There are times when I don’t want to be associated with basic parts of my identity.
On the night of Game 7 of the Stanley Park finals, I felt embarrassed to be a Canuck fan. Is there really supposed to be a link between hockey fans and cop-car-burning, business-looting hooligans? Sure, many of the rioters weren’t fans at all, but they infiltrated Downtown Vancouver in Canuck jerseys, leaving the rest of the world with plenty of video evidence to show that Canuck fans are poor sports and, worse, mindless thugs.
When California Attorney General Dan Lungren used my law school graduation ceremony to speak boastfully about the successful implementation of the death penalty on a convicted criminal earlier that week, I was ashamed of the school’s name on my diploma. I would forever be an alumnus of this university, the same law school that subsequently named Kenneth Starr as dean, the man who zealously investigated President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. (No, I have never donated a penny to the university and I take comfort in the fact I was on full scholarship throughout the course of my studies.)
To be sure, I embarrass easily. It consider myself a discriminating music fan but—GASP!—I own a Bobby Brown album. Worse, I used to think a certain someone on “Growing Pains” was kinda cute. (Yes, Alan Thicke, but the other one, too.) And this Donald Trump commercial should have made me seriously consider giving up Oreo cookie ice cream. Oh, the shame that I continue to reward myself with this flavor of DQ Blizzard!
Oops. How did this post devolve into a Donald Trump reference? The egomaniac will only gloat that another serf is pimping his name.
The topic again? Guilt by association. How can I identify as something when others who make the same claim seem so unlike me,…so, uh, icky. To be specific, there are a lot of gays out there in the Twitterverse who utterly embarrass me.
Today, as I scrolled down to read Tweets from other gay men, I noticed many references to Naked Sunday. Huh? And then there were several “twit pics” attached to tweets. Seems it is the day when gays unabashedly post photos of their bare butts.
Oh, where is my Pride flag when I need to wave it about? Why do I no longer have a pink triangle slapped on my car bumper?
Forget gay adoption, marriage equality, non-discrimination legislation and anti-bullying initiatives. Apparently, the true gay cause centers on Naked Sundays.
A common response would be for a gay twentysomething with a perfect bubble butt to accuse me of being a homophobe or, worse, an old guy with a saggy ass. Call me a prude. Say I’m bitter because I’m single and someone walked off with my camera during a showing of my house over the past three months. You’re entitled to your beliefs and judgments just as I am.
Funny, I just now recalled a happy story about an online butt shot. A dear friend of mine in California has been with the same partner for sixteen years now. They officially married before Prop 8 took away their status. A few years ago, while visiting, I asked how they met. “Online,” my friend replied. “I posted a pic of my ass, he liked it and the rest is history!”
Okay, so maybe Naked Sunday is harmless fun. So long as employers don’t track one’s Twitter account. We’ve come a long way since Stonewall, since Anita Bryant’s rants and since the dark days of the AIDS crisis. (The global crisis continues, but the media and even most gays seem to have tired of it.)
This is an era of greater freedom for gay men. Freedom to marry in some places. Freedom to hold hands without fear (in some places).
And freedom to moon the world.