I saw this video posted on a couple blogs recently. It makes me cringe. Ok maybe I am being a little thin skinned but this guy (who I have much respect for don't get me wrong there, he's been an inspiration to thousands) put on one of the most offensive performances I have ever seen, I couldn't watch the whole thing. I will tell you why.
It is "performances" such as this which serve to stereotype gay men. Notice the audiences reaction to Richard, they are certainly not laughing with him, but rather at him. His flamboyancy and sexual innuendos in this clip serve to feed the general public's view of gay men as Queeny sex starved little deviants after any penis which comes their way. Most of us do not resemble the persona created here (notice I use the word most, I have certainly encountered men who would make Richard look like John Wayne), we are your brothers, fathers, uncles & cousins no more visually or audibly "detectable" than if we were , let's say, an atheist.
That is the key word, detectable. As long as we are perceived to be "detectable" and "identifiable" and of course always good for an uncomfortable laugh we will lose rather than gain in our constant struggle to be recognized as people first and most importantly.
I never had any Gay (well that I was aware of) friends until after my separation at age 27. My father was gay, but he passed away when I was 15 and the subject never came up between us (sadly). I will tell you this, I had the perception mentioned above, so did my wife, and family. I was afraid to eat in a restaurant where the clientele and staff appeared to be gay because I feared I could contract Aids somehow (don't laugh, I've met others who had the same ridiculously ignorant mindset which can't be appreciated until you have been there). I also envisioned Gay men to be completely detectable and flamboyant (my inner struggle with my own sexuality was nearly completely suppressed at that point, and not having anyone to discuss it with or to help me understand what the hell was going on inside my head didn't help)
For those out there who have not lived in "that world" (what I mean to say is a world where the only openly homosexual males you are exposed to are on television or in the media), maybe you can't appreciate (fully) just how much ignorance exists out there and how much Richard's little performance serves to feed it. ok I'm done, end.of.rant.
--- I might add that I had a similar reaction to the film The Bird Cage. ---