As predicted, my idea to go naked in order to fund my queer road movie ‘You Can’t Escape Lithuania’ made some fellow queens unhappy.
Here are only few of the toxic comments I’ve read after Gay Star News posted my op-ed on Facebook: ‘So sick of this crap’, ‘2 steps back on dignity for the community’, ‘What a dickweed’, ‘Not too fond of the use of “queer” here’.
To be fair, those comments were contrasted by a lot more ‘likes’ and money that started to pour in: In only one week, we raised $7,449 (€5,980), over one third of our final goal. So I guess I shouldn’t care.
So here’s what. Before criticizing me, check if you learned the 10 rules of a good LGBTI that your gay mama gave to you when you came out. What you say? She didn’t it give it to you? Well then, you can have my photocopy:
1 Be out and proud: That’s a given. No down-low allowed, gurl! And if you’re into whole academic queer-theory-post-identity thing, then make sure you’re still always proudly expressing who you are and whom you fancy!
2 Be a feminist: It should be clear to you by now that people don’t fit into heteronormative culture: ‘Guys are tough, strong and like women’; ‘girls are pretty, emotional and like men’. Your own sexuality denies these strict cases, so go all the way, consider them bullshit, and join the fight for the equality of all humans despite their gender.
3 Do some activism: Join an LGBTI rights organization, go to a protest, do a screening in your school or university, propose to celebrate National Coming Out Day at your office.
4 Preach solidarity: Don’t get stuck only in LGBTI stuff – stand up for social and racial justice, ecological sustainability, peace in the Middle East and other important issues.
5 Be camp: Camp is a part of gay culture that no number of ‘straight-actors’ is going to eliminate. So don’t be afraid to flaunt your inner Brendan Jordan from time to time.
6 Learn LGBTI history: You won’t be taught it at school or by your parents – but we all need to learn it so that we can be thankful to our past and present heroes and avoid the mistakes of previous generations. So get your books in place and learn about Mattachine Society, Stonewall Riots, gay liberation, lesbian feminism, ACT UP, Queer Nation, Virginia Woolf, Harry Hay, Harvey Milk, Vito Russo, Larry Kramer, Judith Butler, Raewyn Connell and so much more.
7 Pay the gay tax: Donate to LGBTI or other charities and support your local human rights organizations. They’re working hard for all of us, as well as for those who are in need of even more help, like homeless youth.
8 Practice safe sex: ‘Condom fatigue’ is what happens when you don’t learn from history (see the sixth rule). AIDS and HIV is not over and neither are other sexually transmitted infections, so stay safe. And while you’re staying safe, help to fight the stigma HIV positive people face, because that ain’t helping anyone.
9 Have as much sex as you want: Don’t let the society tell you that sex is dirty, or that you have to be monogamous to have it. Bullshit! Equally, don’t let some people convince you that cruising on Grindr every other day must be part of your healthy sexual diet. Only you can decide what you need – and only you can know if you want to go monogamous or not, vanilla or kinky, wild or asexual.
10 Celebrate life: Cause we only live once.
Now, did you see any rule about going/not going naked in order to have fun and attract attention to important things? No you didn’t. Cause there ain’t such a rule!
And of course, I’m only joking. These aren’t the rules of a good LGBTI person.
These are the rules of any good person!
Romas Zabarauskas is an indie gay film director who has promised to go naked if he raises the cash for his movie You Can’t Escape Lithuania. Read his previous Gay Star News article here and support his crowdfunding campaign here.