Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Mission: World Domination...and ruining the rainbow for everyone
Hey gaysters!!! What?? Don't like being called "gaysters"??? Alright...but, since we're living in the days of "way-too-gay", I thought you'd get a few yuks out of being included! Ha ha...isn't that what everyone wants? To be the star of their own personal episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, or Straight Girl, or Straight Thing, or whatever?
Hmmm...well, I can understand. Life shouldn't be about a singular group or movement or pair of jeans. And since I belong to the gay community by definition, I think I'm allowed to bash it now and then, just like how black people can bash the black community and get away with it.
As you can see, my illo above does just that. I did this back in art school (1998), as a reaction to what I was seeing more and more of in the younger gay community. It's sort of Stepford Wives-ish (but this was thought up before the cheesy remake came out). I had thoughts about doing a comic strip based on a world takover by mindless, work-out-a-holic, robotic gay men. Their Earth would be one where original thought was wiped out completely, and a superficial herd mindset was firmly set in place. Your brain would be replaced by a computer chip programmed to care ONLY about appearances, working out, shopping, labels, circuit parties, and hooking up.
Where are the lesbians in this takeover, you might ask? Well, I hadn't figured that part out yet. But, I digress.
The point is, I enjoyed the idea, but in the end, I felt the strip would ultimately come off as a bitter rant. I didn't want to shame the gay community any more than it was shamed by our larger society. Sure, as a group, it has things to work on, but why focus on the negative? Why reveal the negatives and make them obvious to other groups? Ultimately, it was a fun exercise; an idea for use later, when society and the gay community could laugh at themselves. And frankly, only the gay community (and a few sharp observers) would REALLY get the jist of the self-effacing humor in context anyway. Besides, I'm finding that a little gym exercise here and there is quite good for the spirit and the mind, when done in moderation. Therefore, how could I admit enjoying such things when this comic strip would prove me to be hypocritical?
These were all reasons the idea for the strip didn't stick with me, and the biggest reason is next: I didn't want to limit myself to a narrow slice of society. I've seen too many talented people come out of the closet, only to be sucked into a world obsessed with all things GAY. All their art ideas are consumed by it. And that's what they become...a "gay artist", rather than "an artist who happens to be gay." Why, I ask, as humans, would anyone want to be refered to by what or who they have sex with? Now...don't get me wrong, some titles and labels are necessary, but why a title that defines you by a sexual act?
I never want it to be my one and only soapbox issue, or to be something that defines me before anything else.
So, in saying that, I thought I'd share the illo for laughs. I look back on it with a newfound understanding for how I felt at the time, and to my surprise, it still cracks me up, because in some social circles this idea is still VERY relevant (perhaps just add crystal meth to the mix). After my last post, I think it makes for a good follow-up.
Taste the rainbow, people, but don't wrap yourself up and suffocate in it.