*the following article is written by The Clever Queer*
I’m not sure what the breaking point was. Maybe it was my boyfriend and I calling it quits after eight months, maybe it was the realization that this pandemic is going to be around for years; but something inside me clearly broke because I decided to start a YouTube channel, something no rational person would do.
Look, the internet is full of great gays and allies. Contrapoints is the trans-Aristotle, the academic Rowan Ellis is basically the queer Lindsay Ellis, who herself has made some wonderful gay content. Todrick Hall brings the music, DaveyWavey brings the hots, MacDoesIt brings the… honestly I’m not sure what he’s on but I want some.
But all these people are good at something. Where are the regular-ass dudes like me? I’m very much a middle gay. I’m only moderately cleanly. I have a passing familiarity with Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. I have no fashion sense, but you bet your ass I know every single lyric to You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
And I don’t think I’m the only one.
I’m a millennial. I need my validation. I need to know I’m not the only mediocre queer. I want to see myself represented on screen. No, I don’t want to just watch an LGBT movie— I don’t want to be relegated to one category. Gay isn’t a genre! I want to see myself in adventure and romance and horror. I want to be the hero, the villain, and everything in between.
So when something like The Last of Us Part II comes along I dare to dream that we’ve reached a place where a gay person can just be in a story without any fanfare. Maybe they can even have… flaws?! That is until the twitter gremlins crawl out of their hole to complain about… I don’t know, protecting the children?. Heaven forbid the main character be lesbian. What?! They’re kissing in the trailer? Where are my pearls? I need to clutch them.
You don’t need to be a gaymer to understand this. We see it over and over. Parents and friends who assert their tolerance will let slip phrases like “if she wants to live that lifestyle,” or “as long as they don’t hit on me,” or of course, the all-American staple: “I just don’t want it shoved down my throat.”
I have this really weird fetish. I really want a straight person to look at me – in all my gay glory – and say “You’re not like the rest of them. You’re one of the good ones.” I know, kinky, right?
I would then say back to them, “What if I told you I’m not? What if I told you I’m a perfectly average example of a gay person?”
This is my perverted fantasy. So I decided to try to make it a reality. A YouTube channel that hits two completely different markets:
- Heteros primed for indoctrination
- Gays like me who would kill for a reminder that miscellaneous, unspectacular homos like them also exist, and that there is no one correct way to be.
A channel with everything that I would have loved to see when I was still figuring myself out. Videos that I would love my parents and friends to see so they can FINALLY understand what it’s like to sashay a mile in my shoes. Why we stay closeted. What it’s like to come out. How Grindr works. Why I wish they would have taught gay sex-ed in school. What it’s like to watch this movie, or play that video game. What it’s like to watch millions of people talk about you like you aren’t there.
I’d rather protect my privacy, so the character needs to be animated— but I’m not an artist. I’m not well studied— so I’ll need to research each topic from scratch. I’m not a writer or editor by trade — so the videos will take at least a month to make. But it doesn’t matter, because I want them to exist, so I’ll put in the work.
I’m The Clever Queer, and my videos are linked here. I just cracked 100 subscribers, so I’m not exactly a big deal. But when I hit 1,000 I can start making a little money, and when I hit 10,000 I can start making a difference. I hope my videos vindicate you, challenge you, amuse you, or all of the above.
For some reason, it’s a point of controversy every time we decide to appear onscreen. So… I guess we’ll just need to do it more often.