This thread is so gay

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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby aeric90 » 12 Apr 2012, 09:43

No no... don't do that. It's up there for discussion and other people can have other opinions on it. I don't find it offensive, I just don't find it all that inspiring either.

And we still love you.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Deedles » 12 Apr 2012, 09:49

Well, I'm just worried that maybe someone will get offended by it, but you do have a point, it does make a good topic for discussion. I'll add it again then ... and let it stay.

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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Avistew » 12 Apr 2012, 12:54

It's easy to understand the positive message so I don't think it should be removed. Plus if you remove it, it will be followed by a bunch of posts that won't make sense anymore :P

I remember a lesbian telling the story about how, when she was walking down the street holding hands with her girlfriend, got yelled at from a car. The guy used the F word. She was very confused.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Psyclone » 12 Apr 2012, 19:28

Again in strange encounters I had where I didn't know what to say, I was stopped on my way out of the drug store by an anti-gay bullying awareness group. The guy seemed so earnest and so excited that someone had actually stopped to listen to him that I didn't know how to politely tell him he was just preaching to the choir.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby tak197 » 23 Apr 2012, 23:52

So Sunday was a fun time for me, because my boyfriend and I went to an event for the American Cancer Society together. Carol, the host, was funny and sweet, and the musical acts were superb.

My first live drag show was amazing.

Seriously, Carol Ann Carol Ann is a great host, and my boyfriend actually knows him pretty well. All the proceeds were donated to Relay for Life by their team, The Diamond Divas. It was really cool and I loved it so much. I hope that maybe I'll be able to go to another show or maybe the Bingo event they are holding as a fundraiser for the local Community Theater.

In other news, tonight was the finale for Season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race, and the winner is... being decided by RuPaul, Facebook, and Twitter. Damn, does RuPaul know how to milk it for all it's worth.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Alja-Markir » 24 Apr 2012, 02:23

I don't quite get the modern popularity of drag.

As I understand it, the historical chain of events is something like this. In pre-modern times, clothing had far less differentiation based on gender or sex. From the medieval to the renaissance, the biggest differences in clothing occured at the higher echelons of society, with the wealthy and rich basically inspiring the fashion industry of later centuries while the common folks wore roughly the same types of outfits regardless of gender or sex. There was some degree of differentiation, to be sure, but it certainly wasn't as severe as it would get in the 19th and 20th centuries.

To my knowledge, dressing in drag didn't really occur on any signficant level until about the turn of the 20th century. American and European civilization was in a period of mass transition, societal changes were sweeping through the newly industrialized world, women were pushing to get the vote, workers were seeking labor reforms, lots of stuff going on.

Around this time is when homosexuality becomes significantly documented. Of course, it was tough times for you if you were gay, but a sizeable number of important historical figures from this general period of time, often writers and the like, are known to have been homosexual, some even semi-openly.

This is also a time of challenges to tradition, a time of romanticism and curiosity of the foreign and the strange. The "Oriental" is in vogue, drawing from sources everywhere between Arabia and Japan. Various drugs and chemical compounds become popular, from absinth to opium. Fashion has finally become a full blown industry, still inspired by the elite but powered by the new middle class, and shaped by the new technologies and trade routes of the industrial age. Add in domestic influences such as feminists rebelling against their constrictive gendered clothing and adopting "men's" trousers as an act of defiance, and the setting is pretty ripe for things to operate the other way as well, with "effeminate" men experimenting with adopting less "masculine" clothing, hairstyles, etc. Toss in burlesque, bohemians, and all the rest of the new age of thought, and you've a pretty good recipe for drag's primary origins as a major phenomenon, (if an underground one).

From there, it was a long slow road to greater social acceptance. The two world wars stalled the development of "gay culture" badly, along with a lot of other social movements besides. The late 50s brought rock and roll and the youth revolution, the 60s brought the sexual revolution, and the 70s brought the feminist revolution, all with their own small victories for homosexuality. More and more actors, performers, artists, and other such creative people were admitting to their homosexuality. Gays started getting into public office, started being tolerated to some degree instead of ignored or oppressed. And then the 80s brought slow, awkward, mainstream exposure of homosexuality, in large part due to the discovery of HIV and AIDS.

But during this time, the heart of gay culture was the two biggest population centers of homosexuals in America - New York City and San Francisco. These two metropolises would end up defining "gay culture" from then onwards. Look at any of the movies about homosexuality from the 80s or 90s. Almost ALL of them take place in, or deal with characters from, these two cities. And both of them also turned out to be massive drag capitals.

