Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The End of Camp & The Search for the Great Dark Man

Kevin Troughton wrote an interesting piece in The Guardian yesterday in which he suggested the demise of the camp man. Troughton suggested that the tanned, hair dyed effeminate male was on the wane, unpopular and undesirable. He notes (without irony and in a line that had me nearly choking on my cup of tea when I read it) that one camp man he was observing in a gay bar "isn't going down well." Well quite. I'm not sure I agree completely with Troughton's assertion. I encounter lots of camp students still, and there are also gay men in a range of other shapes and sizes - but wasn't it ever thus? The gay chav is perhaps a more recent identity and one wrapped in its own conflicts and tensions. The prosperous selective city-based homosexual that Troughton suggests is another identity but has always been around in some way.

I think Troughton has a more persuasive point in the idea of the "market" of identities - the search for a sexual partner. Here I'm reminded of Quentin Crisp's search for the "great dark man". Alas, that's also my type. Preferably with a hint of arrogance, bordering on being a bastard (psychologist blog readers will enjoy that revelation). Crisp noted that the great dark man can not exist for him, deterred as any true masculine male would be from someone effeminate and the very concept of homosexuality. A "true" man can not be a homosexual. Thus, the idea that Troughton puts forward - the demise of camp -suggests (if it is happening) that gay mena re refining their identities in a quest to be more attractive. We are collectively butching up in order to be more alluring to the great dark man. Well maybe. It's one to ponder over a few glasses of vino (or "manly" beer). Read the full piece here.

For more of a glimpse into Crisp, check out the Naked Civil Servant below. Student sin particular will find it interesting and useful.

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Sean Hennelly said...

What about camp straight guys like me? Am I becoming less attractive to the gay man? Lol. This is important in case I hop the fence! :P

Chris Ashford said...

I'm not sure you're all that 'camp'. Probably a good example of the metrosexual!

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