Stuff Gay People Like: Science Fiction
November 10, 2011 | 3:27 pm
(Updated: February 22, 2013 | 4:01 pm)
It only takes a quick look at history to realize the arrow of time is friendly to LGBT people. Gay men have no shortage of differing opinions on all things – but they seem to agree that the future is bright.
Just look at the difference between Richard Nixon and Barack Obama on gay rights. Judging by how far we’ve come in 40 years, it’s reasonable to expect that in 2050 we’ll be thinking of Noam Chomsky as unfortunately conservative, debating whether we should forgive his backwardness as a product of his time or just change the names of high schools named for him.
Religious conservatives fret that same-sex marriage will trigger a cascade of liberalism and crumbling social standards. They envision a society plagued by vices: women marrying goats, eight-year-olds on heroin, full-frontal nudity in children’s TV shows, orgies in public parks – and not a non-organic vegetable in sight. In that coming golden age, two men in love will be downright proper by comparison.
There’s no question that day will come. But the future also has a downside: we’ll be old. Gay men consider themselves over the hill at 30, and social upheaval is much less fun to witness when you’re only a couple years from cashing out your 401K. We need to make the future happen now, while we’re still athletic and good-looking.
Science fiction is as close as we can get.
Perhaps the main subject of a sci-fi flick is an inconvenient alien invasion or existential question about sentient robots and human clones, but those are just included for the geeks. It’s the wild possibilities that draw gay guys in to sci-fi. Gay men are already tech-savvy; science fiction is technology porn, in which holographic computer screens can pop out of a watch and smartphones can be wired directly into our brains. Gay men love to travel; in science fiction, ski trips are on the moons of Saturn and traveling to the other side of the world is as quick as a two-hour ride on a hypersonic bullet train. Gay men are urbanites by nature, and in sci-fi, skyscrapers stand three miles high and the cityscape extends from horizon to horizon.
Gay men are also basically nocturnal, and 90 percent of the scenes in science-fiction films and TV shows take place at night. We’re not sure if the writers think daylight stops existing in the year 2100 or if the characters just live in cities that are buried underground, but in either case life full of fun and deviance and parties go on around the clock.
Most exciting of all, science fiction clearly shows that women rule the future world: donning midriffs and fantastic hair, they carry electron guns and battle genetically-modified zombies without so much as a scuff on their sexy combat boots. They will be our fag hags, and have homophobes kneeling at our feet.
It’s hard to say if “gay” is even a concept in science fiction. If women are the future’s soldiers, humanity has probably moved beyond concepts of masculinity and femininity or sexual orientation. I’m pretty sure at least two thirds of guys in sci-fi are wearing some kind of eyeliner or form-fitting tight clothing yet are still considered manly. The bizarre sexual attraction gay guys have for closeted dudes and straight men who are “open to the possibility” will be transferred to any male in the post-gay world.
(Oh yeah – and in the sci-fi future, the guys are really good-looking, too.)
These things are definitely going to happen someday. Hopefully medical science will advance quickly enough that we’ll all survive untill aging is reversed and get the chance to live young forever – if not, the possibility of reincarnation is our only hope of seeing the awesome future. In the mean time, science fiction is the gay man’s vision of a perfect world.
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