Archive for the ‘Gender and sexuality’ Category

Marco, Marco, Marco

May 19, 2017

(Men’s underwear, but nothing hard-core.)

The Daily Jocks ad from the 9th, featuring the Marco Marco brand, with my caption:

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Maximum Marco in boxer briefs.
Middle Marco in briefs.
Minimal Marco in almost nothing,
Beyond the pecs, the abs, and the thighs,
Nothing like one another, but they’re
Totally tight —
All three for Subcomandante Marcos, the
Subcomandante for all of them.

Four things here: the Marco Marco firm, which is trés gai; the play on All for one and one for all (most famously alluding to the motto of the Three Musketeers)); the play on Marcos the plural of the personal name Marco vs. the surname Marcos; and the reference to the Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos. Plus a whiff of an allusion to Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Marco Midi is just right). And of course the differences in the three men’s body types.

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Presentation and perception

May 18, 2017

Two cartoons — a Bizarro and a One Big Happy — in today’s feed about hiw things are presented and how they are perceived. There’s often a gap:

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(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

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Fags Before Flags, and other in-your-face t-shirts

May 14, 2017

(Plain talk about men’s bodies and sexual practices, so use your judgment.)

Thanks to Greg Parkinson for a link to this John Crisvitello t-shirt:

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The slogan is a send-up of the odious BROS BEFORE HOS, preserving only the rhyming, the street language, and a message about balancing allegiances. My reading of the slogan is that it calls for gay men to generally value bonds to other gay men — fags stand with fags — over the sorts of allegiances expressed in flags: nationality, regional identity, religion, race and ethnicity, political affiliation, etc.

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Months and days

May 13, 2017

Something I’m moderately sure of is that May is National, maybe International, Masturbation Month. All ny sources seem to agree on that. From the current version of Wikipedia:

The first National Masturbation Day was observed May 14, 1995, after sex-positive retailer Good Vibrations declared the day in honor of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who was fired in 1994 by President Bill Clinton for suggesting masturbation be part of the sex education curriculum for students.

International Masturbation Day has since been expanded to include the entire month of May as International Masturbation Month

(Note both vaginal and phallic symbols.)

Already there’s a question: why May 14th, back in 1995? Then things get quickly complex: an earlier version of the Wikipedia article, which I posted about here in 2013, identified Masturbation Day as May 7th (a date apparently selected by Good Vibrations in 1999) in the US, May 28th in some other countries. (Other US sources say May 28th is Masturbation Day.) Meanwhile, the current Wikipedia article says with great assurance that Masturbation Day is July 21st. The Wikipedia sources are in no way authoritative: they just assert dates. Thanks to the earlier Wikipedia article, I have May 7th on my calendar as National Masturbation Day, but now I’m all at sea. The 7th, the 14th, the 28th, or July 21st? And why? Why, in fact, May for the Month?

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Homophilatelic days

May 11, 2017

News relayed by Chris Ambidge on Facebook, the coming, on June 1, of a Canadian stamp honoring same-sex marriage in that country:

The rainbow maple leaf forever!

Ushering in Pride Month.

(Meanwhile, Le mariage égal would be a fine title for a comic opera. We need a gay Mozart and a gay Lorenzo Da Ponte.)

Conferring

May 9, 2017

A Harry Bliss cartoon in the May 15th New Yorker:

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“Well, there’s your problem right there—you need to sauté the onions in white wine before adding the ginger.”

First, the usual note about what you have to know to understand this cartoon. You have to recognize that the cartoon is set in a baseball stadium during a game (this is fairly easy, though it involves very culture-specific knowledge), and that we’re looking at the catcher and the pitcher conferring on the pitcher’s mound about pitching strategy, a conference in which privacy is often assured by having the two men cover their mouths with their mitts (this is definitely inside-baseball esoterica).

But wait, there’s more.

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Four Days in May

May 5, 2017

(There will, eventually, be some references to mansex for Cinco de Mayo, so use your judgment.)

Four occasions that come around every year on the same date: yesterday, the silly Star Wars Day and the sad Kent State Day; today, the pleasantly celebratory National Cartoonists Day and the wildly celebratory Cinco de Mayo (which I’ll focus on in this posting).

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Closets

May 4, 2017

Two recent items focused on gay men in the closet, though in two quite different ways: Dominic Dunne (1925-2009), the subject of a recent biography (Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne: A Life in Several Acts by Robert Hofler); and James Beard (1903-1985), the subject of a recent documentary film (America’s First Foodie: The Incredible Life of James Beard). Dunne, who died 40 years after Stonewall, nevertheless spent a lifetime cringing in the closet. Beard, who died only 15 years after Stonewall, was an exuberantly gay man to everyone who knew him, but his acquaintances and employers and the media built a protective closet around him, one that he decided to break out of publicly only at the end of his life — so that the world was robbed of an example of a gay man of great talent, living a rich, full life. (Dunne was, to my mind, no kind of model of how to live a life.)

For what it’s worth, neither man was flagrantly flamboyant, but I pegged them both the first time I saw them talking about their lives and work.

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Semiotics of dress: the Age of High Gay

May 2, 2017

From two different sources, trips back to the ’70s and ’80s and the expression of gay identities through dress. From my correspondent RJP, a link to a Tumblr site celebrating Hal Fischer’s Gay Semiotics: A Photographic Study of Visual Coding Among Homosexual Men, 1977; and from Daniel MacKay on Facebook, a link to an Advocate magazine site on “The Men, Mustaches, and Memories of Jim Wigler (101 Photos)” by Christopher Harrity. Then there’s the Levine/Kimmel book Gay Macho: The Life and Death of the Homosexual Clone, exploring the Age of High Gay in the ’70s and ’80s:

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To Be Young, Gay, and Chinese-American

May 2, 2017

… also gifted, and a poet. That would be Chen Chen, who I became acquainted with through Matthew Zapruder’s poetry column in the NYT Magazine on March 5th, which featured the first poem (“Self-Portrait as So Much Potential”) in Chen’s debut collection When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities. The poet as a grown-up, in a rose garden (in a photo by his partner, Jeff Gilbert):

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