So what happened? Well, the way I understand it, all those actors, performers, artists, and other such creative people I mentioned before? They were showing up on television, in movies, on vinyl records, all over the place. But people still didn't quite know what to make of homosexuality. There was a lot of resistance to it. People felt threatened by it. A lot of homosexuals working in the public eye wouldn't admit to their proclivities, hence the development of the phrase "in the closet" and its related terms. But some did admit to it. Of course, they couldn't be confrontational about it - when people are scared of you and the minority you represent, the last thing you want to do is make yourself out to be a challenge to them.

So what's the "solution"? Camp. Psychologically speaking, people who appear absurd or laughable don't feel threatening. It's hard to be scared of someone when you're busy laughing at them. Thus, the safest way to be gay and in the public eye was to be a gay caricature - a walking, talking, absurdism. Hence the flamboyant and outlandish outfits, the high pitched speaking affectations and lisps, and the over-the-top body language.

Of course, these qualities didn't just appear out of nowhere, and don't exist for arbitrary reasons. They draw, once again, from the entertainment world, stretching back to burlesque and bohemians. You didn't have to be gay to wear a ridiculous outfit, but the laughs sure helped homosexual performers to find a strange form of acceptance. It was safest to simply play the clown rather than challenge the establishment, much as it was for people of color with the minstrel shows of old. It was a tragic act of self preservation.

But like many symptoms of oppression through history, the oppressed slowly subverted the cruelty of the majority and took it to wear as a badge of pride. Ancient Christians took the crucifix as a symbol of triumph. Colonial Americans embraced being "yankees". And camp has tried to follow, with mixed success. Even today there is a very strong association of homosexuality with camp behaviors, although thankfully it's nowhere near as bad as it was in the 80s and early 90s.

So, here's where I'm a tad hazy. I know that drag was an underground movement in New York and San Fran. I know it was at least somewhat regularly depicted in film as early as the 1970s, so it must have been reasonably well established by then, much like other similar fringe cultures also receiving mainstream notice, such as the punk movement. It seems pretty clear that it incorporated a lot of influences from the more creative sectors of society, from the turn of the century to the then-present day.

But... why is it still around? Moreover, why is it seeing a surge in popularity? The past few years have been some of the best on record for overall societal acceptance of homosexuals in America. More and more, the youth of the world are speaking out against what they see as outdated and narrowminded hatred aimed at gays by the older generations. But then... at the same time... RuPaul becomes some sort of popular sensation? Excuse me, what?

How is the man not considered offensive? How is drag still embraced as harmless, and it's long history of association with homosexual oppression simply forgotten? I mean, it's almost the homosexual equivalent of blackface. What started out as defiance of gender norms and a rejection of gendered clothing ended up turning into bawdy camp performance of the highest absurdity. What was once a symbol of rejection of social injustices is now a bunch of clowns on a stage spewing melodrama.

I just... I don't understand it. It's like if there was a hit television show about Jews being Jewish, with elderly mother-in-laws nagging and kvetching left and right, offering people brisket, gossiping and matchmaking, being stingy with their money, wearing and comparing frumpy hairdos and gaudy jewelry, the whole shebang.

Or in other words, if Coffee Talk With Linda Richman was an actual, totally for real, 100% serious thing, instead of sketch comedy.

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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby JustAName » 24 Apr 2012, 07:42

Alja. Bro.

1) Crossdressing is by NO MEANS limited to gay people. I know straight guys who like to crossdress because they feel they look good that way. And you know what? They're right. They look fucking fantastic.

2) I think crossdressing has been around for longer than you give it credit, and is definitely NOT the equivalent of blackface. This wasn't a way of being harmeless. Guys wearing womens' clothing are often seen as a threat to other guys, because "who knows what that weird deviant might do". It's a way of rebelling, and saying, "Fuck you, I'm going to wear this, no deal with it."

And those are just a couple of reasons! Nothing is easily definable. You know that. I've noticed something; you like to find a reasoning that you think people might have had, and then work from there to arrive at a conclusion. A lot of the time when your conclusion upsets/pisses people off, your original reasoning may not make as much sense to others as it does to you.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby JustAName » 24 Apr 2012, 07:43

Also, tak, that sounds awesome. :D
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Dominic Appleguard » 24 Apr 2012, 08:14

It's also worth remembering the long history of drag as comedy. There's something a lot of people find funny about a man dressed as a frumpy old woman. John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Graham Chapman all wore women's clothing for a joke, and only one of them was homosexual.

