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Tony Grist

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Look at Me, I'm Prancing [Jun. 30th, 2004|09:47 am]
Tony Grist
I was watching a documentary about Ian McKellen last night. The camera followed him around for a year. He has become a professional gay- he never shuts up about his gayness- but it's all harmless and denatured. The gayest thing he'll do for the camera is make jokes about fairies or wear a silly wig with bows in it. There's not a hint of real sex- not so much as a hug or a kiss. All those hotel rooms- and every one of them a single! I guess we're still afraid of the real thing. We like our gay men to be neutered lifestyle icons- and McKellen, for all his evangelical fervour, is reinforcing this.

But he's a nice bloke. When I was a kiddie theatrical knights like Gielgud and Olivier were fearfully grand. They behaved in public like they were archbishops or prime ministers. Why? Perhaps because the profession they represented was still fighting for respectability. But that battle's been won- or abandoned- (who want's to be respectable nowadays?) and McKellen is free to behave like a real toff- and be frivolous and larky.

[User Picture]From: balirus
2004-06-30 09:44 am (UTC)
While homosexuality is becoming benign, most people are very threatened by gay sexuality. The longest-running, most successful gay representation on U.S. television is a sexless, gay white man, Will of "Will and Grace". The writers of the show refuse to allow Will to have a boyfriend or even let him kiss another man, except in jest. He is a desexualized, symbolic gay character. That's why the show is popular, it doesn't raise people's "ick factor" by involving gay sex. The notion is that while it's cool to be gay the physical mechanics of gay sex shouldn't be acknowledged.

This idea that acceptable homosexuality is a sexless gay male upsets me greatly. I'm sick of the perception that being gay is an attitude and not a sexuality. One isn't gay because they are effeminate or catty or use numerous grooming products. It’s none of that.
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From: archyena
2004-06-30 11:21 am (UTC)
Yet nearly every R-rated film has a gratuitous sex scene. I can't understand why the public can't accept seeing even that the guy has a boyfriend, perhaps an entire life. We're just symbol of other people's open-mindedness, a stand-in for actually being broad-based people. Sometimes it makes me so angry, so deeply angry. The second anyone finds out I'm gay around here I stop being a normal friend and become their "gay friend." To make matters worse, whatever they thought about my taste before, suddenly they want my feelings on any stereotypically gay subject.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-06-30 12:43 pm (UTC)
We have had gay sex on Brit TV (Queer As Folk, Tipping the Velvet)- but not a whole lot. Our favourite gay character right now is the presenter Graham Norton who is very "naughty" in a camp, essentially harmless (ie sexless) manner. I believe he's coming your way. Be warned!
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