Archive for the ‘Homosexuality’ Category

Ultimate Queen Day

June 30, 2022

🐆 🐆 🐆. (That’s a ritual tiger-tiger-tiger for the last day of the month; details below.) Today is Ultimate June, the final day of a month packed with occasions of considerable emotional content, also (etymologically) a month dedicated to the Roman goddess Juno: queen of the gods (in fact, also called in Latin Regina ‘queen’), counterpart to Greek Hera; protector of women and motherhood; also embracing warlike features of Greek Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war (the deities of classic times were marvels of intersectionality, as we would now put it), and oh yes, wife of Jupiter, the counterpart to Greek Zeus.

So I am suggesting that 6/30 be recognized as Ultimate Queen Day, especially celebrating men who are flamboyant (in any way) and those who are effeminate (in their presentation of themselves). Stereotypically, these two bundles of characteristics are manifested together, in the cultural type the queen (not to be confused with royalty, with the drag queen, with X queen used to label tastes or preferences of many kinds — imagine a white-cross queen, a man who prefers Swiss men as sexual partners, or a fan of Swiss things — or with various other uses of /kwin/).

To come: on the content of the month of June; a bit more of etymology; on flamboyance; on some queens; and, yes, on 🐆 🐆 🐆.

The month of June. Relevant for everyone: June has the Summer Solstice in it, and Midsummer Day quite close to that. The Summer Solstice Day is often labeled “the first day of summer” (in the Northern Hemisphere), but no ordinary person talks that way; folk (and commercial) usage treats the season of summer as embracing June, July, and August, with exact starting and ending dates a matter of local custom. There are ways of thinking about summer, but June is, first of all, a summer month — time for exposing the body, in minimal (or no) clothing; playing in the water (in swimming pools or, especially, at the beach ); randy sex (all over the place, by day or by night); and, in the US, baseball.

I must confess that I have a 🐇 🐇 🐇 posting for 6/1 that looks at this summer-month stuff, still not finished and polished after about 30 hours of work; I am overwhelmed by life. As a place holder, vividly illustrating June As Summer, the image (Hot Water) on the June page in the Tom of Finland 2022 calendar:

(#1)

Then, relevant to various parts of my life:

— June is Gay Pride Month

— and has Juneteenth in it, a US holiday celebrating the end of slavery in my country

— and has Flag Day in it, a US patriotic occasion, memorializing the adoption of the US flag in 1777

— and has the commercial holiday Father’s Day in it, which functions as a gender event, celebrating conventional masculinity in all its forms — in particular, it’s a Masculine Meat Holiday (see my 6/17/22 posting “Be the Master of the Meat!”) — and also as a sexuality event, through being hi-jacked by gay porn studios as a vehicle for Daddy – Boy sex films.

A little more etymology. If I read the OED right, the month of June (in English) gets its name from the month name in Classical Latin, the masculine noun Jūnius, which is the masculine version of the feminine name Jūnō — the goddess Juno.

Flamboyance. Queens are flamboyant, etymologically  ‘flaming’. Then from NOAD:

adj. flamboyant: 1 [a] (of a person or their behavior) tending to attract attention because of their exuberance, confidence, and stylishness: a flamboyant display of aerobatics | she is outgoing and flamboyant, continuously talking and joking. [b] (especially of clothing) noticeable because brightly colored, highly patterned, or unusual in style. …

On flamboyance in action, consider, among others: flamboyant entrepreneurs (Malcolm Forbes, Richard Branson, Jack Ma) and flamboyant musicians (Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler). Here’s Freddie Mercury (of Queen), queening flamboyantly in performance:


(#2) Note armband on the right arm, indicating a sexual receptive or subordinate

On flamboyance in dress, consider, among others: historical dandies, peacocking by men, extravagant fashion models, and the costumes of some flamboyant musicians. Here’s Freddie Mercury again:

(#3)

Meanwhile, I’ve posted often about flamboyant items of apparel: underwear and gymwear in fabulous colors and patterns, loungewear, and shirts of all kinds. I bought my first gorgeously patterned shirts at the B. Altman flagship store on 5th Avenue in NYC in 1958; I was 17, and you can see, from the fact that I remember so many details, that it was a moving experience. Many others followed.

