Sorry, Ace, I disagree with your walkback. If "queerbait" is a homophobic putdown, it's a putdown that a lot of gay guys employ, generally to describe an ostensibly straight guy who seems . . . well, potentially available.
Like Charlie Crist. Or Rahm Emanuel, so my gay sources tell me. And those same sources say that gay men in Chicago swear there used to be a tall semi-Kenyan guy who was, as we might say, no stranger to the community.
But that stuff is mere gossip, and is not germaine to the question of whether it was fair of you to use "queerbait" to describe Sully's readership. The larger point, I think, is that not all gay people run around looking for excuses to be offended, and are themselves not averse to applying certain pejoratives -- "nelly," "swish" etc. -- to other gay people, especially ones they don't like.
And as for "queerbaits," who doesn't know the type of person described? I just noticed Little Miss Attila referencing a post by Cynthia Yockey about appropriate use of the term "dyke." Well, not all lesbians are dykes, and some women who look or act like dykes are actually straight.
If we didn't all have our insensitivity detectors set on "stun," tiptoeing around in fear of accidentally offending someone, maybe more people would be encouraged to criticize Sullivan's ongoing melodrama -- and the stupid queerbait readers who dig it.
Andrew Sullivan was outed by Michelangelo Signorile and, rather than leading Sully to question the hyper-politicization of sexuality, the experience led him to become SuperGayMan, the caped crusader for same-sex marriage. Sully let himself be trapped in a box, defined by his enemies, taking refuge in a ridiculous more-gay-than-thou stance.
His sexual persona is intrinsic to his politics and vice-versa. You know who he reminds me of? Bill Maher, who hates feminism and Christianity with equal fury because both belief-systems stand opposed to selfish little worms like Bill Maher gettin' some.
So I don't think you should have walked back the "queerbait" putdown, Ace. The rest of your critique of Sully is pure genius.
P.S.: To any readers intrigued by my assertion of familiarity with gay culture: (a) I majored in drama in college, (b) I was once the only straight guy working in the men's wear department of a department store, and (c) I hang out with lots of libertarians. However, (d) my wife and I have been married 20 years with six kids. If I'm overcompensating, I'm doing it right.
P.P.S.: Meredith Baxter gay? That's a big loss for the team. But what about her 15-year marriage to David Birney? Was she just fakin' it? Her inner lesbian straining for release? And why didn't her inner lesbian break free earlier, say about 1982, in a video with Phoebe Cates?
Never mind . . .
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