A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
GayStarNews carries a story this evening which is just frankly bonkers. According to the news service, ‘he Danish entry for this year’s Mr Gay Europe has pulled out of the contest in Rome because it is ‘too sexual’. Jobbe Joller says he withdrew from the beauty pageant, being held in the Italian capital from 7-12 August, because he was being asked to take part in events which conflicted with his moral principles.’
They point to a statement on his facebook page in which he states: ‘I believe that I won Mr Gay Denmark 2011 and was sent to Mr Gay Europe 2012 due to my message that we should be proud and happy the way we are — whether you are homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or anything else in this life.’ ‘I don’t think that I need to put myself in a situation where I need to undress with sexual undertones,’ Joller added.
What planet is he living on? People do not get selected in this pageant events because they have a message that ‘we should be proud’. People win because they manage to combine likability with fuckability. Otherwise, the winners of these competitions would look more like me than him.
Leaving this – what seems to me – delusional/idiotic assertion by Joller, there is also the idea that it is in some way demeaning to gay men to demonstrate that they might be sexual. If the only image of gay men is of sexy car cleaners (the scene Joller apparently refused to take part in), he might have a point. But, the reverse situation – in which scantily clad car cleaning is banished – is equally as undesirable. The continued desire by some – such as Joller – to de-sex the homosexual identity is academically fascinating, and personally disturbing. This embracing of what I’ve termed the emerging homonormative identity – shaped in large part by the law – threatens to re-closet the sexual in the homo. Desire becomes restricted to the domestic, the monogamous, the ‘good’. We might have very good fashion sense, but don’t whatever you do mention the fact that we have been known to suck dick like a Dyson.
Men must nod sagely, deny the hard-on in their pants and confirm that they selected Joller because of his human rights championing. Seriously? It’s tempting to assume that attacks on sexual identity always come from the ‘straight’, the right-wing or the religious extreme, but sometimes we do the work for those very groups.