Updated: Jan 29
Oh boy, there I said it. There’s a problem with gays. The population in society that is adamant about being judged is now facing judgment from one of their own.
As they often do.
I mean lets face it. As a group we gays will be the first to preach about not wanting to be judged, but also the first to throw judgment around their own segment of society and be so harsh at it that its often too disgusting to be around.
Let’s take, for example, Brad Polumbo, the author of last week’s OpEd from the Washington Examiner regarding DC’s Mid-Atlantic Leather Convention (MAL).
That's right Brad, I'm calling you out. Here we go…
Yes indeed I have a few things I’m going to say about this guy Brad and his article. For one thing when I finished it, I had to scroll back up and down and said “Wait, that’s it? That’s all he’s got? He could have done much better if it was longer.”
Ok, not the point, but still.
I find the article hilarious actually. I have the unique perspective of seeing both sides of the street as I spent much of my life in the suburban hetero world before coming out. And then I stayed in the suburban hetero world for quite some time. The thing is Brad, the hetero’normative’ world of suburbia is far from normal. The reality is there is deviant behavior everywhere even in every state’s town of Stepford. The difference is the straight culture of antiquated Elizabethan behavior prohibits them from practicing such proclivities, and quite often it keeps them from even being able to publicly (or within their suburban circle) admit to the fondness or interest in these behaviors.
But they are there. Trust me.
You know what Brad, you can go about and be boring and ‘normal’ and stay in on Saturday night watching reruns of Murder, She Wrote or Designing Women, but know this: While you may be content to do that, your next door neighbors, the lovely middle-aged couple who’s second child just went off to college are heading over to their friends house. Their friends have a jacuzzi and they are going to play Hot Tub Time Machine with three other couples and go back to a time when they weren’t all married and get drunk, make out and get naked and let nature take it’s course.
But at least they aren’t doing it in the confines of a convention center with hundreds of other couples interested in the same thing. And perhaps even dressed in ‘gasp’ leather. That would be debauchery and Stepford wives and husbands don’t indulge in debauchery. Nor should they. They should stay home on Saturday night and catch up on DIY shows so they can fix the garage and wallpaper the kids rooms and turn them into craft rooms.
You know what else Brad? Have you ever scrolled by something on facebook or IG and thought how horrible someone could be to post their atrociously thirsty pics of shirtless adventures in Puerto Vallarta? Oh you didn’t avert your eyes and scroll past? How hypocritically shocking. But anything political or religious or whatever you don’t agree with you comment as such right? I mean you wrote this article so you must also do that. I mean right?
Funny, in this country where freedom of speech and expression are valued its so common for people to forget it's actually a right. But I have a right too, Brad. And so do you:
The right to scroll.
And scroll I do. I’m not losing relationships because one of my good friends from Vermont is republican. That’s shortsighted and leads to boredom. I’d much rather embrace the opportunity to have a respectful lively conversation (or argument) about his beliefs and listen, learn and have the chance to rebut. That’s what people do.
Either that or they Scroll right by.
The right to not participate.
The right to stay in on Saturday night.
Which by the way I love but sometimes I want to go out, and I am free to do that and attend any gear, fetish, leather, rubber, onesie, kilt, underwear, or hightop event I want. I usually end up in jeans and a tank top and a snapback on backwards cause that other crap just gets heavy and sweaty when you dance. Am I right girls?
But hey, you do you.
Isn’t that exactly what we should be saying? In this whole world where we vie for acceptance of any kind and mostly from our own kind shouldn’t we all just be saying…not into the whole pink leotard thing but hey, you do you.
The thing is, Brad, and all you other Brads out there, This was a contained event. It was at a convention center. One where you had to buy tickets to get in. Then reserve a room at a host hotel who caters specifically to this annual event, or stay with a friend who is also attending or interested.
All those interested have the right to go buy tickets to the event and any of the parties that are named with the intentions of selling tickets and providing a fun environment. Of which they do both.
Just as we have the right to scroll past something personally offensive on social media, so have we that same right to simply… not attend such events.
I don’t like comic books. And I think it’s weird that people dress up to go to them but hey, they have their right to do that, I give them a simple ‘you do you’ and simply choose to not attend.
Granted Comicon is a bit different from MAL, although as far as the convention itself is concerned honestly it really isn’t.
You have a choice, and you know what you are getting into when you but the tickets. I mean this isn’t the Pride Parade. Every year cities celebrate gay pride with a parade and parties. All are invited however it really has turned into what even Brad may just be right about. Sorry gays I think I agree here. These events where anyone can go see live on display the very spectacle of every stereotype we are trying to live down. Think about that. We pass it off as ‘I have a right to be myself” and that’s largely true but are those butterfly wings all you are?
While we fight for acceptance and marriage and inclusion and freedom from judgment aren’t we trying to break down those stereotypes? So why are we flaunting them so loudly? I know, I know, I said you do you and we should all do that and be who we are.
But think about this, wouldn’t the parade be actually more effective if we were actually ‘who we are’ in real life?
By that I mean what if instead of the typical gay pride parade and events we have in every town, what if…
On a random Tuesday at 10am all LGBTQ+ citizens just came outside. Walked down the street, assembled at the town square. And anyone out and about could see them as they were.
“Hey, that’s Bob my dentist, Hi Bob!”
“There’s Phyllis my next door neighbor and her friend Dorothy. I guess they’re more than just friends. Wow that's sweet.”
“Oh my god I had no idea that firefighter was gay, ps. she’s gorgeous! And she’s with her Dad, hes a firefighter too…um and he’s with his boyfriend?! What? Ohh, yeah, Wow…”
All these people just as they are. How nice would that be to just see our neighbors, friends, coworkers, baristas, plumbers, cops, nurses and uber drivers just being like hey yeah this is me.
I mean they can snap their fans at the club and wear their harness to MAL but what if they just walked down the street ‘as-is’.
That’s my thought and it’s loosely agreeable to what Brad said, and I say loosely because I think by and large this guy is despicable. If for no reason than he portends that MAL is bringing our culture backwards.
But then he says this:
But these activists seek to exploit society’s growing tolerance by mixing in their affinity for debauchery with the never-ending LGBTQIA2+ (and so on it grows …) acronym and loosely defined “community.”
Oh Brad, “and so it grows…”? Really? If anyone reading agreed with you they likely lost you with this absolutely hurtful abomination of a description of our actual community and what we are trying to do with these letters. Its called inclusion Brad. Something we have not had a lot of.
Shame on you, Brad.
There’s more than 50 Shades of Masculinity but you don’t reflect any one of them.