King Bey don’t got love for the gays??
Via Slate reports:
It’s a strange choice. After all, Beyoncé certainly commands legions of gay fans, and we live in a time when it is easier than ever to fight for gay fanbases without facing career backlash. Her reticence might fairly lead one to wonder if she really cares about LGBTQ rights. So we google it. Oh! See! Beyoncé came out in favor of gay marriage on Instagram. Oh! Look! Beyoncé said she’s “flattered” to be considered a gay icon, once. There.
Frankly, if there were ever a diplomatic way of keeping advancing suitors at arm’s length, it’s saying that you are “flattered.” I say I am flattered to precisely those people on Grindr in whom I am not interested. So you say, “No, but she is in favor of gay marriage!” Now ask yourself, as you cling desperately to the scraps your queen has so generously condescended to hurl at you, whether it is enough for her to scrawl “if you like it then you should be able to put a ring on it” on a napkin for her to be considered a true gay icon. Again, arm’s distance. Queen Bey is holding her gay fans perpetually in thrall, but never acceding to the charges of gay icon status. She’s flattered, she tells us. But beyond business considerations, is she really comfortable with our support?
One of the reasons gay men idolize female popstars regardless of their political views or the explicitness of their homophilia is that the stereotypical gay fantasy world merges so seamlessly with the narcissistic queen imagery in which one is the wildly glamorous center of the universe. Also, as a friend of mine very astutely observed, the sexualization of Beyoncé’s body hinges on a celebration of her butt, rather than say, her breasts. As she says in “Yoncé” “ya man aint’ never seen a booty like this.” Beyoncé and gay men’s sexual imaginations are so close they’re practically grinding—what’s not to like?
Then, of course, her music is great. And yes, she is absolutely beautiful, and so is her family. Yes, we can go on analogizing our bootylicious fantasy world with hers regardless of whether she explicitly includes us. But maybe there’s something darker going on, too. As members of society so used to being excluded by heteronormativity—so used to recasting heterosexual narratives and culture as our own (hence why I stomped my way to the grocery store listening to “Partition” yesterday afternoon)—queer people are used to rejection. Maybe, we even like rejection. Like the assertion that society should parsimoniously “tolerate” us, we’ll take whatever bits of seductively hard-to-get approval Beyoncé’s dishing out—and in the heady rush forget about advocates like Lady Gaga, who will literally scream in front of the White House for LGBTQ rights.