken seriously unless it takes me into account. And you. And Michael Lucas, and the Christian-Right wannabes he calls "supergays."