I'm sure you've heard about The Jenny Jones Show, the American daytime freak parade that, like me, forgot itself, and chose "Same Sex Secret Crushes" as a subject for laughs and ended up with a shotgun murder for its pains.
Play the tape. It's plain that Scott Amedure went on the programme believing he was safe. Safe to confess his attraction to Jonathan Schmitz. The times they are a'changing etc. The love that dares not speak shoots its mouth off. A bit of loaded (pun intended) fun, and perhaps, in a dying light, even a political act. And Amedure was making his surprise declaration in front of millions. Visibility on that scale, too, affords a form of protection. Until it doesn't. Or maybe - I'm guessing here, but it's educated - Amedure knew from experience, or from instinct, that a private admission would be a hiding to nothing. Literally. This way, who knew? He should have. Known better than to playfully (he thought) but bluntly put a heterosexual male in the position that heterosexual males place women in every day: explicit object of desire.
Rewind. Listen to Amedure talk about Schmitz in the way Schmitz has undoubtedly boastfully talked about those hot babes he's laid lingering eyes on: "He has a cute little hard body - one you want to pick up and put in your curio cabinet ... dust him off once in while." Well, boys will be boys, regardless of sexual orientation, and they will brag so, turning others into toys, into things.
Perhaps this is what truly devastated Schmitz. Not the "difference" of Amedure. The sameness.
Point of order. We are not raised to be homosexual. We are brought up to be you: look and leer. Straight and gay have much of the masculine condition in common. The gay man who tells you he can't have sex with you any more because the relationship is now too intimate is performing his adaptation of the straight man's Madonna-Whore hang up. Another note. What is universally taken to be the "gayest" aspect of us - the compulsive, ha, ha, turnover of sexual partners - is only what will happen when two bodies conditioned to let the little head do the big head's thinking collide. Typical males.
So. Did Schmitz see shocking similarity? Of course not. That is unimaginable. Repeat: what Amedure was to Schmitz was unimaginable (therefore, easier to kill). Unimaginable because on some vastly dark, bone-deep level, straight men cannot credit our supposed betrayal of self. How we wilfully renounce the traditional privileges of being a penis owner by allowing, and enjoying ... the polite term is penetration. That act the world tells us is fit only for women.
That was the unimaginable Schmitz saw. Himself taken like a woman, taken for pleasure, his power taken too. What was preying on Schmitz's mind is unequivocally in his arrested words: "This man fucked me on national television." Backs to the wall, look out, there's a shirtlifter about. That's how the jokes go. Jokes to jeer, and to dispel the unspoken dread of rape.
Not, however, in the main, rape by gay men. No matter how much a gay man may want a straight man, chances are his interest will never be known - the terror of reprisal is too ingrained ... unless you're into rough trade and reprisal is what is being courted. Actually, male rape statistics state that nearly 90 per cent of assaults are carried out by those who identify themselves as heterosexual. Cold comfort for Schmitz, though, as it serves to underline the idea of ultimate debasement, an automatic drop to second-class citizen, no longer "a real man". Yet the notion remains that we crave straight men: we want their "realness". And gay men sigh and reassure/dismiss straight men with "As if"and "You wish" and "fixation" and, cheekily, with "fantasy". And it's an out and closeted lie.
Watch gay porn and the men are seldom "gay". Rather the scenario claims they are horny heterosexuals, who, gee, suddenly find themselves doing "it". Read a "gay" novel, say Now and Then, and it's the magnetic pull of the straight boy which provides the gay character with his introduction to tragic romance. Or flip through Good Boys and find wish-fulfilment triple-distilled when the central - emotionally blocked - heterosexual lead finally embarks on homosexuality, though on the deliciously dubious grounds that men are, in all ways, easier than women. The gay author imagining the unimaginable - recognition - for his straight creation.
It's understandable. Just. Let's be downcast and call it customised Stockholm Syndrome, the bizarre bonding that occurs when hostages identify - and collaborate - with their captors. A problem to be resolved. And while we're resolving, evolving, gym will fix it, pride will fix it, visibility will fix it. Fix the lingering, fatalistic feeling that we are what we are told we are: not "real men". Even if, on bad days, the latest wave of braggish Gay Lads appear - and today appearances are nearly everything - to be nothing more than male impersonators, imitating role models once thought destined for forced retirement. Or possibly it's our core sameness advancing to the fore: a sign of the times that one dead man thought were a'changing.
Too late to tip off Amedure now? He and Schmitz have played out their assigned parts. And you have to laugh. What's the one double-edged message this predictable tragi-farce provides for both bands of brothers-in-harm? Here: that you can only get a man with a gun. I wish the phallic symbolism escaped me nReuse content