In a Monday night at Sidetrack, while sipping on a delicious Goose and grapefruit poured by the pulchritudinous Todd ( pull out your Funk and Wagnall, if you must ) , I realized that show tunes have the power to bring us, in some weird way, together as a community.
Now that may sound like a brick of government cheese, but looking around the room that night I saw every kind of face and nearly every age group. It's pretty amazing if you think about it.
As Gay men, we like to split ourselves up into lots of categories. Labels are our forte. Twink, Circuit Boy, Str8 Acting, Bear, the list is endless. Yet somehow the combination of Ethel Merman and an Irving Berlin tune has the power to bring us to a common ground.
It's not just a bar thing, either. I have Gay friends who don't go out to the bars, and they too adore show tunes. Even the new Gay on the block, teens who are bold enough to assert their sexuality, know a surprising amount about show tunes.
Why do we love show tunes so much, and why do they register so well with the broadest spectrum of 'the Gay?' Is it the inner diva in us? Is it the glamour of Hollywood? Are we all just drag queens inside? Is everything really coming up roses?
My theory is that it's just our Gaydar beginning to twinge. Quite natural actually, given how 'the Gay' have dominated Hollywood forever.
Who writes the best lyrics? Who creates the best gowns? Who choreographs the best dances? We do. Us. Gay menz. We've done it for as long as Hollywood has been cranking out show tunes and we'll continue on ad infinitum.
So maybe we are seeing ourselves in that show tune stuff, finding a common thread that binds us. We're seeing our people at their creative best, thriving, and otherwise surpassing the straight world when we hear a show tune. It's our history, right there, for everyone to see. And together we can watch it happening.
OK, enough of my Queer theory musings. To blaze a trail in the direction of shameless promotion, America's Next Top Model kicked off on March 8, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be GLUED to the television set with antici... pation each week.
I've decided to podcast an ANTM update the day after the show airs. So for those of you who may miss a little bit here and there, point your web browsers at radiopeter.com and tune in to my foul mouth and insane perspective on the most twisted show on television. Seriously, where else can you see two leading Gay men on television, Jay Manuel and Jay Alexander, with the worst hair and the most frightful clothing EVER?
With you in 4/4,