Monday, May 31, 2004

Of Love and Perversion

For the gay community in Chicago, Memorial Day weekend marks the annual International Mr. Leather (IML) competition. For the uninitiated, "leather" refers to a subculture that celebrates hyper-masculinity, sadomasochism, bondage and some really bad pleather.

Let’s get this straight, so to speak, sadomasochism or SM, was not invented by the gays. This subculture of inflicting pain on someone you love has been around since the dawn of history. I can give you example upon example: the Marquis de Sade, Whitney and Bobby, God and almost everybody in the Old Testament.

Ok, domestic violence is not the same as SM, where the participants must be sane and consensual. Whitney would probably realize that she is not in an SM relationship if she stopped snorting cocaine for 10 minutes.

Gay people are used to pain. It is inflicted on us by those who love us; we inflict it on ourselves. No wonder we’re fucked-up. It is not a stretch for someone who has been bombarded with pain to confuse that emotion with love. I have read many a blog where gay men despair of ever finding love. We have become so used to people telling us they love us, all the while inflicting pain that we have difficulty dissociating one from the other.

When society tells you that your love is a perversion, that you have to hide it, keep it in the closet, never celebrate your love, then how can this make you happy? If we subscribe to these rules, then homosexuals are doomed to be unhappy from the start.

Let me put it this way, if African Americans accepted their station in life, slavery would still be in effect; we would be wearing our pants around our waists instead of our hips; Eddie Murphy would not be an Ass in the movies.

When the people who are anti-gay cite the perversion of homosexuals, they often point to transvestites and leatherfolk. What they fail to say is that the overwhelming majority of these people are heterosexual. Yes, this means that there are men who love having sex with their wives all the while thinking about wearing their lacy, pink panties. Are these men perverted? Only if the panties are cheap Agent Provocateur imitations.

If you ask me, the only thing the homosexuals are guilty of is that we have a tendency to put sequins on everything and we love parades. If people were going to hate us for being ourselves, then by God, we will look good while we’re at it. The sewing machine is mightier than the sword.

If we really want to talk about perversion, then let’s talk about the torture of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib, the majority of whom are civilian detainees. Let’s talk about how the military forced them to perform homosexual acts on each other. Let’s be clear here, the perversion is not the acts themselves, but the systematic, willful humiliation and degradation the prisoners were subjected to.

Before you say that homosexuals are perverted, let the first man in Abu Ghraib cast the first stone.

NEXT: My friend Han and I visit the IML festivities

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