Leading the Field in World-Class Whining
By Gabriel Rotello
– Newsdsay, June 9, 1994
I KEEP GETTING
ASKED why I haven't written about the upcoming Gay Games, so
I'll be brutally frank. People say that gay white men are
basically whiners, and while I can't speak for the rest of the
gang, it's certainly true for me. I live to be victimized. I
groove to gross injustice. Dirty rotten homophobes turn me on.
As both a whiner and a columnist (is there any difference,
really, besides maybe a small gratuity?), my life is blessed by
a reverse Catch-22. Things can never be genuinely bad because
the worse they are, the better the column. But then again, if
things are going well...trouble.
Which brings me to
the Gay Games. I admit, I've neglected them. But from my
perspective the whole enterprise is annoyingly victim-free. The
organizers themselves are so relentlessly chipper I'm
half-convinced that, in some awful eugenics experiment gone
awry, the DNA that produced generations of Midwestern high
school cheerleaders somehow got mixed in with the genes that
produce homosexuality and created this legion of happy, perky
gay people who prefer playing volleyball to kvetching. It's a
chilling thought, but I just can't shake it.
For gay men like
me, who basically live to whine and whine to live, the Games
originally had real potential. For example, back when that dirty
rotten homophobe George Steinbrenner was refusing to lease
Yankee Stadium for the Games' closing ceremonies, I had plans,
big plans. Think of it! Your tired, poor gay athletes yearning
to parade free. I tell you, that column was going to write
But then the
people from the Games called and begged me to hold off,
promising that they were absolutely sure they could convince
that nice Mr. Steinbrenner to change his mind, seeing as how
everybody in the world is basically good at heart. Right, I
snickered to myself. Keep smoking the good stuff.
And then, to my
horror, Steinbrenner caved, and there were even rumors that Rudy
Giuliani himself had leaned on him to do it, as though the
spirit of the Gay Games had infected Mr. Squeegee Buster with
warm, fuzzy feelings about his gay brethren. For a victimization
junkie like me, that's a truly frightening thought. I whined
privately, but what could I do?
I considered the p.c. approach, criticizing the Games themselves
for pushing oppressive hetero sports at the expense of events
that gays are really good at. I mean, where's the Cruising
Decathlon? Where's Cannibalizing the Leaders? And where, for
heaven's sake, are the events where I could have been a
contender? Like, say, Catholic Bashing? Or my favorite nightclub
activity, Dishing the DJ?
the real tragedy is the organizers' blindness to the ways that
world-class sniveling open up all sorts of liberating
opportunities. Take publicity. They've been trying to drum up
press for two years now, and the only time they ever even
sniffed a front page was when Mary Cummins and the Rev. Ruben
Diaz denounced them for making homosexuality look normal. You
can say that again. Reporters, being almost as negative as
columnists, ate that up, but the organizers just acted slightly
hurt and let it pass. Amateurs!
I say, if you want
publicity, go with the flow. If I were running the Games, I
wouldn't ignore Diaz and Cummins, I'd hire them to do my press.
Think of the possibilities. Is attendance lagging at the lesbian
water polo quarterfinals?Send over Mary Cummins to scream about
precious bodily fluids and the threat to the municipal water
supply. Who knows, you might even score another round of
editorials in the dailies. You can bet that Rotello would be
writing columns as fast as his little fingers could pound them
out. And I can assure you, in all his misery, victimized to his
heart's content, he'd be happy as well as gay.
Let the whines