Tacky does not equal gay!On the one hand, I feel bad for the woman who found out her fiance was gay. Any breakup is awful, but when it comes with a side order of deception, it just feels awful and sordid all around.
On the other hand, she did get a book deal out of it. And also? When she writes about this episode in her life (and I have a real problem with it being All About Her), her attitudes toward gay men are revealed to be seriously stuck in the last century – or maybe the one before it.
See if you agree.
For the record, I had a boyfriend who I found out was bi. We had a break, we saw other people, and when we got back together, I found myself in possession of an interesting infection (not HIV, thank goodness!) that turned out to be passed along from a dude.
I tried to be totally cool about it, but I found myself questioning a lot about our relationship. Was this why we so rarely had sex? Was this why he was always trying to sneak into my back door? Was he only with me because society would smile upon our union?
Eventually we split, and I soon realized – after spending many nights in the West Village, and many a Gay Pride Parade gawking in amazement at the sheer variety of gay men. Sure, you could find ones that fit a certain stereotype, but that was just a sliver of the full range of gay men, and the only thing they had in common was … their sexual preference.
Meanwhile, Kiri Blakely’s surprised reaction, even with the hindsight of a couple of years, is to say, in an interview, “The weird thing is, Aaron is a very masculine guy with a deep voice. He plays soccer, wears loose clothing, doesn't use loads of hair gel, and never reeks of Axe body spray.”
I mean… really? Is that what stands for “gay” these days? Lemme get this straight, Kiri: You can tell a guy is gay because he doesn’t play sports, wears tight clothing (Long johns? Spandex? Meggings?!), gels his hair, and uses Axe?
Seriously, do any of you know a self-respecting gay man who would go near Axe? Isn’t that like Love’s Baby Soft but for seventh grade boys of today instead of seventh-grade girls of 1979?
Anyway, Blakely further gives me the ick-face when she says that to cope, she “blabbed to everyone that Aaron was gay.” And then complains that his family supported him (were they supposed to side with her, and disown their gay son?) And then wrote a book about it.
I mean, look. I’m sure it was hard to lose a relationship after 10 years. It’s like a divorce, and that’s horrible and searing and makes you question your role in the universe. But … I can’t understand airing your dirty laundry in an effort to garner sympathy. This, as they say, is a first-world problem. Blakely isn’t suffering from cholera in Haiti, she’s not shoplifting to feed her baby, she’s not going back to work two weeks after having a baby because she has no maternity leave. She’s just … dumped. Sack up, cry to your girlfriends, book a week at Miraval, and leave the guy’s family alone.
I’m glad she got through this crisis. I’m sure it was awful, and I’ve certainly been miserable enough to claw my own skin and misbehave. But I wish her revelations didn’t come with a side of lame stereotypes.
Should we be past this kind of gay stereotyping, or do many people still think of gay dudes as fauxhawked skinny-jeans wearers?
Image via TheAxeEffect.com