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27 January 2011, 4:00 pm 7 Comments

Zack's Ramblings: The New Gay Trends of 2011

This post was submitted by Zack Rosen

Last year, after incorrectly theorizing that plaid had reached its apex in the indie-fag community, I attempted to chart the upcoming trends of 2010. Skinny jeans haven’t gone anywhere and the Deep V continues its reign of terror on this nation’s chests and eye sockets. Yet, I haven’t given up my dream of a better tomorrow. In that spirit, here is my forecast of 2011 trends. Some things we loved will be “out” and some trends you hoped to never see, not even with someone else’s eyes, might be “in.” Some are just my attempts at padding this article so it’s long enough. Whether or not they come to pass, I know that Ghandi will smile upon my efforts to be the change I wish to see at The Black Cat.


OUT: Beards
IN: Merkins

Honestly, what self-respecting alt kid doesnt’ have a beard? Maybe razor purchases were a victim of the flagging economy or Abraham Lincoln is ascending to Bowie-like levels of iconhood, but a naked face is as common in the clubs these days as Michele Bachmann at a NAMBLA rally. They just aren’t there. How long can this last? I dread the day when beards go out of vogue, since I look like a pockmarked 12 year-old without one (and my stubborn Jewish stubble takes 45 minutes to fully eradicate) but I suspect their days are numbered.

So what will rise in their place? My theory is merkins. Pubic wigs. Pubes are already a viable fashion accessory for those not blessed with happy trails and mass-marketed merkins would be a logical extension of that. My guess is that Universal Gear will have its own merkin display by April.  By May the hipsters will already shun the overly-manicured Diesel line for the more shaggy, individualistic American Apparel options.

OUT: Lady Gaga
IN: Schizophrenic panhandlers

My favorite avant-garde musician dresses unpredictably and has outspoken views on sexuality. She is a rail-thin poster of androgyny, given to contorting her limbs into impossible shapes with no warning. She likes red wine and gambling metaphors. Yet you won’t see her at the VMAs or on the cover of Vanity Fair. Instead she is quite accessibly stationed at the L’Enfant Metro stop with an open guitar case and a gaggle of grotesquely-intrigued pedestrians who know the statistical correlations between homelessness and mental illness yet can’t look away. She means more to me as a queer person than Lady Gaga ever will.

OUT: It Gets Better
IN: I know a gay person, give me money

I unquestionably support the “It Gets Better” project but doubt the motives of many who participate. Barack Obama can’t see the case against hateful pastors at his inauguration ceremony, but he drops everything when a force like Dan Savage points out that people are dying and maybe he should do something? I’m a big fan of truth in advertising (a Crunch Wrap Supreme should be called the “Taco Bell Diarrhea Shell“) and I would love to see an opportunistic politician or pop singer call a spade a spade.

I can see it now: Katy Perry sits in front of a fireplace with a docile exotic bird nestling quietly in the upper folds of her skirt. She faces the camera and a single tear rolls down her cheek, smearing the top-most layer of her makeup. She says “When I was growing up a knew a gay person. Well, I didn’t know him but my girlfriends used to throw used tampons at him in the cafeteria.It made me laugh and laugh.  His life was not easy. But it could be. Hope. Life. Perseverance. Sunset kitten dandelions chicken soup lesbian. Please buy my album.”

30 years later she’ll still get awards from the HRC.

OUT: Chely Wright comes out
IN: Betty White comes out… as a water-sports enthusiast

Betty White is everywhere. She’s proven herself as a strong woman in a male-dominated industry since 40 years before Adam Lambert soiled his first diaper with glitter and strained okra. The idea of her octogenarian sexuality fueled literally every sketch she did on SNL. What does she have to lose? Chely Wright took a stand for queer equality last year and Betty White will add a dose of sexual freedom to the canon.

Barbara Walters will ask her, “Betty, ith there thomething the folkth at home thould know about you that they don’t?” and Betty will say, in her sweet Rose Nylund voice, “Yes Barbara. I absolutely adore urine.” She’ll then go on for forty minutes about the taste and smell of it, and how she once took a golden shower on Milton Berle. Just like that, the world will become slightly easier for those on the outside.

OUT: Glee
IN: Monastic vows of silence

Fox’s new hit show will be called Monk…But Not the Tony Shalhoub One! Set in a secluded keep in upper Mongolia, it will document the lives of a racially diverse group of ascetic believers united by a slightly older, though no-less attractive, ascetic believer who makes them appreciate themselves and the power of music. The catch? No one can talk.The “Madonna” episode will reach its exciting conclusion when the girl with multi-colored hair holds up a chalkboard reading “like a virgin” without changing her facial expression and the legless indigent, rescued from the impoverished gutters, then holds up a sign with the word “hey” scrawled on parchment with ripe berries. It will be cancelled ten minutes into its pilot.

