Tag Archives: manliness

Magical Elves, sparkleponies and other assorted gay shit

Pro-gay ally NFL player Chris Kluwe’s colorfully titled book is due out next month. Kluwe earlier this month was dropped by the Minnesota Vikings but was picked up by the Oakland Raiders. I’m glad and proud to have him as a fellow Californian; Minnesota’s loss is California’s gain.

I usually comment on gay-rights issues in the news in a timely fashion, but I’ve been slacking as of late. So here I’ll try to catch up:

It was great to see basketball player Jason Collins, the first active player from one of the “Big Four” sports organizations (the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League ), come out late last month, even if there is at least a grain of truth to gay writer Bret Easton Ellis’ criticism that Collins’ treatment by the media “as some kind of baby panda who needed to be honored and praised and consoled and — yes — infantilized by his coming out on the cover of Sports Illustrated” also made Collins a “Gay Man as Magical Elf, who whenever he comes out appears before us as some kind of saintly E.T. whose sole purpose is to be put in the position of reminding us only about Tolerance and Our Own Prejudices and To Feel Good About Ourselves and to be a symbol instead of just being a gay dude.”

And I also was happy to hear the news that pro-gay ally NFL player Chris Kluwe, who was dropped by the Minnesota Vikings earlier this month (perhaps at least in part due to his vocal pro-gay-and-pro-gay-marriage stance), shortly thereafter was picked up by the Oakland Raiders.

If Minnesota didn’t appreciate Kluwe, I’m happy to have him here in California, where Kluwe already has done us some good: Kluwe and another pro-gay ally, NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo, per Wikipedia, “filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on February 28, 2013, regarding Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which they expressed their support of the challenge to California Proposition 8,” which in 2008 amended California’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, a right that California’s Supreme Court had ruled was guaranteed to Californians by the state’s Constitution before the haters later amended it with Prop H8.

I admire the very apparently heterosexual Kluwe, who is heterosexually married and has two children. According to Wikipedia, Kluwe wrote a blog called “Out of Bounds” for a Minnesota newspaper before he quit the blog last year in protest of the newspaper’s having run an editorial in support of the euphemistically titled “Minnesota Marriage Amendment,” which, just as Prop H8 did in California, would have amended the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. (That amendment failed at the ballot box in November, with the haters losing by just more than 5 percentage points, and subsequently the Minnesota Legislature legalized same-sex marriage this month.)

It takes balls and selflessness to fight for a historically discriminated against and oppressed group of people of whom you apparently aren’t a member. Kluwe did the right thing by boycotting the anti-gay newspaper.

Kluwe also has been outspoken about the facts that not all athletes are dumb jocks and that there is more to life than football, even for an NFL player.

And yeah, I’ll probably buy his upcoming book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities, which is due out next month.

Also this month, three states approved same-sex marriage: Delaware, Rhode Island, and, as I mentioned, Minnesota. (I find it ironic that just after the Minnesota Vikings dropped Kluwe, very possibly at least in part due to his advocacy for same-sex marriage, the state’s Legislature enacted same-sex marriage.)

True, Rhode Island and Delaware are only our 43rd and 45th most populous states, respectively, but Minnesota is our 21st most populous state, and it joins Iowa as another Midwestern state with same-sex marriage. Once the Midwest goes, how far behind can the rest of the nation be?

Finally, I found it to be a pleasant surprise to learn that President Barack Obama, this past weekend in his commencement speech to the graduates of the all-male, historically African-American Morehouse College, remarked, “… and that’s what I’m asking all of you to do: keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. Be the best husband to your wife or your boyfriend or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important.”

True, Obama’s wording was inelegant.* If you were a man who had married your boyfriend, he would be your “husband” or your “spouse” or your “partner” or however else you chose to refer to him (hell, call him your “wife” if you want to and if he is OK with that; it’s your marriage, not mine). But if you had married him, you probably wouldn’t still be referring to him as your “boyfriend.”

