Andrew Downing

July 1997

Gay men can be such hypocrites.

We can. It's true. And don't bother to try to deny it, because I won't believe you anyway.

Look, I'll explain. We all deserve that.

We all claim that we don't discriminate, but we do.

We all claim that looks aren't everything, but we lie.

Need further clarification? Okay, fair enough. My statements *were* awfully sweeping.

All right, how much importance do we place on physical appearance? Well, I'll put it to you this way. How many copies do you think XY would sell if they *didn't* have all those pictures of gorgeous young guys? Or if the pictures accurately represented how the actual XY/Oasis readership looked?

Yes, I'm perfectly aware that I'm being rather cynical. That's my prerogative. Ask any of my friends, they'll tell you that I'm very good at it.

And discrimination? OK, I'll concede that we're far better about it than the general population. Generally, we don't discriminate on the basis of race or sex.

But what about *age*? The gay community is absolutely brutal about age. I've heard it said that 30 is a million in gay years. And as far as many young gays are concerned, it's true. If you're over about 25, you might as well be dead. It's bad when you're 22 and you're afraid that 19-year-olds won't talk to you because of your age. In the straight community, I'm considered to be almost a child, but in the gay community, I have one foot in the grave and the other on an ice patch.

Do I sound bitter? Do I have *reason* to?

In the gay community, we even *invent* things to dislike. This guy's too femme. That one's too butch. Drag queens are subhuman. Bisexuals just can't make up their minds. Lesbians are this, leathermen are that. And so on. And so on.

And *straight* people. My God -- a lot of us would forbid them to kiss or hold hands with their lovers in public, while at the same time demanding the right to do that ourselves. Hypocritical, isn't it? "We want these rights. We believe all people should have these rights... but if we can't have them, neither can you."

I sound disillusioned, don't I?

Hey, not all of us are like that. And much of the hypocrisy that goes on is completely unintentional. In fact, a lot of it goes on without us even *realizing* it. And that's why I'm writing this. To make you think about all the hypocrisy that goes on. That way you may catch yourself next time you're about to slip. (And the same goes for me too!)

After all, we have to be *aware* that were doing something before we can stop doing it. And we should stop -- hypocrisy serves nobody, and we must work toward a day when the word "hypocrisy" falls out of the general vocabulary and into the realm of obscurity.

Until then, I'll be doing a crossword puzzle... hey, what's a nine-letter word for "acting contrary to one's stated beliefs?"

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