RSCDS magazine cover / discussion / Andrea's comments ~ thoughts of a gay SCDer


Message 58609 · 5 May 2010 23:56:19 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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I believe that I have read every message on the subject. I don't know who
that has replied and commented may actually be gay him- or herself, as
nobody has so specified, but here are some thoughts from a gay male SC dancer
and teacher. (That I am gay is no revelation; I believe that I have likely
mentioned it previously in passing at one time or another, and of course I
long ago fell into the habit...and never fell out of it...of using my
husband's e-mail address.)

The thoughts in my head after reading all of this are rather random and
scattered, so I'll make some effort to organize them:

First, the cover itself: from what I had read ere receiving my copy, I
was, I must admit, really actually looking forward to something that could
even be construed as gay. (I am always looking for such things in the media,
merely out of interest, such as the recent Progressive Insurance commercial
with the [likely] gay couple, which some Americans may well have seen.) I
must say that when I finally did see the cover, much as it might have been
fun for me to have been able to imagine a depiction with some sort of
potentially gay overtone, I could not remotely see any such thing in this
photo. My only negative comment about the cover might perhaps be that it
doesn't look anything to me like dancing, much less SCD. It looks like some sort
of an athletic competition. Of the four with hand holds all but one have
both feet squarely planted on the ground and don't appear to me to be
moving at all; they more appear to me as though they are trying to each push the
other over. There appears to be a red team and a blue team and those
waiting in line (not facing inwards as would project the idea of a set) just
seem to be waiting their turn at the same competition. It very much reminds
me of the many such hand-to-hand competitions, one at a time in sequence,
that take place between "tribes" on the American television show Survivor.
But I am getting a tad off my point, which is that there is not anything
that strikes me as gay in the photo, even if not terribly much like dancing,
and nor would it seem to likely do so for any casual viewer of the cover,
unless such a person might see any same-gender tennis match, football game,
or any other athletic competition as gay.

As for the vast majority of comments from Strathspeyers, I am pleased to
have found them so overwhelmingly positive and enlightened.

I do have to remark that I have found many of Andrea's comments rather
bizarre, all sorts of things from equating gay "campiness" with old biddies
(the latter who likely would not much appreciate the former) to the cover's
somehow bordering on the "dangerous." In a way I must say that in one sense
I am glad that Andrea and his wife and some casual passer-by at their
house (I forget just who) immediately thought "gay" when seeing the photo.
Half a century ago and possibly later gays were largely invisible, even to
fourteen-year-old me. Two men seen eating together in a restaurant would have
been thought of as business associates, brothers, or at most "friends,"
never as potentially a married or dating couple. So to even be aware of
gays, as society certainly by now has become, is progress. But as I already
mentioned, I am surprised that anyone would pick up anything gay (even if not
necessarily dancing) from this cover as Andrea et cie. somehow immediately
did; my "gaydar" just does not pick that it does with such as the
Progressive Insurance all. Aside from being bizarre, I
have to say that I have found Andrea's comments sporadically offensive.
Referring to the photo as a "gay romp" seems to have rather pejorative (as well
as perhaps sexual?) overtones. I doubt that Andrea would refer to a photo
of a more conventional SCD set as a "straight romp."

Without any negative overtones, much the contrary, there have been several
comments from Strathspeyers about the greater-than-general-population
percentage of gay men involved in SCD. I don't doubt or question what others
have experienced, but I must say that with more than three decades of close
involvement with the RSCDS community in Southern California I myself have
not seen that locally. I am actually only aware of one other openly gay
SCDer hereabouts, with whom I have very occasionally danced at social events,
but as someone else pointed out, it's 99.9+% with women that I dance. Nor
am I aware of great numbers, or any per se for that matter, of gay denizens
of the Strathspey. If there are such it would be merely fun and
interesting to know who you are; you could always "reveal" yourself(ves) privately
if not publicly, as I have not shrunk from doing.

In conclusion I would like to say that as interesting (and overwhelmingly
gratifying) as this thread has been to read, I don't think that the
magazine cover would have, in of itself one way or another, engendered it and that
without Andrea's (for me) peculiar read of the cover in the first place, it
likely never would have come about. As a both a SCDer and as a gay man I
must however say that, the topic's having arisen, I have personally much
appreciated so many positive comments from so many of my electronic

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

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