Queer Neuters of the Bush Era?
[Fritz of On the Fritz]
“Today, somebody called me a Neuter. And you know what? I didn’t mind. If neuter means ‘normal,’ I’ll say it loud—I am Marge the Neuter and I’m proud!”
— Marge the Neuter, John Waters’ A Dirty Shame, 2004
This is not a book review. I have not read Gay And Single… Forever?—I stumbled across the book description in some spam from Different Light Bookstore last night.
Gay And Single… Forever?: 10 Things Every Gay Guy Looking For Love (And Not Finding It) Needs To Know
By: Steven Bereznai
From: Marlowe & Company
Softcover UPC: 9781569243565
Singledom is emerging as “the pariah status,” and is the starting point for this unprecedented book. Author Steven Bereznai is a catch—and yet, at 31, he has never had a boyfriend. “Is Singlesville my final destination?” Bereznai wonders. Or does a partner await? And what does he really “want?”—to pair up, or to maintain the independence of a single life?
Now, in Single Forever, Bereznai compellingly investigates the basic question of whether there is room for him, and other single gay men, in a post-Stonewall era where the push to partner with a man has replaced the pressure to marry a woman. Through a mix of personal narrative, interviews with dozens of gay men, including Andrew Holleran and Michael Bronski, and acute social and psychological commentary, Bereznai has written a book that will resonate deeply among gay men, the majority of whom, even today, spend most of their lives unattached.
The truth is, I probably would have purchased this book a few months ago. Four years ago, I moved to Monterey from Southern California and entered a strange new world. Unlike Los Angeles, most of my gay and lesbian peers in my new city are either in the closet or coupled.
As an out and single gay man, I found myself to have that “pariah status” mentioned in the description of Bereznai’s book. Unlike Bereznai, I’m not chronically single. I’ve been in relationships most of my adult life. Being single does not come naturally for me. It was beginning to change me in ways that reminded me of the cranky nuns back in Catholic school. I was determined NOT to become one of those pathetic neuters in John Waters’ movie from a couple of years ago!
So, I placed an ad on an gay personals Web site. The messages started pouring in—over 75 of them! Wow! Who knew that there were so many gay men my age in the Monterey area?
Just so you know, I have standards for selecting a man. They evolved over 30 years of dating and two long-term relationships. Coincidentally, there are 10 rules you should know. The guy must:
1. Be out of the closet;
2. Be unattached;
3. Have a job;
4. Be well-educated;
5. NOT be a Republican;
6. Not be a liar;
7. Be clean and well-groomed;
8. Be geographically desirable (less than an hour drive);
9. Have a good sense of humor; and,
10. Not be a smoker or drug abuser.
How many guys from that list of 75 respondents do you think met all 10 requirements? How about just eight out of 10? I’ll let you all have fun guessing in the comments.
Needless to say, it wasn’t very many. I was forced to compromise a bit. I had to consider which of the 10 requirements could be ignored. I settled on overlooking #1 and #5. Yep. I’m dating guys in the closet and guys who are Republican—and while the ALL of the Republicans are in the closet, a couple of the closeted guys are very liberal.
No, “Singlesville” isn’t MY final destination. I won’t become a Queer Neuter of the Bush Era. However, I may end up sleeping with the enemy!
What would you do? Compromise? Buy a blow-up doll? Move back home?