HAVE YOU SEEN THE GAY UNCLE RUCKUS?
In the fictional world of the Boondocks created by University of Maryland graduate Aaron McGruder, the Uncle Ruckus character is the quintessential depiction of one who is consumed by self hatred, self loathing, and self denial. Uncle Ruckus is a self hating black man and disassociates himself from other African Americans as much as possible, and is an outspoken supporter of the white supremacist power structure.
Many people laugh at Uncle Ruckus and his ignorance, but while researching the Uncle Ruckus character it struck me just how much Uncle Ruckus embodies of the self hating gay man. While most people look towards Uncle Ruckus as an exaggerated extreme, I see in Uncle Ruckus so many of the qualities and traits that are taken on by self hating gay men. These are the gays who live and act as if there is something wrong with being gay despite being gay themselves.
These are the gay Uncle Ruckus’s. They take pride in distancing themselves from anything relating to the gay community or gay culture. They brag about not having any gay friends, not attending gay clubs, and their ability to pass in the eyes of straight society, is seen not as a condemnation of their own sexual orientation, but as a badge of honor. Their allegiance to heterosexism is one of the defining markers of their self hatred. Much like Uncle Ruckus, a black man supporting the white supremacist power structure, these self hating gays are supporters of the heterosupremacist power structure. They aren’t supportive of gay marriage or gay adoption. They often assert that being gay is a choice or the result of some traumatic childhood experience, thus denying legitimacy to their own sexual orientation and doing the work of the hetereosupremacist power structure to demean and belittle gays. They throw around terms like “the gay lifestyle” all in an effort to undermine their own sexuality. They are walking, talking embodiments of Uncle Ruckus. They list “Interested in: Women” on their social networking sites and even refer to their male romantic interests by female pronouns.
In the series The Boondocks, Uncle Ruckus has a hatred of black people and goes out of his way to free himself from his black identity. Many of the gay Uncle Ruckus’s follow a similar script if not an identical one. They cite the bible and its many archaic views on human sexuality as reason why they think their sexual orientation is sinful and believe that through prayer or other divine efforts they can become the straight person they so desperately believe will make them normal.
Like Uncle Ruckus who prides himself on his white ancestry many Gay Uncle Ruckus’s pride themselves on their so called “masculinity,” and their ability to pass in straight society. They use this factor to demonize and demean other gay men who they see as not measuring up to the straight quality they possess. These gay Uncle Ruckus’s are also unsympathetic to victims of homophobia. They believe that those who experience homophobia bring it upon themselves, and that violence against gays is only a natural result of gays stepping out of line. They think that non gender conforming activities like wearing traditionally female clothing for gay men or traditionally male clothing for women are what produce homophobia. They think that gay men and women who are bashed experience such violence because they probably hit on a straight guy or tricked him. They never recognize or that violence against anyone because of their sexual orientation is wrong. These gay Uncle Ruckus are out to blame the victim for stepping out of line. They strongly believe that without feminine men the gay community would not experience the hatred it does and believe that more masculine gay men are the key to ending anti-gay sentiments. The notion being that the more straight a gay man is the better for society.
Unfortunately there are many Uncle Ruckus’s in the gay community who worship and idolize straight society and culture. They see straightness and the straight ideal as the standard and do not want to be associated with anything related to the gay community. Not it’s pride parades, its fluidity of gender, or its fight for social and political equality. These gay men and women are the enemy within are all too willing to help keep us marginalized and oppressed.