As Xtra.ca gears up for some exciting changes in the new year, I'm temporarily sharing space in the Toronto Diary with the mighty Rob Salerno, from whom I inherited the Daily Roundup a year and a half ago. The timing's perfect, since it's the Toronto Sun who got snippy about my wisecracking over Truro, Nova Scotia pledging to stop gay cruising in a local park:
"This latest news has predictably been met with accusations of homophobia."
Seeing my (misspelled) name in the paper was a shock — the Toronto Sun reads Xtra? (I'm sure it's for the articles!) — but it's the "predictably" that annoys. Yep, those tedious gay activists — you can set your watch to them! But why exactly are these accusations of homophobia so predictable? Because there is indeed a double standard:
Way out west, Xtra's Gareth Kirkby once extolled the virtues of park sex while warning about police arrests. Meanwhile, Women's Health magazine urged readers to "Get It on Outside:""To inspire you, we've come up with prime outdoor spots for getting busy, plus advice on the best positions in each."
Sassy! And certainly more fun than just watching it in a movie yet again. But see, when gay men go alfresco, they're being radical perverts. Oh sure, there was that infamous straight couple who got arrested for having sex on a beach but that was in Dubai, where lesbians are arrested for kissing. Is that what you want, Truro?
The point is not to say that everyone should be having sex outside, merely that a whole lot of people — straight, gay, what-have-you — really seem to enjoy it and it's galling to hear that tired old "protect the family" rhetoric employed against an activity typically done after dark, off the beaten path. If your kids are in the woods at midnight, they've got bigger problems than some some friskiness in the bushes.
But that's just me being predictable, rather like a University of Minnesota study's "startling" findings that casual sex is not emotionally damaging or San Francisco columnist Mark Morford's assertion that teenagers are as "hormonally supercharged as they've ever been." When, if ever, will the Sun crowd stop being shocked by this stuff?
Well, maybe the same time I stop being shocked by their shock. As we approach the holiday season, I thought it time to thank you, my ever-loyal tens of readers, for following along with me these past two years on the Roundup. I've loved your comments and criticisms and hope you enjoyed my tenure as much as I have but I've decided to step aside from daily blogging later this month — following, of course, a seemingly endless series of farewell appearances like Cher or Celine Dion. Have a fantastic weekend (go see A Single Man!) and we'll be back here Monday.