Last week, some self-described “liberal” politicos in Jersey City called for the removal from office of a fellow “liberal” politico because he posted a humorous photograph of a well-tanned, middle-aged, fat white man. True, the man is wearing high-heels, but does it necessarily follow that he enjoys sex with other men?
The town of New Hope, in Pennsylvania, holds a yearly “drag race” in which participants of all sexes and sexual orientations race downhill wearing high heels and a vast array of other garments and accessories. It doesn’t mean that the runners embrace same-sex marriage or are transvestites. Likewise, the crowd cheering them on come from all walks of life and points of view. It isn’t serious… it’s fun.
Like this guy…
Okay, different footwear, but is it really all about the shoes? Do we need to check out the footwear before making a joke?
The Jersey City politicos channeled some serious neo-Victorian outrage, topped with neo-Puritan calls for public shaming and worse. One of the pair, Mr. Michael Billy (of the LGBT Hudson Pride Center) claimed the fat man in the high heels was “transphobic, homophobic and misogynistic…” That’s a mouthful. We wonder if he could say that after he’s had a few? Of course, he added this appeal for more taxpayers’ money… It is “a stark reminder of the ‘work’ still left for us to achieve.”
Mr. Billy added: “Jersey City is the most diverse city in the nation with the largest LGBTQ+ population in the state," Billy said. "This post doesn't reflect our welcoming spirit.”
Naah, Jersey City is just an up-tight, stick-up-its-ass, kind of place – filled with a lot of modern day Mrs. Grundys. It hasn’t been all that LGBT long enough to be comfortable with it… the way so many, more mature towns, are. Jersey City isn’t comfortable, so it isn’t cool… too prickly and looking to be offended to kick back and have a good time. Too damned political to have a sense of humor.
Mr. Billy even let his armband show a bit when he suggested to the Jersey Journal that the politico who posted the picture of the fat man be made to “apologize and participate in cultural competency training.” “Cultural competency training”??? Does Mr. Billy or his group get taxpayers’ dough to do that bullshit? In a corrupt town like Jersey City, everybody who is anybody has got their own scam.
Another politico – Mr. Michael Maddalena – said the fat man was “homophobic and transphobic”. He apparently forgot the “misogynistic”. He demanded an apology or a resignation. Ouch.
Other, cooler places, places that have been “LGBT” since before there was anything called “LGBT” (back when it was just “gay” or “eccentric”), those places where everyone rubs along together and thinks of each other as dear neighbors and friends, those places don’t have all these hysterics. That’s for the uncool and the uncomfortable… those who have something to prove and need to prove it every day.
The great New Yorker writer Joe Mitchell very lovingly wrote of Greenwich Village – back when it was poor and genuinely eccentric – that it was filled with all types of people, some outwardly quite ordinary, but that in its collective soul, “we are all freaks together.” Jersey City, which subsidizes its rich at the expense of the state’s poor and middle class, will never get it.
But maybe this will help, courtesy of that genuine liberal, Bill Maher…