Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Golden Age of Denial

I once knew somebody who knew somebody who worked for South Africa's censorship board, which reviewed films and books to see if they were suitable for hoi polloi and wouldn't corrupt said multitudes or lead them to think liberal.  The story was that at interval at a Censor Board screening of The Killing of Sister George, the more, shall we say, innocent of the Censors admitted that it appeared harmless.  They had no idea it was a lesbian film.  Once they were informed it was, it was immediately banned*.

So it was with homoerotic images in the great days of the closet.  Hoi polloi had no idea that there was a subtext.  Advocate has just published a great series of images--military posters and advertisements all startlingly homoerotic to our eyes.   The ads were clearly directed at men who wanted to be with men.  Heterosexual but homosocial, perhaps.  Or just plain gay-shaded.  But fairly explicit to our less sheltered and less innocent eyes.  Like my unknowing passion for Superman in his speedos and tights, muscled and square-jawed and so manly.

These days we are so afraid of male sexuality we prefer men to wear baggy swimsuits instead of speedos and loose pants instead of skin-tight jeans (the new skinny jeans look is politely called 'metrosexual' rather than 'gay')  I remember ogling Superman, and the guys in their rugby shorts, and not understanding why or what I was feeling until I fell in love with a bloke much later.

In a way, the loss of innocence is a little sad.  Even if it is an inevitable part of growing up.  Bad enough for us, but the poor anti-gay troglodytes must be in constant torment, knowing that all around them there may just be homoerotic subtext they're missing.  Unless of course they're all in denial themselves.

[To see more images, go here]

*their greatest triumph was in banning the book Black Beauty, a decision quietly rescinded after much mockery.

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