Monday, August 8, 2011

Guest Post: Why are Gay People So Funny?

By Jacob Woods

 “All the gay guys I meet are so funny!” I can’t be the only person in the gay world who has heard this phrase said or various forms of it like, “Why are gay people so funny?” I usually take it as a compliment and think in the back of my head, I have met and heard about some pretty unfunny gay people. Like Ted Haggard for example. Ok, bad example. But the question remains, why are gay people so funny? I don’t know actually. But, I have a couple of excellent guesses.

Media portrayal and lgbt icons

Believe it or not, writing counts as media. When I hear media, I think YouTube! David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs are a place to start. They are both satirists who write creative non-fiction. Their books run the edges of memoir but are puffed up to be hilariously amazing. Many in the lgbt community and allies of are avid readers of both Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris. And, because they are gay and write satire, perhaps the whole lgbt alphabet gets labeled a comedian show.

What about the primary colors of activism? There are only two that I can think of at the top of my head. Dan Savage and Ellen DeGeneres. Though they take their activism seriously, they often do it in a humorous way. So therefore, because Ellen and Dan are comedians, so are the rest of the activists out there. Plus, there are plenty of online lgbt faces like Arielle is Hamming, hilarious, Davey Wavey, Mathew Lush, and Tyler Oakley to name a few that I tune into now and then. And the biggest face to internet media, the hilarious Michael Buckley, who created the What The Buck Show! Over 1 million subscribers and the first full time scripted YouTube series! He’s gay, and funny!

Maybe we’re funny because that’s how we cope

There is the socialization of all the online and offline media that sends this message of humor to budding activists. Humor is the best tool for a solid argument. And it is the lgbt’s form of non-violent protest. Gays won’t hate you, punch you, or stalk you. But surely, all of us lgbt’s are looking for the next punch line. Michelle Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty are great comedians, they just don’t know it! If I couldn’t laugh at how much they disliked and didn’t come to understand the lgbt community, I would be morbidly depressed. So humor is my natural friend for coping.

We’re not all funny

Ok, just because a gay guy tells a joke doesn’t mean they are automatically hilarious. I have friends who crack jokes all the time. They just aren’t funny. I give empathetic laughs for support. I don’t know why. But, there are many people who are lgbt and don’t use humor to make their case. They perhaps use the glaring logic available, or more of an emotional appeal like Jamie Nabozony who inspired the documentary Bullied. There is a lot more to gayness than sexual puns. And I hope I can help people understand just that.

Jacob Woods is an aspiring author, (currently working on his book MascuFemity), an avid activist, an opinionated psychology student, and at most, a really awesome blogger. (At the moment. He actually doesn’t know where he is going to college, long story, but he will be going!) To read more by him, check out his blog at Good as Gay and follow him on Twitter.