Wednesday, March 10, 2010

hold on for one more day

"Take off your makeup, you look like a slut."

Anyone who knows me will tell you that no Sunday at my house is complete without enjoying a Mark Wahlberg film. This Sunday, I was sitting back with my coffee and stuffed dog, Mariah, when along came something remarkably uncharacteristic of my Mark Wahlberg stories. A gay!

The 1990s was a murky period for visibility of the gay man. You couldn’t throw a clog without hitting a lesbian thanks to Sharon Stone and the country’s innate enjoyment of girl on girl action. RuPaul and To Wong Foo... moved mountains for the drag community, but if you wanted to see two men living happily ever after, you were shit out of luck.

We gay kids of the '90s did have the Bravo network to keep us warm. I owe my sexual awakening to Bravo for their repeated airings of My Own Private Idaho (not to mention the hours of Twin Peaks reruns, Sondheim musicals and SRO Patti LuPone concerts). There was gay representation in My So Called Life, the short-lived ABC series that featured an art fag named Rickie Vasquez. Call me “self-hating” all you want, but I couldn’t relate to an effeminate, heavyset blatino who wore heavy eyemakeup to physics class (no disrespect to Wilson Cruz, he’s lovely). Rickie Vasquez was everything I didn’t want to be. Gender identity and homosexuality are two entirely different continents. I didn’t want to be a girl. I wanted to be a gay vampire – or at least Michael Stipe.

I was the kid going to Julianna Hatfield/Jeff Buckley concerts with my best girls. I was the kid spending my lunch hours in the darkroom developing pictures and listening to my walkman.  I wore vintage suspenders with Gap pants and tucked my hair behind my ears when I was just too overcome. I was the gay kid from Fear (1996).

Before she was Elle Woods, Reese Witherspoon was a pudgy little dumpling who wore suede jackets and liked getting fingered by bad boys on roller coasters. Like all successful women of the nineties, she has two best friends: a slut (Alyssa Milano playing Alyssa Milano) and a gay (we know that he is gay because the writers named him Gary).

When not trolling coffee shops and listening to the latest Bush single, Reese finds ample time to makeout with Marky Mark all over Seattle. She doesn’t mind if Mark hits her or hooks up with Alyssa “on the down low” or that he beats up her best gay because the sex is real good. Who hasn’t been there before?!

Unlike all the women in Fear, Gay Gary is immune to Marky Mark’s abs and wooden delivery. He seems to be the only one countering this film’s central thesis that women want men who beat them up and treat them like meat. Therefore, Gary has to die. The fact that he’s gay makes it alright for him to be the sole casualty in the film. He chose his lifestyle, right? Ugh. Fear continues in a long line of horror movies (Bride of Chucky, Savage Weekend) progressive enough to have a gay companion to its final girl, but regressive in its ultimate treatment of said gay. The family is far more distraught over the death of their dog than they are over Gary. Gays die, their best friends move on almost instantly. No big.

Without Gay Gary and Marky Mark, Fear would be just another Lifetime made-for-TV movie about a teenage girl in peril learning to love her dad. I'm still alive today because, unlike Gary, I knew when to stay out of my girlfriend’s business! If my girl was hauling her friends across town to get finger banged by some guy from southie, I said I had “rehearsal.” Let this be a lesson, boys. Take care of yourselves! She’ll keep going back to him and you’ll wind up dead in the woods someplace like Brandon Teena.

(Horror Nerd Alert: Gary is played by Todd Caldecott who was shirtless and speared through the chest in the beginning of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Holla!)


  1. Chile, Did u rly just throw an effeminate minority teen under the bus. You could have just said they were hard to identify w/ without implying its bcs they were so horrible in their transgressions. Femmephobia is nagl!! This blog has been so fun up to now, I rly hope ur not one of those queens who still tries to distance themselves from the "really gay" gays cus theyre the foundation of the community/shitted on constantly enough as is.

  2. He wasn't a girl btw you ass, he just didnt give a fuck abt social norms/gender roles of any type which is far more radical than some podunk suburban white gays wanting to act straight but suck dick n everyone b okay with it. Lmao I know you wrote this 2 years ago but damn.

  3. darling hunni,
    please don't get her twisted. my commentary on a d-tier mark wahlberg film from 1996 is in no way indicative of my feelings towards my trans sisters, sissy tops or butch bottoms. i love you all.