Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A "diva?" Dear god....

Call it internalized homophobia if you want, but I swear to God, sometimes Im so embarrassed to be gay, it makes me want to go back in the closet.

I'll be honest: I've never understood this obsession with "gay icons" that most gay men (granted, older gay men, not so much younger ones) have. Cher, Madonna, Bette, Kathy Griffin.... Okay, so they're hags, who cares? What have any of them done for me? This is also one reason why I've always been so critical of drag queens, I guess. I mean, whatever, it's fine, but I don't get it.

I understand people need heroes, and people to look up to. But why not look up to people that have actually accomplished something? As for Hillary Clinton, well, that one I don't get at all. She and Mr. Bill are some of the first people in politics to completely sell out their gay supporters when the heat got turned up too high. The gays just like her because she's a woman. I mean, I guess.

The Lone Star State has a sizable gay population, many of them concentrated in Austin, Houston and Dallas. The Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, the state's biggest chapter, endorsed Clinton last month. The group's president, Jesse Garcia, 36, recently penned a pro-Clinton op-ed piece in the Dallas Voice, the state's most-read gay newspaper.

And far from the primped-up, tight-jean-wearing, I'm-eternally-single-and-loving-it vibe of Oak Lawn, the gay neighborhood in Dallas, Friends is a more laid-back, welcoming place full of older, middle-class and mostly coupled-up patrons. Kind of like "Cheers," where everyone knows your name, except they're wearing T-shirts that read "I love Cowboys" and baseball caps from Budweiser with a small rainbow flag. Jokes Bobbie Aldridge, 67, a retired teacher: "This is like a community center. Or a retirement home."

Like most of the patrons here, Aldridge wears a button on her shirt that reads "Out for Hillary."

Maybe this is just a Texas thing. Even the gays in this stupid state are conservative. I also realize that most people aren't single issue voters, but it seems that so many of the gay people I've talked to lately either are single-issue voters (which makes support of her even more perplexing), or they don't pay attention to politics at all. Neither of which is particularly forgivable, especially in a state like Texas, where I think most politicians would rather hang gay people than let them get married.

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