Q: Am I supposed to care about the Oscars and Golden Globes? My best gay friends are throwing parties—some are elaborate, too!—based around these award shows. But I couldn’t care less. And if I don’t care, should I still go?
Mark B. via instinctmag.com
A: The Instinct eds thought I’d get all huffy about this question because I wrote a book called The Q Guide To Oscar Parties And Other Award Shows. But honestly, if the book publisher had asked me to write about festive wakes, I’d have done it. I believe in any excuse for a party. Yes, awards shows are stupid. Yes, the Oscar show is the movie industry bending over to suck its own dick. And yes, we all know the Academy is Old World homophobes with more ego than taste. (I mean, come on—Crash? Over Brokeback Mountain? And just last year: Hurt Locker? Really? Over Precious, Up In The Air, Inglourious Basterds, Up or Avatar? Meh. Wake me for the embarrassing dance medley.) But Oscars, schmoscars—go for the shindig, Mark! And as I suggest in my book, encourage your friends to create swag bags. Go and enjoy the company, drink your friends’ booze, check out their medicine cabinets during the Irving Thalberg snoozefest and come home feeling smugly superior to it all. It’s still a party and therefore still worth attending. Especially if there are swag bags.
Q: How long does it take to fall out of love? I see my ex-boyfriend all over town, and it’s killing me. I can’t even go to the grocery store without bumping into him. We share friends, too, and the situation sucks. He’s moved on, but I’m still in love with him, I’m not going to move out of state, and I like my friends, so please don’t tell me to make new ones. But how do I really move on without moving out of town?
Charlie in San Diego, CA
A: Unfortunately, in terms of falling out of love, it takes as long as it takes. Perhaps some of your difficulty lies in trying to make too big a leap all at once. Instead of trying to be not in love, what if you worked on simply being less in love? Recognizing that it’s not an event but a process can help keep you from beating yourself up for not having moved on as you might have wished. Also, it might help to fall a little more in love with yourself. For instance, when you see him and you catch yourself starting to get all boo-hoo per usual, you consciously interrupt that cycle with the thought, “Damn it, I don’t deserve to feel this rotten, so I choose not to go down that mopey road right now.” Then go do something cheery for Charlie. Enjoy “Single Ladies” or double martinis or triple penetration. Just don’t use those things to numb yourself; you still have to feel the feelings before you can move through them. But remember that it’s not a destination but a road. I wish there was a magic bullet for heartbreak, dear one, but there just ain’t.
Q: If I hear one more gay man refer to a male friend as “her” or “she,” I’m going to lose my mind! Am I the only one who finds this degrading and a setback to our cause? Or am I just
“Gay Guy” in Washington, DC
A: Oh, get her! Kidding! Actually, I’m on your side. This calling men “she” thing is rooted in two utterly false beliefs that I’d like to see all society move away from. One is that because we don’t have sex with women, we can’t be “real” men (whatever that is), so we’re taking on that alleged shame by calling each other “she.” Why would we do that? Well, one of the insidious things that any oppressor does is teach the oppressed to perpetuate their own oppression by getting them to participate in it. In our case, it’s called internalized homophobia—the self-loathing we were taught that makes us act out in ugly, self-destructive ways. When I refer to another man as “she,” I’m participating in the oppression of gays—including myself—by insinuating we are not equal to “real” men. Of course, that, in turn, is based on the other false premise I referred to earlier. That one’s founded on the errant, misogynistic belief that women are inherently worth less than men. Therefore, the “worst” thing you can call a man is something feminine. Straight guys do this all the time—just listen to any sports report. I like to think gay men are smarter and more sensitive than all of this foolishness. But then, I’d like to think gay men are beyond ageism and looksism and all that noise, too. Sigh. Bartender, make it a double.
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