Daily Archives: November 10, 2008

The Drag Queen Effect

Marchers walk around the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., ...

Associated Press photo

There was just one drag queen among the thousands of people who at the state Capitol here in Sacramento yesterday protested against the passage of the fascist, hateful Proposition 8, which was bankrolled primarily by wingnutty “Christian” groups from out of the state, most notably the Mormon cult and the Catholic church — yet this one drag queen who was at the protest seemed to make it into everyone’s coverage of the event.

OK, I have nothing against drag queens. Nothing. I love gender-bending and creativity and I love the feminine, the fear and the hatred of which is the basis of homophobia.*

I could never be a drag queen because I’m just not willing to work that hard, and because I’m a perfectionist, as a drag queen I’d drive myself (and those around me) crazy. But mostly, I just don’t feel compelled to dress as a woman. I have no problem with it; it just isn’t me.

But why, please fucking tell me why, if there is just one drag queen among a throng of gay people, sure as fuck that one drag queen will be photographed or video-captured by the media. I will call this the Drag Queen Effect.

I attended the rally at the state Capitol here in Sacramento yesterday to protest the passage of Proposition 8 — which, in a stellar example of tyranny by the majority, stripped California gay men and lesbians of their rights that the Repugnican-dominated state Supreme Court had ruled were theirs — and there was one — one — drag queen there among the thousands of people. (And by “drag queen” I don’t mean a MTF [male-to-female] transsexual or a transvestite or anything like that; by “drag queen” I mean a man dressed very ostentatiously and flamboyantly as a woman, who sticks out because he very much wants to stick out.)

Despite the fact that there was just this one drag queen, almost all of the media outlets that covered the event showed an image of him/her.

Drag queens are great. Their creativity, their energy, their color, their bravery — I love seeing them. We need them. We need more of them.

But what is the fucking fixation of the members of the media who must capture all of the drag queens at a gay and lesbian event?

Sure, the drag queens are photogenic. They’re different, they’re interesting, and people will look at pictures of drag queens, whether they love them or whether they hate them.

But by focusing on the drag queens at gay and lesbian events, the media are making it look as though drag queens are a much larger part of the gay and lesbian community than they really are. Especially in this case, when there was just one drag queen among a crowd of thousands.

Yesterday at the protest at the state Capitol my straight female friend and I counted not only just one drag queen, but both of us estimated that there were thousands of people in attendance, and sfgate.com and sacbee.com also estimated that the crowd was in the thousands. My friend and I were there for about three hours, and we participated in the march around the Capitol grounds (it takes about a half-hour to complete the route), and I can tell you that it was quite a diverse crowd, comprised of — and this is my rough estimate — about two-thirds gay men and lesbians (and other heterosexually “incorrect” people) and one-third their straight-but-not-narrow-minded supporters.

Those of us who support equal human rights for gay men and lesbians, including the majority of us gay men and lesbians, are quite normal-looking people, thank you. Although I love to think of us gay men and lesbians as mutants, as in the “X-Men,” reviled because of our super-powers, we are scattered among you heterosexuals, and sometimes you heterosexuals don’t even know that one of us is a mutant, so to speak.

These photos of yesterday’s protest in Sacramento are much more reflective of the actual composition of the crowd of thousands than is the news photo above:

sfgate.com photos

sfist.com photo

Proposition 8

sacbee.com photo

Anyway, to tackle a more serious subject, that of what’s next in the battle against Proposition 8:

My hope is that the California Supreme Court will invalidate Proposition 8. Yes, the wingnut haters will howl over that, but even Repugnican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stated that he expects Proposition 8 to go back to the state Supreme Court, and Schwarzenegger — who opposed Prop 8 from the get-go — compares the stripping of California’s gay men and lesbians of the state-Supreme-Court-granted right to marry by Prop 8 to the banning of interracial marriage.

You can’t put human rights, equal rights and civil rights up for a vote. To do so is unconstitutional. Again, to do so is called the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Human rights, civil rights and equal rights are too precious, too American, too democratic and too sacred to be put on the ballot by hate groups such as the  Mormon cult and the Catholic church, which then pump millions of dollars into hate campaigns reminiscent of the Nazis’ hate campaign against the Jews.

Speaking of the Nazis, this was one of my favorite signs at the protest at the Capitol here in Sacramento yesterday:

sfist.com photo

I might have used the heart symbol or the equal sign instead of the peace symbol, but the sign still worked for me. People think that you never can compare anything to what the Nazis did, but duh, the Nazis persecuted homosexuals along with Jews and other minority groups, which is the origin of the inverted pink triangle, a grim symbol of the gay and lesbian rights movement.

A proposition making it illegal for Jews to marry each other never would have made its way to the California ballot, and bans against interracial marriage were finally declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967, yet it’s still open fucking season on gay men and lesbians, and if you think that the oppression of gay men and lesbians is perfectly OK, you have a Nazi mentality, because the Nazis hated and persecuted gay men and lesbians, too. There’s nothing to fucking argue about, and we forget history at our own fucking peril.

Despite my love of calling a Nazi a Nazi instead of being too pussy to use the “N” word lest some pussy milquetoast surrender-to-the-wingnuts monkey think that it’s too “extreme,” this sign (the one on the right) probably is my favorite sign of all from yesterday’s protest at the state Capitol:  

sfist.com photo

My sentiments exactly; a little more than half of Americans celebrate the overdue election of a non-white guy to the White House, while it’s still wide open fucking season on us gay men and lesbians, the last minority group in the United States of America upon whom it still is widely considered perfectly OK to piss and to shit. 

*By “homophobia” here I mean mostly the fear and hatred of gay men and transgendered (male-to-female) men, because the American/”Christian” culture finds it worse for a man to be homosexual than for a woman to be homosexual, since men are valued more in the patriarchal American/”Christian” culture.

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