Saturday, September 23, 2017

Superficial values abound in much of the male gay community

I have one question that I will address to Hillcrest as a whole: ""Where the women at?""

I am convinced that Hillcrest is run by a bunch of gay men who all roughly resemble each other: clean-cut, muscular, ostensibly well-off, white, and between 20 and 40 years old. The community that is supposed to be the most diverse is quite the opposite. While Hillcrest is likely the most accepting 'burb of San Diego, it is not in any way diverse.

It consists mainly of a particular age group of males, all white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. It is disappointing that the community I identify with most -- speaking as a lesbian -- I actually identify least with.

I don't relate to conspicuous consumption -- the concept sickens me. As one cruises down University Avenue, I see mostly white gay men and only a few lesbian and elderly people. Hillcrest smells of sex, money, lost dreams, poor-ass lesbians and rich gay men flouting their money.

Upon my introduction to Hillcrest, I thought I had found my Cloud Nine, my haven, my home. After living there for seven months, I barely visit the heart of Hillcrest, unless I'm in a carefree or bored mood. There is plenty to look at if you enjoy watching young gay men walking with their butts in the air and looking at their bulging pects, which are hilariously bigger than a lot of lesbians' breasts.

I have a bone to pick with the majority of gay men I see in Hillcrest. Don't worry boys, I sympathize with your sexual orientation and the secondary status we as homosexuals are given in society.

But why? Why, as my friend Suzie would say, are you a ""huge display of nothingness?"" You all dress the same, work out and diet. And you endlessly gossip about one another's sex lives and social lives in a way that is neither interesting nor engaging. Why do you do so many drugs? Why, when society is moving to accept homosexuality for both my and your benefits, do you insist on self-destruction in this process of liberalization?

There is clearly a light at the end of the American Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender civil rights tunnel, and yet you continue on this dangerous path. Why do you embody alcoholism, drug addiction, mass materialism, conspicuous consumption -- all that is bad -- and then at the same time seem to do so much good in society? So many gay men are caring and have so much to give, and at the same time give so little to themselves.

Before it sounds like I'm doing an endless critique of the gay men I see and know in Hillcrest, let me base my analysis on something concrete.

Drug and alcohol overuse is something that I can only perceive or assume happens behind closed doors in the many gay bars and clubs in Hillcrest and the rest of San Diego, or else I have witnessed it in the behavior of my own gay friends. The mass materialism, conspicuous consumption and excessive vanity that I see daily in Hillcrest are what have set off anger toward much of the gay male community.

Why do they all look the same? Why do they flaunt money like it's going out of style? No doubt, the U.S. gay male population is the trend-setter of this country. The spiky-hair look, the ""man bag,"" the artistic facial hair display: These are all becoming widely copied fads today in straight male Americans. It is interesting that some straight males who are a little too stylish or (gasp!) good-looking are often assumed to be gay.

Why must a sector of the gay community thrive and depend on appearance so much? Why is it assumed that all male hair stylists and interior decorators are gay? Does anyone ever question these stereotypes? Growing up, I never did. This emphasis on appearance makes gay men often gorgeous and attractive, leaving much of the American population staring and jealous.

Will gay men continue to be ""huge displays of nothingness"" forever? This ""nothingness"" implies what is truly an emptiness, a lack of character or a lack of desire to have a character in society's view, a consequence of so much time spent putting up walls to avoid thinking about how society perceives them. It is true that this constructed wall has enforced a look of nonchalance from gay men toward society. It has helped the gay male community snap the strings that connected it to mainstream heterosexual society 30 years ago.

However, the situation has changed and gay men are very much on the forefront of American society today. ""Will and Grace"" will soon take over the No. 1 spot in the Nielsen ratings, and ""Queer as Folk"" is returning for its second season on Showtime as its highest-rated show.

With all this success, it is frightening, disheartening and sad to see such a strong and intelligent group of men prefer the maintenance of the material outside over the introspective inside. Perfection on the outside may bring temporary satisfaction, but it probably will not secure long-term happiness and stability. It is sad that a group of mostly upstanding citizens is known by society for its pettiness, quick wit (a defense mechanism), good looks and vanity.

On the whole, I do not relate to many in my own gender, and lately many of my gay guy friends seem to be vying for this same position in my heart. There is no doubt that straight women are catty, petty, often jealous and territorial. It seems that gay men are making a bid for that same personality.

I don't want to end this article leaving a negative taste of the LGBT community in the mouths of readers. In a way, the obsession with looks and appearance was the most ingenious way for gay men to climb out of the closet.

It could be said that they beat conservative America at its own game. They marketed themselves: their looks, wit, singing, dancing -- it's all an act. Gay men are thirst-quenching entertainment for TV-cultured, ad-infected America to drool over instead of taking Ritalin. America can't argue with looks, success or entertainment satisfaction, no matter what bibles ""say.""

Gay men have taken their finesse at appearance to the 'burbs by marketing their fashion and hair designs to young W.A.S.P. boys interested in attracting girls and women in the same way that gay men, with astounding efficiency, attract themselves.

This illustrates how the conspicuous consumption and excessive vanity of gay men has removed barriers; many young men, especially in urban, white California, resemble gay men three to five years ago in fashion and hair sense. I have often witnessed young W.A.S.P. men dressed neatly, clean-cut, with spiky hair and Abercrombied-out, using ""fag"" in a derogatory way when, in reality, they themselves resemble the ""fags"" of a few minutes ago.

American boys beware! How can you have permanent animosity toward a group of people you yearn to be like?

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For the position of commissioner of services and enterprises, the Guardian editorial board endorses Colin Parent. Parent distinguishes himself by his experiences and the ideas he wishes to institute if elected. He currently serves as assistant to the present commissioner, Matt Conroy. This experience will be invaluable to him next year.

One idea that Parent would like to implement is to make Soft Reserves a free service that all students could participate in. To supplement the cost of this action, he would like to advertise more vigorously for the rental of miniature refrigerators, another service that is coordinated by this office. Parent says that it makes more sense to rent now because of the lack of a guarantee of on-campus housing for second-year students.

Parent also hopes to increase the boundaries of Triton Taxi to the border. To help stimulate demand for such a service, he hopes to institute a sign-up process that would be done through resident advisors.

One more action that Parent wishes to take is to increase funding to the Academic Success Program and O.A.S.I.S., a worthy goal but something that he may have trouble finding funding for.

Parent distinguishes himself from his opponent, Joseph Sherman-Villafane, primarily because of his experience with the job. He simply has a better grasp of what it takes to run the office. Sherman-Villafane has similar ideas but less of an understanding of how to implement them, and for this reason the Guardian editorial board is endorsing Parent.

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