kevyn: (meme)
( Feb. 13th, 2009 02:35 pm)
There seems to be a new fad out there among young men that has me intrigued: Gay Chicken.

It's just like a regular game of chicken -- where two competitors speed towards one another, and the first to veer off loses. It's a test of courage and resolve.

In Gay Chicken, two guys move as if to kiss each other, and the one to pull away first is the loser.

This has turned into quite the YouTube fad. Doing a search for "Gay Chicken" on YouTube, you'll find literally hundreds of videos like this:

Intrigued, I started researching the fad. The oldest reference to it I can find appears to be an episode of Scrubs that aired in early 2004 (I'm still trying to confirm the air date & episode name of the clip. Edit: title "My Screw Up," Episode 14, Season 3, first aired February 24, 2004.) I don't know if Scrubs started the craze, or merely popularized (and perhaps named) the game.

What fascinates me about this whole thing -- besides the obvious titillation of seeing two guys kiss -- is what it says about the evolution of masculinity and dominance in young men in our culture. Here is a game that pits two of our culture's greatest masculine fears against each other: fear of being perceived as gay, and fear of being perceived as a coward. The winner is the one that can overcome the fear of being seen as gay, thus proving their courage and masculinity.

With the increasing tolerance of same-sex relations among younger people, I think this fad can be seen as a welcome move towards normalization of homoeroticism. The images of men kissing are nowhere near as shocking as they were a decade ago, and many young men who would never dream of engaging in conduct like this in the past are willing to do it now, if only to prove they aren't cowards.

Of course, young men who are exploring their sexuality may find this a gateway into further explorations, since it breaks the social barrier of having "kissed a guy" -- and in front of witnesses and peers, no less.

Thanks to [ profile] crimsonsaint, who made me aware of the trend when he posted this parody video on his blog:

Up until now, I haven't taken a stand on the controversy over the choice of heterosexist Reverend Rick Warren to give the opening invocation at Obama's inauguration next month. My stance thus far has been to just shrug, and say that he's entitled to his opinions. I do not agree with Obama's choice, but I wasn't going to make a fuss, because I understand what Obama's trying to do with being inclusive of evangelicals.

However, Warren crossed the line for me this week. What started as a reasonable disagreement over the choice of invocations has devolved into a divisive shouting match that threatens to overshadow the beginning of the Obama administration.

In the video below, you can see for yourself that Warren is now accusing his detractors of "Christophobia" and engaging in "hate speech," because they disagree with his positions on homosexuality:

I'm sorry, but no. I now see Warren as an entirely inappropriate choice for Obama. With the intense hurt that was inflicted on queers by California Prop 8, gay people have a very real reason to object to an anti-gay minister at the inauguration. It is a slap in the face for the many gay people who worked for Obama's election and voted for him (I was not one of them), and now Warren's unrepentant anti-gay comments are like rubbing salt on an open wound.

Obama clearly miscalculated when he selected Warren, and the objections are only getting louder. Warren has become too divisive for the country as a whole, and the inclusive tone that Obama is trying to foster. It's time for Warren to be a mensch, and quietly step aside for a more inclusive minister to give the invocation. In the aftermath of Prop 8, it is the Christian thing to do.
Here's a nice video about Saturday's same-sex marriage demonstration here in Bellingham. It was wonderful to see so many people show up in a city as small as ours, especially when Seattle's demonstration was drawing off so many.

Robert appears at about 4:35. I show up at about 6:55.

Bellingham had a very well-attended gay marriage demonstration today, downtown at the Federal Building, at the corner of Cornwall and Magnolia. At least a hundred people showed up with signs, including most of the Bellingham Radical Faeries.

Most of the reaction from people driving by was positive.

More photos here.

The demonstrators chanted and cheered as cars drove by, honking. All four corners of the intersection were lined with marriage equality demonstrators. After about an hour, we marched en masse down to the Farmer's Market.

Afterwards, Whoretense and I went to relax at the Three Trees.

Three Trees gay marriage sign

Ok, I was naughty. I littered.
A lot of my friends are really bummed about California's Proposition 8, which has re-banned same-sex marriage in the state.

Me, I'm not. Why?

Because I can see the big picture. I can see how much progress has been made, and I am confident we will continue to make incremental progress. Proposition 8 is really just a minor setback. It's backlash, and backlash like this only happens when we are winning!

I am 40 years old this year, and I have been involved with the gay rights movement since I was 20. I have had a long time to watch the steady progress we have made in my lifetime.

Let me share with you something I just wrote to my friend, [ profile] tianas_knife:

Some perspective

The winds of history are on our side, my friend! I've been involved with the gay rights movement for almost 20 years now, and I can see first hand how much progress we have actually made.

When I was your age, Cassie, there were still sodomy laws on the books. I was breaking the law every time I made love. That's no longer true.

Back in those days, gay-straight alliances didn't exist in high schools. Now they are everywhere.

Towns like Bellingham didn't have gay pride parades. Now they do.

TV shows didn't have gay characters to show us reflections of ourselves. Now many do.

Presidents Elect of the United States didn't casually mention gays as part of the fabric of American life in their acceptance speeches. Now we have Obama, who did.

In my lifetime, I have watched Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands, as well as Massachusetts and Connecticut, legalize same sex marriage.

We're making progress, my friend, have no doubt about that.

It is because so many of us made the decision not to hide any more, to demand our rights, to stand up and say, "I am gay and I will not be silent!" that this progress is being made.

I have no doubt that this trend will continue.

And in California, in 2000, Proposition 22 prohibited marriage 61.4% to 38%.

In 2008, Proposition 8 prohibited it 52.5% to 47.5%.

Look at that progress! In those 8 years, the opinion of the people of California changed significantly!

In the big picture, we're winning!

So please don't let Proposition 8 make you lose heart. It's just backlash against the progress we are making. It's really just a minor setback. It took a lot of years and hard work to get where we are today, and I for one, know where the winds of history are taking us!

Andreas (aka Strngelove) emailed me this photo he took of me, Haltia, Whoretense and SadieDog at the Shadow Falls campground in B.C. last week.
Note: Dr. Perry gave us the following assignment, to write a letter to her, telling her about ourselves and what we want out of the class.
Click to view letter )
OMG! George Takei (Mr. Sulu of Star Trek fame) took on
homophobic NBA star Tim Hardaway in a hilarious short PSA!
(You have to see it to believe it)

(Direct link to video here)

Thanks to [ profile] angry_biscuit for this gem!


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