OUT: The Tea Party

What’s the next logical step from a bigotry-spawned, small-government-promoting, glorified-militia of a political party? FIRE IN THE STREETS! ZOO ANIMALS STALKING THROUGH ABANDONED DEPARTMENT STORES! ENRON EXECUTIVES BURNING MONEY UNDER A BRIDGE TO STAY WARM! The riots began when Christine O’Donnell became president and outlawed masturbation. They never ended. All gay people are sent to an island off the coast of Novia Scotia where gay men begrudgingly fuck lesbians to avoid dying out. American infrastructure crumbles away to nothing and those who can still read brush up on their Chinese.

OUT: Marriage Equality
IN: Trans-inclusive ENDA

While the end of DADT struck an major blow for queer equality, I predict that the year 2011 will see Marriage Rights lose their stronghold on queer activism. While I support those rights, I know that there are many other fights; fights that aren’t won on the backs of others. Since the Trans-Inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act will have the biggest tangible gains in the lives of our most disenfranchised, I know that the community will unite as one to guarantee its success…

Aw fuck. A guy can dream, right? Maybe in 2011 I’ll also get a pony.

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  • Jake said:

    One area that I think you’re right is beards. I think they’ve become so “cool” now that they’re starting to become passe. (Not that I plan on giving up the soul patch I’ve settled into over the past few months, but hey, it could happen.) And I don’t know about pube wigs, but I certainly hope that pubes make a comeback (I mean, they already have among cool people, but I mean the general mainstream gay population.)

    There was some magazine that used to do like an Out, 5 minutes ago, In thing, and as far as scruffiness, I think it’s sort of going like this

    Out: Scruffy heads
    5 minutes ago: Scruffy faces
    In: Scruffy chests
    Coming: Scruffy pubes

    Just my $0.02, not that I’m a trendmonger anyway, just how I see it.

  • Nathan said:

    I have long said that I do not feel comfortable with the association of gayness with transgender as far as allegiances and rights are concerned. A plurality of experts do not see them as related in anyway. It is like saying that Afro Americans shouldn’t have won their rights on the backs of Latinos. I dont think that is reasonable. Put another way, I have more in common in my struggle with my black neighbor of 40 years ago than I do most any transgender person.

    I do tend to agree that HRC awards the wrong people, but they have to fill seats, right? Whatever.

    I would love anarchy, I think we are far too civilized in this country! Why are people not burning things in the street? We have been robbed.

  • Stefani said:

    @nathan, You and I know that being transgendered/transsexual has nothing to do with being gay, it’s a separate issue. But the average person doesn’t see it that way.

    The reason why you have more an common with ALL transgendered people than you do your black neighbor is because you and the transgendered people face discrimination based largely on gender. Your black neighbor faces discrimination based largely on race. If fact, you have more in common with your mother’s struggle for gender equality than you do your black male neighbor. (Although, gender and race closely intersect.)

    You see, it comes down to this:

    “Real” men don’t have sex with men, and they certainly don’t get penetrated (you and I know that that is not the only way to have sex, but the average person doesn’t see it that way).

    “Real” men don’t wear dresses.

    People find both “unnatural” because of our socialization of gender.

    Furthermore, they see a “man” who is a trans-woman who is involved with a biological man and they (who are ignorant to these things) see two gay men. Transgendered people, regardless of how much they know they are “heterosexual” (as if that existed in the way we think it does) have come to accept that their lot in life is closely tied to those of gays and lesbians. It’s time you accept that too.

    The average person can’t even tell you the difference between a transsexual and a drag queen! And people still assume that most cross-dressers are gay.

    (On a side note, many trangendered people are gay. Think male to female lesbian. For more read Riki Wilchins.)

  • Alex Laska said:

    In another post (something about how you as a gay white person are not responsible for transgender people feeling left out), you tried as hard as you could to separate yourself from what you called “mainstream gays,” saying that you don’t identify with them and feel “uncomfortable” in large groups of them.

    How, then, do you expect us to believe that you, and you alone, know what will be in and out of fashion this coming year for the “mainstream gay” community when you purport to have nothing to do with them?

    Maybe I’ll go write a list of what will be in and out for the Latino community in 2011; it’ll make just as much sense and be just as insightful.

    P.S. You’re not that funny.

  • queer blogger said:

    Woah, Alex. Grow a funny bone. This was SATIRE. Oh, and its’ the “New Gay” trends for 2011, not Mainstream Gay Trends.

    If people were as good at reading as they are at being short-fused, life would be so much more zen.

  • Mauricio said:

    Hahaha, thanks queer blogger. Took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Zack Rosen (author) said:

    I am personally baffled how anyone could take this post seriously in the first place, and doubly so that the sentiment could remain after I called Betty White a watersports enthusiast.