Tag Archives: Gay Stereotypes

Answering Gay Google Suggestions

Since the omnipotent Google started creepily cataloging what people have been asking the search engine, another strange and sagging underbelly of the internet population has been revealed.  If you don’t know what “google suggestions” are, allow the Google Giant to explain it for itself:

As you type into the search box on Google Web Search, Google Suggest offers searches similar to the one you’re typing. Start to type [ new york ] — even just [ new y ] — and you’ll be able to pick searches for New York City, New York Times, and New York University (to name just a few). Type some more, and you may see a link straight to the site Google thinks you’re looking for — all from the search box.

Their explanation sounds nice, but even Google must have known that most people aren’t asking the Almighty Internet about NYT or NYU.  They’re asking what it means when you’re poop is green, why women don’t get pregnant every time they have sex, and whether or not it’s legal to marry your widow’s sister.  Bloggers have been making lots of lists of some of the stranger things suggested by Google.  When I read these lists, it sets my mind off on many different, dizzying paths.  Sometimes they read like instructions, for instance these three questions are grouped together:

  • How to write a resume?
  • How to make money?
  • How to write a cover letter?

Other times it’s like poetry, like this one for the lost sailor:

Why is the sky blue?
Why is the ocean salty?
Why is the ocean blue?
Why is the sea salty?
Why is the moon red?
Why is the sea blue?

Why is the rum gone?

Why is the earth round?

Sometimes they drive me to do my own googling, when people ask particularly good questions.  For instance, why don’t dogs have belly buttons?  And what does it mean if you send a red and a white rose together?

And sometimes, the lists are downright depressing:

  • Why am I here?
  • Why am I always tired?
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Why am I single?
  • Why am I depressed?

But even more depressing than that list, are the large amounts of racist, sexist and recently homophobic questions people are asking.  Here are some examples I found just now:

Why do black people...

Why do black people...

Until recently, when I would experiment and type in “Why do gay people…” or “Why are gays…”, nothing would come up.   I began to wonder why google would allow slander like “Why do black people love fried chicken…” but would block something like “Why do gay people have AIDS?”   But no more!  Google now allows bigotry of all people, including Gays.

When I type into google one of the most sought after questions, “Is it ok to be Gay?” the first link sends me to a quiet little website with hearts on it and this somewhat traumatizing video about what it means to be gay (apparently, it means AIDS):

So, instead of searching wearily through the depths of the internet for your gay stereotype queeries, I’ve assembled some answers from a real live gay person: me!  Here are my quick and easy answers to the most asked “gay stereotype” questions and statements posed by sadly uninformed Googlers:

Why are gay…

  • men feminine?

Well, according to my cab driver a few weeks ago, gay men are feminine because they’re half woman.  I don’t think this is quite right, since I appear to be all man biologically.  Instead, I’ll assume that what you mean when you ask this is, “Why are some gay men feminine?” since there are plenty of gay men out there who play with other types of balls aside from just testicles, which is apparently a masculine thing to do.  I guess I’d say that some gay men are feminine because they it feels right to them to be that way. If that bothers you, the you need to ask yourself why you’re masculinity is threatened by someone’s lack thereof.  If you need to know the answer to that quickly, use this website.

  • people gay?

More and more studies are showing that it’s genetic, but really the sex is just better.  Just kidding, it’s genetic.  But the sex is definitely awesome.

  • marriages wrong?

My guess on this one would be because a lot of all marriages are wrong, so there have to be an equal or similar percentage of gay ones that are wrong too.  Marriages go wrong for many reasons.  Maybe you feel pressured into getting married to someone you’re not sure you love?  Maybe you and your partner are in different places in life?  Maybe you’re just too easy to give up?  In any event, marriage counseling has proven to be useful for many couples, and perhaps you should look into it.

  • men so attractive?

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  Actually no, I don’t moisturize and I look good.  The answer to this one depends on if you’re a man or a woman asking the question.  If you’re a lady, perhaps you’re attracted to the unattainable.  This could be a self confidence issue, and you should realize that there are plenty of hot straight men out there, you just have to accept that you are good enough for what is available to you.  If you’re a dude asking this question, then go get a mirror.  Are you attractive?  If you answered yes, then maybe you’re gay.  If you answered no, then go moisturize and look again.

Gay people are…

  • not born gay.

Well, I’m not saying that I came out of the womb in a Cher wig, but I will tell you that when I was in the 3rd grade I noticed that a blond classmate named Zach was super, super hot.  When did you first notice you liked the opposite sex?

  • sick.

Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of illness in both homo and heterosexuals.

  • going to hell.

Well, if you believe in hell, then I guess it would be because we are sinful.  But when you get to the gates yourself, you better have some hearty passages from the bible to back that one up, which actually don’t exist like you think they do.  So, you bring the cocktail sauce, I’ll see you there.

  • annoying.

Well, at least gay people aren’t responsible for this:

Why do gay people…

  • talk like that?

