The Emancipation Proclamation of Mimi Imfurst: I'm Gayer Than You Are!
By Mimi Imfurst
Drag Queen Extraordinaire
"New York City... Center of the Universe" said the drag queen in RENT. I suppose all New Yorkers might hope that New York City is the center of the universe in a narcisstic way-of-life. This may be the case, however I think New York City is the Center of Extremes. We have it all- the poor, the rich, the talented, the not-so-talented, the gay and the REALLY REALLY gay. You know the type- the high maintence overly tweased young men who flock to the "center of the universe" to live and be gay without being bothered by the straight confinments of the world outside the gay ghetto. But what exactly does it mean to be gay? There seems to be social standards that makes someone a good (desireable) gay by both the straight and gay communities. A typical gay man might define a good gay as someone who has a muscle body (without being too muscley), who has good skin and hair, well sculpted hair, goes to the gym 3-5 times a week, dances at the Roxy or Splash atleast once a week, has a big dick and perfect ass, has a lot of money, wears designer labels, and lives in the perfect apartment in Chelsea. A typical straight might define a good gay as someone who is perfectly groomed and either provides the comic relief at a party or works in some sort of hairstylist equivelent service job- such as a florist or interior designer. (They like us to help design and style their weddings without actually having them ourselves.)
I recently performed a stint filling in for the doorman at the 20 Club in Chelsea. (If you haven't been there- imagine Showgirls but replace the girls with half-naked Gotti boys and homosexuals that didnt make the call-backs for Mamma Mia) The 20 Club on Sunday nights is gayer than a Golden Girls DVD release party at Virgin. However, the other six days of the week its just like Showgirls, with the girls. Now, when I was being trained to work the door a bartender suggested that I inform the straight guys that its a "male strip club for men." (apparently that sounds more inviting that the word "gay".) How am I to tell who is straight from the "straights" and the gays, especially when you have the "straights" coming in for their twenty dollar lap dances with Victoria Gotti's latest offspring? I had two immediate walk-outs. The first was two or three guys in their mid-twenties, who ran out laughing as soon as they saw the homosexual acts being performed inside. He asked me where he "could go to see normal dancers". By normal, he obviously meant Straight and in turn defining for me the pivital viewpoint that straights have of homosexuals- abnormality. Another man walked out asking: "Why didn't you tell me it wasn't a straight club?" Of course he didnt appreciate me asking him "Why didn't you tell me you wern't gay". The whole world of gay vs. straight is based on perceptions of behaivor and appearence. Its not about the fact that we should all be the same. I am a huge opponant of assimulation because of its' huge dangers- we need to celebrate what makes us different and embrace it.
Of course, the danger is becoming gay and only gay. There are so many younger gay men I meet at Heaven's weekly 18 plus Gay College Party (where I work- *SHAMELESS PLUG*) that are entrapped in the world of this one club. They're 18 and 19 and everything is about who they're dancing with and who looks the best with their shirt off. Throwing aside the fact that those competing all look the same: like a two pound twig, I certainly understand the part of being super flaming when you're young- because god I knows I had my freedom rings and posters of hot boys on my walls. Hell I used to go to High School in drag. It's just like that movie CAMP when Michael shows up to Prom in drag; down to the detail that I went to High School and did drama with Anna Kendrick (who plays Fritzi in the film); its all too surreal. However, I'd like to think that I stayed in Maine long enough to be a not so blatenly affected homosexual. However, these clubbers have so much access to the gay life so frequent and in mass quanities that they become affected homosexuals so much easier. I fear for them because young affected homosexuals become adult affected homosexuals.
This may sound a bit hypocritical seeing as I wear a dress for a living- but ask my friends about what I'm like when not "at work." I am such a typical guy. I'm not good with the gay thing. I don't do fashion- I buy what is comfortable and affordable. I don't get hair or knowing who is the hot designers are. It just doesn't make sence to me. Does that make me a bad homosexual?
While many of us have immigrated to San Fransisco, London, or New York to escape the pains of Straight life- have we become entrapped by the gay ghetto? Have we created a self identity that is as enslaving and confining as the worlds we hoped to exist?