Thursday, February 7, 2013
"Festive," mixed media distressed paint (8" x 8") January 25, 2013
Another in the Gay Dictionary Series of mixed media distressed paintings, Festive is a near synonym for “gay.” As a gay man, I always found most interesting the contrast between the negative public connotation for lesbian women and gay men versus our own use of terms like “festive” and “gay” to describe many of our social activities. The artwork here is meant to emphasize the positive nature of our pleasure in socializing as lesbian women and gay men. So many of my gay friends use “festive” in their speech to punctuate a special time with gay friends. - “What a festive outfit! Or ”Tom threw a festive party Last Valentine’s Day.” It is also meant to contrast the pleasure many gay men take in creating a “festive” and often ‘’elegant’ home environment, sometimes as compensation for family members having difficulty with their “festive” offspring, and/or the larger culture’s negativity.
In short, festive is an extremely positive gay term, and is gayer than Emerald City in the film version of The Wizard of Oz! A recommendation to all my straight friends - I realize that almost every gay person was closeted when that film was made - but really, open your eyes and watch that film one more time. It’s all that colorful "festive" gayness that makes it such a wonderful cinematic experience.