Friday, May 28, 2010

Sorry to Be a Poof.

The Human Race.
The latest scandal here in Sydney is about a fat old politician, family-man and media savant, who just got exposed on TV news coming out of a GAY bath-house, made to confess that he’s been a secret homosexual living a double life for 25 years. He’s an example of how homophobia is ingrained in the ruling ethos, you can’t seek powerful, responsible, important jobs if you are homosexual, because the PEOPLE don’t like or trust them. (Or at least only the exceptionally brave and honest can, like the leader of the Greens, Bob Brown, but let’s face it, he’ll never be PM.) 

The Transport Minister is getting some sympathy for his unraveling because us out-front Queers have fought for fifty years for the right to exist, otherwise he’d be in much direr straights, like possible incarceration and loss of pension.
(I don’t feel sorry for the gronk, he’s let us carry the load of open antipathy while he’s been stuffing his seven chins at the public trough. Because I came out at 17 in 1967 I’ve been refused jobs, accommodation, respect, my potential curtailed, my health ruined and, worst of all, never able find love in a relaxed manner with a supportive lifestyle, (like marriage.) 

Imagine, a life without LOVE, the love that Hets prize so mightily as one of the great joys in a harsh world. He’s been on TV for years because he is incompetent in his transport portfolio and he should’ve known the Media are a pack of hyenas always sniffing for useless scandal. He’s damaged his political party which was already in trouble with the polls and we’ll get the uptight conservatives at the next election, really bad for “gays”. And he’s made his family more miserable as his wife is dying from cancer. He could’ve given his desires a rest for a year till the bigger issues ran their course, (yeah, I know, DESIRE doesn't work that way.) No argument, politics attracts only the smartest, duhhhhhh, he deserves his million dollar payout, while I starve!)

Thinking about the long hard road we queers have travailed upon I was reading the Sydney Gay press and I noticed the complaints of many ‘78ers, i.e. the old poofs and dykes who protested in 1978 demanding “homosexual” rights and got the shit kicked out of them by the cops. They were irate at the frivolous mind-fluff the Gay Mardi Gras Parade had devolved into, commercialized, plasticized and heterosexualised. They think it should return to its’ original sentiment of protest and fury over the worldwide relegating of homos to third-class citizens, and I agree, we should riot outside Parliament House, foreign embassies, right-wing media and multi-national corporations, always shaking up the status quo.

I was a ’78er and I’m still totally pissed off with the 2010 New Mardi Gras because I was nearly punched out by a security guard for trying to take a peep at “my” parade near the elite enclave at Moore Park. I have contributed much to my community over the years, getting arrested on important issues, writing, painting, filmmaking, on and on, rarely getting paid for anything, and that Saturday night of the Parade I was so broke I didn’t even have money for a cup of coffee much less a ticket to the elite compound or the after-party. Oh the ignominy of being a broken-arsed old codger and not a pretty, fashionable young thing with silicone in my chest, lips and brains!

I was born in 1949 and grew up a gay boy in the 1950s and ‘60s, getting bashed daily by neighbors, strangers, school-kids, teachers, even my father and brother, for being a squealing sissy, and as such told I had no future, was a deviant of such filthy monstrosity I should be executed or incarcerated in psyche bins to have my soul fried into imbecility. It was so tough it’s fucking amazing I not only stayed alive, kept my sanity and some optimism, but that I got strong, defiant and surfed the tsunami of hate thrown at me. I wonder if the young today maybe can’t relate to what a struggle it was for queers to be considered as human beings with rights and hopes, I was disenfranchised and disaffected, continually fucked over, raped even, and my potential limited to almost nil, it’s hard to “get over”, that’s why I’m half twisted, bitter, cynical, anarchic and punked out!

Read my stories in the anthologies “Edge City” and “Being Different”, see my films “My Survival as a Deviant”, “Darling it Hurtz”, “The Thief of Sydney” and “Virgin Beasts” and it can be glimpsed what my potential was, and why I’m pissed off at my starving ignominy while watching the vacuous ‘designer’ gays pout from their pedestals in the transient limelight. From ’77 to ’87 I got arrested protesting/trespassing/offending on many issues, the anti-uranium riots, abortion on demand, indigenous Australian rights, squatting/public housing, prisoners’ rights, queer existence, you name it I’d get arrested over it, then to pay the fines of my fellow shit-stirrers and myself I organized benefit gigs with me as one of the lunatic fringe performers. I designed, printed and pasted up the posters and handed out the flyers, all of it part of “the act”, my ART, the wild young artist who can’t be contained or co-opted, an enfant so terrible a cone of silence descended over me and my work and I was ignored and killed off.