I assume you mean the lisp and the high voice that again, some gay men have?  I went to speech therapy when I was a kid, as did many gay men according to David Sedaris.  But, unfortunately there have been no in depth, non biased studies conducted about the verbal tendencies of homosexual vs. heterosexual men.  So I will give you credit for the meaning of this question, but not the way you phrased it.

  • want to join the army?

Beats me.   I’ll never go.  But,  I think we just want to be allowed to join the army.  And there is an easy equation for this, if it’s hard to understand.  First, ask “Is this something straight people can do?”  If the answer is “Yes, this is something straight people can do,” then gay people also want to be able to do it.

  • have aids?

AIDS is an epidemic that has “shifted steadily toward a growing proportion of cases among black people and Hispanics and in women, and toward a decreasing proportion in [sex between two men].” So asking why “gay people have aids” is kind of like asking why tall people have asthma.

  • exist?

Actually we’re a genetically similar set of aliens from another planet on which everyone mates with their own sex.  We were sent here from the Earth Year 4293 through an accidental hiccup in the time-space continuum.  We were attempting to travel back in time on our own planet, but instead traveled forward in time to a galaxy on the other end of the universe.  Now we’re trapped here for 2,000+ more years until we can finally return to our own planet in the hopes that we can save our dying civilization, which was taken over by a group of underground “introbreeds”, who insisted on mating with the opposite sex.  The introbreed lifestyle was so appealing that the vast majority of our population “changed teams”, and now no one is breeding at all.  Imagine our shock, when, after the time-quake ended, we found ourselves peppered in amongst a race almost identical to our own, but introbreeders by nature.  But I suppose that is all part of the cosmic irony that holds our universe in place.  Anyway, that’s why we exist on your planet.

So, those are my answers!  If you have any more questions, send them my way!

Report Card: Gay Folks from TV Land

Ah, television.  The best place to go to find mind-numbing, soul crushing shit.  I don’t watch much TV, and what I do watch I watch online (I can’t stand commercials).  But as much as I may try to deny it, Television is one of those pieces of media that works like a fun-house mirror.  Those greedy cunning folks in the television business take what is out here in the real world, and reflect it back through the tube after adding drama, adventure and witty comebacks.

And of course, types and classes of people are subject to this regurgitation as well.  Ever since All in The Family featured a homosexual character in 1971, gay men and women have been popping up like pretty rainbow colored daisies on all types of shows.  Though there are more and more appropriate portrayals of gays and lesbians on TV every season, some of them seem to come up with some pretty hefty thorns that stick in the side of gay progression.  So here’s my review of the best and worst portrayals of gays on TV.  I know that I have left a lot of characters out, but like I said I don’t watch a lot of TV.  I have heard about good characters on shows like Firefly, Veronica Mars and Dr. Who, so if you watch any shows and feel someone deserves a mention, leave a comment about them.

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1.  Ellen Degeneres, Ellen.  Grade: B-

Since I’m only reviewing fictional characters, I’m talking old-school Ellen, not the talk show The Ellen Show.  I loved the sitcom, and watched it pretty religiously when I was in middle school.  The character Ellen wasn’t a far cry from the person actress Ellen Degeneres projects, bumbling, silly and hilarious.  It wasn’t until close to the end of the series that Ellen’s character came out, and in my own (and most critics) opinions, it’s what killed the show.  Ellen went from a show about a single, awkward woman and her anchoring friends to a show about a lesbian trying to come out of the closet.  It lost its funny, even though at the time it was a pretty daring and admirable move.  The best part came from the reactions of Ellen’s various friends, particularly Paige, Ellen’s best and surprisingly homophobic female friend.  But I think the biggest asset a gay television character can have is to live a life in which their sexuality is a part of a whole.  So Ellen lost a few points for drawing so much focus to her characters gayness.  Her grade would be lower if she hadn’t spent so many years being one of the smartest, funniest and most together gay people in the media.

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2.  Oscar Martinez, The Office.  Grade:  A
God bless Oscar.  He deserves better than what he gets.  Oscar was outed in the worst way by his boss on the episode The Gay Witch Hunt, and since then would have had several giant lawsuits in his hand were any of the events on The Office real.  But Oscar is a great gay character, intelligent, kind, generous, and most importantly extremely normal.  He is not flamboyant like some of the other characters flunking characters on this list, but what I truly love about him is that he’s not overly butch either (this can be said for most of the passing characters on this report card).  Too many television writers seem to think that if your gay character isn’t going to have limp wrist syndrome, then they must wear baseball caps and play sports.  Sure there are plenty of (very sexy) gay men who are super macho, and a large portion of those aren’t even pretending to be macho.  But I think the largest group of men, particularly those Oscar’s age, are like him, not lisping but also not burping and farting.  Oscar has struck that balance I want in a long term partner.  Though I don’t think I could tolerate an accountant.

