(un-PC language may be encountered below)
Much has been made lately, and photos posted, and jokes told, regarding President George Bush's public walk, hand-in-hand, with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The gist of which has been that two guys holding hands together is... ummm... faggy.
The official White House line on this has been that holding hands is a sign of trust in Arab culture, so Bush and the Prince holding hands was really a sign of respect for the Prince's culture. Not something faggy, but something actually manly. (Manly, dammit! Manly!)
Okay, George Bush is a guy. Sowed some wild oats as a young man, drank too much, probably tried drugs (probably a, probably large, number of times). But he grew up, straightened up, married and had children, ran a number of businesses (badly, but hey, shit happens), ran the state of Texas (badly, but hey, shit happens), and is now running the entire US government (badly, but hey...).
So why did George W. Bush decide, in college, to let people think he was gay?
I grew up in the 50's and 60's, and the change in attitudes toward homosexuals since then has been... extraordinary. Simply extraordinary.
Back then, there were no "gays". There were just "queers", "fags", "homos", "sissies", "nancies", "perverts" and "cocksuckers". Back then, if teen-aged tough guys were broke, what they frequently said to their friends was "Let's go down to the bus station and roll some queers." That wasn't just talking tough, either; if you beat and robbed a queer, you got away with it, because the police of those days would look the other way, literally. Homosexuals, or people assumed to be homosexual, were not considered or treated as human beings; civil rights routinely granted to normal citizens were simply ignored if society identified you as queer. There was no public acceptance of homosexuality. None. Homosexuality was something closeted, hidden, denied.
This began to change with the Stonewall Riots, and with a few brave individuals like Merle Miller who openly identified themselves as homosexual. It was a new attitude of "We're here. We've always been here. We're not going away. Deal with it."
And, amazingly, a good deal of the public has learned to deal with it over the last forty years. In spite of incidents like the Matthew Shephard murder, or the anti-gay-marriage movement, the degree to which homosexual men and women are openly recognized and accepted as part of modern society is... flabbergasting... to someone who can remember what it used to be like. It's been an incredible, incredible, sea-change in societal attitudes.
But in the late 60's and early 70's, that change had barely begun. If you were a guy who did something regarded as "sissy" by most of the public, you could still find yourself labeled as a fag, even if that weren't the case. It wasn't fun, and it could even be dangerous. Sometimes just being a heavy book-reader, or not being a sports fan, was enough to get the label applied. And there were some activities that almost invariably would make others certain you were queer.
A male hairdresser? Faggot.
A male interior decorator? Pervert.
A male cheerleader? Oh, you betcha. In that era, you could be a hard-partying, hard-drinking, skirt-chasing frat boy in college, but if you put on that uniform and picked up that megaphone and pranced around on the edge of that football field, I guarantee you that at least half of the people in the stands would think of you as if you were wearing a big signboard with the words I'M A BIG SCREAMING HOMO written on it.
So why did George W. Bush become a cheerleader in college? Why did he choose to do something that he must have known would make many people think he was queer?
(You know, it must have been an interesting phone call home after making the cheerleading team: "Mom! Dad! I'm a cheerleader!" *thud* *thud*)
What was going through his mind back then? I really have a hard time trying to understand it.
Was he a straight guy just so dumb that he didn't realize what people might think? Did he think his party-boy reputation would keep people from thinking he was gay?
Was he, umm, "confused" about his own sexuality? Was cheerleading a "safe" way to act gay without actually going so far as to have sex with other guys?
Or... is George Bush actually bisexual? Is he attracted to both women and men?
I really don't know. But the cheerleading, and the public hand-holding.... these are no-brainers. They look faggy. And while homosexuals in general have made great gains in public acceptance, the American public in general doesn't want "sissies" to be their national leaders.
So why did the President (and why did his staff!) decide that the hand-in-hand walk would be a positive PR moment, a good photo-op?
What the heck is going on inside that skull?