just the other day, while at a networking event doing my damn thang, i began chatting with a few folks. i already had a few tasty cocktails in my system so i was at ease, feeling good and even wittier than i was just 20 minutes earlier. all was going well - until - one of the women, who absolutely loved all of my damn jokes, (even the ones that weren’t all that funny. not that there were many, but you get my point) - invited me to her upcoming party. i said “sure” knowing damn well i will be in philly that weekend. she then says, “yeah, you should come, you’re funny as hell and my friends will get a hoot out of you!” now, i know somewhere in that statement, lies a compliment. sorta in that way when someone says “you’re handsome….for a thick guy” or “you speak so well.” naturally, i rolled my eyes so hard that i could feel my retinas dislocating and asked her “do i look like a clown you book for parties?” of course, she looked confused and looked around. the others returned to drinking their cocktails readying themselves to watch a good read. but because i have a heart and had to refill my drink, i simply said, in my finest DC voice, “will you excuse me, i need to go refresh my beverage, it was great meeting you all.”
so this post is inspired by homegirl with the whack as party invite and every aspiring fag hag i have ever met in my life who i am sure all “mean well” but DO NOT well with interacting with beautifully spirited queer men like myself. so this post is dedicated to all of the them, the fag hags who confuse allyship with microaggressions.
we just met and yeah, we have a connection but no, i am not your here for you or to be your best friend. i already have one. no you cannot hug me and take selfies with me so that you can show all of your other gay best friends. please, just enjoy the moment. gay men are not something you can claim and bottle for your consumption.
voguing is an art form that has historical ties to community building, healing and expression. it is not something to merely gawk at and consume because it “intrigues” you. yes, you can admire it. you can celebrate it. but do that on your own time. please do not assume that i know how to vogue because i am a gay man and do not ask me to vogue as if i am a dog who is willing to do tricks for you. what i can teach is how to see gay men and voguing beyond your narrow lens…but that depends on how much i actually like you.
gurl, stop! if you think that attributing your “larger-than-life” personality to your past life as a drag queen, you are part of the larger homophobic institution that consistently erases the art, lives and magic of queer men. drag performance takes skill and commitment. drag performance art has historically provided a space to discover personal freedom and liberation. drag is not about simply being loud and obnoxious. it is about creating space and holding space in this lifetime.
if you understood the journey some gay men must travel to get to a place to speak about sex openly and positively without shame, you would not offensively assume that we all comfortable talking about sex. even if we were, what makes you think that we would feel comfortable enough with you to talk about something so perosnal? would you ask your sister to teach you how to suck dick? would you ask your cis-gender female friend how to get fucked in the ass? if you have answered “no” to these questions, then you may not be as sex positive as you assume all gay men are. yes, we can talk about sex but gay men are not your entry into finding your personal sexual liberation.
if i had a dime for every time i met some “well intentioned” and
“open minded” straight woman who thought it was cool to touch my ass without my consent, i’d actually be able to
pay a web designer to spruce up the gran varones website. but i don’t.
what i do have is millions of awkwardly painful experiences that border sexual harassment.
somehow, somewhere fag hags learned that touching our bodies was okay. fag hags were also tricked into believing that saying “if had sex with you, i’d have you switching teams!” i cannot even begin to dissect all that is problematic with that statement that reinforces the fallacy that identifying as gay determines what our sexual behavior and pleasure is. i will save that for another article. but let’s imagine for one moment that i said the same thing to a straight identifying dude? i’d be accused of sexual harassment and rightfully so. let’s say that this straight dude beat my ass because he felt violated, because you know male masculinity is so damn fragile in this country and everything that threatens it must be destroyed. most people, including fag hags, would say that the ass whopping was in order because “you can’t just be disrespecting people like that.”
so yeah, don’t touch my ass. don’t sit on my lap. don’t ask me to kiss you. and no, you and your whack ass sex will not and cannot “change” my identity and/or orientation.
so these are just a few of the experiences i experienced when straight women cross the line from ally to fag hag. what are some of yours? please comment and share. oh yeah and use the lovely and poignant #ByeFagHag :)
special thanks to my friends who have shared similar experiences and providing me with great laughs and healing during the creation of this list.
- Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca
twitter and instagram @lou_rok