Ray Cochran writes:
I’m not feeling very warm and squishy about the gays right now. I’m liking the lesbians, frankly. My friend Hillary Carlip’s book just came out – Queen of the Oddballs (brilliant!) – and I went to the book signing at The Grove and the place was just crawling with power lesbians in their Alain Mikli and Jill Sander and Miu Miu. I had a great time. Very relaxing and fun. Until Reno showed up with her dog. Um, Reno honey? We don’t bring large dogs to the third floor of Barnes & Noble at The Grove and then turn them loose during a book signing. It scares the tots in the children’s section. Were you brought up by wolves? At any rate, back to the gays. I have a love/hate thing for my brothers. It’s all part of this desire to be a part of something and loathing it at the same time. It’s like when I became friends with a gaggle of boys who performed on cruise ships. I spent half my time judging them and the other half practicing my jazz layouts in the mirror. I’m torn. It’s true. And I’m sure my particular affliction is in the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – ed] under types of homophobia, but I don’t care. Tell it to Tom Ford.
So I was doing better until last week – looking forward to summer and pride and having fun and being a part of things without judging. And then it happened – the dark cloud. But I think I’ve got a case this time. I found out that Paris Hilton is gracing the cover of the new Out magazine. Okay, I know she’s loved by editors worldwide (and Musto is a genius and I love him and I bow at his feet). But I just can’t wrap my head around the Paris thing. So I sent an email to one of the editors at Out that I’m acquainted with. I said I was appalled and he kindly responded with an “I’m sorry you’re disappointed, Ray,” which felt a little condescending and so I wrote back that I wasn’t disappointed; to be disappointed would mean that I had expectations. I know I know. The whole thing felt a little too Dynasty but I think I’ve got a good case.
I think coming into the mainstream has done us a great deal of good. But it has also hurt us. When we were subversive and bohemian, our idols were people of substance and wit. People who struggled as we did and mirrored it back to us in their art. The list of gay icons reads like a roster of the most compelling, crazy and wonderful people ever born. And now? Now we have Paris Hilton. Now we beg the shallow and apathetic to be on the cover of our magazines and then we worship them and ask them questions like “Why do you love gay men?” And they respond “Because gay men are hotter!”
Seriously. Is that really what we want reflected back to us now? I don’t. Not me. And until someone more interesting comes up with a better response, I’m gonna go hang with the lesbians.
– Ray Cochran