Heternormative culture is both revulsed and creepily fascinated with queer sex, like a Christian Scientist watching surgery on television with his pants around his ankles while his wife is in another room, trying to pray the athlete's foot away. What, you thought there was going to be some sort of cease fire just because it's Christmas? Nah. That's not how I (rick) roll. If the Book Club doesn't like it, as their continued application of profits their businesses and churches accrue during this consumerist clusterfuck towards combatting the efforts of human rights organizations all over the world might suggest, then they can try and buy me off like everyone else. I'm a socialist. You think yours is the only hate mail I have to read this week?

A good example of this “it's so gross I must have another because it is so gross and not good in any way” attitude can be found in what I call “The Pinkmail”. The Pinkmail is a painfully, drabulous overdone cliché in which a character in a comic book, movie, or Republican campaign video is blackmailed with the threat of revealing a previous homosexual encounter or relationship. If I listed everywhere and on what television outfit I have witnessed this cheap and anti-creative plot convention, by the time I was finished the only people left alive to applaud my inane accomplishment would be all the super-intelligent gorillas with machine guns that have taken over the planet who would subsequently bash my head open and eat my brains because after humanity has stripped mother earth of her natural resources tranny brains will the only viable food source left.

If you genuinely have no idea what I'm talking about, I would suggest you read The Boys, a comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, that tells the story of a team of CIA operatives who use fear and intimidation to keep the world's superheroes from going drunk with power. A lot of this involves, you guessed it, “mature readers”, sitting in vans watching heroes have sex. Sometimes I like to impose the faces of Rick Santorum over the titular voyeurs. I laugh. And then I cry. Because all those campaign donations have to go somewhere...and thus I return to my civic duty of forwarding e-mails titled “10 Reasons Why Homophobia Is Dumb!” and “Why The World Would Suck If We Did Everything It Says In Leviticus.” I keep telling myself that I'll think of something clever to put on a sign and walk back and forth where somewhere will take a picture and put it on a liberal-minded blog. But then we'll still lose the election and when I ask my friends why they weren't out there protesting the blatant disregard of human rights with me they'll say “oh, I didn't know...nobody sent me an e-mail.” If our parents really wanted us to succeed they would have drank moonshine, fucked each other's cousins, and hit us with sticks whenever we mentioned the word “dinosaur”. It's not thoughtful posters with the work place that breed motivation and productivity, it's the heirloom of idiocy. But I digress. I could go on all day about the inequities of the right, but it's Christmas and I have a family to entertain, and of all the ways I want to go out, eaten by super-intelligent apes is remarkably low on the list.

Now, when I say that I've encountered this phenomena while watching television, I should perhaps specify my scope of perspective. I rarely, if ever, watch sitcoms. In fact, I find them to be the lowest form of entertainment. When I do watch comedy, it's animated, and more often then not aimed at adults. I prefer violent, surreal, and foul-mouthed media, because that reflects my reality. If I ever spend thirty minutes of a day wondering how to beat my eccentric neighbor at parcheesi so I can pay my parking ticket on time, you have permission to kill me. It probably won't work. I will probably rise up immediately after the fatal blow and eat your heart so I may possess its power, but you have my permission nonetheless. I prefer dark material because I feel that there's a level of consequence to the actions and motivations of the characters. Which I think illustrates my interest in this trope. The people who are often blackmailed are not the quirky jabbermouth in the copy room or the hopeless ex-girlfriend who calls you at 3am to tell you that she saw a cat that reminded you of her. No, they are often involved in very heavy shit. Murder. Theft. Drugs. Other things that Sesame Street taught me are not good when making a first impression. A trigger-happy mobster or sadistic, secretary-raping executive gets blindsided with pictures of himself performing oral sex on another man and suddenly the house of cards starts to fall down. And we, as the audience, are meant to sympathize to a degree, to sit back and go “damn, that's fucked, they got your number, G”. Two episodes ago you were watching this guy stuff a dead body with coke. And now, he's all on the DL...where has the innocence gone?

