We gays don’t have it as easy as we could do. Between the religious bigots, the political bigots, the Pope, Richard Littlejohn, Middle America, Middle England, the Middle East, half of our parents, the bullies we went to school with and the chavs that you don’t see in Triga films, there are plenty of people out in the wide open world who hate us for no reason. I mean, theories have been suggested – ‘there’s a lack of education here’, ‘it’s a cultural hangover’, ‘they’re secretly all gay themselves’, etc – but without actually opening their skulls and poking around in their soft grey bits with a stick and a magnifying glass (reattachment of brainpan optional), I reckon we’re unlikely to figure out exactly why it is. Some people are always going to hate homosexuals for their own ridiculous, baseless reasons and, until we ship them off to their own little island or they accidentally all blow themselves up, we’re probably going to have to deal with them.
That’s why I find it astonishing every time I remember that there’s some gay people out there who have exactly the same media-driven prejudice against the stereotyped image of ‘The Gay’ that most commenters on MailOnline.com hold dear to their warped little chests.
I could go through the many, many ways I’ve seen gay people expressing their internalised homophobia, but I really don’t have the time, or the energy, or the resilience to type it out without resorting to self-harm or full-on suicide, so I’ll leave that for another day; gay guys who think ‘camp’ can’t be sexy is a particular scrotal itch I’m dying to deal with (metaphorically), but like any good firebrand, it’ll keep.
Today, tonight, I’m just dying to address why being a gay man and stating ‘I don’t like gay men because they’re all bitches’ says a lot more about you than simply that you’ve got a way with words which would make Prince Philip look erudite and tactful.
Deciding a whole group of people are rude arrogant bastards because one or two of them have been rude arrogant bastards is, strangely enough, a rather short sighted and small minded way to live. When I was nineteen I went to a club in a vest, and a bald thirty-something year old gay man snarked at me in the toilets that I didn’t have the arms to pull it off. What kind of an insecure human being would you have to be to let that turn you against everyone bald, or over the age of twenty-one? His sexuality was by-the-by; had he been straight, he might not have said anything, or he might have made a comment about my hair instead. ‘Dickhead’ is not exclusive to homos or heteros or a specific gender, and you’d have to be a very petty person to read an article by Julie Burchill and decide ‘well, that’s it – I hate all women now’ (regardless of how hateful it is).
Bitching is power play when it comes to group dynamics. It’s when you see someone doing something better than you can or having something you want and, rather than you deciding to work harder to get it for yourself or to forget about it and move on, you decide that you’d rather diminish their achievement in order to make yourself seem better in comparison. It’s giving yourself a leg up at the expense of someone else, and as such is usually a pretty sure sign that you can’t get ahead by yourself, under the merits of your own body or mind or personality. A woman might bitch about the flabby thighs of the work colleague who’s just earned the promotion, a man might bitch about the skinny arms of the guy who’s started dating the fit girl from the gym. It’s an easy trap to fall into for anyone who’s ever felt overtaken, regardless of their sexuality, and therein lies the problem; if you will be a successful human being, you will have to deal with people – lesbian workmates, straight friends from your old school rugby team, every ex you’ve ever had – talking you down.
This isn’t the only reason people will ‘bitch’, though, and often it’s the other way people ‘bitch’ that the gossip-haters detest; when they ‘bitch’ about the bad things someone has done. Yes, a lot of the time ‘to bitch’ is interchangeable with ‘to tell the truth’, and my goodness that can wind some people up.
If you’re a prick to other people, you will get a reputation. If you sleep with other people’s boyfriends, you will stop meeting your friends’ new partners. That’s once again not unique to the gay world, by the way; go down to any small-town tennis club and I can guarantee you’ll find a table full of women talking about the one who’s cheating on her husband with the new gym trainer. Fact is, do bad things and people will warn others about you. It’s not bitching – it’s societal preservation.
When you do morally dubious things, people will talk about them, and if you don’t want people to talk about your ‘evil’ acts, don’t do them. There is no grey area here, unless you decide you just don’t care, but the best way to avoid getting angry about people ‘bitching’ about you is to simply not do anything you’d be ashamed of. Naturally, that’s easier said than done but it can be done.
And why might you want to do this? Well, because there’s a lot of really nice people in the world – funny people, kind people, people who’ll let you lick their abs for a shot of cherry Sourz. And some of those people are gay. I’d really hate a person to miss out on meeting them just because of a bitchy comment about their hair in G-A-Y.