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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Your Saturday Beefcake Goodnight Kiss: From the Archives

Queer As Folk even with its best of intentions is certainly not the be all and end all regarding Gay Pride, but it certainly helps. In last Sunday’s episode Emmett comes to a realization that many gay men are “accepted” only as asexual creatures who are very cute, funny and the best best friend a girl could have. Those non gay people who love the gay people depicted on their TV screens are hard pressed to think about let alone accept what it is that makes them gay.

No, it is not only sexual activity that makes a gay man gay, it is also love. Nevertheless it is impossible to separate heterosexual love from heterosexual activity is it not? Therefore men loving men by necessity is precisely the same.

Perhaps Emmett should not have gone on television to let people know the size of his penis and firmness of his butt and show off his underwear to boot, yet it was/is somehow important to let others know that all gay people come equipped with needs and hormones and physical expression is one of them. It would seem that AIDS and its aftermath would have cleared up all the confusion about what it is that gay men exactly do. If it did it doesn’t mean that the rest of America is ready or willing to absorb that knowledge.

Places like downtown New York are filled with jubilant people today celebrating sexual freedom more or less, because that is what Gay Liberation and Pride is all about. There is a Mardi Gras atmosphere. That is all well and good. What will Monday be like for Brian and Steve, Mary and Martha when they go home and want to share a kiss on their way to work like so many heterosexual Brian and Martha, Steve and Mary types do?

Queer As Folk serves both its viewership and the Gay Community well in that it depicts gay men and women not only in sexual situations but also in situations where honest affection is expressed. Will & Grace panders to those elements in the population where “Just Jack” is just that. There are no memorable moments of affection let alone sex there. Great guest stars like Patrick Dempsey, Dylan McDermott and Bobby Cannavale were gems thrown at asexual swine. Granted, QAF is a cable show where “frightening the horses” is a less likely scenario than Network Television. There were shows like OZ with a reputation for violence and nudity that actually depicted real affection between men. Scores of young women waited for each episode hoping that Beecher and Keller would kiss. Yes the undertones were powerfully sexual but what the viewer saw was real affection between men.

Over a decade ago when Interview with the Vampire was released, 25 years after Stonewall, while being viewed during a Saturday matinee in Hermitage, Tennessee there was very little response to the horrific violence being depicted, however when it simply looked like there was about to be a screen kiss between Antonio Banderas and Brad Pitt there was a loud moan and various sounds of disgust emitted from the audience. Mind you Brad and Antonio didn’t go all the way and do the horrible lip thing. The Republic was saved.

It’s little wonder Middle America will not allow homosexuals to marry. Allowing marriage acknowledges that homosexuals are just that, homosexuals.

A kiss is still a kiss on which to build a dream. Dangling prepositions notwithstanding it’s time to take the bull by the horns and give him a great big kiss.

from June 2005

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