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I Found Out What My Boyfriend Did Last Slutty Summer

By Ash Flanders

There’s a certain unstoppable, manic (perhaps maniacal?) joy that I feel when I watch a small child fall over. This same effervescent glee is also present when someone offers to pay for my lunch or I somehow land myself in the thick of a Next Top Model marathon. Boxes of red wine, Jerri Blank, and boys in white dresses with blue satin sashes: these are a few of my favourite things. While the bipolar and bloated Sinead will argue that Nothing Compares 2 U, I will take this moment to correct her and say that really, nothing compares 2 U finding out your new boyfriend is featured in a gay film called Slutty Summer.

Sacre bleu!

I had googled my long-distance boyfriend out of sheer boredom and a need to connect with him on a level I was comfortable with – ie, the level involving no direct communication. When an IMDB listing appeared I almost punched myself with anticipation. And when the title Slutty Summer (sadly his only credit) came into view I had to lie down because the excitement was all too much. This was the kind of unmitigated euphoria that could normally only come from drinking boxes of red wine in a white dress with a blue satin sash whilst watching small children fall over on Top Model. This was the kind of bliss you spend a lifetime searching for in religion or community work or chroming. This. Felt. Good.

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As I lay down I began to imagine my man in Slutty Summer. My – ahem – pride began to swell. Not only would my man steal the movie, he would be the hottest, dirtiest Slut of any Summer in history. I watched him in my mind’s eye as he had crazy, dirty, monkey-sex with every foolish twink, bear and elderly gay Dodo that crossed his slutty path. He’d rip off their clothing and have his wicked, slutty way with them right there on his slutty tennis court. Yeah! Then he’d enter a slutty wet t-shirt competition after knocking back a couple of slutty Bicardi Breezers. Dear God, he wasn’t just a Slut. This Slut was a Girl Gone Wild. And then Tyra comes in and gives him a slutty weave that made him supa-slutty and fierce for the photo shoot with Jay Manuel. Yeah!

Wait.

I tried to force my mind back to the slutty tennis court but it was too late. I’ve learnt that once your fantasy has been Ty-jacked there just ain’t no way to resuscitate it. My sudden sadness opened the door to the possible downsides of having a lover in a gay film. The first significant downside being that almost all gay films are UTTER WASTE.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about ‘queer’ cinema here. I’m talking mainstream Another Gay Movie type shit. I know I should support gay film and blah blah blah, but if the religious right had any sense they’d make children watch mainstream gay cinema because no respectable faglet would want any part of a community that endorses that.

So I rented the movie – which, sadly, I had already seen years ago (which only goes to show how desperate I am to see men kissing on my TV) – and began a frantic fast-forward search for my man. And there he was: In a restaurant scene as the nicer of two businessmen. Sadly, he was not a raging Slut. Come to think of it, it didn’t even look like summer. He had only three lines, which he delivered with a perfect sense of cool, self-aware, detached irony; the same way Parker Posey can still be hip in Scream 3. Most importantly, he looked hot. But I couldn’t help feeling his scenes needed a little more showbiz – some glamour, some grace, some gravitas!

Yes, it needed Norma Desmond.

(After watching the following clip I think any respectable homo will need to lie down and pray that Tyra lets them have this one all to themselves.)

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Hell Hath No Fury Like Nina Hagen Scorned

Reminder: Don’t ever fuck with Nina Hagen. She doesn’t like that.

The link below shows her throwing a very impassioned wobbly on German TV while talking about treatment options for heroin addicts. The best bit is when she yells at the purse-lipped woman in the cardigan who looks like a sinister version of Ruth from Six Feet Under.

There’s actually a translated version of this on YouTube but the combination of the throaty German pronunciation and having no idea what she’s driving at results in a much more mesmerising viewing experience.

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Journalist Writes Article About Trans People: Fails

It was the most ill-conceived headline The Age’s sub-editors could have conjured: “Court Lets Girl, 17, Remove Breasts”. Published last month and syndicated nationally, the story concerns a transgendered boy named Alex who has been receiving hormones and living as a male from the age of 13. The sins of journalist Karen Kissane in her reportage, and, quite possibly, interfering editors, are numerous.

From the opening paragraph the tone of the article is sealed: “The Family Court has allowed a 17-year-old girl to have her breasts removed so she can be more like a boy.” Traversing a minefield of misused pronouns and dodgy Freudian psychology, the article intimates that Alex – and another female-to-male trans boy, Brodie – are transgendered because of their troubled family histories. It’s a dangerous tack to take by Kissane that does much to reinforce misnomers about gender dysphoria.

Attempting to explain Alex’s “problem”, Kissane says that as a child, when he was female, he identified very closely with his father who encouraged him to do ‘manly’ things like urinate while standing up (although this and other backstory details have now been removed from the online version of the article). After his father died, Alex experienced a deeply fraught relationship with his mother who was emotionally abusive and refused to recognise him as male. Oddly, the fact that the family were immigrants is also brought into view:

“Many complex issues swirl around this one distraught orphan who lost her homeland, her mother, and her sense of self.” 

Apart from the flagrant use of incorrect pronouns – when Alex has long identified as male and is legally considered one, too – the statement highlights the sentiment underpinning the story: that physically transitioning from one gender to another renders someone an ‘orphan’ from their ‘true’ gender. Kissane refuses to grasp the idea that a person undergoing a sex change merely seeks to bring their external appearance in line with their psychological reality. The only thing such a person might be said to be an orphan of is the body they were born in, not, as Kissane suggests, their “sense of self”.

