Monday, September 8, 2008

GLBT on Multigrain or Transamerica's Next Top Model


If ever there was a guilty pleasure, it is the hot-mess trainwreck known as ANTM. Tonight was the 2-hour season premiere of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 11.

Be assured, I want so desperately to hate Tyra Banks. She's one of the most ridiculous people in all of popular culture. Her desperate attempts to be nĂ¼-Oprah, her over-the-top emotional outbursts (see: "I have never yelled at a girl like this!") and her heavy, scratchy wigs. She's absolutely infuriating. But when she starts coaching the models, I just cannot deny her talent. She knows how to model. She can smile with her eyes like nobody's business. When she wants someone to exhibit aggressive despair, she can demonstrate. The only real error in her ways is the misguided belief that these skills are credit towards a PhD in human psychology. She's a deeply-disturbed megalomaniac after all, so you get what you pay for.

With each new crop of wannabe models, she ups the ante somehow. A few "cycles" ago it was the ultra-controversial "plus-sized model", tearing up the scales at a monstrous 140 lbs. At every opportunity she made all normal-sized women everywhere feel plus-sized, and considering the percentage of Americans who are downright morbidly obese, I can't imagine this had a great affect on her viewers' confidence.

What next, you ask? What part of our culture can she exploit now? How about the transgendered.

I thought this would be the perfect time to sound-off on something that has bothered me for years. This might not be news, but I'm a homosexual. (In fact, Albert Schultz - Canadian actor and overlord of my professional life - once announced to my colleagues that my astrological sign is the little-known "fagatarius". Human Rights Lawsuit pending.) But however homosexual I may be, I resent the term "GLBT" - Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered.

Why, oh why, are transgendered people lumped-in with the gays? Sexuality is not a gender issue. I understand this confusion, but fear it only perpetuates an idea that is simply untrue.

Below I will dispel some myths and let you know what isn't cool.

1) Gay men do not want to be women, we only covet their extensive footwear options.

2) We have no interest in removing our penises. In fact we, as a people, hold them in very high regard, perhaps even more than the average straight male.

3) Feminizing a gay man can be highly offensive. Unless you know this person well, do not refer to a gay man as "girlfriend", "missy", or "sister". Or "Mary". For the love of god, do not call me Mary.

4) Never ask a gay couple: "Sooooo, which one of you is like the woman?" Profoundly offensive. I've been asked this question dozens of times. It would be like randomly asking a black couple which one of them drives the getaway car.

5) It doesn't mean your son is a transsexual if he wants to play with Barbies® or crimp his sister's hair. He's definitely gay, though.

6) On top of having no interest in being a woman, the average gay man yearns to be macho and manly in ways we rarely are. The highest compliment you can pay a gay man is: "I totally thought you were straight for the first 6 months I knew you!" So satisfying.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This blog, in no way, represents a lack of respect, admiration or support for people who are transgendered. Also, I do not want to take credit for the hilarious renaming, Transamerica's Next Top Model. That goes to Brian who is back from his time in Australia and southeast Asia, where he did not have sexual reassignment surgery to become a ladyman. He was tempted.


4 comments:

  1. Oh, my, what am I missing on the new cycle of ANTM?!
    I have no patience for Tyra.

    But I think you raise an important issue/discussion/distinction here.
    You're also hilarious and I miss you.

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  2. You're preaching to the choir, sister.

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  3. On a more serious note, I love what you wrote about yearning to be macho in ways we rarely are. That is the great unspoken truth of modern homosexuality -- the silent, internal distrust of our masculinity.

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  4. all i'm saying is all i'm saying.

    i once had a guy ask me if i was into lesbian porn because i'm gay. you know, because i'm gay, and they're gay too. riiiight matteo, that's how it works.

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