So, even with some of its more unfortunate associations, a lot of people just laugh when they see drag.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Metcarfre » 24 Apr 2012, 08:19

Yeah, cross-dressing has a loooong history. *quick Google* Going back to Greek, Norse, and Hindu cultures, for example.

And cross-dressing as comedy goes back way before Monty Python, too.

Fayili wrote:I've noticed something; you like to find a reasoning that you think people might have had, and then work from there to arrive at a conclusion. A lot of the time when your conclusion upsets/pisses people off, your original reasoning may not make as much sense to others as it does to you.

This is... a much better analysis than I would have been able to come up with. Good job?

Anyways, yes; Alja, bro-dawg. Chill.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby aeric90 » 24 Apr 2012, 08:45

Fayili wrote:Alja. Bro.

1) Crossdressing is by NO MEANS limited to gay people. I know straight guys who like to crossdress because they feel they look good that way. And you know what? They're right. They look fucking fantastic.




As a matter of fact, cross-dressing itself as a fetish is far more common in predominantly straight men than in gay men. It's very important to make the distinction since there's a huge difference between a cross-dresser and a drag queen.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby JustAName » 24 Apr 2012, 10:02

Transvestism is a fetish. Crossdressing is just good fun.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby River_Annarchy » 24 Apr 2012, 10:18

I ended up crossdressing for halloween one year. It was a desperate last minute costume
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Psyclone » 24 Apr 2012, 12:26

Cross dressing CAN be a fetish, but it isn't necessarily.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 24 Apr 2012, 13:13

aeric90 wrote:
Fayili wrote:Alja. Bro.

1) Crossdressing is by NO MEANS limited to gay people. I know straight guys who like to crossdress because they feel they look good that way. And you know what? They're right. They look fucking fantastic.




As a matter of fact, cross-dressing itself as a fetish is far more common in predominantly straight men than in gay men. It's very important to make the distinction since there's a huge difference between a cross-dresser and a drag queen.


There was a famous (for the wrong reasons) ceramicist artist who won the Turner prize for his work. He showed up to the press conference dressed as a woman and his alter ego because it gave him confidence. Sadly, his cross-dressing got the attention and not his artwork.
Cross-Dressing probably gives introvert men confidence by allowing them to become a character. It being a woman means they're very distanced from their selves.

Can a parallel be draw between men who play female characters in RPGs and cross-dressers irl?
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby aeric90 » 24 Apr 2012, 14:36

Fayili wrote:Transvestism is a fetish. Crossdressing is just good fun.


You are correct. Sorry for the mix up. Oddly was sorta the point though that the terms for trans-attiring (just made that up) mean totally different things.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby tak197 » 24 Apr 2012, 14:44

Fayili wrote:Alja. Bro.

2) I think crossdressing has been around for longer than you give it credit, and is definitely NOT the equivalent of blackface. This wasn't a way of being harmeless. Guys wearing womens' clothing are often seen as a threat to other guys, because "who knows what that weird deviant might do". It's a way of rebelling, and saying, "Fuck you, I'm going to wear this, no deal with it."


To add to this, "blackface" was done by the majority class at the time, prior to integration of black people into the entertainment business, and is now seen as highly insulting and racist. Last I checked, gay men are not in the majority class, and most women don't feel insulted or discriminated against because a drag queen is in drag, so there is no way that you can compare blackface to drag.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby tak197 » 24 Apr 2012, 14:47

Merrymaker_Mortalis wrote:Can a parallel be draw between men who play female characters in RPGs and cross-dressers irl?


Eeeeeeeeeeehhh... not quite.

The closest parallel is that both want to express more feminine traits and abilities, but playing an RPG is a vicarious way to do it, while cross-dressing is an act of personal experience.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby rustak » 24 Apr 2012, 15:03

Merrymaker_Mortalis wrote:Can a parallel be draw between men who play female characters in RPGs and cross-dressers irl?

I dunno; for online RPGs, I've had a number of guys tell me that they play female characters because they'd rather stare at a woman's ass while they play :p
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Alja-Markir » 24 Apr 2012, 17:43

Fayili wrote:Crossdressing is by NO MEANS limited to gay people. I know straight guys who like to crossdress because they feel they look good that way. And you know what? They're right. They look fucking fantastic.

I never said it was limited to gay people. I said it was in large part influenced and popularized by them. There's a world of difference.

Now, about the straight guys you know who like to crossdress because they feel they look good. Do they crossdress in public? Is it a casual, everyday thing? Or is it restricted to certain situations? Basically, is it a mode of dress, or is it a form of costume?

