Attentive & Considerate

Rupert Everett is widely identified as a gay actor, says John Walsh in the London Independent, but he’s actually a bisexual. As a younger man, the handsome Brit had been involved with several gorgeous women, Susan Sarandon and Béatrice Dalle among them. Though he’s usually attracted to men, Everett says, women provide a refreshing contrast, and are far more attentive and considerate. “In a gay relationship,” he explains, “men are always elbowing for supremacy.” There are other advantages, too. “When you’re heterosexual, the world opens up for you. If you go to dinner in a restaurant with a girl, everyone looks at you in a friendly way. There’s a unity in the world. You’re totally embraced by it, you totally fit in, it’s gorgeous. If you go to dinner with a boy, even now, you have to harden your energy fields against the world’s disapproval.”

The Week, 18 January 2007

TBB came back from Key West reminded that drag queens are just like crossdressers, though better put together.

“They are guys,” she said.  “Gay guys, sure, but still guys.”

Yeah, I get that.  I was amused at how The Lady Bunny’s big revelation from a stint of Jury Duty was that women are interesting.  When you live in a world of men, it’s often hard to remember that, and both drag queens and crossdressers need to keep living in that world of men to keep up their sexual identity and to avoid challenge from women who assume it’s women who own the meaning of women’s clothes and choices.

Candis Cayne notes that when she went up for women’s parts, it was always some gay guy who would bray that she was really a man, really a man.  Others were willing to accept her as her, but the gay guy needed to police those lines, needed to keep up the “hardened energy fields” he uses as a gay man to make defenses & boundaries.

I have been watching this whole Democratic primary cycle with amazement.

Obama just has to add race to the old model of a man working to look “presidential.”  It’s not a hard task; just ask Oprah, who likes the man.

Other blacks, like Sharpton, are making it easier by playing the card, beating up Bill Clinton for using the word “fairytale,” making it look like Clinton was saying that a black president is a “fairytale,” when Clinton only meant that Obama saying he never supported the Iraq war was a “fairytale.”  One word and racist paint comes out, smearing.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has to create a whole new model of what it means to be both a woman and be “presidential.”  If she looks unemotional, many other women don’t trust her, but if she shows her emotions she gets beat up by women who think they are still in some collegiate feminist consciousness-raising group, where they need to tell other women how they are doing woman wrong.

No other woman has even broken the ground Hillary has to break, have had to create a persona that isn’t just politically correct but is also compelling to a wide range of women and men.  But since women haven’t learned to come together and support the work, rather just be feminist and support the cause, Hillary’s work isn’t valued for success, with the assumption that others will follow and succeed in their own way, rather it is ranked out for failing to meet the high standard for women.

I don’t know.  All this gender policing, trying to shape that “imitation for which there is no original,” as Butler calls gender.  I know that there is racial policing too; some argue that Obama isn’t really “black” because he is not the descendant of slaves, but somehow, there is also racial support, even if it’s slippery and mean-spirited, meant to aggrandize separations in a way that accumulates the power of division.

Groupings just seem so odd to me.  Aren’t, in the end, humans all very individual,  and not just representatives of a grouping we assign?

Queer is that fight for respecting individuality, at least to me.   But, while I can’t understand it, I do know that many feel more comfortable with a group identity that they can try to enforce on others.

Just makes me sad.

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