The other day I saw the film of South Park. It was funny but shocking too. A lot of people have said one scene in the film is homophobic: there was a gay guy with a big moustache and false eyelashes, singing a song called something like "It’s so cool to be gay," accompanied by a gang of boys in sequinned jackets and G-strings.
I don’t deny this travesty parodies the gay stereotype very well: the party animal, wearing his homosexuality like a banner, and quite devoid of any personality of his own.
As a homosexual, it annoyed me that they showed us as such affected little queens, and I was a little offended.
Until I saw the coverage of the Gay Pride march on TV, and then I realised we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
A Gay Pride march - what a joke!
A procession of platform shoes, false eyelashes, and muscle-Marys in tight T-shirts, all hugging and kissing each other in the Puerta del Sol or swinging their gym-toned bottoms to the sound of Mónica Naranjo or The Village People.
And THEN we want people to take us seriously!
I’m still filled with shame when I remember the patronising smirk on the face of the oh-so-straight TV reporter.
But imagine all the crap we’d have to put up with if they started "Gay Day" along the lines of Mothers’ Day. I can just see how the advertising would go:
The 10th of July is Gay Day! Get your gifts here!
We have everything you need for the gay in YOUR family!
Gay Day at Debenham’s: we all know someone gay - get him a gift here!
That wouldn’t be much of a victory either, would it?
All that effort to show ourselves to the world; all the battles we’ve fought, and all those flags. And what is the result? Proving that we are the ones who see ourselves as these strange creatures who are apart from the human race. We say we’re "proud to be gay," but is that really the case?
I’m certainly not, because I’m not "Adso the gay."
I’m not only defined by being gay, nor does it make me different form my friends. My life is very normal, and I’ve the same hobbies and interests as any other boy my age.
We shouldn’t be proud to be gay - we should be proud of being a good person, of being honest with ourselves, of having good friends. We should be proud of all the things that show we are better than other people.
So far as I’m concerned being gay shouldn’t make any difference. And though we’re tired of pointing out that we’re not weirdos, the image we present is brandishing that rainbow flag and chanting slogans, so the world looks at us as if we were animals in the zoo. We hide away in the obscurity of bars and discos on the gay scene, clinging together like ants in their nest.
Is it that we’re not strong enough or sure enough of ourselves to live our homosexuality in our normal lives - at home, at work, and with our friends?
Aren’t we brave enough to be who we are in the real world as well?
Of course we’re not!
I can understand that kind of attitude in older homosexuals; they’ve had to endure years of suppression and it’s not so surprising that now they’ve gone a bit over the top. But what worries me more is to see guys in their twenties or teens who’ve grown up in a more liberal and tolerant society, still acting that part.
I’m gay, I have blond hair and I like chocolate. But if I suggested Blond Pride Day or Chocolate Pride Day you’d think I was mad, because it’s normal to have blond hair or like chocolate.
And isn’t it normal to be gay too?
Well I’m sorry, but it is for me.
So I ask you, who is more proud to be gay? Is it the person who treats like any other part of my life, without letting it define who I am, or is it the people who were waving their little flags and chanting slogans from the safety of a crowd of people who think like they do?
Let’s be sensible for a moment.
You’re not going to win any battles or change people’s attitudes by dressing up as Betty Boop and waving a placard. If you want to show the world you’re normal, act normally and show your homosexuality openly and in a normal way. Don’t do it one day a year, in a parade of drag queens, but in all parts of your life.
Every day of your life.