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3. Lieutenant Jim Dangle, Reno 911.  Grade:  B-

Jim Dangle might be considered the main character of the fiercely funny fake cop show.  It’s always hard to grade characters from shows so offensive, because part of the gimmick of the show is making a mockery of the gay stereotype by portraying it to its fullest.  So yes, there is a lot about Dangle that could be seen as negative if you don’t get the humor: his taste for musicals, his to reveal his nutsack through the leg of his shorts.  But all being said, Dangle has somehow managed to become the leader of the group of fuck up Reno police. And though he is hopelessly stupid, he is perhaps the most intelligent member of the bunch (this is also true of the lesbian character Kimball).  The way I see it, the writers on the show (one of which is Thomas Lennon, who plays Dangle), have walked an interesting line:  they manage to make fun of the gay stereotype while also allowing the character to break the most detrimental and perhaps most prevelant stereotype: that gays are only able to be background characters, comedic or tragic supplements to the main story.
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4.  Felix Gaeta, Battlestar Galactica. Grade:  D

Aside from the fact that the word Gay is built right into his name, Felix Gaeta is a terrible portrayal of a gay man.  He is whiny, nerdy, traitorous, weak and easily intimidated, and not to mention extremely annoying.  He spends much of his time singing sappy songs in a tenor voice as a way to show his longing for another life.  It wouldn’t be so bad if there was another character who was admirable and gay, but Gaeta (and the murderous lesbian captain of Pegasus who is on a handful of episodes), seems to be the only surviving gay person from Caprica who likes other dudes.  I don’t think that all gay characters need to be good people or likable, but if you’re only going to feature one I feel that there ought to be plenty of redeeming characteristics.  Gaeta is at least smart, and able to organize apparently, but he’s doing it all for the wrong reasons.  Check out this blogger’s in depth post on Gaeta’s sexuality.

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5.  Sharon Tyler, Wonderfalls. Grade:  A-

Wonderfalls was a sadly shortly lived show that was about a young girl working at a Niagara Falls gift shop who receives creepy, confusing messages from inanimate animal figurines.  It was created by the same person who made Dead Like Me, and I suggest you go rent it if you can.  Sharon is the main character’s sister, and is outed in the first episode.  Sharon is not the most likable woman, she is uptight and condescending.  But unlike Gaeta, she is still a strong, realistic character.  She is a lawyer of international law, and quite witty and loyal despite her bitchy tendencies.  The only problem is the woman she ends up dating, a somewhat typical bullish woman who rides a motorcycle.

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6.  David Fisher, Six Feet Under. Grade:  A

This may be my favorite show of all time, and features one of the most complex gay characters to ever be on television, David Fisher.  No other show I know of has so delicately portrayed an effeminate gay man.  David has a subtle gay-sounding voice (an incredible acting job on Michael C. Hall’s part), is obsessively neat and a sometimes sex addict.  However, even with all of these traits, he does not come off as a caricature.  Quite the opposite, David, like all of the characters, feels like someone you know.  Even more, most of the first two seasons and much of the last four focus heavily on David’s sexuality.  David comes out of the closet, and has a hell of a time of it, but it is not pathetic or comedic or tragic, it’s a delicious blend of all three.  David is the character people who know nothing about gay people should study.  He will show you the issues many gay men realistically go through as they are coming out, and trying to live a happy life in the messed up and beautiful world.  My favorite David moments come in the few brief times he is without his partner Keith (who is an excellent example of a realistic gay person who can be extremely unlikeable), when he is dating around.  The creators of the show have fun making complex, yet realistic gay characters with whom David mingles in extraordinary, unpredictable ways.  David, I don’t love you, but I love what you stand for.

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7.  Jack McFarland, Will & Grace.  Grade:  F


“Jack is unashamedly vain and self-absorbed, with an adoration of all gay icons, particularly Cher, of whom he has a rare doll. (He met her once, although he mistook her for a drag queen and declared, ‘You’re not that great, Mr. Sister. I do a better Cher than you.’ It was only when she slapped him and exclaimed ‘Snap out of it!’ that he realized and promptly fainted.) He would also meet Cher in a dream where she appeared as God (complete with an entourage of ‘dancing fairies’). When Jack asked her if she was God, Cher replied, ‘That depends on what bathhouse you pray at.’ He is a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, particularly lesbian character Willow Rosenberg. He also collects clippings of celebrities’ hair, including a complete collection from the four main actresses on The Golden Girls, as well as Broadway icons Bernadette Peters, Betty Buckley, Idina Menzel, and — as of season seven — Patti LuPone.

–  Wikipedia

Jack, see me after class.

Hope you enjoyed my list.  Feel free to leave a comment with grades for characters I left out!  Oh, and check out a story of mine that a wonderful British chick posted on her fascinating blog right here.  She was kind enough to post a story of mine about disappearing donut store employees, and the other writing she has posted on there is prime.

Coming up: The sleep study part III, an update on my where-and-whatabouts, and some talk about a couple new, more organized blogs…