The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gay icons

Lesbian icons – from Melissa Etheridge and k.d. lang, to Ellen Degeneres, Rosie O’Donnell and Pink – are either sensible, talented, or at the very least, entertaining. This can’t always be said of gay icons, though. Cher, Judy, Liza, Barbra and every ‘true’ diva and golden age Hollywood movie star over the age of 50 aside (I’ll even throw in Kylie for her camp and staying power, and Madonna for some of her early work), gay men’s taste in icons has gone decidedly downhill.

All manner of homogenous, bland, (usually) blonde straight girls churning out ‘pop’ tunes with increasingly mindless lyrics and the standard media quote on how they ‘love their gay fans’ are trotted out at gay clubs and big queer events as ‘special guests’. What’s ‘special’ about a gaggle of girls who look and sound pretty much the same (there’s no chance of mixing up the vocals of Cher and Barbra on the other hand), I really don’t know, but these pop dollies are foisted on the gay community by marketing professionals who think we so can’t get enough of them that they even form them into ‘girl groups’. The scary thing is that gay men today lap it up. Whatever happened to the discerning taste of the poof?

Worse still than these boring pop ‘star’ wannabes is the ‘icon’ whose sole claim to fame is … being famous. I can let Zsa Zsa Gabor go – anyone who marries nine men earns a bit of camp factor – but the embracing by gay men of her wretched great grand-niece Paris Hilton is unforgiveable. In 2005 Paris and her mother were marshals at the Los Angeles Gay Pride parade – a significant marker, if ever there was one, of the deterioration of gay culture. I mean, come on guys, if you really want to worship a female who doesn’t have any particular artistic talent, at least pick one who will provide more entertaining escapades than a shallow rich bitch who at her most expressive can offer only a vacant face and monotonous ‘That’s hot’ when asked to comment on what she thinks of anything from the latest fashions to watching paint dry.

Pick someone like Anna Nicole Smith. Dear old Anna Nicole, without whom the world will be a darker place. She was blonde, trashy, but absolutely fabulous. Dubbed as the “Princess Diana of the trailer parks”, the 39-year-old former Playboy model entertained and endeared millions with her life, from her reality TV series The Anna Nicole Smith Show, to turning up at red carpet events completely off her face. And she was kind to animals. She modelled herself on her heroine, Marilyn Monroe, and died like her – a mysterious, possibly drug-related death that while it didn’t involve a president (as far as we know), did feature a legal row over the inherited millions of her late 89-year-old husband and a squabble over the paternity of her baby girl. Hmm, little Dannielynn … I can smell a new gay icon in the making.

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