I am Gaylord Focker

Here is something that happened to me last November. Jod told me before to post about it here, but I thought it would sound banal. I don't think so anymore.

There is a local publication with a function similar to Pariscope, Time Out, the New Yorker and the similar. This publication is monthly, as not much is going on here, but contains some good journalism. It is also the only publication in the Outpost containing a Gay column. In the said column there was a short comment about 'inferior dialects' of 'peasants and shepherds'. I wrote them an email, praising the publication and suggesting that a column fighting anti-gay prejudice should not propagate prejudice against 'peasants and shepherds' and their fictionally 'inferior dialects', as this is a kind of discrimination based on illusory premisses, exactly like discrimination against gay people. The email went through the editor-in-chief, who forwarded it to the columnist, who replied to me in a slightly aggressive manner. So far so good. I wrote to the editor-in-chief, apologising for the fuss and making my point about discrimination being a devious thing, blah blah.

The editor-in-chief wrote back the following day. They are looking for someone to write the Gay column, the guy currently doing it will go abroad. Do I want to do it? A nom de plume would be acceptable. Thank you, editor-in-chief.

What was his rationale? Loxias reads the Gay column, therefore gay. Loxias sounds articulate, therefore can write it.

I replied. Instead of writing 'oh, well, I am not gay, so I cannot write the column' (remember: discrimination is a devious thing), I wrote that I am not the appropriate person for the job, as "I know as much about gay lifestyle as I do about jet propulsion". I suggested to be offered a column of more general scope, instead. Shortly, I carefully tried a) not to make personal statements and b) not to convey an implication that the suggestion I am gay is miasmatic, successfully I hope.

The editor-in-chief never replied. Jod and my gay friends lament the lost chance to ghost-write the column.

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6 thoughts on “I am Gaylord Focker

  1. Since I’m increasingly curious as to how your outpost compares to mine, let me add my two cents here as well. First of all, be proud that your town has an interesting local rag, a gay column, and at least formerly, a gay person to write it. Where I live, “peasants and shepherds” are arrested regularly for defiling goats and chickens (they and their families are shamelessly shown on the local channel), but nobody, nobody, is gay. Openly, I mean. At one point, a rumor went around my office that one of my colleagues was actually gay, which I thought explained a lot (why he always wears a waistcoat/vest, for one thing) and this bit of info actually recouped him a few of the points he had lost in my book for making sexist comments about women at some point previously, but… very shortly after that, he got onto the topic of how vile, cruel, immoral, illogical (you name it) it is for gay parents to adopt children. These comments didn’t resolve the question of his gayness in my mind; he probably is gay after all. But they show how ingrained these beliefs are here. Even if his personal inclination isn’t in direct contradiction with his political stance, he should at least have the awareness to keep his mouth shut on such a sensitive issue in the diverse company of the office. But political correctness is apparently as foreign a concept as diversity itself in these parts.

  2. How sad that you’ve lost this once-in-a-lifetime chance to write a regular gay column. Think of the things you could have written! Like, for instance, you could have informed the public that wearing a waistcoat (or vest, whatever you want to call it) is definitely not a sign of gayness, but rather an indication of bad taste and a definite fashion no-no (at the moment; these things change frequently, you’d have to start keeping up with them better, no doubt, if you were writing a gay column).

  3. too bad, too bad, you should have taken on the column. We could have posted all of these forgotten dialogues of ancient outposters on the seminal question: “love of boys or love of women?” “what is softer, what is harder?” “who is more experienced?” “who is nature who is art?”
    too bad, too bad…

  4. Pingback: Today « “… neither reveals nor conceals”

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