Alexandra Chase - Diary Of a Vermont Drag Queen
by Michele Christopher

This is the debut column of Matthew Pinsonneault. "Diary of a Vermont Drag Queen" will be appearing weekly on FTTW. Enjoy!

It's never easy to be a gay man anywhere, rural Vermont is no exception, and to be a rather effeminate man is even harder, but more on that later and as events warrant. Right now I'd like to focus on another topic, men. More precisely, gay men.

Now Let me see, I have been out and proud since I was ten years old, started going to meetings at Outright Vermont at eleven, and progressing into adulthood from there. I have noticed a few things about gay men that make me upset. Let me break it down for you:

Issue Number One: Masculine Versus Feminine men.

When did we guys suddenly decide that we should be so discriminating that we label and otherwise separate ourselves so much? I will agree that some of us do lean one way more than the other, but when did this become the basis of judgement for further friendships? Either you get along or you don't, end of story. To not even get to know a person because he talks with more of a lisp than maybe he should, is only cheating yourself out of a potential friend that could prove very valuable to you and your perception on life. Many of these "femme" guys can do more than their "masculine" counterparts. For example I may be a little on the feminine side, but I met one of these "masculine" men, and after about two hours I found out that this poor soul couldn't change the oil in his car, change a tire, and had no clue how to set the clock on the VCR let alone set the darn thing up. These are all things I can do in spades!changeoil.jpg So who's more masculine? The big guy who can't understand audio visual instructions, or the little guy who can change your oil and whip up a makover in under twenty minutes? It is possible that because I gew up in Vermont farm country with two wonderful brothers I am a very anomalous person in the gay world. Treading a fine line between both sexes, or maybe I am masculine because I accept who I am and make no bones about it. When did "masculine acting" enter the scene? I'm sorry guys I don't have to ACT masculine, because I am. So get over it already.

Issue Number two, is a bit more controversial: Open Relationship.

Now then I'm all for love in any form, but I really don't understand this at all. Now I have friends in open relationships and they seem happy, but it seems to me that something really might be missing here. I come from an unbroken home, from a pair of wonderful parents that to my knowledge, have never been "swingers". Maybe that has something to do with my "old fashioned" notions, but If I've got you this far I may as well finish. It seems to me that we gay men are all lonely people, and that we all want to be loved and cherished like everyone else. It occurred to me that it might be possible that loneliness causes us to simply lower our standards when it comes to relationships. Many of these relationships seem simply a glorified version of the modern roommate. They share the bills and domestic bliss, they share a bed and look forward to being old together, and they screw anyone they want to... Wait, can someone define the word "commitment" again? Thanks.

I have heard from many sources, that it isn't in the nature of the male gender to be faithful, but you know what I think? I think it's an excuse, yes an excuse to go off and have your cake and eat it too. And why not?? I'll tell you why not. To my mind it is cheating yourself out of true love and true commitment. true love is a hard thing to achieve I know, but I also know that I see nothing but my Mom in my father's eyes when he looks at her and I see that love there between them and I want that kind of love. I want my future beau to have eyes for me.. Sure I bet my dad sees beautiful women, and I'm sure he notices it. The question is would he entertain the notion of canoodling with said beauty? cupid.jpgNever, because he loves his wife and the time that they have had over the years has gotten them the chance to really know one another; every inch, every millimeter, every nuance. Now I shudder to think about this because we're talking about my folks here but I bet no one can please my dad like my mom, and vice versa. Because she knows him so well he just has to look at her and she just knows right what's on his mind.

Personally, I doubt any open relationship will ever have that kind of rock solid foundation, because those pairs of folks are sharing their attention with other people, couples, and whatever might take their fancy, instead of working on deepening the love that they claim to have for one another. I hate to tell you folks but that's a shallow relationship, and selfish too. You want the comforts of a loving relationship with none of the sacrifices. And as far as I know, you have to pay the piper in order to get the goods.