Now the simpler, perhaps more reasonable interpretation of this is that we in a Western patriarchal culture are wired so sex-negatively that we are taught to think of gay sex as somehow more of a cruelty than murder, that male contact is only acceptable if it is done out of aggression or competition. But that's why they keep showing these articles to troubled children to warn them of what they may become; I don't do simple, and I don't know the meaning of reasonable. I mean, I do, I'm not an idiot, just not in this context.

I think it's for the sake of sating curiousity. Now hear me, err, read me out on this one. It's never hinted at. You can hint at things like murder and theft, and in some ways, it's more poweful that way, because we all know what murder looks like, and there's no way you're gonna redefine it. But they always show the gay sex, don't they? No innuendo there. It's always a shot of the guy getting back up and wiping his mouth or nice wide shot of two guys doing it in a hotel bed. Or, in the case of The Boys beautifully and colorfully rendered illustrations of superheroes going down on one another while someone smokes crack in a bathroom. Or beating each other off in a private movie theater. Only 2.99 an issue!

My point is, it's never “hinted” at. It's always shown in rather revealing detail. Well, “revealing” in the context of our current censorship “standards,” where a gay kissy scene is enough to raise a film's rating up one whole age group.

I think your average heteronormative person is curious as to how it's done, and despite the wealth of information available on the interwebs, they can only allow themselves to be “educated” on such doings if it's presented to them as some sort of twisted plot development. Because let's face it. For as much as they discriminate against us, the heteronormative culture knows very little about us and what we do. If you asked a straight men how two men would have sex, he would just shrug, say “one fucks the other up the ass, I guess” and then cringe until he began to collapse upon himself like a black hole. Now, if you asked him how two women have sex, he might be able to recall something from all those videos he's seen, and become quite excited, but really, his explanation would seem to the average lesbian as somewhat hollow. Because no matter how much lesbian porn aimed at straight men you watch, it really doesn't explain the whole spectrum of girl on girl intimacy. What does that mean? What relevance does it share with the rest of this paper? Fuck if I know.

But once, I saw Brokeback Mountain in the theaters, and not one of the guys there with his arms wrapped around his ladyfriend turned away during the lovemaking scene. I even swear I heard one of them say “huh.” So, somehow, that proves my point. You can do the math if you like.

When I came out, I was constantly bombarded with questions of “how”. How do I have sex with another woman? How does my body change under hormones? How do they make my penis into a vagina? And my situation is not as unique as I would like to think it is. We all have these questions heaved at us? How do we do this? How do we enjoy that? Questions that about five seconds on google would easily inform you of, at a fraction of the social awkwardness. Unless that's the point. Heternormative audiences can only experience queer sexuality when it's awkward, and when they feel they have to endure it for the sake of understanding the plot or conversation or whatever. But deep down inside, they're all a little curious. And I can respect that. I too often wonder how straight people have meaningful sexual and emotional relationships. They keep telling me that all the answers are in the bible, but so far all I've learned about relationships is that men sparkle in sunlight. There must be more to it than that.

More and more fiction will be relying on the pinkmail as evil twin and mysterious baby plotlines begin to dwindle in effect over time. Because not on is it edgy and modern, but it's also educational in its own morbid way. Understanding queer culture then becomes the happy accident of media intake, and someone can safely say they know how this or that's done without appearing as sexually deviant or betraying their straight sensibilities because they didn't seek it out. They merely “witnessed it” by accident. How do we combat this backwards and ignorant behavior? How do we find a way to express and educate the timid and fearful heteronormative culture on our doings without resorting to cheap plot tricks? Fuck if I know. If it were up to me I would make it mandatory to teach this sort of shit in Sex Ed. Oh, if only I were Empress of All.

I believe, truly, that by sitting on the sidelines and going “oh, wow, they added a gay storyline to X show” that we are really only encouraging the mystification of our lives and sexual activity to the culture, who, by virtue of democracy's design (thanks for that, by the way, Ancient Greece, it's been doing us wonders) determine whether or not we get our basic human rights. So, um, down with that, I guess.

If you're devotion to me is so overwhelming that you're actually reading this when you should be with loved ones, then Happy Holidays. Let's hope this the last one we'll ever have to spend as second class citizens. If you're reading this after the holidays...congratulations, you have a life.

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