Was that a boy?

Every Sunday when the weather is nice... the gays flock to Piedmont Park in the heart of Midtown Atlanta for an afternoon in the park. The parade of people usually begins mid afternoon and continues till nightfall. Every Sunday you can expect to see the unexpected... whether it is Ms Sophia from V103 sans wig and dress... to the dude with the 5 dogs wearing sunglasses (if you know this guy please tell him that shit is corny and played as it was several years ago when he first started doing it)... to the sexy bodies (and some not as but still) blading their way past you... And then you have your spectators, commentators, and guest judges that take posts along the winding path, watching, cackling, and cruising as the people mill about.

I have been visiting Piedmont Park for longer than I would care to think about right now and boy has it changed. Piedmont use to be the gathering place after church and dinner right before you beat it downtown to hit the Palace for a early evening of dancing and drinks. The parade was a lot simpler then... you had your masculine gays, the queens, the lesbos, and the transgenders. But now trying to figure who is what and what is who has become so difficult that I am thinking of starting my own tv game show.

One friend suggested that the blurring of gender identity is a good thing... I have failed to see his argument. I think it is quite sad to see that most young gays are confusing sexual identity with gender roles. I often think that most young gays have a construed idea of what is being gay by the lack of realistic gay images in the media and their lives. The media is an extremely powerful tool - television, radio, newspapers, magazines, advertising and more so now the internet not only have the capacity to educate, inform, include and challenge millions of individuals; but for many people, this media provides their first images of gay sexuality. It has the ability to provide all people with positive role models, and can help them realise they are not alone. However, the media can also be damaging to gay people, reinforcing and perpetuating negative stereotypes.

How often do you see a real depiction of gay life and gay people on tv? And how often do you see the over the top, fem queen characters that are usually doing hair, snapping fingers, or the gay sidekick? I think it is these images that are causing a mild form of gender identity disorder in today's youth. I am by no means saying I have a problem with fem boys or butch girls. I have a problem with people thinking that is what it is to be gay. And I think a lot of young gays have a huge misconspetion of what is gender identity and what is sexual identity.

Yesterday, as we sat and watched the parade go by, one friend turned to another and asked was that a guy or a girl... "adam apple, thats a boy,"he replied. Which led to my question, "Do they come in boy anymore?"


Marz said...

WEll, I can speak for the young gays I know. You're pushed to be thuggish with your fitted, timbs, and domestic partner beaters. (LOL) Most who don't fit that are sometimes seen as feminine, and then sort of suggested to think about becoming a woman.

I see that a lot of gay youth suffer from having being "gay," as their defining character. Like, if one said, "Tell me about yourself," all they would say is, "well, I'm gay."

I think more than a depiction of a real gay character, there needs to be a gay character on television where their sexuality isn't what defines them.


Anonymous said...

i read your blog often but have never commented but i am feeling this post because this was me 3 years ago.

i was finishing high school and coming from a small town (less than 3000 people) all i knew about being gay i got from the tv... after moving to ATL and seeing how diverse being gay really is, I really came into my own. I am not hypermasculine now but I do realize that being gay and being feminine are 2 different things.

Keep writing!

Cocoa Rican said...

Apparently this little charade is going on at every-town-near-you. I live in NYC – the city that never sleeps and gets all the freaks! Believe it, if you can make it here, you can break it here – forget what you heard! Speaking from the older subset (hold on…waiting for my nurses-aide to take dictation…LOL) I can say that gender ambiguity has existed since the start of time. The Marlboro Man look, the Village People constructs, etc. all serve to convey a message. Yes, there are some who are more feminine than others (speaking of gay males) and we just sort-of try to understand that we all are different and can’t all be the football-playing, hyper masculine jock types. My friends always joke about why can’t some men butch it up a bit OR we’ll say, “there are rules about how large you can be (tall and wide) while still being a queen. The truth is, you should do you. It takes a lot more courage to walk through life as a feminine man than it does to blend with your peers – whether that blending is natural or not. As you get older you learn to live and let live and you almost surprise yourself when something about that swishy boy with the bubble butt catches your eye…yeah, it can be that way sometimes. LOL 

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, maybe it's a sign! Youare to old to be hanging out there...I mean if you've been doing the same thing for all these years maybe its time to find something better to do. It's public park. Freaks welcomed!

Anonymous said...

i also often wonder as well are these people fem because that is who they are or because they think that is who they should be.

i was at Piedmont this past week with my partner of 8 years and we both were thinking this same thing.

colinnyc said...

i think most of the time it is an act of what they think they should be or what they are is shaped by the lack of masculine gay people in the media.

as much as i disliked noahs arc at least there was a diverse cast to see.