June Thomas is deeply disappointed. She cites this weeks “Savage Love” podcast, in which Dan Savage “started with an attack on Marcus Bachmann’s masculinity.” She writes he mocked Backmann’s lisp and his slurring. ”In other words… acting like a big bully.” This upset Thomas, who “can only imagine how listeners who happen to have the kind of lisping, effeminate speech and affect that Savage was ridiculing felt upon hearing the attack.”
I would imagine Savage listeners, gay and straight, who have the kind of lisping, effeminate speech, were probably cheering Dan for mocking a wealthy, Christianist therapist, whose self-described Christian counseling center encourages gay teenagers to commit suicide ”practices” so-called reparative therapy, which is designed to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals.
Lynaugh is too hard on Thomas, who went out of her way to be gentle with me (and with Jon Stewart), but he's right about gay listeners cheering me on for making fun of Marcus Bachmann's voice and mannerisms. As for why gay people think Bachmann's mannerisms are fair game...
The man is a homophobe of the highest order; he and his odious wife support discrimination against LGBT people, they're particularly invested in sustaining the religious stigma against queer people, and Marcus Bachmann makes money torturing vulnerable gays and lesbians—not all of them kids—with false promises of cures and false threats of hell. So here's a man who thinks people should be discriminated against for being gay... a man who tells Christian gays that God hates people who are gay... and his manner is so stereotypically gay that he wouldn't look out of place in a gay mens chorus or a sling at Club Z.
As we've seen with Haggard, Rekers, Craig, et al, the biggest homophobes are often messy closet cases. And as sex researcher Michael Bailey puts it: Not all gay men are sissies, but nearly all sissies are gay men. So it's entirely possible—it seems highly likely to me—that Marcus Bachmann is one of those guys who insists that sexual orientation is a choice because he choose to be straight. Or choose to identify as straight.
Gay people who point out how fruity Bachmann is aren't saying there's something wrong with being fruity, or with being gay, or with guys who look, speak, walk, or dance the way Bachmann does. A lot of us look, speak, walk, and dance that way. And we don't think there's anything wrong with us for looking, speaking, walking, or dancing that way. I've never met a gay man who objected to Modern Family's Cam, who looks, speaks, walks, and dances the Bachmann way. And we certainly don't think there's anything wrong with being gay. But Marcus Bachmann sure does. He thinks there's a whole lot wrong with being gay. And when we point out that this same Marcus Bachmann acts like a huge homo—like a huge, messy, married, dishonest, closeted version Cam—we're not mocking the fruits. We're hoisting that pansy with his own hateful petard.
Marcus Bachmann is attacking us and we're claiming him. We're embracing him, we're saying that we recognize ourselves in him, we're turning the stigma Marcus Bachmann promotes back on Marcus Bachmann.