Still, I found it at least a bit encouraging for the president of the United States of America, whatever his other many flaws and missteps might be, basically state in a college commencement address before an all-male audience that marrying a member of the same sex is perfectly fine if that is what is right for the individual.

You never would have heard George W. Bush, or even Bill Clinton, utter those words at a commencement ceremony.

I noted above that Chris Kluwe is “heterosexually married.” I did that on purpose; married” no longer should automatically mean heterosexually married; “married” should include the possibility of being homosexually married — in all 50 states and in every nation on the planet that recognizes marriage between heterosexuals.

And one day, it won’t matter; “married” will just be married, and no one will much care, if he or she cares at all, whether it’s a same-sex marriage or an opposite-sex marriage.

But it still matters now, and we Magical Elves and our allies have a lot of work to do between today and the day that it no longer matters because everyone (or at least almost everyone) realizes that each and every one of us is a beautifully unique sparklepony.

*Slate.com’s William Saletan reports that Obama’s prepared remark was “Be the best husband to your wife or boyfriend to your partner or father to your children that you can be,” but, again, what Obama actually said was, “Be the best husband to your wife or your boyfriend or your partner.”

Saletan writes:

… But this time, the speech didn’t go according to script. Literally. Obama changed the “boyfriend” line from hetero boilerplate to explicitly gay-inclusive. He ad-libbed. And this was a heck of a time to do it. The speech was about what it means to be a man. The president of the United States, who until a year ago didn’t support same-sex marriage, has just put an official stamp of masculinity on male homosexuality. …

That’s certainly a possibility; it’s a valid interpretation, and it would be my interpretation, too, more or less, but, in my viewing of the clip of the remark, it appears to me as though Obama does stumble and/or hesitate a bit in getting the words out, with a nervous-and-unsure-of-himself-sounding inflection on the final word of that sentence, “partner,” and it’s not 100 percent clear to me whether he stumbles over these words because he’s messing them up or because he’s not sure how what he is saying — that it’s perfectly OK for a man to marry a man — is going to be received by his audience (Morehouse College, after all, is in Georgia, a state that isn’t exactly known as a gay-friendly state).

Indeed, sadly, if you also watch the clip, you will hear and see that after Obama asks his audience to “keep setting an example for what it means to be a man,” he has to pause for applause, but then, after he says next, “Be the best husband to your wife or your boyfriend or your partner,” very apparently his audience at first is silent in momentary confusion but then breaks out in some derisive laughter and mumbling and grumbling.

Indeed, in response to this very apparent derision over his remark that a man may marry a man, Obama puts his index finger up to his audience in apparent admonishment over their apparent homophobia.

As I said, we still have a way to go.

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In defense of chest hair and armpit hair — and yes, even back hair

Children in Need 2007 - STFC Players Leg Waxing

-Children in Need 2007 - STFC Players Leg Waxing

Absolutely criminal.

Open Salon blogger Beth Mann notes that “It all went downhill when,” among other things, “men started shaving their chests.”

Yup. As a bearish gay guy myself, I’ve long been an opponent of the artificially smooth man.

If a man is naturally not very hairy, fine. One of the first guys I ever fell for, a blond, naturally had very little body hair. But if a man is hairy, he should remain in all of his hairy glory.

Nothing below my neckline gets shaved or even trimmed.

Love me, love my back hair. That’s my motto.

Gay porn in the 1970s and 1980s was hot because the guys were left natural. If they were hairless, they were hairless, if they were hairy, they were left hairy. They didn’t have to be caricaturishly buff, either.

It was in the 1990s that the hairless, buff look became the gold standard for gay porn, and then this look, like a virus, spread into the larger American culture, apparently first from homosexual men to “metrosexual” men to now, tragically, even heterosexual men.

My boyfriend and I were shopping recently when this tall, buff, tattooed, quite possibly heterosexual guy was in front of us in line for the cashier. He was wearing a tank top in December in order to show the world his muscles and his tats, apparently. (It really was the shortest line, which is why I picked it, but of course I got shit from the boyfriend anyway.)

