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March 24, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Scene for dummies

As your humble Columnist de Queer and a resident Salient crazy, I try to do my best to indoctrinate the readership with an unquestioning, zombie-like appreciation for all things queer. However, if my lofty elitist references to pop culture shade any sentiment of real worth you’ll know that it’s only because I’ve come down with a bad case of seeking scene approval and constant name-dropping is the only thing that takes the pain away.

But in amongst my transgressive and somewhat masturbatory rhetoric I feel a genuine concern for some of the queers I’ve seen ravaged by this affliction. The scene may be ethereal, intangible, but we know it’s there and can make an assumption it’s there for a reason, but the question remains… When does the scene turn from an excuse to exercise superfluous melodrama to becoming merely too gay to function?

Truth is, I don’t really know why I’m writing about this. It’s hardly topical, and I’m no expert. But there’s something in my Seventh glass of vodka TAB and the Immaculate Collection on repeat that gives me the semi-inebriated confidence to make judgments on things I don’t know about. I don’t really know if the scene is a good or bad thing, but I do know that it’s all completely ridiculous and that it’s something we should all laugh at hysterically. In my books, the biggest mistake you can ever make in regards to the scene is taking it seriously. This can be hard to do, considering how elitist and exclusive some queers can be. And of course there are scenes all over the place, scenes within scenes with unquantifiable, incomprehensible complexities surrounding members’ general acceptance, mobility, approval, et cetera. It’s a pretty tough beast to ride, and in the interests of self-preservation all you can do is rise above it. I apologise for this being a bit more for the boys but I think queers are sometimes too ready to put themselves and others into boxes. For example, there’s bottom/top, twink/bear, alternative (lol), straight-acting, and lots more. Applying one or more of these labels just gives people the ammunition they need to judge you, or at least apply a stereotype to you. Of course sometimes they’re unavoidable, and it’s not my opinion that they’re all negative stereotypes, but it doesn’t really help the cause of diversity. These kinds of categories promote hierarchy, loyalty, alignment and a fundamental insecurity about being who you are. Germaine Greer tells it like it is in The Beautiful Boy, how it’s kinda sad when you see hairless, emaciated 30-40 year old men posing coyly in magazines, still clinging onto the idea that they might still look like they did decades ago, provided they have the right angle. It’s all textbook stuff you pick up media-watching, but it’s facilitated and enhanced by the scene, and yeah, this isn’t so great. Have we all forgotten the words of everyone’s favourite childhood queen, Captain Planet? We’d all be so much better off with all our powers combined, instead of isolating people in bitchy little factions.

Whew. Yeah so, not all gaggles of gays are as friendly as they are at UniQ, but give one mention of finger food and I don’t know a single queen who wouldn’t come running, all defenses dropped. There’s something innocent yet fundamentally sexual about the word finger which is truly disarming, and delightfully curious, I think most in the wider queer community would agree. Maybe there’d be less violence in the world, less tagging and more love if we all just used our fingers a bit more. There’d certainly be fewer casualties by cutlery. See, I guess you could call a benevolent organisation such as UniQ a scene in itself, it’s just that it happens to be all-inclusive and friendly, with a constitution and obvious good intentions and sex positive vibes (and finger food). But is this a general trend? I think not.

Anyway, in amongst the supercilious smirks, cruel judgementality and Shakespearean power struggles that emanate from the fabulous cesspool of the scene, there are also some fun bits, I suppose. You sure meet lots of people, and the greater web of general knowledge on people’s private lives becomes markedly more transparent. But is all the effort worth it? Probably not. In fact, if you’re making an effort at all, that should be the warning bell that, just as Dr Phil was a tool for Oprah, you’re becoming a tool for people who want to use you for their own gain. Queers are factionalised themselves by the straight/queer binary, and the scene is perhaps more pronounced because we sometimes find security among like minded people. I guess this makes it all the more sad when people are excluded for some reason; maybe because some jerks feel threatened, or feel the need to homogenise their surroundings. We all know the scene is there, and we’re all partly perpetrators of it. I guess the only decent thing to do is to know how to deal with it… Which is probably not to at all.


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  1. Snuffles says:

    You are my favourite crazy Bobby!

  2. Chester says:

    Mine too!

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