Bits and Pieces

by Bootdog

Originally published as "Spring Cleaning" in the Spring 2000 issue of The Black Hole, the Official Newsletter of STARS M.C. (edited for temporal relevancy)

As Vice President of STARS M.C., I was expected to contribute an article to every issue of the Black Hole. That was not easy, let me tell you. I usually got about half-way through an article and realized that I'd either veered into utter esoterica or taken the position of "A is bad. B (being the opposite of A) is bad too, so try to find a happy medium." Moderation of opinion, while an effective way of avoiding ulcers and high blood pressure, is a rotten basis for enthralling essays. Let's face it, if Rush Limbaugh were a moderate, there would be several AM radio stations with three hours to kill. Moderation is BORING. Sensible, but BORING!

So, the following is a bunch of points I tried to flesh out into articles, but which never made it. Maybe if I restrict them to one paragraph each, they'll retain their zing.

1. Never ever use the phrase "No fats, no fems" again. The gay community, as a whole, has far too many problems with body image and masculinity issues to have you remind us that our chances of getting laid are dependent on how people perceive those two factors. It's all right to not be attracted to heavy and/or effeminate men, just don't continually point it out.

2. Leather is drag, dammit! It may not involve fishnet stockings, but leather is drag. Leathermen and drag queens need to recognize that we are much more similar than most of us like to admit. I am proud to acknowledge that a significant number of STARS members do drag regularly.

3. When you and someone you know have a disagreement, feel free to try to resolve your differences. However, I feel that two "rules" should be observed at all times. A) Don't allow the disagreement to alter your relationship otherwise. If person 1 is politically liberal and person 2 is politically conservative, they can argue all they want, but once you stop discussing politics, drop the "opponent" status. B) Don't raise the tactics in an argument beyond what the stakes justify. In other words, fight only as much as you care. Yelling and screaming because you want to serve Coke instead of Pepsi at an event is absurd. If you keep it up, no one will want to deal with you and no one will take you seriously when you do argue an important point.

4. Be nice. I don't mean you have to kiss ass constantly. I don't even mean smile at everyone you meet, including that guy who stole your boyfriend, shot your dog, and burned your copy of Urban Aboriginals. What I mean is, when you speak of something you don't like: a person whose politics you find odious or whose sexual practices you find disgusting, a song that makes you retch, an "article" containing a list of half-baked notions that the author was too lazy to flesh out into full essays, either just say that you're not crazy about him/it/that or simply say nothing. Really, what does the phrase "_______ sucks" accomplish other than pointing out that, like everyone else on this planet, you have an opinion.

Thank you for your attention.


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