Gay Priests, Gay Weddings and the Funeral of Gay Radicalism
One morning last April I woke up and the only thing I could hear people talking about was gay weddings. If an alien landed those days day in Britain and met a committed alcoholic – like me – coming out of gin-induced coma no.54, and then sat together to listen to the news, they could have easily presumed that the UK had solved all its problems and the only remaining ones were the oncoming mega-drought and the Church’s resistance to open its doors to homosexual couples and priests. It was too much for me and I quickly slid down coma no.55. I woke up again today. And guess what. My house is flooded, the watering-ban has been just lifted, but Jeremy Vine and the rest keep on talking up the gays and the Church. I have already started on my gin shots, but before I start losing consciousness once more, I want to say a couple of things, from the perspective of the delusionary, gay, radical, alcoholic that I am.
Where are all these new gay battles taking us? What do they mean? Where do they leave my politics stuck up my sexuality and vice versa?In the last couple of decades the gay-rights agenda has gone to places I never thought it would ever go. When I was a young lad, with an eye for the cock and a lust for close-up male-bonding, the public gay battles were all for freedom. Freedom from the threat of violence, freedom from the fear of social and state exclusion that destroyed so many lives. Freedom to hold your lover’s hand. Freedom to express yourself as you wanted!
The French author/God Jean Genet famously declared few years before his death in the 80s that he preferred the years of exclusion to those of legal rights. Having the law and the system against you, it simply made for better sex – the testosterone, the romance, the power, the agency … .
But for me gay liberation always had a very appealing political dimension. Being free to be openly gay was about undermining a whole system of controls that the establishment (school, state, church, society) perpetuated in order, ultimately, to affirm its own authority. But for many other gays this type of politics was absent. Fair enough. For them it was all about being able to live a ‘normal’ life. But the Big Question was: whose ‘Normal’, theirs or ours?
Systemic Normality and Gayness should be opposites by definition. Of course, there were always gays who came from within the system, but their sexuality placed them in a tentatively different relation from that system. The constant and real threat of exclusion and punishment were a constant reminder both of the brutality of society towards its pariahs, and of the total arbitrariness and injustice of any concept of ‘normality’. These were also years that gays were pushed towards a critical and anti-systemic position by the system itself, in the same way that all the different sorts of the excluded have done through the centuries. However, unlike other groups of pariahs, the gays came from all social, racial and political walks of life. This meant that once they decided that their predicament was not a cultural but a political matter, their voice was heard sooner and louder than that of others, and more effectively. Some could say that the gays won their battles. Some would say that the system offered them some victories – it co-opted them, taking the jazz out of their jizz.
A first effect of that gradual acceptance offered to the gay community is the de-politicisation of the gay condition. But a second effect could be one of the convert’s fanaticism: once the system has accepted you, you accept its hierarchies as your own, and you become more hardcore systemic than the Pope himself.
To the point – before I fade out. No need to waste time explaining how marriage and weddings are social constructions, coming from the same stream of socio-cultural narrow thinking as the distinctions between gayness and straigtness. Then, could someone tell me, why the FUCK, once freed from the centuries-long suppression of society and church, would a ‘normal’ gay [that is my sort of 'normal'] go immediately on to affirm the power of exactly what was suppressing him/her until yesterday? This is the ultimate power of the system, the victory of the no-alternative-way-of-thinking, the hegemony of this ‘straight’ world over an old and persistent pocket of resistance.
Wake up you people. You are privileged enough to wake up one day with a cock and a vagina that think out of the box, and you are fucking it all up now. You are begging the box to let you in! You could be the avant-garde of the radical Army and you want to be the candle-boys of the systemic God. Shame on you.
You are begging the church to let you in? I do not believe it! Full support, then, to the Bigoted Comrades with the Tiaras that resist the gay-liberal consensus. I am drinking one whole bottle of gin to your health. Keep up the good fright boys. (As it often happens, the liberal consensus makes the radical left sound exactly like the Tory Right, which is now also shouting against gay marriages. But do I care? Hardcore Tories were always better fucks than liberal floppies.)