Hold it! Beat it!

I live in San Francisco and like too many cities, we face the loss of our daily newspaper. Fortunately we here are blessed with two thriving weekly gay newspapers that you can pick up every Thurs for free. These papers will someday be the only source of national and local news in San Francisco. Almost like the SF Chronicle except with bare-chested men on the front page. 2barechestI’d like to thank the masseurs of San Francisco for supporting our GLBT press with your advertising. If I ever have back pain or need an escort I know where to find one. I have talented friends who write for these papers but we can’t agree on everything which brings me to the following item in yesterday’s edition –

 “RIP the greatly gifted Michael Jackson . When all the late-night jokes about pet chimp Bubbles , the Jesus juice, and Jacko’s other eccentricities have died away, what remains is a showman for the ages. He did the term “queer artist” proud.”

No.. No.No. REWIND. Stop the gay presses. That last line has got to go. Who said anything about MJ being queer or proud? I just participated in the National Queer Arts Festival with hundreds of proud queer artists.  The term “queer artist” means you state you are queer in in a direct way. Wearing one glove is not enough. MJ was a tragic damaged genius who married Lisa Marie Presley , Debbie Rowe and hung a baby (maybe his) out the window. Things that queer artists would not be proud to do.. except occasional baby dangling, but only in New York. Michael Jackson had a period of great artistry. I would have been interested in what his summer tour and new album would have been like.

I only love about half of his music but I will concede  MJ’s creative legacy is up there with the greats. However he will never be inducted into the Queer Artist’s hall of Fame. Let’s review. He was batshit crazy for years, maybe he had sex with underage boys and married fag hags. None of that disqualifies him from being considered a queer artist – but it doesn’t qualify him either. The fact that all our gaydar was abuzz when we first saw him moon walk and we believe that his life would have been better if he came out doesn’t make him queer. He never said he was gay. He pretended, however lamely, to be straight. Michael was at best, or worst, a ‘closeted  artist.’ Don’t present him to our LGBT youth as role model. Michael is an example of what -not to do- in your personal life. And as one of the ‘queer artists’ who have been putting ourselves out there at the cost of wealth and fame let us keep our standards please. But I do miss MJ.

What do you think readers?


5 responses to “Hold it! Beat it!

  1. hmm… michael had his time.

    queer or not, he named his son Prince Michael II aka Blanket…


  2. Heya Marga,
    Speaking specifically to your post, I just think that the media is very quick to want to categorize things. If a movie so much as says the word gay without ridiculing it, it will invariably be listed as an LGBT film, even if it really didn’t have anything to do with it.
    It’s the same with people. Even straight people who are willing to stand up LGBT causes are placed in this special rainbow section, completely roped off from everyone else. Allegations of Michael Jackson’s sexuality are certainly enough for the media to welcome him into the queer community regardless of what the queer community thinks of that.
    As far as I can see, Michael Jackson was a part of the racial part of the civil rights movement, not the LGBT part.
    And as far as him being presented as role model in his death, I really don’t think any repackaging by news companies is going to fool the world’s youth into wanting to mirror him. He had career success, yes, but he was WHACKED in his personal life, and that part of him was much better publicized as we were growing up (I heard about him being on trial before I ever heard the song Thriller for the first time). No data on him is going to change that. I like to think that, as a collective, we LGBT youth have a least a bit more sense than that.
    But anyway. I’ve rambled a lot. So I’ll, y’know… stop now.

    • Hey Kasey,
      Love hearing your take on this. You make good points and good to know that LGBT youth aren’t buying it . But Michael had a lot of youth in his fanbase (and his bedroom) so we’ll see how it shakes out.
      Kasey I agree with you when you say “I just think that the media is very quick to want to categorize things” I also think it’s important for all of us to challenge false assumptions when we can. That’s why I posted the MJ entry.
      What’s frustrating to me personally and the reason I made the blog entry is that “Queer artists” (like me) are queer artists because we had the guts and the need to come out of the closet at a time when it really was unpopular and something that could end your career. I may be the only person who still remembers what it means or the only one who will blog about it but there’s something heroic about Queer Artists. We don’t get shit but this one thing we can say we are “Queer Artists.” It’s not fair or accurate to give that to MJ. He’s not that kind of queer because he never came out. Pretty simple. It would be like giving George W. Bush a Purple Heart- he was in the National Guard but kind of bailed on combat.
      Thanks for the dialogue.

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