Chuck Out The Cliché

Don't believe a word of what they write about us in the press - it's not all true you know! Even the recent trend towards positive stereotyping has got many a queen's designer briefs in a twist. I mean, there are actually gay men out there who love their chintz, their men dressed in tweeds and a full-fat plate of chips. What's more, these same people even have the nerve to grow old disgracefully without a moisturizer or plucked eye brow in sight! Bring on the crow's feet I say.

Yes, it's time to dispel some good old fashioned clichés about the fabulous world of the gay male.

1. We All Love Musicals

Well many of us do - the good ones that is - but then so do millions of straight men and women; or are all those tourists flocking to see the likes of Les Mis, Chicago, Acorn Antiques, We Will Rock You etc. all part of some gay secret society? Incidentally I hated Rent and Fame even though they seem to be firm favourites with the gay crowd. Give me Oliver any day.

 
2. We're Promiscuous As Bunnies In Springtime
"Why are gay men so promiscuous?" said a forty five year old blonde to me once as she stood there in a low cut top, mini skirt, high heels looking like, well, mutton dressed as mutton! Funny how some straights never recognize the fact that they look like hookers but actually believe they appear as wholesome as Mary Poppins. Since when did the gay community have a monopoly on being pre-occupied with sex when everything in the straight world, media included, is obsessed with getting laid? If some gay men are perceived as promiscuous randy sods it's because they're men, not because they're gay.

3. We're As Camp As Christmas
"Oh no love. I can always recognize them. He's definitely not one!" a relative once uttered when I pointed out that a local butch rugby player was gay. No doubt a recreational lifetime of mincing around 'fun pubs' in the north with her hubby had given her the impression that all gay men either resembled members of Black 'Agadoo' Lace or had a penchant for checked shirts and sang show tunes. How disturbing it must have been for her to discover that her own football crazy, fireman son was as straight as a Pride Parade on Fire Island!

Gay guys and gals included, not only come in all shape and sizes but also with mannerisms that defy the clichéd handbook of queer spotting. From bank clerks to Yorkshire miners, there's no factory in Compton Street churning us out like mannequins.

4. We Have A Natural Eye For Good Design
Obviously the people who believe in this patronizing shite have never been round to Elton John's house, or seen inside his wardrobe. Gay men can be just as clueless and tasteless as their straight counterpart when it comes to interior design too. Not all gay people are inspired by Wallpaper magazine or ordering their furnishings from Heals of London. Some love chintz and sit on sofas from DEF.
5. We Have Judy And Barbra Collections
This says more about the kind of straights that believe this old chestnut than it does about gays worldwide who've never owned a
Garland or Streisand album in their lives. Me included. Sure, the old birds have their place in history - Garland particularly, as an icon of tragedy and more bizarrely a rallying cry for NY Trannies during the siege of Stonewall. (I have JG's Signature movie collection!) There's also no doubting the pleasure that Babs' pneumatic lungs still brings to millions, but today's young gaysters are more likely to have CD stacks of the Scissor Sisters and McFly than shelf loads of tragic Queen Divas belting their hearts out.

6. We're All Into Back-Door Sex
Not far wrong there I suppose. But then again, our straight cousins could give us a run for our money when it comes to exploring the 'tunnel of love' from the rear. Ever picked up a straight porno or ladz mag recently? Even Anne Summers stocks vibros, butt plugs and pleasure pokers for the tradesman entrance. When a hetty couple say they're into DP'ing, we ain't talking painting the garden shed with Homebase varnish either. Dirty buggers.

7. We're A Good 'Laugh'
Yes, we love being as witty as Graham Norton and Dorothy Parker rolled in to one because, let's face it, many of us had to use humour to stop us from getting our faces kicked in at school. But, according to the New Scientist, there's no actual proof that homosexuals have a 'funny gene' bigger than the average straight Joe's. In reality, gays can be as dull as their hetty mates and as bad at telling jokes.

8. We Like Shopping
Who doesn't if you're moseying down Bond Street or flitting around New York's Macys with the boyfriend's credit card? Okay, maybe we'll even suffer the plebs on Oxford Street if it means an occasional break to 'man-watch' on Old Compton St (see cliché 2) but generally the average gay bloke would prefer boozing in a bar than dragging his ass around a shopping mall.

9. We Gay Men Hate Lesbians
This myth was probably encouraged by jealous fag hags in the early 80's. Surprisingly, it tends to be straight men - and ugly ones at that (Bernard Manning, Richard Littlejohn etc.) - that have it in for our gay sisters. Interestingly not many straight men actually know any lesbians, apart from the human Barbie Dolls they jack off to in pornos. In reality there's probably never been as much assimilation between gay men and gay gals as there is today, due to a far more inclusive gay scene.

10. We All Love Drag Queens
Well we did, back in the 60's and maybe the 80's when they were a fundamental signature of gay culture. But does any self-respecting nineteen-year-old gay boy have a poster of
Danny La Rue on his wall these days? It's also been a long time since a decent drag star of Lilly Savage's pedigree has paced the boards of the Black Cap. We all still love to hear an acidic tongue cracking out bitchy one-liners, but a cock in a frock miming to Dusty Springfield ditties is definitely just for the Hen parties these days. Funny how Madam Jo Jo's is a playground for straight couples rather than a gay clientele. Old gangsters and northern middle-aged women with big earrings can't get enough of 'em. Personally I prefer Topping & Butch - or just a good topping!

By: Richard Bevan