Now I collect images of such things, rather than the things themselves, and I tend to specialize in floral patterns (well, I’m a plant person as well as a queer person). From the GentleManual site, “Floral Style: A Masculine Guide to Fresh Floral Prints” from 8/1/19, this attractively flamboyant floral t-shirt, worn by a model who’s also to my taste (though not flamboyantly posed):

(#4)

Finally, flamboyance in personality. First, a little study in Going Too Far. From the MentalHelp site on “DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster B”:

the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster. It includes: Borderline Personality Disorder; Narcissistic Personality Disorder; Histrionic Personality Disorder; and Antisocial Personality Disorder. Disorders in this cluster share problems with impulse control and emotional regulation.

… Persons with Histrionic Personality Disorder are characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking. Their lives are full of drama (so-called “drama queens”). They are uncomfortable in situations where they are not the center of attention.

People with this disorder are often quite flirtatious or seductive, and like to dress in a manner that draws attention to them. They can be flamboyant and theatrical, exhibiting an exaggerated degree of emotional expression. Yet simultaneously, their emotional expression is vague, shallow, and lacking in detail. This gives them the appearance of being disingenuous and insincere. Moreover, the drama and exaggerated emotional expression often embarrasses friends and acquaintances as they may embrace even casual acquaintances with excessive ardor, or may sob uncontrollably over some minor sentimentality.

People with Histrionic Personality Disorder can appear flighty and fickle. Their behavioral style often gets in the way of truly intimate relationships, but it is also the case that they are uncomfortable being alone.

They tend to feel depressed when they are not the center of attention. When they are in relationships, they often imagine relationships to be more intimate in nature than they actually are.

People with Histrionic Personality Disorder tend to be suggestible; that is, they are easily influenced by other people’s suggestions and opinions. A literary character that exemplifies the Histrionic Personality Disorder is the character of Blanche DuBois in Tennessee William’s classic play, “Streetcar Named Desire.”

That’s the bad news. The world is, however, well supplied with delightful flamboyant queens, extravagant but empathetic, fully in control of their emotions while presenting an exaggerated version of themselves. There are, in fact, several subtypes. From my 5/29/22 posting “The pansies and the birds will speak for us”, with Paul Harfleet, author of Pansy Boy, displaying his Tough Queen face:


(#5) This along with illustrations of a tough queen — Emory in the 1970 movie of The Boys in the Band — and a ditzy queen — Randy Rainbow giving his musical commentaries on the news

Both characters [Emory and Randy] are dead serious, with moral agendas behind the apparent superficiality of the personas they project (of eye-rolling, disdainful self-involvement for Emory; of wide-eyed, scatter-brained silliness for Randy). This they share with Harfleet, whose ornamental, often sexualized presentations of himself can’t conceal the almost painful urgency of his aim to rescue the children, honor the despised, and celebrate nature’s gifts of flowers and birds.

There’s more. For several years, my department chair at Ohio State was a good friend who presented himself as what I now think of as an ornamental queen: full of amiable laughter, warm companionship, and energy, with the gay gestures, the gay voice, all the gay eye stuff (side-eyes, wide eyes, eye rolls), all of that dialed up to about 150% of normal. He had a fine conventional three-piece suit that he wore when one of his students defended their PhD dissertation (the suit was a mark of respect for them), but mostly dressed flamboyantly. He went to Humanities College Executive Committee meetings (with the deans and the other department chairs) in very worn denim short shorts that showed off his gym-developed lower body, plus an equally worn Mickey Mouse t-shirt that showed off his upper body. Vibrating energy and enthusiasm.

And it all worked. Well, he was an able administrator, a solid scholar (in Indo-European historical linguistics!), a wonderful teacher, and a tireless, thoughtful adviser. And yes, a treat to look at and a hell of a lot of fun to be around.

