Friday, October 24, 2003
The Friday Grrrr…
4: Bad Actors
Quite a while back, in those mythical pre-Internet, pre-Gaydar days, I used to do quite a bit of work for a couple of gay publications. One fortnight, I was drafted in as holiday relief on the personals section. My job involved processing the several hundred classifieds which used to come in each week, filtering or editing the ones which were dodgy or illegal, and occasionally contacting the client with a query about their ad.
This wasn't the most appropriate job for someone who, even then, still thought "W/E" meant a resident of London's West End, and I was crap at the job. The personal advertisers didn't make it any easier. While some of them were really sweet, and you knew the ads they placed were their only contact with the gay "community", some others I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
There was the woman who threatened to send the Islington mob round when I explained why I had to tone down her ad which described, in graphic detail, just what she wanted to do with her two-foot strap-on and a well-greased fist. And you've no idea of the number of hissy fits chucked my way by latter-day Julian and Sandys screeching and queening their way down the phone, when they discovered that a (mis-placed) apostrophe had been deleted from their ad, or that I'd corrected their (frankly atrocious) spelling.
I can handle camp indignation. Trust me, my dears, I do Master Classes in it every Saturday night. But, looking at those ads, I'd invariably find that each and every one of those prissy queens had described themselves as "regular geezer, looking for horny man-on-man action, XXXL, extremely straight-acting".
Straight-acting? Come on, precisely who are you trying to fool, my dolly old omi-palomi? You are a male homosexual placing an ad for
What really makes me go grrrr is the implied notion in those ads that being "gay- or queer-acting" is somehow inferior to, or at least less desirable than, being "straight-acting", when even the most poppered-up, K-holed brain should tell you that there's actually no difference at all. We're all of us as screwed-up as each other, or haven't you climbed out of your gay ghetto to notice that yet?. A question to my straight friends: if someone described him, or herself, in an ad as "gay-acting", would that turn you on? Is that what's considered to be the height of sexiness in Hettieland? Yeah, thought not.
I am a "gay" man, who's also a lousy actor and so refuses to act "straight". But it seems that's what most of the gay men in London want to do.
It's Friday. Fridays always make me grumpy for some reason. Don't worry: I'll feel better in the morning.