By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Bob AulNot very long ago, I spent a very long time in a supermarket checkout line and spotted a National Examiner with the screaming headline "WHO'S GAY . . . and Who's Not" alongside a photo of Ricky Martin looking like he was extremely happy to be whatever he was or was not. The issue promised "72 celebrity surprises," and I thought, "Well, this should clear up a lot of important questions."
What a burn! For starters, the mag totally wiggled around the Ricky issue, only quoting the Rickster as saying, "I know what I am, my beliefs, what I like and don't like. You can fantasize however you want to." Okay, I fantasize him being gayer than Billy Ray Cyrus.
Didn't know that, did you? Billy Ray Cyrus is so gay. Just listen to this secret tape recorded backstage with a female fan.
"C'mon, Billy Ray, pound my achey, breaky hole!"
"I can't! I'm so gay!"*
See? That's the sort of dirt the Examiner should be dishing, instead of the explosive revelations that Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John (doesn't he look more like Janet Reno with every passing day?) and Barney Frank are—there, they've said it—gay. No kidding. The magazine even cites a spokesperson denying that Jim Nabors is gay. Okay, I can accept that—but not that Nabors has a spokesperson. What on Earth does he need a spokesperson for? To announce every five years or so that he's still not gay? Does Adam West have a spokesperson? Does Madge, the Palmolive lady? "You'll have to ask my spokesperson," said the spokesperson.
I'm incensed that a fellow publication would wuss out so wholly on such an important matter as who's gay and who's not. Because when you consider who's gay and who's not, isn't that, like, everybody? But because not-gay people seem to have more spokespersons, the gay ones have gotten short shrift in print.
Hence, there are lots more gay people in history than you know about. For example, Og, the very first man, was gay. He never mated with a woman, and the long crawl from sea ooze to primate had to begin all over again. Two million years later, the second man, Fred, was also gay but willing to settle for what was at hand, and he and the second first woman, Wilma, begat Shemp, Curly Joe and Ed Besser, as you have read in the Book of Moe.
The Bible is packed with gay people. In Corinthians, Leather Bar 6:9, for example, you will find several gay biblical characters, including Moab, Drisco and Bob. Satan also is gay. That's why he's busy pounding Twinkies up Dan White's ass in hell right now.
The Spartans of antiquity? Gay to a man. Our modern leaders could learn a lot from the Greeks. An all-gay military is where it's at. If we might indulge one stereotype about homosexuals, it is this: gay guys are buff! They are in peak condition! Their abs alone could win a ground war!
And consider the psychological advantages. Any war in our foreseeable future will likely be with uptight Middle Eastern fundamentalists who, our weapons superiority aside, would not overmuch enjoy the prospect of facing—or, for that matter, turning their backs to—an all-sodomite force.
But then they'd turn gay. That's what happens. That's why you can't have gays teaching in schools or being in the military or the Scouts or anything, because they turn others into gays. It's a proximity thing, like those pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Just get a gay garrison in Afghanistan—perhaps one who taunts the enemy by singing, "Hey, Mr. Taliban, tally this banana!"—and, bingo, quicker than you can say, "Peter put a pecker in your piehole," the Afghans will have gone gay. Then they'd wish they hadn't destroyed all of their TV sets because they've never even seen a Ricky Martin video, even though, Ricky says, they can fantasize about him however they want to.
The Afghans would have no defense against that, except maybe the Stinger missiles, small arms and deadly training given them by our farsighted CIA. The CIA, for some reason, is not gay. Now, I'm not saying the FBI is gay, only that if I were gay, I'd rather be in the FBI.
Was J. Edgar Hoover gay? I think that's just wishful thinking, like all those people who desperately want Chris Isaak to be gay. If all the women in the world turned into men, Isaak would still not be gay he is so straight. But I bet he'd be the first to tell you that Robert Mitchum flicks get him all bothered up anyhow. Some things are just sexy in a vague enough way that it never calls your orientation into question, like how I wouldn't have minded James Mason painting my toenails, for example.
Now, Winston Churchill? He was a pillar of salt just waiting to happen. Sonny Liston? Gay. Tonto? Gay. You know Pokey from Gumby? Gay. He was caught orange-hooved leading a Claymation masturbation circle in his stall.
Sammy Davis Jr. wasn't gay, but he endeavored to be proficient in every facet of the entertainment world. This questing spirit is exemplified by a story Linda Lovelace tells about Davis in her redemptive autobiography, I'm Sorry, I Can't Talk, There's a Dog Dick in My Mouth.** She writes of a night when she and her Svengali manager, Chuck Traynor, visited with Mr. Davis at his Hollywood Hills home. After screening Deep Throat in his personal projection room, Davis asked Lovelace to teach him how to deep throat a man. Since Traynor was by then passed out on ludes, Davis thought Traynor might be a handy thing to practice upon, as one might regard a dummy in a CPR course. Traynor, Lovelace wrote, awoke to find Davis busily honing on his Mr. Johnson and was surprised. As surprised, perhaps, as you or I might be to find a giant ant going down on you.