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Fear of faggotry

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Fear of faggotry

Mattilda B Sycamore, editor of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?, says gay culture has Mattilda B Sycamore. IMAGE 1 OF 3
Author Mattilda B Sycamore thinks gay culture has lost its way
Mattilda B Sycamore  thinks it’s time for an intervention.

Gay culture has become obsessed with normalcy, sanitized by assimilation and increasingly soulless, Sycamore says.

For a community founded by desire, this decline is particularly discouraging. “Desire is what started us — in terms of our love and our community building and our visions of intimacy,” says the editor of the new anthology Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?

Not to mention the desire “for full self-expression” in a world that often wants gay men to simply disappear. “There was a sense of communal struggle,” Sycamore says, especially in the 1990s, when being a gay man meant being surrounded by death.

But that struggle has since been muted by shifting desires.

“The nature of the gay movement has made desire into a dead end,” Sycamore says. “The desire just means buy this cocktail, wear these clothes, go to these bars, look like this — it’s all about creating a consumer identity.”

How could our desire have veered so off-track?

Sycamore blames the desire itself.

“Desire is what brought us to this sort of gay culture that either is obsessed with normalcy at any cost or this sort of close-the-blinds . . . lack of accountability or communal care,” she says.

“It’s now about fighting for the right to kill or get hitched,” she says, referring to the gay marriage battles and the push to end the US military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. “I think there was a little more space in the early ’90s for flamboyance and for challenging political decisions. In San Francisco, there is a history of radical alternatives to community, family and sexuality. And since then, those cultures [and radical ideas] have been marginalized.”

Today’s focus, she argues, is shaped by mainstream ideas of family and marriage. These ideals have become so dominant that there is no room for any alternative.

“Now, you turn on the TV and you see vapid, hyper-consumer, pointless representations of gay identity, and you’re supposed to relate.”

 For Sycamore, that’s worse than turning on the TV and seeing no gay representation at all.

“In the early ’90s, gay identity was represented by straight homophobic representations, but now we have gay people articulating straight, homophobic representations. Is that better? We’ve internalized the emptiness and violence of straight normalcy and we project that as our own goal and representations,” she says.

“The question for me is what would be an intervention for that kind of morass.”

As alarming to her as the sanitization of our healthy desire is the hyper-calculated, almost brutal, desire that smoulders underground, callous and unchecked.

Go into any chatroom and you’ll find that scorn has become “just a preference,” lack of respect is assumed, and lying is a given, Sycamore says.

“Under 30 only, no blacks or no Asians, or no femmes or fatties — these are universally articulated norms. In so many ways, our gay culture has become about who is excluded.”

As someone who grew up being called a “sissy” and a “faggot,” Sycamore knows what it’s like to feel excluded, particularly from an aggressively masculine world.

“What I find so tragic about mandatory masculinity in gay culture is that gay men are desperate to embrace the exact same thing that oppressed, and continues to oppress, so many faggots and sissies growing up — not to mention women, queers, trans people and yes, even straight men, the ones who can’t or aren’t willing to measure up either.”

Gay men are increasingly citing strong, hairy, tall, muscular men as their type and eschewing the wispier, willowier among us.

The modern gay man must be fit, wear the right clothes, know the right people and, of course, be “straight acting,” Sycamore says. “Anyone who doesn’t fit into these moulds falls into the margins.”

“So gay neighbourhoods are defined by who is not allowed,” she continues. “It’s sad because gay neighbourhoods started because gay men were trying to find ways to express themselves openly, where you can hold hands in public. And now, gay neighbourhoods are more based on — like San Francisco, where gay people have become part of the power structure. And you see gay people evicting people with AIDS, and gay people voting against the construction of a queer youth shelter . . .”

This hyper-consumer norm pervades gay male sexuality, as well, she believes. “In the sexual realm, it’s about what you can get, how you can get it, and throwing it in the trash. That norm, that hyper-consumer norm, is so dominant that it’s overwhelming.”

Sycamore would like to see gay culture re-broaden itself to welcome femininity and flamboyance — and risk.

Risk leads to growth, she says, whereas risk-aversion leads to stagnation. Or worse.

“What if the risks people are avoiding are the risk of femininity, or talking to someone who has HIV, or the risk of intergenerational contact?” she asks. “Those are the risks that are going to give us the answers to the questions that we need, to find the connection that we’re hoping for. Those are the risks that gay culture is afraid of.”

The possibility of a successful intervention lies in honest discussion, she believes.