Fayili wrote:I think crossdressing has been around for longer than you give it credit, and is definitely NOT the equivalent of blackface. This wasn't a way of being harmless. Guys wearing womens' clothing are often seen as a threat to other guys, because "who knows what that weird deviant might do". It's a way of rebelling, and saying, "Fuck you, I'm going to wear this, no deal with it."

Crossdressing may have existed since antiquity, but it wasn't a "significant" (my word choice from my prior post) or common phenomenon outside of theatre until the modern age. It didn't have substantial scope or scale until then.

As for drag being harmless - it is and it isn't. Drag as a form of comedy does make the person in drag more psychologically harmless. They seem absurd. They are laughable. It is therefor acceptable. As Dominic points out, John Cleese in a dress didn't make anyone uncomfortable or cause any social tension.

At the same time, drag did (as I mentioned in my prior post) evolve out of challenging cultural norms. Women began to wear men's trousers as a way of saying (in your own words) "Fuck you, I'm going to wear this, no deal with it". And some men did wear women's clothes for the same reason.

But here's the difference. At the time when women were going about in trousers, in public, as an everyday mode of dress, the opposite was not happening among men. While it was seen as immodest and irreverent for women to wear trousers and the like, it would have been seen as mental illness for a man to wear a dress. Overwhelmingly, men in drag existed not as an everyday occurance, but as an absurdity relegated to entertainment venues.

If you look at the cultural impact, at the newspapers and the books and the movies and all the cultural media being produced by the modern western world, the difference is night and day. Women were being depicted in men's clothing everywhere. They were going about in public in these clothes. It was outlandish and shocking, but it was socially tolerated. But where are all the men in drag? Where, if ever, do you see depictions of men in dresses? Not in film. Not in literature. Not in art. Only on the stage, and only as absurdism.

Men in drag were simply not socially tolerated. And to be perfectly blunt, men in drag are STILL not socially tolerated. Think about it. Women wear "men's" clothes all the time without people batting an eye, but men never wear "women's" clothes in public.

My entire point on drag is that it exists in a weird, anachronistic state. People like RuPaul are successful not because they're breaking gender stereotypes, but because they're putting on a spectacle. Unlike the countless nameless women of a century ago who insisted it was their right to wear "men's" clothing, at the same time they insisted it was their right to be able to vote, to be treated equally, there are today very few men going around in drag as a choice of clothing and not instead as a costume for purposes of entertainment.

Drag culture is about the shows. It's about the contests. It's about the burlesque quality of it all. It is entirely wrapped up in the acting and the impersonations and the melodrama and the bawdiness. It's not a daring declaration of identity, nor a demand for acceptance and equality. It's a farce - a lampoon.

It took many young, brave women, en masse, all across America and Europe, adopting "men's" clothing as everyday wear and being very serious about it and being very defiant about it and enduring longstanding cruelty and abuse, for it to become socially acceptable. It took courage and determination and a demand for equality.

Drag doesn't have any of that. Drag is about the shock. Drag is about the escapism. Drag is about being one person in public and another person in private. Drag is about standing apart from the world, not demanding a place in it. And that's what bothers me most about it.

I know I may come off as harsh, but please don't take any of this too personally. I know I'm opinionated. I'm not condemning drag, I'm merely criticizing it. I'm not making any moral judgements, just pointing out what I think is absurd or unreasonable about it.

And I might be wrong. If I am, and you can show me a good reason why I am, please do.

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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Dominic Appleguard » 24 Apr 2012, 19:49

rustak wrote:
Merrymaker_Mortalis wrote:Can a parallel be draw between men who play female characters in RPGs and cross-dressers irl?

I dunno; for online RPGs, I've had a number of guys tell me that they play female characters because they'd rather stare at a woman's ass while they play :p

Obviously I can only speak to my own motivations here, but I've never "cross-played" for titillation, or (in an MMO) as a deliberate ploy for attention and money. I actually find that second claim pretty vile, but that's a sexual politics issue I'd rather not address in this particular thread.

It's clear to see where this kind of thing gets started. The expectation is that if you are a heterosexual guy, you play male characters in games. The character is your avatar. He is you. If you play a girl, that means you identify with girls, which only has a few possible explanations.
1) you are Gay and that is a Problem.
2) you are a sexual deviant. This is code for transgender, but allows the accuser to insult trans people without acknowledging their existence.
What is the escape strategy? Bullshit like the aforementioned Third Person Butt Principle. Maybe she's a lesbian too. Now you can play an opposite gendered character, and it somehow makes you more of a man than the guy who questioned your sexuality. Well done.

