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Gays vs. Lesbians

Room for Squares

If there were ever a battle of the sexes, there’d be no better place for it than Showtime, home of the queer-centric dramas “The L Word” and “Queer as Folk". In fact, my friend and I have an ongoing argument. Actually, it’s less an argument than it is a continuous discussion about which series is the better one. She chooses to extol the virtues of “The L Word” while I prefer to enjoy the escapades of the crew on “Queer as Folk".

It started a couple of weeks ago when I sat through my first full episode of “The L Word.” I don’t know why but I was never interested in this show before, which is weird because I’ve heard good things about it. It’s been on for about five years and for some reason I had never even seen one episode. But who am I kidding, really? I know exactly why this show never appealed to me before. It’s about lesbians.

What sort of self respecting, flag waving gay man would want to watch a show about a bunch of lesbians. Icky icky lesbians. You know -- the kind that likes to sleep with women? Just the thought of it makes my skin crawl. Why anyone would willingly give up an entire Sunday night, much less an entire season, to a show that advocates that type of unsavory behavior is beyond me. Call me old fashioned, but I’d much rather see two men overdosing on drugs and getting it on in the backroom of a club without a lesbian in sight.

It may seem a bit misogynistic to show such open disdain for lesbian activities, but believe me when I say that I am merely upholding a proud tradition for gay men everywhere. Ever since that first fight between Encino Dyke and Homo Erectus, lesbians and gays have been at it. Don’t believe me? Just take a look around you, the proof is everywhere. Like oil and vinegar, gays and lesbians just don’t mix. One has historically been domiciled in the flashy Castro and the other has been relegated to a dive bar on the corners of 19th and Lexington. The two couldn’t be more different.

So the question that begs to be asked is: why? Why do two communities, who should unite in the ways they differ from the mainstream, lead such disparate lives? Basically, what it boils down to is a difference in sex. Gay men don’t hang out with lesbian women in the same way and for the same reasons that straight men, in their off time, don’t hang out with straight women. Without the prospect of sex, it’s sorta like “what’s the point?”

Indeed, it would be hard to imagine any reason for a gay man to spend a Sunday afternoon with a lesbian. He might if he needed some home improvement lessons, and even then it’d be after he exhausted all other handy man possibilities. And why a lesbian would want to hang out with a gay man if she didn’t need shopping tips or a hairstylist is another mystery for the ages. The two just have nothing in common. To have one in the company of the other would be like eating beer nuts with a frozen cosmo -- it’s just not done.

At least that’s how I saw it, pre “L Word". After my first episode however, I realized how much alike we actually are, and it’s more than just the similarities between resident bad boys Shane and Brian. Our relationships and lives aren’t as different as I thought. We aren’t as different as I thought. But still, judging from the episode I saw, gay men don’t factor into the lives of gay women very much. Maybe it’s just another instance of art imitating life, or maybe it’s the other way around.