“For me, the hope lies in opening up the possibility for an honest conversation that talks about the places where we failed, that talks about messiness, that talks about the problems, that talks about the places where our dreams become nightmares, the places where what we thought was going to lead to greater possibilities for intimacy or love or community . . . leads into walls.

“We’re never going to get anywhere else unless we can talk about these complicated spaces of failure, which also lead to more dreams,” Sycamore says.
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Comments

Not cool
How dare she use the 'F' word -- it isn't hers to reclaim.
Thank you
"Our expectations are often based on porn and straight university athletes." So true, Jonathan. It's sad, but very welcome to hear your story, which is so ignored these days.
Part One (What happened to gay men)
Fear of Faggotry really struck a different chord with me, which has been the bane of my own sense of isolation, depression and resentment towards this supposed community of gay people. This isn't about gender-specific behaviour. This is about MONEY. If you're gay and are without a post-graduate degree, great job, expensive condo...don't even bother coming out. Nobody will ever give you the time of day. Nor will you be able to afford living in the once 'eccentric gay villages' surrounding downtown that once were gathering places for those of us who waited a lifetime to finally see other gay people. Now, that has been shot down with unwelcoming glares, or gay men who are so self-obsessed they'd never notice you were there. 

We are not these amazing, unique and sophisticated people we seem to insist we are. There are gay people who live in social housing and are on welfare, but who wants to hear about that. There are gay people who haven't met anyone in over 20 years because as technology makes it easier for us to find each other, it also makes it easier to never have to deal with anyone who isn't 100% your type. Gay men constantly forget we only make up a single-digit percentage of the male population. Our expectations are often based on porn and straight university athletes. When we finally see real gay men, we are shocked to see most are 20 years older and 100 pounds fatter than all those images the gay media has tried selling us. We never learned what's fantasy and what's reality, and it appears we don't want to. Fewer gay men are coming out: either they want the guy they see online, or nothing at all, or they conclude since they don't look like that guy nobody will ever accept them. Isn't that shocking? Coming out was a statement of differences being a good thing, that we had a safe place somewhere with other men who experienced similar rejection. Now we reject each other. We are talking up a storm on marriage when I hardly see anyone finding a lasting relat
your freudian slip is showing, cindy loo who
Cinders, many have relegated Freud to the dumpster (some interesting thoughts but historically retrograde theory) in the same way that you should relgate Hirshfield (the trans version of Freud). Also the way you separate yourself from trans others and align yourself with gay or homosexual men is fine with you but when some homosexual men feel distanced from and certainly representative of nor willing to be lectured to by trans people like Sycamore, you call foul. Why can't trans people like Sycamore and you just leave the pontificating to all homosexual men and simply talk about your own group of female-identified trans people (who want to have sex like woman as you say). You separate our two unlike groups yet mash together two even more dissimilar groups. Why not just leave others alone?
Fairies Forever!!! (part 4/4)
Part of Mattilda’s message is
that gay transsexuals and gay queens and all gay fairies and twinkies
really do belong in the gay community
and in fact it is the uncontrollably gender-variant people like us
who are the core group in this community who define the essence of gayness.

One good way to restore our centrality in the gay world
would be to abolish the T in LGBT
and instead rebrand ourselves as a GLB community
with the understanding that there are natural subdivisions within this community
and gay transsexuals and gay queens
and all gay fairies and twinkies are just as legitimate
and have just as much right to be here
as do gay bears and butch lesbians and all the others.

If you are a true transsexual you essentially belong in a little border county
which originally belonged to the Gay, Lesbian, and Bi Federation
but has been forcibly annexed and colonized
by the highly aggressive and very oppressive Transvestite Empire
with its very imperialistic, bossy, domineering,
and obnoxious heterosexual male crossdressers
who in turn have expelled and deported us from our own natural homeland.

It is time for the GLB Federation to reclaim the stolen territory of Transsexuality
and paradoxically the best way to do that is to delete the T from LGBT.

The term GLB is best to describe this community
because gays are twice the number of lesbians
while bisexuals are twice the number of gays and lesbians combined
but prefer to remain in the background.

The autogynephilic transvestites and heterosexual male crossdressers
really do not belong here at all and it is time to cut them loose
because they are even much more oppressive to twinkies and fairies
(ie femme gay queens and gay transsexuals)
than are the closeted straight-acting gay guys.

