Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  NIGHTSPOTS

MARRS ATTACKS
by Homer Marrs
2011-04-27

This article shared 1443 times since Wed Apr 27, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


I'd flown in to New Orleans for my friend Holly's birthday party. It was my first visit to the Big Easy in 12 years (first time "post-K," as they say), and I fell in love with the place all over again. The architecture, the food, the sounds everywhere you go like you're at a Squirrel Nut Zippers concert … New Orleans is one of the last unique American cities. It's damn lovely.

"Lovely." That's what I said on the phone when I was walking through Jackson Square in the French Quarter, describing my vacation to my cousin Sean. Sean is a manly kind of guy; he would never say "lovely." But he wouldn't criticize my saying it, either, at least not 'til after the fact. After our call ended, I had this vision of him turning to his wife and saying, "Homer said New Orleans was 'lovely.'"

Then he would snicker and she'd say, "There's nothing wrong with 'lovely.'"

It might've all just been in my head, but it got me thinking: "lovely" is a word a guy just can't say without sounding effeminate. To quote Seinfeld, "Not that there's anything wrong with that." But it's true. No matter how many muscles he has on his body or tools he has on his belt, that lone British adjective will take a guy from Mr. Clean to Mr. Queen in two syllables flat.

Back to Jackson Square. I'm giggling over my little observation, and I walk into a knickknack shop to buy my friend a birthday present. I peruse the curios, decide on one, and take it up to the counter, where a bright little gift book is on display in a stack: Real Men Don't Say Splendid: A Lexicon of Unmanliness.

"How funny," I think, because only minutes before I was pondering the same premise. I picked up the book and promptly found "lovely" smack dab in the middle. The coincidence was eerie, so I took a Zen moment to focus on my third-eye chakra and thank the goddess for my psychic gift before purchasing the book and my friend's present, and walking out of the shop with a nice little story.

Real Men Don't Say Splendid is a joke book based on the idea that there are words "real" men just can't say. Aside from the titular adjective and my aforementioned example, the book warns that "bye-bye," "charming," "doily" and "hunky-dory" are verboten for guys who want to be counted among the lumberjacks.

First, I thought this was funny, then I was offended, then I felt oddly liberated. Here's why.

Of course it's funny that there are plenty of words in our language with a certain ring to them that evoke light, silly sounds that might betray a firm, tough approach to the world. In that sense, sure, tough guys can't say them.

Then I was a little offended because, of course, half of the words in the book were ones I used regularly, and I consider myself a real man. I have a pulse, a penis and a Y chromosome. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who measures my masculinity on my word choice is a bona fide ... diction head.

Finally—and this was the kicker—I felt liberated. I realized that as a gay man, I can say or do things straight men could never do without being judged for them. I can say all the off-limits words and no one will dismiss me, 'cause I'm gay so it's considered part of my territory. However, a straight man might, depending on his insecurities, fear odd looks if he refers to a party as "marvelous" instead of "really fun."

Gay men have a language license that straight men do not. There are no words we can't say, no words that will provoke the response, "Oh wow, boyfriend is kidding himself with this whole gay thing." Not even "Sports Center."

With all the rights we have to fight for, it's little privileges like this that we must savor when we can. They help us enjoy more who we are.

Bye-bye!

Homer can be reached at homermarrs@gmail.com .


This article shared 1443 times since Wed Apr 27, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Designer Virgil Abloh dies at 41 2021-11-29
- Designer Virgil Abloh—the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection and the founder of the Off-White label—died at the age of 41 after privately battling "a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma," a ...


Gay News

Legendary costume designer accused of sexual harassment, abuse 2021-11-20
- Legendary costume designer and six-time Tony winner William Ivey Long—a onetime head of the American Theatre Wing, which gives out the Tony Awards—has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse by two different men, according to ...


Gay News

Actress Angelica Ross transfers leadership of trans talent incubator to E.C. Pizarro III 2021-11-04
By Max Lubbers - In 2017, E.C. Pizarro III listened as Angelica Ross presented about TransTech Social Enterprises, an incubator to build and promote transgender talent in technology fields. He approached her afterward, volunteering to design artwork for TransTech. Now, ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf opens Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center 2021-11-04
- On Nov. 2, Steppenwolf Theatre Company opened its new 50,000-square-foot theater building and education facility, the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center. Designed by architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill ...


Gay News

Sally Ride to be among women on U.S. coins next year 2021-10-09
- The United States Mint announced the official designs for the first five coins in the American Women Quarters Program. The 2022 coins will recognize the achievements of author/social activist Maya Angelou; physicist/astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, a ...


Gay News

Chicago Inclusion Project offers anti-racism workshops for arts organizations 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—The staff of The Chicago Inclusion Project is excited to launch a new workshop and continuum developed by staff members Jessica Vann and Arti Ishak. The workshop, entitled "Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action," is designed ...


Gay News

ARCHITECTURE Thompson Center Idea Competition winners named 2021-09-14
- The Chicago Architecture Center and the Chicago Architectural Club announced the jury's selection of three winning designs for the Thompson Center Design Ideas Competition that represent three distinct, creative visions for the State of Illinois Thomp ...


Gay News

Helmut Jahn architecture exhibit has opened 2021-07-24
- The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), 111 E. Wacker Dr., has opened its first, major limited-run exhibit, "Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture," the career retrospective of Helmut Jahn's innovative architectural designs. ...


Gay News

LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois announces 'Shop Pride' program, showcasing LGBTQ+ business 2021-07-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois (LGBTCC), today announced the official launch of the Shop Pride program designed to encourage Illinois residents to support ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Pulse, Philly Pride, Mormons, Victory Fund, anti-trans bills 2021-06-27
- President Joe Biden (D) signed H.R. 49, the bill designating the site of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida as a national monument, into law, according to LGBTQ Nation. Afterward, Biden commemorated Pride Month ...


Gay News

U.S. Bank opens branch in Lake View with LGBTQ+ design 2021-06-18
- U.S. Bank has brought what it calls "an enhanced banking experience" to customers of the Lake View East branch at 3214 N. Broadway. The branch is one of four LGBTQ+ flagship branches, with others at West ...


Gay News

Biden, Harris make Juneteenth a national holiday 2021-06-17
- On June 17, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed a bill designating June 19 as officially Juneteenth National Independence Day—a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in this country. With the ...


Gay News

Congress makes Pulse Nightclub a national memorial 2021-06-12
- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub a national memorial, NBC News reported. The House passed its version of the bill May 12. The measure now goes to President Joe ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS Chicago Architecture Center reopens with new exhibits 2021-06-08
- On May 22, the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), 111 E. Wacker Dr., opened all-new and updated exhibits in its 10,000 square feet of galleries full of scale models of new building designs from Chicago and around ...


Gay News

Home of LGBTQ pioneers Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin first San Francisco lesbian history landmark 2021-05-04
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance authored by District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to designate the former home of pioneering LGBTQ and civil rights activists Phyllis Lyon ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.