At twenty-seven years of age, after all the sexual escapades he had toiled through, Arthur was still hesitant to come out and admit he was a homosexual. The general antipathy to ‘poofters’ was so great, the shame, the freakishness, the guilt, the pain, all of it an awful burden to carry, his mind was an ongoing hurricane of confusion and horror. But he was tired of all the hiding, lying, rutting in the dark and dirt, he wanted a chance at an open relationship, to find his one true love, maybe even get married and stop all this skulking around. He shyly stuttered to the gay freedom fighters that he thought he might be bi-sexual to which they giggled and said, “That just means you’ll end up buying it”. They encouraged him to relax and accept himself, to be courageous and enjoy what came naturally, and beaming open smiles, sent him on his way with some ray of hope shining on his future.
The drone of mumbled hyms coming up the street was like the buzz of hornets swarming from a crushed nest, ominous back-beat to the collective shrieks of the vast gay crowd come to cheer the zealots off the stage. Poofs and dykes of all persuasions lined the gutters of Oxford Street screaming, “Bring on the lions!”and “Fuck off Satanists!” while the fanatical Christians winced and slogged on, as if through the muck of Hell, looking like they expected to be clawed by wildcats and sodomized by baboons at any moment.
The Rev. Bile’s army of paranoid repressives stomped through the roaring gay melee with two cops on horses and a police car in the lead, the raving Reverend with the messianic complex marching directly behind the cruising car like a Nazi general protected behind his tank. Arthur and new-found compatriot hovered on the edge of the gutter as the Christians' perverse parade bulldozed its menacing way into their immediate foreground.
He broke off his fierce clinch, the two of them bouncing apart like newly-born anti-particles and soon lost to each other in the explosive void. As the vulpine news-whores jostled him and the nuns into a tumult, Arthur caught a glimpse of his ephemeral paramour disappearing back into the turbulent sea of excitable homosexuals, giving one last glance and cryptic smile over his shoulder, waving a fond farewell with the red bandanna as he did so.
For seven years after the first Gay Pride march in 1978 Arthur’s deranged art was proudly displayed in the Mardi Gras Arts Festivals and he thought himself a contributing member of a flourishing, caring community. Yet as time wore on he knew he’d put his foot in the wrong orifices, naively and on purpose, for he started getting rebuffed from the commercializing “gay scene”, and he fantasized that somewhere in the future certain dark powers would surely try to destroy him. He imagined that from the Reverend Bile’s exorcism on he had become Public Enemy Number 7 for he got knocked back from the few Gay cultural events he dared apply for and harassed by cops whenever he came into their purview.
Maybe he was simply too gauche, Aussie Z-grade and cartoon iconoclastic to swallow for the upper-class culture-vultures that always settle greedily upon any happening event, gay or straight. His movie did not have gays moaning about being treated less than zero, there were enough such films, his effort was about world issues that he thought gays should be concerned about, racism, pollution, nuclear war, corruption, a homo’s ironic sensibility underlying its trashiness. Whatever his flaws and failures, he wrote the Gay Mardi Gras Committee a heart-rending letter of disappointment over his film’s rejection, and announced that, “Henceforth I’m handing in my “Gay” badge, I want no longer to be considered a member of your precious fraternity. Money, power and elitism are obviously the real ethos fueling your grand bowel movement and you can all go fuck each others' narcissistic faces!”