No Man

I went to see The Yes Men Live at a church in Troy, part of a fund raiser for a politically challenged space.

I have two things to say about the presentation.

  1. People may be excited when they proffer utopic visions, offering hope, but just because they are excited doesn’t mean the visions can get off the ground, and a half hour lunch conversation amongst accountants in Sydney proves nothing.  If you want to build utopias, then work to do it, but just to promise and create hope ain’t it, though it does seem to be working in the Democratic primaries.
  2. Their failures are funnier than their successes, and when they finally get a film script together where Jack Black can play a socially conscious prankster falling into pitfalls, they make make some money.

But as everyone knows, this blog is about me and my experience of the world.

So let’s talk about me, shall we?

The place filled up by the 7 P.M. starting time, but I was all alone in my pew. A few women came by, but chose to avoid the big pew I was in.

I was put in the mind of Ms. Rachelle’s note that the reason we don’t get much support from women is that when they identify our body as having gone through puberty as a male, well, then we are one of the others and not one of them. We may be able to change that perception with time and exposure, but we have to have openness and engagement to do that.

But Gay and Lesbian people, well, they should be our allies, right?

The well groomed gay man sitting next to me, across the pew wall, well, he did open a conversation, and that was nice.

Well, up until the moment when he asked if he could speak freely, and told me he noticed that I was “in drag.”

In drag? I mean, I suppose it’s great that he felt safe enough to be honest, but really.

I suggested he might mean “trans.” Yes, yes, that’s what he meant.

It’s just that he said “in drag,” which, coming from the cultural reference point of a gay man, made perfect sense. He can’t imagine not being a man, and when his friends dressed, they called it drag.

Oy. Out Magazine has a special issue on trans now. Of course, they didn’t actually put a tranny on the cover. What gay man wants to buy a tranny? Heck, on The L Word, Max has been a bollix this year, reduced to technical status. Of course, I can’t ask the actress playing Max to change her body with T and surgery, but when it means they have to have excuses about his GF liking his tits, well, I think I’d prefer Max to disappear completely rather than turn into a comforting shadow of a tranny, safe for Lesbians who watch.

We had noted that Saratoga Springs didn’t have much of a gay scene, and he had asked if I had been to any of the events at Circus Cafe up there. Of course, this was all when he assumed my fundamental identity was as a gay man, which, as I sadly informed him, was an identity I never had. He assumed I was like him, and that was just demeaning.

We didn’t speak again, but he bid me adieu and scuttled out quickly after the event.

“I couldn’t help but notice that you are in drag,” he said.

“Usually,” I replied, “if you see someone so committed and worn in, it’s not drag.”

But those are my allies in a social justice setting. My pals.

Yes Men on stage, No Man back here.

But tell that to the women and gay men.

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