Going from bad to worse, she quotes ‘ethicist’ Nick Tonti-Filippini, omitting any mention of his standing as Associate Professor at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family. Filippini claims that trans people suffer from a form of “pyschosis” because “what you are trying to do is make a biological reality correspond to that false belief [that they are transgendered]”. Why Kissane approached a Catholic ethicist to for comment is anyone’s guess. The fact that she decided to publish his views – which go against the grain of both the experience of trans people and modern psychiatry – is astounding. Especially considering that not one trans voice is included in the article.

Kissane’s motives in writing this story are not entirely at fault – of course there needs to be careful consideration of minors being granted permission to undergo life-changing surgery. However, as a senior journalist at The Age, her inability to use correct pronouns, her implication that people might be trans because of troubled family situations and her misunderstanding of the very nature of gender dysphoria, is inexcusable. Especially considering that much of The Age’s readership, it is fair to assume, are not au fait with trans issues. Coverage such as Kissane’s sets back the struggle for trans people to be better understood, which, in turn, can only perpetuate transphobia.

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Bois Shud Kiss

Way back in the 1990s, angsty homo young’uns didn’t have much in the way of teen queer culture. With goth being the subculture du jour for disaffected teenagers, declaring oneself a sexually-confused sadsack typically consisted of purchasing a Placebo CD and donning a slither of eyeliner to a music festival. Fast-track 15 years, however, and faggy pollyanna teens have it made care of the phenomena that is gay emo subculture. While ‘90s queer kids never really flocked to the baggy-cargo-pants and Jesus-hair aesthetic of goth (or, for that matter, the music of Korn), bright young flamers of the ‘00s have taken refuge in the permanently eyelined, fringe-swept and skinny-jeaned haven of emo. Where’s the proof, you ask? The many YouTube vids dedicated to emo boys sucking face, such as this corker:

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The Pathos of Dorothy Zbornak

Two months on since we lost her and it still hurts like hell. This clip of Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak singing Cole Porter’s despair-filled What’ll I Do seems a fitting requiem.

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Dear Eminem: It’s Only Okay When We Call Each Other That

There’s a curious scene in Eminem’s big screen biopic 8 Mile in which he comes to the defence of a gay workmate at a car manufacturing plant. Amid the dilapidated gloom of the work yard someone delivers a freestyle rap as part of an MC battle in which a tall, leather-jacketed homo co-worker is dubbed ‘Paul the Fruitcase’ and accused of wearing panties (Victoria’s Secret, natch). Catching wind of the diss, the artist also known as Slim Shady intervenes:

Okay folks, enough with the gay jokes,
Especially from a gay broke bitch yourself.

Fuckin’ homo, little maggot,
Paul’s gay, you’re a
faggot.
At least he admits it, don’t even risk it,
Why you fuckin’ with the gay guy, G?
When really you’re the one who’s got the HIV.”

If Paul the Fruitcase could speak in this scene, I’m sure he’d express his misgivings about Eminem taking a gay-hater to task but, um, calling him a faggot. Especially considering Shady’s shady attitude towards gays in the past; the most recent example being the film clip for his newest choon, We Made You.

While it’s exciting to envisage – as the clip depicts – a planet called Womyn where Lindsay Lohan’s eternal flame Sam Ronson rules as overlord with the help of a giant sickle, can we really believe that Eminem is a friend of the gays in one breath, a la 8 Mile , when he’s representing lesbians as humourless, butch feminazis the next?

He is, of course, to be taken with a spadeful of salt: A provocateur of the sort of un-PC-ness that become rather du jour in the late-’90s (see also: South Park, Vice Magazine‘s ‘Do’s and Dont’s’). Yet that didn’t stop him piquing the ire of gay activists who have protested his frequent use of the epithet ‘faggot’ in song, not to mention ditties like Stan in which  he raps about killing women (albeit with a judging, admonishing eye). As if in riposte to such criticism, he duetted with Elton John at the 2001 Grammys on said song Stan, a ballad about a murderous fan who expresses a wish to “be together” with Eminem.

And voila! Homophobe image problem mitigated with a warm, widely televised  embrace of arch mincer Elton. But can he shroud his other homophobic misdemeanours with stunts like this? What’s more, does it even matter what Eminem thinks about the gays? Well, kinda. It would be nice, helpful even, if the biggest pin-up for frustrated young men in the past decade didn’t invoke gay-hating slurs in his lyrics. While Eminem may be, in real life situations, okay with the gays, I venture to guess many of his fans are not. Especially, I’m assuming, the carful of skinheads I once spotted in Ipswich – the home of firebrand bigot Pauline Hanson – driving a Confederate Flag-bestickered vehicle with Eminem blaring out of the stereo. Yes, white supremicist rap fans. It’s safe to say they listen to their Public Enemy CDs from the privacy of their bedrooms.

The best riposte to Eminem’s murky I’m-Not-A-Homophobe-But-I-Reserve-The-Right-To-Call-People-Faggots-And-Make-Fun-Of-Lesbians attidude came from the Pet Shop Boys, who penned their 2002 song The Night I Fell In Love as a sort of subversively homoerotic counter-action. With a backdrop soft, romantic synths, Neil Tennant sings of a young male fan who spends the night with a rap superstar who we learn to be Eminem through references to Dr Dre and the Eminem-character singing, “Hey, man, your name isn’t Stan, is it? We should be together!’. The song manages to be both hilarious and weirdly romantic/arousing. Was Shady able to hack the joke? Not really. His response to the rebuttle coming in the song Can-I-Bitch in which he and Dre run their car over the Pet Shop Boys.

It’s stuff like this that makes his defence of Paul the Fruitcase in 8 Mile all the more perplexing. For yes, while the taunting of Sam and Lindsay and Pet Shop Boys may be meant in jest by Eminem, are the hordes of young angry doods who worship him likely to discern the blur between jocular teasing and actual hate?  Some, no doubt. The majority? Probably not.

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