Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gott Fag? 2

There's been a lively discussion at Ta-Nehisi Coates' place on gay mannerisms and speculating on whether Andrew Shirvell, who has blogged obsessively (and now exclusively; it's no longer publicly accessible.) about the gay student body president of his alma mater Chris Armstrong, is a closet case. Responses range from discomfort at stereotyping to "Well, duh." Generally there is concern that his clearly unhealthy obsession could turn dangerous.

For my part I see Shirvell, like all these cases, to be scorned and pitied, for it is obvious he is in deep denial about himself. It's in the eyes. They are constantly shifting and rarely looking at the camera straight on (so to speak). They betray a great strain and effort to maintain the facade, to continue in a futile attempt to prove not just to others but himself most of all, that he is not actually who he really is. (I say who and not what, for it is personhood and identity that are at stake here.)

Further evidence is the blog itself, with pictures of Armstrong scrawled on (using MS Paint, by the looks of it) with "Resign" and swastikas. This behavior is but a denial and perversion of the same impulse that makes the wistful write his beloved's name surrounded by hearts. When those channels of emotion are closed off and the object of affection becomes something the observer can never have or be, this is the sad and sorry result.

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