The jaguar-jaguar-jaguar goodbye. The counterpart to the rabbit-rabbit-rabbit hello. For which, see these two postings:

from 5/1/17 in “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit: three cartoons for the 1st”, on the ritual

that calls for everyone to greet the new month, upon awakening, by saying “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit”

from 5/1/20 in “Trois lapins pour le premier mai”

So the question became: what’s the opposite of a rabbit? The closest animal opposition to rabbit is hare, but that’s way too narrow. What we want is something opposed to rabbits in a number of relevant features.

Rabbits are small, furry, large-eared mammals; they are gregarious, gentle, fast-moving, shyly reclusive, prolifically breeding, herbivorous prey animals. They are folklorically cunning (in trickster figures) and hypersexual (so serving as symbols of fertility and rebirth, and then of spring and Easter).

So, sticking to the world of mammals, we’re looking for a large fierce carnivorous predator (forget about the fur, which most mammals have, and the ears, since most mammals have smaller ones; and the big broods, since large predators in general have small broods). Jaguars were my first choice, because they’re viciously fierce and much fleeter of foot than even the fastest rabbit (even the Energizer Bunny), and because I just love the name jaguar. Alas, Apple has no jaguar emoji, or even a panther; so I settled for the tiger emoji. Tiger tiger tiger, goodbye, month.

respite space / area, area of respite

June 23, 2022

It’s Midsummer Eve, the day before St. John’s Day and Midsummer Night, on which we can dream about reveling with the fairies. High summer, fiercely hot — I’ve been poleaxed by the heat for several days and trying to write this before today’s shimmer fells me once again — and Stanford (the edge of which is, like, six blocks from the Palo Alto house I’m writing this in) is in day 3 of a PG&E power outage crisis (my electric power is supplied by Palo Alto Utilities, which has so far coped with the heat demands and the occasional small fire, though it all seems distressingly tenuous to me).

Stanford has shut down everything it could and told staff and faculty to stay away if at all possible. But there are all those students in university housing, which is without power for cooling, for lighting, for charging electronic equipment, for opening (keycard-controlled) doors. For them, the university has provided places — spaces or areas — that have emergency power sources and can provide temporary relief in the form of cooling, lighting, and charging. What to call such places?

Stanford’s solution was expressions using the noun respiterespite space, respite area, area of respite — which were new turns of phrase for me, though they probably have a history I’m ignorant of. They have the advantage of being general (cooling station, which has been used in other public heat-crisis emergencies, covers only one of the students’ needs), but not so general that it’s uninformative (as, say, emergency area would be), and not, at least yet, associated specifically with the excretion of bodily wastes (as expressions with the nouns rest, comfort, and relief have become). (Not that excretion is irrelevant in a power outage; the lighting supplied in respite areas lets people see what they’re doing in bathrooms / toilets there, and that’s a very good thing. Meanwhile, back at the dark stifling dorms: flashlights.)

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Sisgender Night’s Dream

June 20, 2022

Start with the sexual-identity terms cis(gender) and trans(gender), which I looked at on this blog yesterday, and they’ll lead you to various forms of language play. If there’s a Transylvania — actually, there are several —  where is its counterpart Cisylvania? Is there a (punning) gender-identity term sisgender for sissies and fems?  And a Sis(s)ylvania for them to live in — perhaps the fairies’ wooded land (as in Midsummer Night’s Dream)?

It’s the curse of the associative mind. We all have them, but some of us have really big ones.

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Extended cisgender

June 19, 2022

A physician writes to the NYT Magazine‘s ethicist about a patient who used a racist slur (the N-word) to his Black nursing staff and a homophobic slur (probably the queer F-word, but maybe the queer D-word) to his receptionist, and contemplated ways to support these staff members as an outsider, explaining in the letter that he’s “a Hispanic, cisgender male”.

