Edicts of Nancy

The blogosphere's most persecuted Christian!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Nancy Beth vs. the nancies

Despite the few meager contributions of homosexuals to science, art, economics, music, mathematics, politics, and popular culture, Sister Nancy Beth frowns upon the idea of homosexuality, and I vehemently object to its practice. That's why I was gladdened to read Prayer Warrior Andrew Sullivan's death knell for institutionalized nancyhood. What's even more gratifying is to see its ideas have already started taking root. As one of his many email correspondents (Andrew, why do you spend so much time at the computer?) shows, the "End of Gay Culture" is the new self-loathing:
I can remember when I was still in High School laying in bed at night telling myself that there was no way on earth that I could be gay. Not me I would say, I'm not GAY. I don't act gay, I don't dress gay. How can I be gay? I play football and I kiss girls! I'm not gay! But, like every gay man out there, I had to take it in strides; I had to deal with it my own way. And I did just that. The rest was history. I am out to pretty much everyone I know and meet. I am so much better for it. I had made a big deal out of something that was not a big deal.

I am writing you because I am living proof of what you are taking about. I have no idea what the Gay Culture of the 70s and 80s is about. I had no idea that AIDS had such a huge impact on gay life. I am completely ignorant of the pain and tragedy endured by the older generation. I respect what they did. I live my life the way I want. I am who I am. I have the freedom to be 'out' and not have to worry or hide who I really am. I guess I take it for granted. I guess I am guilty of that. I HATE the stereotypes and the labels put on gay people. I hate the idea of West Hollywood and the Rainbow. I am normal. I do not like the idea that I have to identify myself as gay.
Thank heavens there's now a plethora of healthy messages to guide these fledgling selfish hedonists away from Satan's grips. Just think of the unchecked danger to American society they would present if they fell under the sway of those dangerous camp icons of the past. Good work, Andrew!


  • At November 17, 2005 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Amen, sister. If you reread brother Sullivan you will note that a lot of this is wishful thinking, some of this is denial and many assertions raise more questions than answers. In the end his writing says more about brother Sullivan himself than about the rest of us. I am not so sure that the assimilation and co-option of gay identity is positive and not malevolent.

    The internet has become another closet for men who want to have sex with another man while clinging to the notion that they are straight or bisexual. Under these circumstances, even if an actual meeting occurs, the result is more like masturbation with a cipher. If brother Sullivan is correct and gay culture is absorbed into the mass culture then won't it be increasingly more difficult for gay people to meet and couple up? Isn't this sending future generations back into a closet?

    Also, I keep running into so many gay men who are coming out, not in their teens and 20s, but in their late 30s and 40s, men who grew up when coming out was, in theory, easier and easier but who nevertheless got the wife, and sometimes the children, and eventually after decades owned up to their own truth. Not just red staters, either.

    I have to keep going back to confession because no matter how many Our Fathers and Hail Marys I recite I keep chuckling over brother Sullivan's embrace of "bear culture." So convenient now that he's middle-aged, chunky and showing signs of too many years of HIV drugs. When he was young, hot and on his way to Mass, he paid me no mind but now he cruises me in the Dupont Circle metro station. How convenient.

    I can see this cycling back with a new generation coming along, taking the name of the Lord in vain, and saying we are different and we demand the world to take us as we are.

  • At November 19, 2005 7:31 AM, Anonymous Sister Nancy Beth Eczema / John said…

    Thanks for the comment, Anonymous. By now I'm used to taking Sullivan's qualified version of reality with a grain of salt, since the chasm between what he says & the rest of the world's collective experience is usually pretty wide. Whatever suits Andy right now is the way it's always been, regardless of what he wrote the week before.

    What I find so objectionable about this letter is that he's holding up this poor kid, who seems deeply conflicted about being gay, as poster child for our brave new gay world. I don't think any newly out person feels completely comfortable with their new identity, but when you take into account they're going to be gay for the rest of their life, maybe they should try to reconcile themselves to that fact, rather than hating themselves and their fellow homos for it.

    [My apologies for breaking character, but I figured commenting on a Saturday morning would do the least bit of damage to the Nancy Beth mystique. Get to church, people!]

  • At November 21, 2005 12:22 PM, Anonymous Tim Haggerty said…

    Am I the last happy queen left on the planet? I remember Andrews Sullivan's last life course transition, in Virtually Normal:

    ... I [had] developed mannerisms ... tiny revolts of personal space -- a speech affectation, a ridiculous piece of clothing -- that were, in retrospect, attempts to communicate something in code which could not be communicated in language. In this homosexual archness there was, of course, much pain. And it came as no surprise that once I had become more open about my homosexuality, these mannerisms declined.... So my clothes became progressively more regular and slovenly; I lost interest in drama; my writing moved from fiction to journalism; my speech actually became less affected.

    Another rescued soul! One wonders what would have happened to Sullivan had he taken the opposite route and become a flamer but, then again, that might have closed the door at The New Republic. Parenthetically, Sullivan, being British, is probably allowed a higher twee quotient then the native-born; his remaining affectation can be comfortably attributed to an entirely different circumstance.

    The tenets of gay conservatism are the bashing writ large. Like immigrants trying to hide the greenhorn, gay conservatives argue that "subculture homosexuals" are an outdated consequence of political oppression. Scared of being labeled promiscuous, adolescent, or narcissistic, they attack those who exhibit these traits in the name of moderation. According to this logic, these vestigial drag queens are being replaced by people who are stereotypically manly, generally well-educated, and, most importantly, middle-class.

    A number of historical accidents have made it difficult to introduce class analysis into the politics of contemporary homosexuality. Early liberationists, borrowing from sixties' rhetoric, argued that anonymous sexual behavior was the beginning of a classless society; literally stripped of status symbols, the gay man would be judged for himself, or at least for his physical fitness. After Stonewall, the beau ideal was fashioned from a proletarian chic, repudiating the stigma of effeminacy and camouflaging class backgrounds. Finally, the urgency of AIDS seemed to make class a less-than-valid category of analysis as disease beggared all but the wealthy.

    As any good Marxist will tell you, the class conditions of homosexuality have changed and Sullivan cannot see past the end of his assuredly bourgeois nose.


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