Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Patriarchy In The UK

I first blogged about this issue on 2 January, and it seems that it's all coming to fruition tomorrow. Further to the last post, this is what we're up against. Maybe the bullies no longer smash our faces into the lockers or call us "faggot" in front of the teachers and get away with it anymore, but such behaviour is right beneath the surface of many so-called professional people, some of whom might be your coworkers and are likely your elected officials.

I'll be interested to see what the protest is like, and what (if any) the counter protest will be.

Stay tuned...
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Larry: The Other Kramer

I don't know where Larry Kramer goes for those decade-long stretches when he's out of the public eye, but I'd like to go there myself. Because whenever he comes back he comes out swinging, armed to the teeth with bitchery, and hits his intended target dead on. In the early 80s it was gay men, whom he excoriated with his novel "Faggots".

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI've always regretted that gay men haven't had their own Malcolm X. As much as I admire our Dr. Kings, after literally decades of activism we are scarcely further on from where we were in the 70s. Oh sure, we have hate crimes protection (which police refuse to enforce) and human rights protection, which is similarly imperilled every time the electorate votes. More often than not, constitutions are being amended to exclude us.

No one has benefited from the generosity and tolerance of heterosexuals like me, since I cannot now nor have I ever been able to count on anything like community from my own kind. Forced into a missionary position, er, role among the straights I do what I can, not to blather on about why I deserve to be treated as an equal but by demonstrating same again and again.

"Who taught you to hate yourself?" These are the immortal words of Malcolm X; they were incendiary enough in the 60s when Malcolm X spoke them to blacks. But their brilliance is that they are infinitely relatable. In the case of gay men we know well enough, and it's time fingers were pointed.

[S O U R C E]
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Right On Maude!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketIt's 12:01 AM and I'm standing at the half-empty New Release shelf when two HMV employees emerge from whatever's behind those doors marked 'Employees Only'.

"Can I help you?" the female one asks.

"Maude." It's the only word I can get out. Having said it I try another one. "Please."

She turns to her coworker, who's so gay I wouldn't dream of talking to him myself. She says: "They're at the bottom of this stuff. Could you go grab him one off the shelf back there?" He nods but says nothing, so I thank her.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWe make small talk for something like 78.32 seconds, when her coworker returns and hands me my prize. "Thank you," I say, smiling and looking him straight in the eye. Nothing.

But I'm so excited I don't even care. I rush to the till, then rush out of the store, slowing only when I pass the security guard at the door, lest he think I'm making some kind of mad dash. I am, of course, but don't care to have it interrupted by a flying tackle.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI think HMV's policy of staying open until 1 AM on New Release day (Tuesday) rocks, and I will kiss their ass for it, as much as I will for their selection (vast), prices (competitive), and female/straight guy staff (friendly and knowledgeable). While waiting for "Maude" I was browsing their British TV section and suddenly I knew where all my spare money for the rest of the year was going.

But not until I've watched 22 digitally remastered episodes from Season One of... (drumroll)... Maude!
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