(A real bad-ass would have just wrote “none taken” and hit “Publish” but whatever it is that I am, it is not a real bad-ass. Not even a righteous one.)
I’m not gay, probably. I don’t subscribe to hardcore gender and sexual orientation as a source of identity, but that’s easy to say when you’re a mostly straight-presenting, male-bodied, masculine-socialized individual who doesn’t really face any shit of the type that galvanizes the marginalized into communities. I get cookies for breaking out of the roles that appear obvious for me, way more than I get trouble for it.
I’ve always had femme (by default or by intent), female-bodied partners, but I’ve always felt more comfortable in the company of girls and women. Dudes make me really uncomfortable most of the time, even ones I’m close to and love. How am I going to be vulnerable to a dude?
When I was beat up, bullied, and threatened in elementary school, junior high, and high school, it was for being a fag. That was made clear. I reject the layer of tragic irony suggested by Patton Oswalt’s bashing-victim character in Young Adult where the kicker is that he wasn’t even gay; it isn’t more or less appropriate to get your ass kicked in relation to what you think about DICK. Those kids weren’t concerned with my emotions and thoughts on the topic of DICK.
Loath as I am to quote George Carlin in matters of gravity or sensitivity, I did feel a click when I heard his Operation: Foole record and he said “A fag was just a sissy; a queer was a homo. A fag was a guy that wouldn’t go downtown with you, beatin’ up queers.”
I like “queer.” It’s a pretty comfy, catch-all anti-mainstream signifier. I like the community and generally find my values are in line with the movement - more than what you might call “pride” culture, which tends to reinforce these hard divisions of identity and also corporatize everything and force an alternative orthodoxy onto people. But then - even getting punched for lisping or seeming weak, I did have the luxury of growing up knowing I got boners for tits, so I can’t totally criticize someone who grew up knowing they didn’t for finding some other groove to settle into. The groove of growing up knowing that tits give you boners showed me a lot of things I wanted to smash and/or rearrange eventually, but from a relative safe vantage point, inside the marauding tank of heteronormativity.
One time my friends, the weirdo 4-track musicians Sonic Messiah, were called out as normal by the curator of the Halifax Experimental Music Festival. They had fleshed out their live act by enlisting members of overlapping group the Urban Surf Kings, and after they played they were approached by the curator and asked, “What is so experimental about all the members of a surf-rock band playing what is essentially surf-rock music?”
And I think I kind of feel like I think they should have felt… the curator of my identity asks me, “What is so queer about all the members of a mostly straight-presenting, male-bodied, masculine-socialized band playing what is essentially hetronormative music?” and I fire back at him, “I don’t know, what was so experimental about the guy improvising folky acoustic licks into a looping pedal for the fifth year running!???”
I don’t talk about my sex life a ton in public, I think mainly because I have a really peer/friend-level relationship with my fans and I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. It feels too much like trapping someone in the living room with bawdy stories and not enough like an opt-in broadcast. Plus you know, it often involves other people and their privacies matter. So I don’t have a comfortable way to get into the nuances of the FUCKING I do in my life that constitutes a challenge to heteronormative structures. Even talking about what theoretically gets me off I feel like I’m asking anyone who reads it to wipe up the spill, and EVEN TYPING THAT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A JERK. (This is the repression that I deal with by taking off my clothes on stage.)
I’m just going to type this quickly with my eyes shut. There is some same sex stuff in my sex life with others and alone. I don’t only find female bodies arousing. My sexuality is sophisticating and I don’t know where it will come to rest, if it does.
Thanks for reading my blog about rap music.