My name is Max Mosher. I am a gay man. I am also a feminist.These identities are not mutually exclusive, although sometimes they are treated as such.
Too many queer men think the struggle for women’s rights has nothing to do with them, and some are shockingly misogynistic. Conversely, queer men have been accused of ignoring the contributions of lesbian feminists to the gay rights movement, of discriminating against trans people, of glamorizing outdated gender roles by way of drag shows, of celebrating female performers (from Judy Garland to Britney Spears) only after they become pathetic trainwrecks, and, through their role in the fashion industry, perpetuating the beauty myths that use women’s insecurities to rake in billions of dollars.
Well, the war stops now. Queer men have a lot to learn from feminism, both for the sake of women and how it could contribute to their own lives. Feminism could also acknowledge the power of some queer cultural traditions.
Our challenges, both around the world and down the street, are too big not to get along.
I want to explore this exchange in my monthly posts because throughout my life I have stood at the cross-section of these currents. I have always felt a little like an ambassador. I grew up in a progressive household with a wonderful, committed feminist mother. Do you remember the mom from Mary Poppins, dashing around singing about ‘Votes for Women’? If you cast Mag Ruffman from Road to Avonlea, that would be my mom. Politics was the only religion of my family. But I also wanted to be Miss Piggy when I grew up.
In school, I gravitated towards the girls. They were smarter and more interesting and didn’t push me down in the playground. I related to girls, but I always knew I was different from them. I did not have a male friend until high school.
My world has continued to be filled with fabulous women. I was the first male intern accepted at WORN Fashion Journal and made many jokes about how my “historic” internship finally broke the glass ceiling against gay men in fashion. At some point the editor said to me, “You know when I address the ‘ladies’ that includes you, right?”
“Yes,” I said. “I am fine with being an honourary lady.” It has been been “ladies and Max” for most of my life.
With my posts, I would like to reconcile these different elements of my experience and always be on the side of greater inclusivity, empathy and co-operation. I firmly believe that any two people can better understand each other after a strong pot of coffee and a good conversation. Herbal tea works as well.
I am very excited to contribute to the Shameless blog and to continue to celebrate amazing women.