H is for:

Has-beens Gays love a has-been. Every time some washed-up pop singer or soap star announces a comeback tour or nightclub appearance, we flock there in droves. But why? Is it because we can relate to the underdog? Is it because we have better memories than everyone else? Are we more loyal than our straight brothers and sisters?

Perhaps it’s something to do with our genetic make-up. Whatever the cause our predisposition towards has-beens cannot be denied. Why else would we get excited when New Mardi Gras shipped out the British singer Nicki French -“ whose claim to fame was a cover of Total Eclipse Of The Heart in 1995 -“ for last year’s Mardi Gras party? Then there’s Melissa Tkautz, who had two hit singles in the very early 90s and now performs at Arq virtually every second week.

Former The Brady Bunch stars Florence Henderson (Carol) and Barry Williams (Greg) always attract gays with their semi-regular cabaret tours of Oz, while Bea Arthur, from 80s TV sitcom The Golden Girls, brought out a live show to coincide with the Sydney Gay Games. Heck, the gays didn’t even stop supporting Kylie during her wilderness years of has-beendom in the 90s. The one thing in common with all these has-beens is their camp value, and for some in the gay community it never seems to go out of style.

Heterophobia Where do straight people get off anyway? If they’re not dancing on our dancefloors, reading our papers or quoting our TV shows, they’re talking about their gay friends from their seats in parliament.

Heterophobia is alive and well in Sydney’s queer communities and sometimes it’s fair. It’s only natural to hate gay bashers, fundamentalist Christian bigots and straight men posing as lesbians on dyke dating sites. But a read of the SSO‘s letters page after a Mardi Gras party reveals a deeper, darker hatred, with a strong undertone of misogyny.

According to said letter writers, heaps of gay men really, really hate the straight woman on the dancefloor. Ah, she of the flicky hair and/ or obnoxious boyfriend, who turn up at parties to bother the gays. Complaints include dancefloor hoggery, swinging arms, opposite-sex pashes, stealing of gay space and other handbag-related misdemeanours.

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