October 1997
s m u g
three dollar bill
by Willie Love


As Seen On TV

As I said last month, I've decided I want to find a new boyfriend, and, as excited as I was that the gay thing was starting to take hold in mainstream media, I'd like to partially renege.

For the most part, I try to stay out of gay bars, away from the gym scene, away from anything that officially constitutes a "scene" in any way. If I were a straight boy, I'd be the same way. I just don't have the right personality. I like being in charge of the scene, which is why I tend bar. As a bartender, I can enter and exit at will, no one can corner me, and there's always an excuse to turn away and pretend I'm doing some important bar-wiping.

I rely on friends and happenstance to bring fresh meat into my universe. That was one of the good things about the proliferation of all those gay art films: if I went to see one of them, odds were definitely in my favor that the handsome guy with the fat chick was on the pink team. Easier and safer to suss them out that way with some friendly eye contact, slip them the card of the bar I work at, and let fate find its way, if he was so inclined. Then, if he was a psychopath, well, I had some important bar-wiping to do.

Now there's In and Out. So much for that plan. Oh sure, all the men out there are sensitive or at least morbidly curious about the much ballyhooed "longest gay male screen kiss," by Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck.

According to critic Duane Byrge of the Hollywood Reporter (Sept. 11), In & Out is:

...a warm farce about being 'different,' in this case gay. Those provincial L.A./N.Y. 'geniuses' who predicted Birdcage wouldn't fly in the heartland will once again be flummoxed when they witness the strong middle-of-the-country outpouring for this Capra-esque comedy.

Overall, the satire is tipped with affection and respect, indicative of this broad comedy's basic goodness. While elitist correctniks may grouse about the film's sweeping nature and broad strokes, it is through these very wide, comic tones that one can best perceive the true essence of the film's pointed message -- tolerance.

Not only did all that quoting save me a lot of writing work, it also takes me to my next point. "Elitist correctniks?" I think this means, and I translate roughly, "don't worry about this film making gays too much like regular people, they fit the Good Times model the honorable Willie Love set forth back in June. So, apparently, the tolerance is there as long as gay men keep their flowered bathrobes and La Cage mannerisms. Don't make me get started on that again. Nothing flummoxing about that.

As with any major cultural phenomenon, I am forced to ask myself this question: How does this affect me personally? As we all know, that's all that really matters. I admit it's awfully selfish of me to moan about not picking up men at movies, and, besides, that's so Cruising anyway. Essentially, what this will do is the same thing that the Ellen "I am Gay" episode did, Birdcage did and any of those things that put homosexual issues in front of the public in their most sanitized and inoffensive forms. It means I get a lot of voice-mail messages from my parents, my parent's neighbors, and my straight friends that all go the same way.

"Willie, this is [insert caller name here] and I just saw In and Out, you know, the gay one. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that it was really good and I wanted to let you know I saw it." Apparently most people believe we all have some sort of financial investment in every entrance of gay-ness to mass media. Because I am a morbid fuck, I have these socially inappropriate fantasies about picking up the phone and saying "Hey! I'm glad you liked it, I can't talk right now, I'm busy sucking a dick!" I know they wouldn't appreciate that though. See, that's where the line is most precise. That would be a little too gay for them. Frankly, that might be a little too gay for me.

Which still leaves me wondering how the hell I'm going to find a boyfriend.




in the junk drawer:

September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997

and such
and such

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