But that’s how I wanted it. Fuck the “Art-world”, I operated outside it, from the Underground, with my community, eventually turning to photo-copiers for their accessibility, leaving no high and mighty original “master-piece” that the “high-art” vultures can get a hold of when I’m dead and iniquitously flog for a fortune.

A few weeks ago THEY had an art-show on ABC television called “Artscape” where THEY lionized the latest happening young larrikin lad, pushing him as the wild man of Aussie art and an enfant terrible because he drank a few beers as a teenager, yahooed about in fast cars and painted portraits of himself “out of it”: in the placid minds of the ABC aunties this made him a really dangerous fellow. His paintings are huge lumps of paint piled up like rainbow cow-patties and streaked about to look minimally like a melted face or a wrecked car, supposedly shaking our staid view of the world and hopefully selling for $50,000 a pop. I think he’s a tame act, a good normal boy with a wife and child to support, safe as money in the bank, his work could hang in any corporate lobby and not raise an eyebrow. No anarchist beatnik pagan punk zippie poofs need apply!

The State dictates what comprises Art, even wild anarchic Art, and names the bankable rebel to fit accordingly. The expertise is all just so much bullshit, High Art vs. low art, Art as a career, Art as an investment, all of it oxymoronic, ART is an old whore every hustler in the world has fucked and pimped. Those ABC biddies wouldn’t know an enfant terrible if he sat on their aesthetic faces, he’d always be out of their reach, like Zorro. Twenty years ago I disrupted a march of reactionary, anti-Gay right-to-lifers by having a kiss-in with a young stranger who had been protesting alongside me and it got on ABC television and shown every time the Station mentioned the fight for “Gay Rights”: anonymous is the only way this terrible child will ever get on State sponsored ABC TV. 

Recently my mural in Wooloomooloo has disappeared, probably destroyed, and it was a beauty, heavily satirical of uranium mining, the war industries and Govt/corporate marriage. If an artist is really subversive he/she won’t get lionized by the Establishment, that’s obvious.

I read that Justice Kirby thinks the Federal Govt. should also make a formal apology to homosexuals and lesbians, like THEY did to the Indigenous Australians, for the terrible treatment we’ve received from society over many generations, he wants a kind of “National Sorry Day for Gays”. I don’t know if “Sorry!” will do it for me, the damage has been done. Maybe a million dollars compensation would solve a few problems, like that gronk politician got when he stupidly fell off his bicycle in the parliament-house grounds, but there’s no such justice for us lumpen folk in this world.

Enough “sorrys” have been said, bureaucrats love symbolism, pulling the wool over our eyes with bullshit instead of action, I think THEY are still screwing the Aussie Indigenous peoples with THEIR paternalistic Intervention policies instigated in the Northern Territory, for all that THEY said “Sorry”. I want ACTION, like real equality in the hearts, minds and law-books of Society, or a few big riots to shake THEM up. “Sorry” to me is that I’m sorry I had to grow up a poof in a world that worshiped insane power, obscene money, vacuous celebrity, vapid youth, runaway productivity, the sanctity of the heterosexual family and a non-existent father God.

A few months ago some gay mates of mine went to a big ‘Folk Festival’ in Canberra that attracted 50,000 fans, many of them unsophisticated yokels from the countryside come in their cork hats and Sunday best to hear traditional Aussie music and sing along to “Kumbayah”. The “good folk” camped cheek to jowl in family groups and my mates squeezed their tent into the throng’s midst and proceeded to openly pash from one end of the festival to the other. They kissed and tongued and slobbered on each other, as Hets usually do without thinking, only two grown men in jeans and flannel shirts doing it was abominable exhibitionism and they were insulted, spat upon and ostracized for the five days they were there.

I thought they were very brave to be themselves in the face of a snarling mob, in fact they performed a revolutionary act, simply kissing to blow the uptight Collective Mind. All us homos should be pushing the envelope thus, out there in Society, letting THEM know we’re here, we survived, we’re partying on top of it, and we’re not going to GO into the shadows quietly. I’m sorry to be a poof in a fucked-up world but not so sorry it made me strong and a warrior for equal rights for everyone.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.