It’s Not the Heat, it’s the Vapidity – The Advocate, 9/30/2003

They called the summer of 2003 the Summer of Gays. I don’t know who they are, but how do they manage to make it sound like 1977’s Summer of Sam? Wait a minute – I bet I know who “they” are. This has Karl Rove all over it. President’s poll numbers tanking? Military families making a ruckus? Public’s ability to pick Howard Dean out of a Democratic lineup improving?

Kaptain Karl learned well from his mentor Lee Atwater. No need to drag out that Willie Horton ad again. First Canada’s approval of gay marriage, with Massachusetts threatening, then the Supreme Court vote overturning sodomy rulings, with Tony “Supremo” Scalia warning that the whole thing could lead to gay marriage here. Not to mention that icky gay lip lock on the Oscars with the whole family watching. It’s almost too easy.

Time to activate your really base? Have Pat Robertson take out a prayerful contract on straying Supremes who voted for decriminalizing gay behavior. Shortly after he issued his Operation Supreme Court Freedom Fatwa, a beam, not a log, falling at the opening of the new Constitution Museum, almost took out Sandra Day O’Swing Vote. A Rove.

Need a wedge issue? Have the Pope put out a twelve page paper entitled, “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.” Homosexual persons? How quaint. All the gay Latin translators must have been let go.

I’m paraphrasing here, but the actual title was more like “Juvenilium molestorum coverupum avoidum erat.” The papal posse inadvertently showed they can move at mach speed to save marriage from marauding gays, but glacial speed when it comes to saving children from molesting priests. Is a Rove.

Need a weapon of mass distraction? Have the Rev. President George Bush, answer a question about the morality of homosexuality in his press conference before his very French August vacation. “I’m mindful” which presumes a mind, “that we are all sinners.” Speak for yourself, Your Militancy. I’m not cheating, lying and war-mongering, but I am fuming. I want freedom from religion.

He compassionately conservatively quoted one of his favorite Bible passages, and cautioned people not to try to get the speck out of their neighbor’s eye when they’ve got a log in their own. Where’s my Duderonomy, Dude?

Then he called for lawyers to look into codifying the definition of marriage, one man one woman. Then he was going to look up codify. Is a Rove.

We are so being used. We are the wedgie, the butt thong between the cheeks of church and state. A Rove by any other name would still smell.

One can only hope that the Fall of Straights will be hastened by the new fall lineup.

Let me point out that gays are more visible on TV not because of some moral makeover, but because of money. Similarly, mainstream comedy clubs did not start having gay comedy nights because of their commitment to fighting homophobia, but because the comedy boom had peaked and people were getting their comedy from cable. It was about ticket prices. TV is almost passe, so it finally sees gay. We are a niche they can itch.

And I am using the royal “we” here. As I preview the fall preview, I am struck by retro lesbian invisibility. Of course, “The L-Word” formerly known as “Earthlings” – the lesbian equivalent of “Queer as Folk” – is a welcomed entrant into gay carpet bombing in the culture wars. But will there be a network “Girl Meets Girl” equivalent of “Boy Meets Boy”? Why do the Fab 5’s queer eyes have to help out straight guys in their pursuit of women?

As schlumpy as those guys are, they’ve already got the power. Why not keep it in the gay family and do “Queer Eye for the Lesbian Guy”? I know I’m attributing a lot of transformational power to the TV medium, but if the gays are mounting a doubt-based initiative to drive the fundamentalist straights crazy, then we lesbians want to be part of the fun.