© Breeze Vincinz
While doing some research on a project that I am involved with, I recently came across several articles dealing with the bisexual practices of an immense number of celebrities both past and present. And while there was a certain amount of adolescent blushing, giggling and awe at my initial knowledge that Marilyn Monroe and Joan Crawford once bumped fuzzy muffins once upon a time, there was also this feeling reading story after story of lesbian and homosexual trysts in Hollywood that maybe I, and the rest of the modern world, might have an unhealthy preoccupation with this whole idea of homosexuality and homosexual rights.
Not that I would suggest that the fight for equality amongst all sexual orientations is a moot one, but as I enveloped myself more into the world of Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Billie Holiday, I found myself curious beyond belief to know what exactly would they think about today's almost fanatical leanings towards gay pride and identification. In their 1930's celebrity Hollywood world, homosexuality didn't seem to be such a point of contention or accord. There were no parades, no marches, no magazine covers or rainbow flags and they were just as out if not even more so than the most prevalent soap box preaching homosexual of today. I just wonder if today's homosexual is more preoccupied with the idea of homosexuality than actually being a homosexual?
And the same goes for the homophobes. I see Reverend Fred Phelps and his flock give such passionate discourses about the mortal abominations associated with homosexuals and homosexuality over the years and I can't help but wonder if in all this time if they actually know or even remember what that means. In my head I see them pillaging and marching and yelling offensive things at the funeral services for gays and lesbians and condemning their fallen bodies and fragile spirits to an eternity of hell when someone softly taps him on the shoulder and goes, "Uh, he just did it with a couple of dudes" and Rev. Phelps going, "Oh. Really? That's all? I thought it was so much more. Is that it? What was I thinking all this time?"
Homosexuality has just become a life of its own nowadays and we either grab a sign and march for it's promotion or we grab a sign and march for it's elimination and I wonder if Tallulah would have even given a shit or would she be too busy eating hair pie. Somehow I think she would she have chosen the latter and I think she would have had the right idea.
I think in my old age I am becoming more and more of a pacifist. Rev. Phelps himself was scheduled to spearhead a bullhorn session on the corner of Santa Monica and LaCienega here in Los Angeles not too long ago. There was a little army of protesters ready to combat his hate mongering but there was a more predominate group (led by Queer as Folk's Peter Paige) that suggested that nobody even acknowledge that fool, to instead go about your ordinary business and donate money to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. I loved that plan. Why waste all that energy trying to combat "lifestyles", go out and just live your life.
I feel the same way in regards to Gay Marriage, you pick your battles. I am totally for gay marriage in the United States but my heart just truly isn't in that battle when the inner city school system has become one of the most expensive combustible heaps in the history of America. Besides, it just feels so counterrevolutionary to try and find spiritual recognition and acknowledgement only with the approval of the powers that be. I just don't ever want people feel like they can't fall in love because Dubya hasn't sanctioned it. I don't ever want to feel like I can't fall in love because his successors won't approve it.
I think Tallulah was very revolutionary in that sense, very gangsta. She didn't wait to be defined and she didn't need any outside agenda to define her. She did not march, she did not carry signs… she was just her. And like her or hate her, she got away with it.
It's definitely been on the forefront of my mind lately as I have swooped in and out of different areas of the black gay movement. I wonder, exactly how real is my reality? I speak to both my sister and my boss who are both struggling to raise children, maintain relationships with their respective spouses while remaining gainfully employed then I compare it to the trials and tribulations that I have voluntarily taken on as an African American homosexual (should I take the day off to go to the bathhouse or should I take the day off to go to the beach… should I continue to wear my hair in cornrows or try an afro for the fall… I'm going to have to plan my schedule for October around the next season of America's Next Top Model) and I come off like some modern day Ferris Bueller on Viagra.
I guess I want to get back into the real world with real problems and have real conversations with people that are not so heavily dripped in my own gay forward perspective. Like, Tallulah, I just want to live my life and fuck as much as I can and move on. Any need I have ever had to be in association with any entity, group or faction has since elapsed.
I recently had a conversation with a friend in which I was alluding to the fact that I don't really want to be apart of those tiresome cliques that exist in modern society, particularly the exasperating ones that exist within the black gay community which can eerily resemble a suburban high school lunchroom at even given moment. My friend alluded that it was a childish sentiment to believe that the real world is so childishly divided into jocks, nerds and cheerleaders. But I can't help but feel that a certain hierarchy exists with the help of strategically grouped cliques whose members have similar agendas. Within the black gay community there are several cliques vying for the top position of modern spiritual political artistic omnipotent fabulousness. It is very ageist, it very sexist, it is very class-ist… there are certain social circles that you have to be "this" height in order to ride their rides.
But I have to admit I did feel a bit like the paranoid outcast at my derision to a world that I felt the "beautiful people" built for themselves. Maybe I was looking at this the wrong way. Maybe I was trying to push off my own insecurities on other people and that had nothing to do with their agenda but my own idiosyncrasies. I began to feel that maybe that in all actuality there is no class system within the black gay community. Until it suddenly dawned on me that we had the whole conversation inside of his tricked out 2006 Mustang on his way to some posh dinner party thrown to support an upcoming black gay/lesbian center project.
My braces, scoliosis brace, therapeutic shoes and bifocals never weighed so heavy.
And I wonder if anybody in attendance really understood the importance of unity and fellowship or were these buzzwords to create yet another clique? Was this an opportunity to make a difference within their own lives or a preoccupation to avoid what they really want or need and make a name for themselves in the process?
Right now, I can't truly interpret if I am just being bitter or if there actually is a Gay Black Elite velvet rope that I can't get past. In either case, Tallulah has been the one getting me through. I think she would say, "There are way too many holes in a man's body darling for you to be preoccupied with what's coming out of one when you should be putting something in the other."
She would probably go to all those parties just to get laid and move on. I aspire to do that one day. For now, I'll just write about them… and her… a just be a lil' gangsta in my own way.