Last Sunday night I did my usual routine to get ready for the week ahead: I sat down on my couch with a bucket of wine and a jar of pickles and turned on Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker.
After a full hour of evidence that matchmaker Patti Stanger has absolutely no talent for match-making (but a huge talent for injectibles), I decided that one hour wasn't enough Patti time -- let's blame it on a cheap Malbec. So I watched another hour of Patti Stanger on Watch What Happens Live, Bravo's post-show recap show about all its own shows, hosted by gay triangle-mouth Andy Cohen. And Patti showed everyone just how cool and progressive she was about "the gays." And by that I mean she acted like your aunt who pretends she's cool with you being gay but still refers to your boyfriend as your "roommate."
Patti was on Watch What Happens Live to spew out more bad love advice to callers, some of whom included gay men -- not surprising given that Bravo is not only gay-friendly but is known on the streets as "the other LOGO." But when one gay man called in with a question about open relationships vs. monogamy, Patti vomited out, "In the gay world, it will always be open. There is no curbing the gay man." And then she suggested that he go on Grindr and reminded him to "protect himself," as if to say, "Hey slutbag, stick your unwrapped dick into any time-bomb you want. You're gonna die alone, anyway!"
She then looked at triangle-mouthed Andy Cohen like the true-blue straight ally she is and said, "I have tried to curb you people." Thanks, Patti! But how do you find time between failing at your job and saving every gay man from a bad decision?
But Patti was just getting started. Later on in the show, she said to another gay caller, "I thought you were straight, so that's a compliment." When Andy asked, "Why is being straight a compliment?" Patti replied with her signature logic, "'Cause he's not queeny... like you want a queen?! Yeah, I don't think so." Right on, Patti! You know there's nothing gay men hate more than... other gay men?
And so, here's a new problem that has surfaced since everything has supposedly gotten "better": there are now people who claim to be so cool with being gay that they let all their fears and stereotypes hang loose and then position it as being loud, fun and bawdy. And we're supposed to be so fabulous and so bitchy and so empty that we think being insulted is not only hilarious, but that it means that somebody gets us right down to our poisoned cores.
Patti's embarrassing tirade on a network that has lately been riddled with embarrassments has perhaps shown us that even those who support us are not ready to fully humanize us. Despite all our fighting for equal rights in politics and even pop culture, to many we are still "the gays." We are still "uncurbed" (screwing strangers in bathhouses), must protect ourselves (because we all have AIDS), and are just as afraid of "queeny" gays as everyone else. And even though this new strand of homophobia belongs to people who are "progressive," ultimately why would any reasonable person ever want a couple of dumb slut-dicks walking down the aisle?
I watched a straight friend recently ask my gay friend how he was being treated in the bedroom. He was confused and said, "Fine?" Then the straight friend said in front of all of us, "I hope you're being careful."
I guess we've come to expect this from strangers, this idea that we're reckless heathens on some out-of-control joyride, with nothing substantial inside us. But from our friends, our co-workers, from people who love us and are "on our side," they should know better than to treat us like idiotic, out-of-control children. So maybe it's time that we stop taking it so easily from the ones who supposedly love us.
Oh, and this might surprise Patti, but a lot of us have children, are in stable and loving relationships, and can easily commit ourselves to another human being. Hey Patti, how's your love life going?