Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fuck Yeah, I'm a Butch Faggot! You Got a Problem with That, Buddy?

Bailey (left) and Jess show off their muscles in the Sean Cody classic Bailey's Fuck Buddy. While Sean Cody's website features some of the most artistic scenes in gay male porn, the claim about its actors being straight strains credibility. The Sean Cody men do not seem naive about gay sex.

Okay guys, here’s the deal. We've been wallowing in testosterone. We've been real men talking about manly things. We've rapped about sex, porn, sports, nudity, and bodybuilding, but we've never breached the subject of our effeminate counterparts.

We've called them fems, queens, flamers, sissies, fairies, nellies, pansies, fruitcakes, limp wrists, and girlie men. They've called us down low, closeted, homophobic, and self-hating, but behind all the name-calling is a debate that's raged on since the 70s: To be masculine or to be effeminate. That is the question.

I freely admit that the term straight-acting is problematic. We're gay men. There's nothing straight about our sexuality, but straight men don't corner the market in masculinity. There are plenty of straight men who are more feminine than the women are!

Masculine is a better name for butch fags. Masculine gay males love all things masculine: athletes, cowboys, tradesmen, policemen, military trade, frat/college boys, etc. They love the gym, they love muscle, they love sports, they love the locker room, and they love the world of men.

This is not self-hating or homophobic. This is just what gives them a hard-on. Masculine: The dick goes up. Effeminate: The dick goes down. Effeminate men are even more divided. Some want masculine boyfriends, while others like flamboyant ones such as themselves.

All minorities have internal divisions. Lesbians and gay men don’t always see eye to eye. Lighter-skinned and darker-skinned blacks don’t always like each other. Feminists used to call lesbians the Lavender Menace. Asian, Latino, and Hispanic are ridiculous names that ignore nationalism. Chinese and Japanese immigrants have different histories, and Puerto Ricans couldn’t care less about Mexican-American issues.

Gay males cannot argue away the butch/fem divide. It’s just something we’re going to have to live with. In fact, it’s a division that’s bigger than us. Every gay man has heard jokes about lipstick lesbians and butch dykes on bikes. Our lesbian sisters have a similar divide.

The so-called straight world is even worse. Weight gain and administrative power tend to masculinize women. Christian churches, with their constant denial of the body, feminize men. The sissy, limp-wristed family man is Christianity’s answer to the drag show.

Speaking of which, drag shows have been a source of comedy since time immemorial. Effeminate men shouldn’t complain when some people laugh at them. Drag is drag. It comes with the territory. We all enjoy RuPaul and that new Internet drag sensation Kelly. Role reversal has always been universally funny.

Some people have called the hypermasculine gay male culture a form of drag, that is, an affected behavior which tries to prove that masculine gay men are just as manly as straight ones. That’s too much of a stretch. Gay male athletes and gym rats aren’t overcompensating anymore than other men are.

Masculine gay men enjoy bulking up at the gym. They enjoy improving their sports skills. They enjoy the comradery of games and workouts. These activities are physically and socially healthy. The only difference is that masculine gay men appreciate the sexual side of all that male swagger.

Once in a great while, funny things happen in sports, but athletics mainly derive their entertainment value from competition and self-improvement. There's no comedy of gender role reversal here. Hypermasculine gay males are men’s men, not drag in any sense of the word. Even hypermasculine subcultures, such as bears, clones, and leathermen, are rather unfunny. They make interesting choices in clothes, but drag they aren't.

Rather than arguing over the rejection or acceptance of gender roles, gays should use their internal divisions to their political advantage. Hypermasculine gay men have more in common with manly straight men. Effeminate men, gay and straight, can compare notes. Lipstick lesbians can talk to regular girls, and butch lesbians can identify with their pushy straight counterparts. Lincoln was not always right. Divided, our house can stand.

Additional Photo Credits:
Moschino Jeans Boy 1 -- The effeminate Carson Kressley
     became famous through the 2003-07 Bravo show
     Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Shower Jocks 2 -- Three uncredited muscle boys hit the showers
     in The Brazilian Sauna by Sean Cody. 
Blonde Drag Act 3 -- Liam Sullivan plays Kelly, a rebellious
     teenaged girl, in the 2006 video Shoes. 
Gym Rat 4 -- Luke Guldan is better known as a model and a
     bodybuilder than an actor.
Beach Football 5 -- This picture's origin is unknown.