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Letter to Councilman LaBonge
Real People as Fictional Characters
Female Actors, Part Two
One Culture Hero Award
Adelante Gay Pride Gala
Best Work of Fiction?
Tom of Finland: Sexual Liberator or Enslaver
Lying Writers
Review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson
Promiscuous Thoughts
A Crime of the Heart
A Letter to Michael Silverblatt
"Have you no decency, sir?"
Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans
He Hugged Moms and Dads
What is a Girly Man?
Review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive
The Gay Mammies
A Writer Protests
Review of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro
A Spirit Preserved in 'Amber'
The Supreme Court Case
Review of Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal
Review of Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951 by Christopher Isherwood
Review of Out For Good
Review of Hoyt Street: an Autobiography
Review of Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict.
Review of Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation
Review of Whores for Gloria
Muscles and Mascara
Review of "Blonde"
Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God and the Folks
Advice to the Next Generation
Sins of the Fathers
Beatin' Around the Bush

Cruise Not Gay! The Judge Has Spoken

The Horror, The Horror
LA--a Cliché?
Dominick, Mark & Orenthal
Holy Drag!
Ms. Hill & Mr. Tom
Mrs. guy Ritchie 
Supreme Court 
Tom Cruise 
New Times Article 

Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans

In an excess of purported equality, some Hollywood actresses want to be called "actors." How sad and self-defeating. Doesn't opting for the male-designated noun, actor, imply superiority of that male form? If not, why not seek equality by extending the female form--actress--to actors; e.g., "Actress Tom Cruise." That would assert the prominence of the female-designated noun. (I imagine Sarah Bernhardt and Virginia Fabrigas, great legendary actresses, stiffening their proud backs in resistance like affronted queens--not kings.)

     Shall we now refer to female princes? Female kings? Male seamstresses? The Spanish, French, Italian languages award gender even to sexless objects. The sturdy rock is "la roca," the flickering earring is "el arete." No sexism there. Now note this spectacular assault on sexism: The male organ in Spanish, "la verga," is honored with a feminine designation, whereas breasts become "pechos," a masculine identification.

     Although I use it now, I am still not at ease with "gay." Christopher Isherwood once said that the pluralized "gays" sounded like a reference to bliss-ninnies. But now comes the odious word "queer," eagerly seized by dippy academics and converted into yet another undecipherable "theory." The rationale? Defuse the word "queer" of its ugly meaning, arrogate it and convert it. Oh? How about proposing "dyke theory," "kike theory," "nigger theory," "spik theory," "dago theory," fag theory," "cunt theory"? Would that defuse those hateful names, strip them of their dangerous power? How, then does "queer," the language of gay-bashers, purge the devastating meaning?

     I envy lesbians their august designation, with literary and historical resonance. I wish we homosexual males would consider the appellation of ... Trojans. That would confound the football team at U.S.C.. It might even pull cute Tommy Trojan, already attired in a toga by International Male, out of the closet--and it would be a steadfast reminder of safe sex.

     Consider this as an outgrowth of such a new appellation: If a boy told his father, "Dad, I'm gay," the likely reaction, at least at first, would be horror. Similarly, if a boy informed his father, "Dad, I'm queer," the reaction might be, at least at first, double horror. But if the boy told his father, "Dad, I'm a Trojan," the response might be: "Great, son, I always knew you had it in you."

John Rechy
June 2005
Los Angeles, California

Click to read John Rechy's further thoughts on this issue in his 2007 essay, "Female Actors. Part Two."

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