The first identifier, Hispanic, is a racial / ethnic identifier, counterposed to Black, White, API, Indigenous, etc. The second identifier, cisgender, is clearly intended to be counterposed to homosexual / gay / queer, terms that refer to same-sex (rather than other-sex) sexual orientation; but that looks like some kind of category mistake, since the standard usage of cisgender (with the prefix cis– ‘on this side of’, opposed to trans– ‘on the other side of’) is for a sexual identity that aligns with birth sex (and so is opposed to transgender) — a matter that’s orthogonal to sexuality / sexual orientation. Indeed, most same-sex-oriented people are cisgender; I myself am a cisgender queer, one of millions, though we’re hugely outnumbered by the cisgender straights, who are all over the place. And while some transgender people are sexually oriented towards their own sex, some are oriented towards the other sex. (more…)

From the annals of commerce: Doggie and Whippy do it in a leather bar

June 18, 2022

(This is obviously going to go where no kids or sexually modest people should go, and it’s going to get there fast.)

The commercial names Doggie Diner and Mr. Whippy, both surely conceived in all innocence, but, to the prepared mind, easily evoking sexual images (as it happens, my mind is prepared for man-on-man sexual images, so that’s where I’m inclined to go): the doggie / doggy position for anal intercourse; and a leatherman master whipping a leatherman slave.

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prone, doggy, intimate, intense

June 16, 2022

(Men’s bodies, steamy man-on-man sex, all in raunchy street talk, as you will see immediately, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

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Flagging day

June 15, 2022

(Well yes, holiday time, but it quicky turns to man-on-man sex in street language, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Yesterday, June 14th, was Flag Day in my country: “It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.” (from Wikipedia). I am not in the habit of flying the American flag, not out of a lack of love for the country, but out of a desire not to be seen as a yahoo flying the flag as an aggressive symbol of exclusion for those who aren’t “real Americans” — people of color, lgbt folk, liberals in coastal big cities, artists and scholars, and all the rest of us scum. If I flew an American flag yesterday, it would have had to be in conjunction with at least a Rainbow Pride Flag. But I don’t have the flagpoles, or any place to put them. I do have a rainbow flag draped over the fencing in my entryway, and that’s already up against the tolerance of the condo Homeowners Association. And I display the rainbow flag — and also the Swiss flag — on gym shorts and t-shirts.

I think of these displays on my body as flagging gay and flagging Swiss, with a use of the verb flag — to convey (in my rough definition) something like ‘(U.S. gay) display, on one’s body or in one’s attire, a symbol of identity or taste, with the intention of communicating those to potentially interested others’ — that appears not to be covered in standard general or slang dictionaries (up to and including OED2, though that’s in sore need of updating).

I think Flag Day should be left as it is, but today, June 15th, midway through Gay Pride Month, would be a good moment for (Gay) Flagging Day, using conventions that grew up in the mid-20th century.

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The jaws of June

June 13, 2022

They are deadly, those jaws. Deadly sins. Gay deadly sins. Decked out in Red …… Orange ….. Yellow …. Green … Blue .. Purple . Omigod Gay Pride!

From Jeff Shaumeyer on Facebook today: the Life of Sharks cartoon for 6/1/22, to inaugurate Gay Pride Month:


(#1) The current menu of Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth; waiter, I’ll have Gay Gluttony for starters , Gay Lust for the main course, and Gay Sloth for afters

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The pansies and the birds will speak for us

May 29, 2022

About Paul Harfleet, who’s one tough pansy. Who I learned about from Richard Vytniorgu on Twitter (posted on 5/25):

(#1)

Re-reading Paul Harfleet’s beautiful picture book on bullying at school due to a boy’s gender nonconformity, by @ThePansyProject. “His modest plan to raise awareness, increased the prospect of future fairness.”

Then about The Pansy Project. And about Harfleet’s ornithological apparel project Birds Can Fly. Earnest, passionate, humane, fiercely resolute, and delightful, all at once. But first, two p.r. photos for Birds Can Fly, showing Harfleet’s admirable presentation of himself as a proudly tough but whimsical pansy —  ‘(offensive) an effeminate or gay man’  (as NOAD has it).

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The Stanford Dragfest

May 25, 2022

From the Stanford Events Calendar for 5/20: at 7 p.m. on Wilbur Field:


(#1) The poster

The announcement:

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