Go where you like, there is no holiday from homosexuality
Friday 20 September 1996
I am on holiday, but I have forgotten what I should not. There are no holidays from homosexuality. Homosexuality is the Hotel California. You can check out, but you can never leave.
Take downstairs (by force, if necessary). How can you get away from it all when some sad Marys are determined to prove you can take it with you, or, worse, you arrive and it's already there, flexing its pecs and flashing capped teeth, when you stagger on to the tarmac, jet-fagged? All right, birds of a feather flock together and there's safety in numbers (the number being 69) and, sure, it's a big psychic boost for the picked-upon to be able to walk into any gay bar on the planet and think "I can lick any man in this room", but really, Noel Coward was right. As the wise, wrinkled old crone once cackled: "Never look back - something might be catching up" (though never, never age - you must remember this: faggots never grow old, they just get tired).
Looking back, forwards, sideways, up your own bottom, in Britain, Ibiza, Bali, Belize - in gay life it don't much matter the direction, or the destination. What you get is Ident-i-git. The same blow wave jobs - let's hear it for the Bleach Boys - the same Dolce and Gabbana veste and T-shirts, the same toned torsos standing by their tan, all to a background buzz of the same bitchy, bitter banter (did you know that "Oh, her. I've had her. Everyone's had her" is immediately understandable in Spanish, Italian and Serbo-Croat?).
This is not, contrary to camp self-justification, doing it Your Way. It's not culture, nor is it life. It's a global franchise, honey, a hamburger chain. Bugger King, that's what it is. Only the people in front of the counter, not behind, are the ones practising the snotty, cruise-control attitude, especially the French and German Imperial Highnesses. Especially especially the ugly French and German Imperial Highnesses.
Now, sometimes spectacular unattractiveness is simply an unfortunate freak of nature and to be pitied. Sometimes, though, it's just an act of malice, designed to show the Elephant Man who's really boss. But don't bother telling foreign child-frighteners this. They believe the boys all call them Macarena, they all want them, but they can't have them (oh yes they can). Gay sexual arrogance - a by-product of the Body (Beautiful) Politic, like bile - does not travel well, but it does travel, though you may have flown thousands of miles in hopes of leaving it behind.
Not that the English are any better than Frog Fags and Nancy Nazis. The gay nudist beach, yesterday: I am sharing my fluffy towel with a friendly but not flirtatious local hombre - none of that "You like jig-jig?" chat - biting back the pathological temptation to turn to my companion and ask "Do you see the bums, Fernando?" when suddenly a (gay) pride of Manchester witch queens struts into eyeline, pitching soprano - "When shall we three meet again?" etc - clocking the lay of the land. The lay of the land, they decide, is me. Or, at least, the troll in the Speedos does. Exchanging looks and laughter with his fellow animal experiments, he swaggers over, blocks my view, genitals bulging a foot away from my face, and unpacks his lunch box. Down go the swimming trunk. There. Waggle waggle.
So what did I say? I said what my Granny taught me to say in such situations: "It's not big and it's not clever." Which sends him hot-foot across the sands, but it's still my day that's s(p)oiled. Well, it's not as if I wasn't warned.
And I was. Flashback: the second night. I am accosted by a skinhead down San Antonio way, San Antonio supposedly being where the louts hang out, and hang over their balconies projectile vomiting, though what I see and feel is good times, good vibes, though I'm now expecting a verbal or physical bashing. What I get instead is an offer to go back to his room, which I consider and, though tempted, decline, not wanting to be on anyone's "Who I Did On My Summer Holidays" list. Still, I tarry to ask why he's not out at the gay bars. He explains he's with pals, and adds, pointedly, "And because I want to have fun, mate."
Indeed. For closeted him and his straight chums it's a novelty, a blast, to have two weeks where every night is Saturday night. But in the gay head every night is Saturday night; darling, we've endured such pain, we deserve our non-stop pleasure, our constitutional right to happiness, even if we're stuck in the groove, the groove, the groove, the groove.
Which is why I'm still in this toilet, screaming my implants off, clicking my ruby slippers together, unable to finish my accompanying mantra, forever stuck at "There's no place ... there's no place ... there's no place ..." And I'm thinking Sartre, I'm thinking No Exit, I'm thinking hell is other homosexuals.
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