I’m an old-school lefty, an American socialist long before socialism was cool, raised by a Marxist father to believe in the rights of the working class and the need for equality for all before the eyes of the law. But lately, the new left has begun to irritate me on a number of fronts. One particularly irritating aspect of new-leftism is the emergence of left homophobia.
From images of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as leather daddies, to Stephen Colbert’s homophobic remarks about the same on national television, the new left has displayed an ugly homophobic streak that can not be ignored.
Even in the world of popular fiction, left homophobia has a champion in Chuck Tingle, the nom de plume of a writer with an obvious homophobic ax to grind.
Tingle, nominated for a 2017 Hugo Award, doesn’t care to show his real face to the world. Rather, the Tingle persona is an elaborate construct designed to obscure the actual author of over two dozen “books” with titles such as:
- Angry Man Pounded By The Fear Of His Latent Gayness Over A Dinosaur Transitioning Into A Unicorn
- Domald Tromp Pounded In The Butt By The Handsome Russian T-Rex Who Also Peed On His Butt And Then Blackmailed Him With The Videos Of His Butt Getting Peed On
- Space Raptor Butt Invasion
- Slammed In The Butt By Domald Tromp’s Attempt To Avoid Accusations Of Plagiarism By Removing All Facts Or Concrete Plans From His Republican National Convention Speech
- Pounded In The Butt By My Book “Pounded In The Butt By My Book ‘Pounded In The Butt By My Book “Pounded In The Butt By My Book ‘Pounded In The Butt By My Book “Pounded In The Butt By My Own Butt”‘”‘
and the list goes on, each title equally juvenile, each title fixated on the physicality of gay sex.
In an age where Descartes is ritually and routinely dragged through the streets by humanities and fine arts students, Tingle’s work elicits wry snickers and even admiration. Gay men are reduced to their anuses; gay love is reduced to “pounding.” Moreover, a marginalized community that only recently gained a few basic human rights remains nothing more than a vehicle for bawdy comedy and degradation, but now coming from supposed and self-professed allies.
Tingle’s work employs a number of grotesque stereotypes, the most damaging of which is the false assertion that all homophobic bigots are themselves homosexuals. While a number of high profile “Family Values” politicians in the United States have been caught in compromising positions with members of the same sex, homophobia isn’t merely repression on the part of homophobes, and violence against gay men remains a very real problem in America today. Dismissing homophobes as repressed homosexuals doesn’t address the problem of violent homophobia as much as it oversimplifies a complex and pertinent issue in an effort to ignore it altogether.
While other writers have penned works depicting women engaged in sex acts with dinosaurs, unicorns, and werewolves, these titles actually meet the literary demands of the small but devoted furry and otherkin communities. That is, works like Taken by the T. Rex by Christie Sims and Unicorn: Horn of Lust by Cecilia Chase may, in truth, function as erotica for some people.
Tingle’s work, however, falls far short of being genuine erotica. Political satire? Yes, that’s Tingle. Social commentary? Truly, Tingle meets that point. But erotica? No. And that’s problematic.
Moreover, if Tingle is not a gay man, then his/her works are purely exploitative. Tingle treats his characters as a means to an end, not as ends in themselves (no pun intended.) And while these are just characters in fiction, our ability to relate to them as people conveys some quality of personhood to them, at least in our own minds. Further, if we can not relate to Tingle’s characters, then it’s just bad writing and shouldn’t receive the hype it does.
In an age when self-professed champions of social justice and superior morality are consistently being proven to be anything but, Tingle’s work raises suspicion. It reeks of left homophobia and a callous disregard for everything gay men have endured and still endure.
Chuck Tingle’s work is not funny. It’s not cute. It’s not hip. It’s dehumanizing and demeaning. With allies like this, who cares if we’re saddled with Trump for four years?