These are like barnacles on the gay body politic and it is time to scrape them off and let them fall into the bottom mud where they truly do belong.
Fairies Forever!!! (part 3/4)
The type of trans persons you are thinking of
are actually pseudo-transsexuals or autogynephiles
who are basically autoerotic heterosexual male transvestites or crossdressers who get addicted to cross-dressing
and go off the deep end and try to rationalize their addiction
and legitimize themselves by reaching for words
which really do not belong to them such as “transsexual”.

A straight guy in a dress can be just as homophobic as a straight guy in pants and they do a quite good job of alienating the entire GLB community
as well as badly oppressing the true or gay transsexuals
like Mattilda and yours truly.

These are the straight guys who managed to entrench the T in LGBT
despite being less than 0.2% of the GLB population
and they are very snarky to the rest of us and badly oppress true transsexuals
with their straight man’s sense of heterosexual male power and privilege.

During the 1950s and 1960s in America
this group managed to steal the word transsexual from the GLB community which at the time was very badly oppressed and stigmatized and criminalized
and could not resist this cultural theft.

They then proceeded to corrupt the definition of transsexuality
from its original and correct meaning as a distinctive sexual orientation category
to a definition based on some sort of very abstract self-asserted gender identity which is completely divorced from sexuality
and this is inherently an absurd concept.

You cannot have female gender identity without female sexuality
but many people have suspended their natural commonsense
and swallowed this idea and the idea of the “lesbian transwoman”.
Fairies Forever!!! (part 2/4)
The word transsexual was defined in 1923 by Dr Magnus Hirschfeld
who defined it as having the sexuality of a completely heterosexual person
of the opposite gender with none of the sexuality of your own assigned gender.

Only about 30 people per million are true or pure transsexuals
and evenly divided between XY males and XX females
but semi-transsexuality is quite common among gay and lesbian people
and one good way to understand the diversity of sexuality in the GLB world
is to think in terms of different mixtures of homosexuality and transsexuality
in different people.

Dr H is essentially the Freud of the GLB world
and we should all revisit and revive his very insightful work.
Fairies Forever!!! (part 1/4)
re:- Why is a trans person trashing gay men? Goshen, Peterborough Ontario
05/04/12 7:51 AM EST

Hi, your thinking on this subject is a bit faulty and misinformed.

Mattilda is a gay transsexual and yes we do actually exist
despite the best efforts of almost everyone to deny we exist.

About 1 little boy in 1000 will be naturally feminine or femme
and about 1 little girl in 2000 will be naturally masculine or butch.

You do not actually learn to be like this
and you most certainly cannot unlearn this trait.

Most femme boys eventually evolve
into gender-variant semi-transsexual gay guys as adults
(aka gay queens)
but about 3% to 5% of us become true or pure transsexuals
(aka gay transsexuals) in adult life
provided we actually survive the intense gender dysphoria of adolescence
and the depression and suicide which kills most of us by about age 18.

Just think of transsexuality as being equivalent to ultragayness.

In the 1978 French film version of La Cage aux Folles
the two central characters were a same-sex couple
with Renato, the husband, and Albin, the very femme gay wife.

Albin was actually a gay transsexual with a basically female sexuality
while Renato was actually on the straight side of bisexual.

A plain-vanilla homo guy relates sexually to other guys in a very masculine way
(and this is essentially the casual transactional sex in a gay bathhouse)
while a transsexual male relates sexually to other males in a very feminine way
(which is psychologically essentially heterosexual in nature)
and a semi-transsexual gay male will relate to other males
with a mixture of masculine and feminine sexual behaviour patterns.
end of the rule of the phallus
Miss Mattilda heralds a new post-phallus era of bio and chosen labia for all born males. Through the work of those like Sycamore (scion of the zimstren diaspora) the male penis will be eradicated from all queeries and gendered spaces especially sexualized until de-penised queers can in egalitarian genital freedom inseminate fibrous husks forever. Hail Sycamore! Hail Our Genitalfree Leader!
Devine apathy
Although the article does shine a light on reality, it is exactly that.Reality. Is it a new insult in the gay world? That I am not Gay enough..for my own community? I love men. Love, love, love. That's the goal... LOVE. How would I ever get the man I love without being myself? I am strong, deep, and talented in the art love. I am a proud ass kicking musician who does stand up to be counted,and only sings about love.I don't want to be a stereotype. I am Canadian! This individual can totally handle and welcomes the rejection of shallow outdated people. Be it from the LGBT community or straight. I am secure enough in my skin and abilities. I know who gets called when a car breaks down or something needs to be fixed in a house. I know I'm more capable than the average man in many fields and I'm proud of it. Seriously ...the Rainbow is not one color.

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