I dunno, maybe it's actually true for some people. But if you ask me, the novelty of Flexing Polygonal Girl Butt wears off long before you finish Eversong Woods, and I've met married men who raid on level-capped female characters.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Deedles » 24 Apr 2012, 23:53

On the topic above me I would like to quote a site I once found which I think summarizes the situation of female and male toons and 'gender-bending'.

Men are 3-5 times more likely than women to gender-bend in MMORPGs. The demographic that is most likely to gender-bend are men over the age of 25. We know that 85% of MMORPG players are male, so if you do the math, at any given moment, half of all female avatars are actually being played by men.
There are many compelling explanations for why men gender-bend so much more often than women. The most pragmatic reason is that female avatars are treated better and more likely to receive gifts and help from other players (who are mostly men). In other words, men gain a functional advantage when they gender-bend whereas women lose that advantage. Another pragmatic reason is that in games where third-person perspective is used, men prefer to stare at a female body rather than a male body. This is tied closely to the Laura Croft Syndrome - the appeal of being able to view and, more importantly, control a female body that is sexy but deadly. Feminists have argued that male gender-bending is really just a new way for men to dominate female bodies. In other words, avatars such as Laura Croft are appealing to men because it gives men the satisfaction of dominating a powerful female body.

Players who have tried gender-bending oftentimes talk about how the experience has changed their understanding of gender roles. Men who have tried gender-bending describe the tension between being treated better and being treated as inferior. Many of them feel that female avatars are viewed as weaker and less capable than male avatars. Women who have tried gender-bending often realize how differently men are socialized - that they should never ask for help or show weakness. As one player describes,

I used to think men had it easy! Now I know they have issues too; they are socialized to be more independent and not ask for help. That has to be tough. [f, 37]



Here's the actual site if anyone is interested in seeing the source, and what sources they have.

Now, I can't state the reason why people play the characters that they do, but I can speak for myself and for the people that I know and have played with for years.

I prefer playing female toons when I play RPGs, but have also made the occasional male toon. For me, as someone who roleplays a lot, it's based on what I can imagine the character being and I'm often drawn towards females and I feel like I can roleplay females more believably than males. I'm a straight female.

Then we have my boyfriend, Jack, he predominantly plays male toons, the only time he plays female toons is if their class forces them to wear robes/skirts. As an example he thus female a female dwarf priest when we used to play World of Warcraft. He's obviously a straight male.

Then we have one of my brothers, he seems to switch between female and male toons on a regular basis. It's pretty much 50/50 with him, and I have no idea what his sexuality is. Because of the kind of guy he is (shy and introvert) I've never seen him really hit on either females or males, and he's never expressed an interest in either gender. So, can't say what sexuality he is.

A friend of mine, Tim, is gay, and he mainly plays male toons, I've only ever seen him playing one female toon in the time that I've known him, all of the others have been male. Which makes sense, he'd identify with males, and males is the gender he finds attractive, so I think people thinking that gay guys would be more prone to playing females is kind of silly, as they have more reason to play male toons than any of the straight counter-parts, who do find females attractive.

Then finally we have another friend of mine, Ben. He's straight, and predominantly play female toons, actually all I've ever seen him play is female toons. Well, until he got a girlfriend last year and she didn't like him playing female toons, and got mardy at him about it, after that he switched to male toons to keep her happy.

Now the reason I counted up all of these examples is to point out that we all play the toons that we play for different reasons, and as different people we enjoy different things, doesn't have to have anything to do with what sexuality or gender-role we have.
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Dominic Appleguard » 25 Apr 2012, 08:10

You're right of course, there's no especially logical reason to associate homosexuality with video game gender bending. Being interested in guys doesn't mean your friend Tim thinks of himself as a girl. Why should it, after all.

There is, however, a kind of us/them oversimplification that occurs when you try to talk about sexuality with homophobes. If you believe gay people are simply perverts, then it's a short walk to associate them with anything alien to your own experience.

Take for example the old TV ads that stated, very plainly and with no hint of irony, that all homosexuals were pedophiles. Or the depressingly recent debates where commentators from the extreme right will claim that there's a slippery slope from gay marriage to man/boy marriage.

It wasn't too long ago that people believed all gay guys were camp and all lesbians were butch. Some still do. I'll try to speak for the lower half of the Kinsey scale when I say we'll keep working on it.
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Psyclone
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby Psyclone » 25 Apr 2012, 19:08

You mean like this? (Hands down my favorite 50's propaganda video of all time)
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JustAName
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Re: This thread is so gay

Postby JustAName » 25 Apr 2012, 19:17

The Homosexual Menace is still my favorite parody of one. The top comments will make you facepalm, though.
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