A Sex and the Screen post after a long while!
Just a quick note: in the part where I said “who outside of this topic knows the difference” between “gay” and “queer”, it’s referring to the fact that Queer Theory in many ways completely contradict the (perhaps accidental yet inevitable) ideas of “Gay Pride”.
I think I may have mentioned something similar to this post in a previous post, so forgiveness please if this is a bit of a repeat.
But yesterday I was having lunch with a few friends when one of them left to buy food, leaving behind her mobile phone. As all immature friends do, I found the name of her closest (and therefore, by theory, the most tolerant of strange antics) friend, and wrote something along the immature lines of “hey baby I miss you and your funny laughs”. This other friend is also female, by the way.
So if we’re looking at this scenario in a heteronormative way, we’d see that both of my friends, being straight, would find the sudden flouting of the codes by the first friend (let’s use names because I’m confusing me: First friend whose phone I used is called T, second friend is called B) would put her outside of the heterosexual group, but because B knows that T is straight, it would thus become an amusing and perhaps ironic mess with tradition, calling more attention to that friends are sometimes allowed to break convention with each other, rather than T actually would call B “baby” in a slightly sexual way.
And, I have to say, in any other circumstance with any other pairing of friends, this text may have been milked for all the immature humor it contained, with B replying in a similarly suggestive fashion, T then taking it a bit too far, and B laughing it off and they all giggle later on about how weird they were (and how platonically close and comfortable with each other they felt).
Yet somehow, in this instance, the humor of the breaking of codes seemed to have completely escaped B. B knows that I’m friends with T, therefore she might have been able to guess that T’s phone was used by someone else, but instead of replying with the “lol haha give T her phone back”, B replied with “um WTF what are you talking about?”
And it was in this instance of denying the humor (I’m not saying that being gay is funny or whatever, but it seems that the general idea is if you’re something other than straight, that’s lulz) that suddenly made the text incredibly awkward. Suddenly being suggestively un-straight made things uncomfortable and it took a lot of careful wording for me to inform B that T didn’t write the message but at the same time continued the line of joking.
The really sigh-worthy part of this is, B and T have both on previous occassions professed their “okayness” with gay people (because it’s something you just end up tolerating isn’t it), but on more than one occassion they’ve proven that any activities considered outside of the Charmed Circle (bar the, you know, heterosexual promiscuity and infidelity or whatever), so sexually deviant actions and thought, etc etc, render them very uncomfortable to the point of them saying “ewwww!”
And this very long example brings me back to Warner’s point – that it’s become unfashionable to critique the gay movement or pride. It’s become unfashionable but it’s not not a fashion, much like flare jeans are now looked upon with distaste but everyone still has an old battered pair in the back of the closet (haha closet).
And regardless of whether you actually secretly (or not so secretly) still wear those flare jeans around your house, and maybe to a friend’s, or just when you duck down to the shops where no one you know will see you, or if you actually burned those flare jeans because they’re FLARED FFS, there is still that memory of those flared jeans (btw, in case you lost it, the flared jeans is a metaphor for criticism of gay pride – which is viewed synonymously with queer, because I mean how many people outside of this topic actually know the difference?) being worn and being liked at some point. You just no longer want to admit out loud that you like flared jeans.
B and T wear skinny jeans these days, but I still remember the days when they used to wear flared ones, and not realize that one day they’d have to deny ever liking it. I think they secretly still like it.
Since blogging is meant to end on Friday and I have an essay to write today, that will be the last one.