Straight Up | Issue 17

Straight Up | Issue 17

Dear Dame La Dida

“I’m gay, and think your column is crap. Couldn’t you just write about something more positive, like Neil Patrick Harris? I’ll give you a gay reading list if you want. You focus on making well-meaning people feel guilty, and complain too much. I don’t think guilt is a particularly effective approach for creating change. Cheers, Irked”

Darling Irked,
Thanks for your message.

To begin with, this is emphatically not an LGBT column. It’s a queer column. And not queer as in the composite for sexuality/gender diverse communities, but queer as in against normal. I’m not that interested in NPH – I think boring stuff like that gets enough airtime already. If you want to read a gay column, why don’t you write it?
I will pass on the reading list, thanks.

I think there are many ways to bring about change. In the past, LGBT communities have often focused on Pride. While Pride has its uses, it has also resulted in lots of ugly corporate, assimilationist, GAYS AND LEZS ARE MODEL CITIZENS TOO! kind of crap. I don’t do that.

My approach is more confrontational, less apologetic. It’s not that I can’t fit in, it’s that I don’t want to. I’m a one-of-a-kind kinda gal. I don’t care if some people are offended, or put off, or — goddess-forbid —challenged by what I say. They can kiss my glittery ass.

I do love causing a bit of guilt among straights, cis-folks, and white middle-class gays and lesbians, but I actually prefer causing a whole lot of shame. I want privileged homos and heteros to get their knickers in a knot because I think that some of the things I write about are shameful and need to change. I think shame is a really powerful tool for creating social change, whether it is a “Shame on you!” kind of thing or a slower “Ugh, shame, my bad, I got that wrong”.

Often I am encouraged by mainstream cis-gays and lesbians not to complain, not to make a scene, not to exist. Often I think these people are so busy focussing on trying to be the affable, apologetic fag-next-door that they fail to engage in some much needed resistance.

P.S. Irked baby, I have a book for you too. It is called Why Are Faggots So Afraid Of Faggots?

— xox H.R.H Dame La Dida.

This article first appeared in Issue 17, 2012.
Posted 10:46am Sunday 22nd July 2012 by La Dida.