Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Something I find bothersome...

Recently George Michael was caught at Hempstead Park (nicknamed Hempstead Heat because it's known for illicit homosexual liasons) with another man.

When approached by the tabloid reporter he screamed, "Are you gay? No? Then fuck off! This is my culture."

I'm not gay-- but over the years I've made the acquaintance of plenty of people who are gay or bi-- and in knowing them I developed a general "live and let live" policy.

Maybe it's just me here, but I think if I WERE gay I'd be downright insulted by Michael's reaction. Granted it was in the heat of the moment and I'd probably be pissed too if some tabloid reporter were poking around trying to catch me getting jiggy. So I understand everything except for the last bit of Michael's reaction. But I still don't think that excuses his "This is my culture." remark.

If anything it's perpetuating a rather negative stereotype of gay culture and the gay lifestyle-- and maybe my experiences with homosexuals have generally been the exceptions, not the rules, but I really don't think loitering around public parks looking to get one's jollies is really genuinely part of gay culture so much as a negative stereotype about gay culture which has been perpetuated by a certain segment of the gay population who does indeed do that.

And is that really a stereotype that the gay population as a whole wants to continue perpetuating? Something tells me, not so much.

I'm anxious and curious to see what the rest of you have to say about this.

Current Music: Chicago - Call On Me (live King Biscuit Flower Hour 1974)

13 comments:

St. Dickeybird said...

Tough one for me.
Culturally, bathroom sex IS a part of gay culture. When (usually married) men went out for sex, it had to be secretive. It was still illegal after all.
So bathrooms and parks at night became de rigeur.
And there is definately a historical gay culture. The hankie codes, the old-school lingo that was developed to subtly pick up (Palava, i think it was called), the art/ writing...
And ilicit sex is part of that.

However, Georgie IS living in the 3rd Millenium. It isn't illegal to have gay sex anymore. He may not have been out, but was obvious. He could certainly afford an hour at a hotel room or bathhouse. In other words, he had no reason to have sex in a toilet other than the risk of getting caught. As he did.
I think he was just pissed off and trying to justify his actions. Of course from the sound of it, the cop had more than a passive role...

St. Dickeybird said...

ps. I wish I'd had the courage to troll parks and toilets when I was single.
It seems a little seedier, but a little more exciting, than gay bar bathrooms.

Susan as herself said...

I always find it interesting when people of any ilk make the sweeping gesture of saying something like "it's part of my culture." Well sure, ANYTHING you do is part of your culture. Everyone has it--as an individual and any social (or otherwise) groups they are a part of.

So I will just come right out and say that singing in the car, showering daily, and cold beverages are "part of my culture." If George wants to think public washroom sex is part of his, I say knock his socks off, but I would also recommend MORE than a daily shower in that case.

Perplexio said...

dickeybird: Thank you for your input. It's much appreciated.

Susan: I hope that frequent visits to his local VD clinic are also part of George Michael's culture!

St. Dickeybird said...

Susan: It's an historic part of an established culture. It's a bit different than singing in the car, I think.
I'd put it at a similar level to dressing up for halloween, getting drunk on New Years, or looking for rabbits' eggs in April. Not necessarily smart or practical, but traditional...
:)

Scarlett said...

Hey, great conversation. I have actually asked two of my gay friends about this and both of them said they had never done the public restroom thing - but that it is a well known way to pick up another man. Apparently there is a code they use while standing at the urinal. I would be scared to death to have sex with a stranger under any circumstances.

Snooze said...

Tons of my gay friends have used public venues (parks, shopping mall washrooms, etc.) as pick-up places. I get what GM said in the heat of the moment. I think St.D explained it all best.

Keshi said...

It doesnt matter what ur sexual preference is as long as ur a good human being. I cant believe someone as popular as GM behaved that way!

Keshi.

tornwordo said...

I think it should be kept in private places. Casual sex can be had in bathhouses, public restrooms should be for the public.

My two cents.

LostInTX said...

He's washed up and that's why he does it in public places.. he needs the attention. :)

Curare_Z said...

I think lostintx hit the nail on the head.

Of course, after these interludes, Gm needs to do some washing up. :-)

Overall I agree with you Preplexio -- that it's not part of "THE" culture, but rather something that some segments of "THE" culture engage in.

For example, not all heterosexual couples swing...but those that do probably consider it part of their "culture."

Normlr said...

I'd agree that in a sense it is part of gay culture - or history. Is it right? Not necessarily. Are gay men entitled to screw around in bushes? I don't think so. George Michael can do whatever the hell he wants with his life, I would never judge. But to screw around with that icky old man? Ewww.

Leazwell said...

Make no mistake, hanging around the park is definitely part of the culture for many of them. the director of a museum where I once worked died of AIDS and was notorious for beating the pavement around a park at a local college. One of my past ministers got caught in a park and on and on....