10 February 2009

Unabashed Str-Hate

"QUEERS READ THIS" is a leaflet passed out at the 1990 Pride March in New York City published “anonymously by Queers.” It is a manifesto meant to empower, enrage, and fire up complacent gays into action. The leaflet's final section is entitled “I Hate Straights," an epithet that enters my mind on a regular basis.

After seeing an all-gay cast in a performance piece last weekend, I commented to a gay friend that gay people are more talented than straights. "I don't know about that," he said with his brow furrowed. So, in the fine art of Matt Siegel, I took it to the next level and said, "I hate straight people."

"A lot of my best friends are straight," he said as if trying to raise my awareness.

Didn't he know he was simply supposed to agree with me, not try to teach me a goddamn lesson? My absurd comments were meant to bring us together as gay sistas. Gay people rarely say that we hate straights. We rarely turn the tables and try to exclude them and deny their basic human rights. That is the fun in saying the shit.

My biological father's mother, the dreadful cunt, used to say, "You don't hate, you dislike." I hate her. Hate is not a strong word. For instance, I hate when people say, "It is what it is." I hate the Overstock.com commercial with the country couple singing to each other. Levels of hate vary. If it makes you feel better, replace hate with resent. I resent straights unless they are obese--the fats know our pain. I especially resent straight men. I especially, especially resent straight, white men.

A winter day in L.A., 68 degrees and sunny. We all have Uggs and mittens on. I’m discreetly crossing the street toward Quiznos Sub shop. Walking in front of a cop on his motorcycle I think about how I detest the pigs.

"GO BACK WHERE YOU ARE. DO NOT CROSS,” I hear over a loud speaker.

Looking over my shoulder, I see an embarrassed man return to the sidewalk. I giggle to myself pondering what I would be like as a cop with access to a loud-speaker. I would definitely be shouting every chance I got, alternating between black woman ("YEAH I GOT YOU. I GOT YOU ON CAMERA. YOU ON CANDID CAMERA, NOW. YOU AIN'T KNOW THAT.") and Faye Dunaway-as-Joan Crawford voices. “I’LL TELL YOU WHATCHA YOU’RE GONNA DO. YOU’RE GONNA MARCH YOURSELF BACK TO THE GODDAMN CURB AND STAY THERE UNTIL I SAY SO.”

Standing in line for a veggie “Sammie”--no mayo or mushrooms, add honey mustard, please--I notice a man around my age, taller, white, with glasses perched atop his head like a lady. He is nice-looking in my quick glance but I don’t ogle as a general rule. As my Sammie makes its way through the conveyor belt toaster, the tall man speaks to me. “Do you work in the Hollywood Production Building? What show do you work on? Where’d you go to college? Where are you from? Cut or Un-cut?” (No, he didn’t say that.) It turns out that he also works in my building so we walk back together. As he rifles through his wallet to give me his business card, he says, “Oh, by the way, I’m not gay.”

I feel my face flush. One cheek embarrassed, the other angry.

“Neither am I,” I say.

“Oh really,” I hear him stammer.

“No, I’m kidding.”

“Well, we should sit down and get coffee some time,” the straight says.


I'm not sure what to deduce about this incident because the truth is I probably would have let him S my D. With that said, I never indicated any interest in him whatsoever and for him to clarify his sexuality like that is very typical straight male behavior. It's kind of along the same line of thinking that every gay man is a pedophile, that we cannot help ourselves from sexualizing everything we come into contact with.

I hate straights. It feels good saying it. It rhymes. I really hate the straights who think they're so fuckin' liberal cause they have a gay sibling or a gay friend who they accept. Or cause they support "No on 8." I hate straights who think they are down with me and my struggle so they can make jokes about HIV and AIDS. I hate straights who imitate effeminate gay men or use the term "flamer." I am not on fire, I don't need to be put out. I hate straights who think the gay struggle is over, they say, "oh it's so much better these days." IS IT? An effeminate fourteen year old boy was murdered outside of Los Angeles just a few months ago for being faggoty. Mainstream heterosexual press barely covers the hate murders that take place every year in this stinkin country. I hate straights who think they can identify in any way with my oppression. Your parents getting divorced when you were five years old is not equal to my oppression. I want to start a fucking Black Panther Party for queer people. You might catch me on the street with a megaphone shouting "KILL STRAIGHTY."

Anyways, if you want to have coffee with a dreary, assuming straight man, here is his business card (name blurred out cause all I need is a straight man suing my gay ass).


Sarah T. said...

Wonderful as usual, Matt!

And: I'm straight and if you hate me, then hate away. But I love you so.

And we all have our pain, or as the Buddhists call it, suffering, or dukkha. Whether we are straight, gay, white, black, thin, fat, harelipped or not we all experience suffering. This is our human bond with one another, whether we know it or not. To withhold love and openness based on what one perceives to be another's lack of suffering or understanding seems to create a never-ending cycle of what you wish could be broken in the fist place: ignorance. That man with the sammie may be ignorant, but he is reaching out in whatever awkward, ridiculous, yet probably well-meaning way he is.

Ignorance is different than intent to harm. I believe we can teach those who are merely ignorant. Those who have intent to harm are another story. But knowing the difference between the two is the beginning of wisdom.

Chris Vargas said...

I hate straight people.

The Unabashed Queer said...

Sarah, Buddha would be proud. I know what you're saying and I agree with it in parts. I don't think intention excuses behavior. I also think that when you are part of an oppressed group, it is important to vocalize your rage in even the most un-PC of ways. It feels freeing for me to say "I Hate Straights" knowing that I mean it on some levels and don't on others. I always appreciate your thoughtful responses.

Kate said...

Ha! I totally went to the college where he works.

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious to hear your defense of a fairly racist mimic of a black woman. Strikes me as misogynist too. Being gay doesn't make misogyny and racism funny, fyi.

The Unabashed Queer said...

Dear Anonymous,

What is misogynist about replicating the voice of a woman? Can I only imitate men? Are drag queens misogynist?

Did you click the link and watch the YouTube video of the black woman who said the words I quoted? I didn't write her diatribe, the Wayans Brothers did.

And just to clarify, I am a man-hater not a woman hater.

Thanks for your thoughts,

The Unabashed Queer

Kate said...

But I have so many HIV and AIDS jokes!!!

The Unabashed Queer said...

Kate, you are going to straight hell. I will be next door in gay hell.