Anyway, the buff and tatted guy in the tank top lifted his arm and I saw, to my horror, that his armpit was completely hair-free.

That is So! Wrong!

A guy should have armpit hair.

That should be the Eleventh Commandment.

I can compromise. If a guy wants to trim his ’pit hair a little, OK, fine, but to delete it altogether? No. There should be a law against it.

Chest hair, too, should be protected.

If you see a shirtless guy without even at least some hair around his nips, then he very mostly likely waxes or shaves — and he sucks.

I’m not even willing to declare war on back hair, of which I have a moderate amount myself.

Why?

Because I believe that it is important for us to (learn to) love our bodies — and others’ bodies — the way that they are.

Take a look at who, exactly, benefits from us hating our own bodies and from being judgmental about others’ allegedly imperfect bodies: the corporations and other weasels who profit from things like all of the bogus weight-loss programs and products and waxing and other hair removal procedures and hair coloring (in which I include Grecian Formula for Men, a drop of which will never touch me) and plastic surgery and even anal bleaching and colored contacts and muscle-building protein powders that you don’t need because you can get enough protein from food, etc., etc., etc.

This shit doesn’t benefit us, though. It just makes us poorer and more neurotic and more shallow, while those who induce us to hate our own bodies and to be critical of others’ bodies laugh all the way to the bank.

Beth Mann posits that the reason for the War on Men’s Body Hair is that “We’re desperately trying to escape the fact that we are, in essence, hairy beasts. Or we’re trying to become babies again. Our constant pursuit of youth (which hairlessness signifies, I guess) affects men as well as women.”

True, there are some who seem to view body hair as “dirty” and/or bestial. I guess that the Nazis’ vision of the body-hairless blond is the bodily ideal for these fucktarded bigots.

I say: Embrace our animality, don’t deny or disown it, because if we do delude ourselves into believing that we have banished our animalistic ways, our animalistic ways will just come out in sick and twisted forms from their repression. Look at the Nazis, who believed themselves far above not only the animals but also far above the rest of the human race — their animal violence sure came out nonetheless, and even while U.S. “President” George W. Bush was blathering about “evildoers” and those from “uncivilized” parts of the world, our own government was perpetrating the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors on those “dirty” (and, I will add, naturally hairy) Arabs.

And yes, some men rid themselves of body hair in order to look younger, I suppose, but mostly, it seems to me, these hairless fucktards are only following the pack, and the buff, hairless look has been in vogue for some time now.

If the Sasquatch look were in, these pack-followers would look like Sasquatch (or feel woefully inadequate about their hairlessness and maybe even try methods to increase their hairiness). They are obedient sheeple because they believe that to follow others is the way to fit in and to belong and to be loved.

They usually are quite disappointed to find, however, that things like Grecian Formula for Men and waxing and colored contacts and less body fat and more muscle mass don’t suddenly bring them all of that love and happiness that they wanted it to. 

Finally, Mann also notes that “It all went downhill when … antibacterial products became commonplace.”

The idea of uber-sterile cleanliness has become an obsession because we’re control freaks and spend too much time indoors. And women need to be fucked better overall,” she concludes.

Yup. The obession with cleanliness goes hand-in-hand with the obsession with hairlessness and the obession with bodily odorlessness.

We Americans, probably especially white Americans, don’t trust our natural environment (including our own fucking bodies) and we always are at war with it. Nature is, after all, “dirty.”

And, of course, the corporate weasels profit obscenely from making us believe that we’re just one germ away from dying a horrible death from communicable disease, as they profit from our horror of smelling like human beings instead of emanating some artificial scent.

And we all need to be better fucked — in our natural hairiness. (Yes, I believe that women, too, shouldn’t have to be bothered with body-hair removal.) 

Our motto for 2010 should be: Back to Nature. She got it right, and by fucking with her work, we’ve only fucked it all up for ourselves.

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