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so_rococo

The New York blade,Mika

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Gay, Straight, [Fill in the Blank]

How do queer kids today label themselves?

 

Friday, July 06, 2007

 

“Gay/Post-Gay/Not Gay?†That’s the question Out Magazine poses about its current coverboy, pop singer Mika.

 

The question seemingly takes president over the pianist-cum-rocker’s musical and artistic offerings. To be sure, playing the “gay/straight/or closeted†game is nothing new in regards to pop-culture personalities. Witness the still-controversial international ink still spilled in speculation about Anderson Cooper and Jodi Foster (coincidentally, facsimiles of both also graced an issue of Out magazine earlier this year).

 

When celebrities play coy about their sexual identities, we often assume it’s due to their own internalized homophobia or crass materialism and marketing. And maybe it is.

 

On the one hand, why won’t Mika take a stand? Scissor Sisters frontman Jason Sellards did. Rufus Wainwright did. (Let’s right now dispel the argument that coming out has kept these artists from cracking the U.S. top 10. Sure, it may affect their sales, but these eclectic and talented musicians are not producing the type of music—i.e., hip-hop or bubblegum fluff—that rule the stateside charts.)

On the other hand, Mika’s been rather quiet about most of his personal life. In the larger context, is he treating his sexuality any differently from other aspects of his life?

 

If one wants to be particularly generous with the artist’s decision to remain mum on whether he likes men, one could make the argument that, at age 23, he is simply reflecting the views of many of the younger generation. They see sexuality in terms foreign to those in the LGBT community a few years their senior.

 

While talking with LGBT college students last fall, we discovered that many chose not to identify themselves as “gay†or “lesbian†because the terms were too restrictive. Rejecting the idea that one must pick as side, these students embraced a more fluid understanding of sexuality and gender. They specifically spoke against a “binary†system of identification: an either/or construct.

 

They apply this not only to sexuality (i.e., gay or straight) but also to gender (male or female). “Gender queer†is the phrase that pops up more and more in conversation and in written word in regards to people who don’t fit the prescribed notions of masculinity and femininity. This is not to be confused with transsexual. But it is confusing, right?

 

Does the LGBT community embrace those who don’t fit our definitions of gay and lesbian? Even though drag queens are credited with started the Stonewall Riots back in 1969, many in our community have yet to embrace the more “fringe†elements. Forgoing a binary system makes way for femme guys, transgender people and butch lesbians.

 

Must we label everyone? Khadijah Farmer, a masculine-looking lesbian, was allegedly kicked out of Caliente Cab Company restaurant for using the women’s restroom. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has taken her case, which caused some to speculate Farmer was transitioning to a man, or at least masquerading as one. Not the case. As TLDEF stated, discrimination against people who do not conform to gender norms is wrong.

 

The point that the younger generation is making is one we can all learn from. And that is a simple lesson: It doesn’t matter whether you’re gay or straight, butch or fem, male or female—or whether you alternate between these identities throughout your life time. You’re a human, and you deserve equality and respect.

 

Forcing a person to pick a firmly held gay identity can be as restricting as forcing a person to deny his or her homosexuality.

 

If Mika were to announce he’s gay, would he be next forced to answer questions such as, “Bears or twinks? Tops or bottoms? Grace Kelly or Freddie Mercury?â€

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I find it interesting that people will look at another person's personal, private decision, and automatically think, "How does this affect me?" This article is a little different, because they at least recognize the whole "privacy" part. I especially like this quote:

 

The point that the younger generation is making is one we can all learn from. And that is a simple lesson: It doesn’t matter whether you’re gay or straight, butch or fem, male or female—or whether you alternate between these identities throughout your life time. You’re a human, and you deserve equality and respect.

 

Thanks for posting!

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"The point that the younger generation is making is one we can all learn from. And that is a simple lesson: It doesn’t matter whether you’re gay or straight, butch or fem, male or female—or whether you alternate between these identities throughout your life time. You’re a human, and you deserve equality and respect. "

 

 

that is beautifully said and I could not agree more. It's wonderful to see a journalist for finally AGREEING with Mika and is finally RESPECTING Mika. This should go on the Front Page. Thanks for posting x

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While talking with LGBT college students last fall, we discovered that many chose not to identify themselves as “gay†or “lesbian†because the terms were too restrictive. Rejecting the idea that one must pick as side, these students embraced a more fluid understanding of sexuality and gender. They specifically spoke against a “binary†system of identification: an either/or construct.

 

They apply this not only to sexuality (i.e., gay or straight) but also to gender (male or female). “Gender queer†is the phrase that pops up more and more in conversation and in written word in regards to people who don’t fit the prescribed notions of masculinity and femininity. This is not to be confused with transsexual. But it is confusing, right?

 

Wow - that's almost exactly what Jack_Violet was telling us what, almost a month ago? Around the time we first heard the term "post-gay" used in reference to Mika in the Out article.

 

A refereshing take on the issue, though. Thanks for posting!:thumb_yello:

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