Has anyone thought about the spreading of STD's? I would be worried my lover would come home with something that wasn't a gift from Tiffany’s. Not to mention the worry that maybe someone else would take my lovers affection away from me. Which might just be my insecurity, but it takes alot of time, at least for me, to get to know someone, trust them, and get to the point where I don't worry when we go out that there would be some god just waiting to snatch my lover from my loving arms. As a single man I'm also dissappointed to hear that someone who was flirting with me and talking about going out, is in an open relationship, because where does that leave me? Oh yeah, the flavor of the week. Which, while perfectly convenient for this guy, is totally nothing but using me for the sake of a roll in the hay.

I am not, despite popular belief, into being used and discarded like a badly made dildo. My mommy taught me better than that.

Issue Number Three: the obsession with sex.

Does anyone online actually take a moment to see what happens in these chat rooms? For those of you still blessedly not online I'll break it down for you:

Man A: hey guys Burlington anyone?
Man B: Hey guys S.Vermont here. Pvt Me.
Man C: Hey guys Weston here.

Can you see the pattern here?

Is everyone just looking for the hapless commuter to drop by and help themselves? Or are we just trying to clarify that we're all from Vermont in some way? I go online to talk to people and connect with the other gay men around the state, but the rooms I go to are empty of any decent conversation about the days events or the latest art show. Actually for long periods of time it's dead and not busy at all because they all seem to be just waiting for some guy to like the pic they have and make arrangements to hook up for
a little one on one, then it's on to the next! They may even be online while they have the company there. (It happens!) It seems the internet has become the newest tool for the people we used to refer to as the "sharks" always looking for "New Meat". I can say that I have also met a great bunch of people in these same rooms, and have met a few of them face to face, but do all of these meetings have to be about sex?chatsnap.jpg What happened to just getting to know a person? Has sex become so impersonal? It's the new fad! Everyone jump on the party train! I'm still of the opinion that sex should mean SOMETHING even if it's so simple as "God you're beautiful and I like what you have to say about ethics in dating" Now it seems that sex has been cut down to mean nothing more than a glorified handshake. "Nice to meet you, Here's my ass, do your thing!" Is that really sexy?

I was online the other day and there was a person planning on visiting to catch the foliage, and wanted to know about what places would be nice to visit, and you know what was suggested to him? A BATH HOUSE! What does a sexpit have to do with the foliage? Why do we not bother to recommend a nice coffeehouse, or a great gallery, or a nice drive with beautiful views? What has happened to my culture that just makes me think that we have a reputation for promiscuity that might be well deserved? I care about my fellow queers out there and I worry where my community will be in future years.

OK so that's it for now my rant this month, day, week, whatever. Bless you all, and may you find true happiness in what you do! Don't worry about me, I'm a Queen, what do I know?


Wow, very interesting Matthew. Thanks a lot for the insight.


Welcome to FTTW, Matthew.

Great debut column. We're looking forward to reading more from you.


i like reading this stuff. Now I have to check out a chat room.


Nice work, mate... Very clean, extremely insightful and none of the drama that I usually associated with my gay friends. I look forward to more.


For those of you still blessedly not online

I had the nice lady at the Post Office print out this gentleman's column and the messenger boy delivered it to me. I understand that this will be directed to you by her typing into something called a 'computer'. It is my understanding, however, that one must normally be 'online' to read the information the internet trucks deliver, no ?


...this was a fantastic read.


my man, didn't you read the memos? you're not supposed to /have/ moral values! next thing you'll tell me is that you support traditional famliy values.


Nice article and welcome. I never really understood the criticism implied by the phrase "have your cake and eat it, too." Why wouldn't you want to eat your cake? True... if you eat it today you can't also eat it tomorrow, but where's the value in never eating it at all?


matthew - incredible rant, too true. So when you going to come change my oil? Seriously, you do this well - you should focus on writing about this world us straights see only through a hazy glass.


So glad your first article has gone over so well. I can't wait to read your next one. I'm so psyched that suggesting this to you has worked out so well. I think this is a great forum for you to get your writing out there and get immediate input on it. Not to mention that your opening up a few minds and giving people an insight to a world most aren't very familiar with.

congrats hun!


Lovely debut column! Thanks!
So true, what you write!


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