I've never met Andrew Pierce, but I can't imagine he's much fun in bed. His rather joyless little column in The Daily Mail yesterday, 'Why I, as a gay man, abhor these TV queens' follows in the footsteps of 'Why I, as a gay man, agree with the Pope' in February. Whether this is just lazy sub-editing on the Mail's part or old Andy is developing a camp sitcom-style catchphrase of his own is unclear. Nevertheless, it seems he is fast developing into the Mail's 'House gay' of choice.
There's nothing inherently wrong with criticising the attitudes or values of gay men, but take a look at the bile that drips from Pierce's fingertips in his latest offering. He rails bitterly against “the prancing, preening fashion icon Gok Wan”, the “lisping, limp wristed” Alan Carr, Graham Norton - “with his mincing, ooh-missus act” - and Julian Clary, “who has made an entire career out of making Larry Grayson look butch by comparison”. These “simpering, soppy, superficial cissies” give “ordinary [gay] men” a bad name, he says.
That the Mail has to resort to channelling its resentment towards the gay community through the proxy of a gay man is a strange victory of sorts for the gay rights movement, I suppose. Ironically, it is the history of that movement which Pierce owes his throat-clearing, 'as a gay man...' identity politics-stylee prefix to – a history he betrays by using his article to define himself against other gays. By so thoughtlessly bashing 'camp personalities' he inherently looks to set up a discursive divide between 'ordinary' gay men and 'camp queens'.
This seems to reek of a desperate plea for acceptance to his conservative audience; “Accept me, I'm not like them!”. He swears to them that most of his gay friends just want to watch Football and “worry far more about the state of the economy than over whether Kylie has found true love” (and what a hoot they sound!). Sadly, though, this kind of self-loathing should be placed in the context of a worrying trend within the gay community, where the more gay guys become integrated into mainstream society, the more they become embarrassed by their peers in the gay world. Go to any gay dating website and you'll see men describing themselves as, and looking for, “straight acting guys”; “no queens please”, “Sorry, I don't like camp guys”, and so on.Twitter: @SteveAkehurst
Also see: The hilarious David Hoyle's little rant!