Gays are not happy with Ty Mitchell!
Yet another adult performer has gotten himself in the hot seat for sharing an unwelcome and, frankly, unnecessary post online. You could have just said, “I’m sorry” and moved on, Mitchell! Instead, the adult performer decided to share a lengthy essay through Buzzfeed titled, “To Survive A Pandemic, We Need To Make Room For Pleasure.”
In the piece, Mitchell talked about his participation at Fire Island Pines parties. For those who don’t know, Fire Island is a popular party spot about 90-minutes away from New York City. Pre-COVID, the spot was considered one of the best places for gays to let loose. But Mid-COVID, the location, and it’s guests, have been largely ridiculed for having risky and irresponsible gatherings. In response to these critiques, party organizers announced plans to have drag queens and go-go boys hand out masks and sanitizer.
But according to Towleroad, Ty Mitchell defends the parties, which occurred during the Independence Day weekend, and his participation in them.
“It sounded like trouble, but we were already halfway there and decided to at least check it out. As the crowd came into view, I felt the strange dissonance between warm familiarity and abject horror, between the thrill of nightlife as I remember it and the recognition that nightlife is now bound up with potentially deadly repercussions. I dragged myself through a sardine tin of sweaty, ecstatic bodies, people who had taken off their masks to kiss a boy and never put them back on. I hoped that a more dispersed scene might be on the other side. There wasn’t, rather just a membrane to the crowd where zombified partiers stumbled outward to vomit into bushes and try not to lose consciousness.”
Mitchell then shared that he and his friends got tested and no one he knew contracted the virus. Then he noted that a month later, New York did not receive a significant surge of infections. Mitchell then argues that there’s nuance in the desire for normalcy and complications in the canceling of partygoers while the government forces early re-openings.
He wrote, “Distinctions between various spectacles of seemingly sporadic irresponsibility are worth making, because the ways all of us negotiate risk, trust, and desire are varying more and more widely each day. This includes essential workers, who are not just heroic props in our culture war over contagion, but real people who seek their own share of leisure and social life when they’re not working. In spite of these lived complexities, pandemic ethics tend to reduce everyone into a binary of good, vigilant quarantiners versus selfish, stupid bioterrorists. Though the line between these positions has shifted within short spans of time, yet the parameters of good behavior are always considered self-evident.”
More video coming in from Fire Island Pines, showing large crowds, close quarters, no masks and no fu*%s given while confirmed Covid-19 positive people are in attendance. #July4th #IndependanceDay #COVID @DCHomos @MajorPhilebrity @evanrosskatz @yashar @emmavpm @DanaKennedyLive pic.twitter.com/4aFCoSQ6Ls
— Chris Weidner (@CWNewser) July 5, 2020
Ty Mitchell then added, “Often, these ethics aren’t even buttressed by science but by the “hygiene theater” of a society desperate to justify risky reopenings. Risk and responsibility are flattened into moral absolutes, in spite of clear geographic differences in the virus’s prevalence, governmental responses, and social norms.”
Mitchell then takes the time to comment on Fire Island itself. He notes how the island isn’t just about parties and sex. He sees it as a locale where gay men thrive in their earnest and honest selves. He also sees the island for its natural beauty. He then goes into talking about Fire Island’s issues such as a lack of racial inclusivity. But ultimately, he noted that despite the legitimacy of criticism, “stigmatizing people who engage in risky behavior isn’t even effective” and that we should “begin to register the ways in which we are not entirely ‘in this together,’ but possess different desires and come from different contexts for risk.”
Plenty of non-social-distancing going on at Fire Island Pines in New York. Certain gays can't skip a season to save their lives. Criticism mounts: https://t.co/KWuJRzOJc0@PinkNews @MajorPhilebrity @sbstryker @yashar @evanrosskatz @lgbtqnation @Queerty @TheAdvocateMag #4thofJuly pic.twitter.com/Jr7WzSL7LL
— Chris Weidner (@CWNewser) July 4, 2020
Despite Ty Mitchell’s best efforts to express his perspective, he also recognized that there was truth in criticism against him and the other Fire Island partiers. And after the post was published, there was PLENTY of criticism.
One commenter in Buzzfeed’s comment section wrote, “Please don’t think you’re brave for being honest and facing (justified) anger. … We knew damn well not to socialize by 4th of July you liar. -The lack of a surge was because responsible people kept to quarantine while a**holes like you flouted it, hence the plateau. -The lack of government response in NO WAY the justification you think it is for partying. -The context and history of Fire Island, while interesting, has nothing to do with your immaturity and irresponsibly. -You act like it was responsible that you got tested and monitored your friends for symptoms, but it was pure dumb luck you didn’t get it, nothing else. On behalf of everyone who’s been affected, lost someone, and who took this seriously in March, who still took it seriously in July, and who still take it seriously now.”
Another wrote, “You wrote this article, exposing yourself as someone who participated in irresponsible activities, and posted it in the hopes that you’d receive sympathy. Instead of using your mistake as an opportunity to educate others on why acts like these are extremely dangerous and should not be advised, you justified your actions, along with those of thousands of other people, that could have and may well have killed someone. You don’t deserve anything other than comments explaining how crappy this was.”
Wow, Ty, this is compelling. How did you manage to slip all this nuance into the Internet?!?
— Steve H (@just_steve_h) August 14, 2020
leave Ty Mitchell alone !!
— JF (@jmsnftzptrck) August 17, 2020
Though, Mitchell also found support on the internet. For instance, one commenter wrote:
“Thanks for writing this. The self-righteousness on display in these comments needs to be challenged. Yes, we need to be careful. Yes, gay people need to balance that safety with their need for gay spaces and experiences. It’s possible to make a mistake (like go to a too-crowded party) and still have a point. Let’s stop dividing the world into black and white, good and bad, 100% right and 100% wrong. The world is full of nuance.”
What do you readers think? Is Ty Mitchell right about the nuances of living during the pandemic? Do you think he was foolish and beyond justification?