It’s Wrath Month, baby! This unofficial celebration of LGBTQ+ anger emerged online a few years ago, and has since become a post-Pride tradition. As corporations quietly change their logos back to their normal colors, we stay mad.
Much like the Hulk, our secret here at Them is that we’re always angry, which includes being angry about Marvel movies. It would be unreasonable for us not to be mad. Multiple state legislatures are essentially trying to ban trans people from existing and, in addition to overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court apparently cares more about kids getting to pray in school than they do about them not getting shot. Meanwhile, we’re fighting off the same old canards about being “groomers” that our queer ancestors had to deal with back in the ’70s. Anita Bryant’s not dead yet, but if she were, she’d be fist-pumping in her grave. In short: things are bad right now, even more so because they’re happening against a constant backdrop of police violence, capitalist greed, and a never-ending pandemic.
All of July, we’re embracing queer rage by rolling out features, opinion pieces, and essays about the big stuff we’re feeling wrathful about, from the detention of Brittney Griner to all of the politicians who have those terrifying Amy Coney Barrett evangelical eyes and who spend their days dreaming up new ways to torture trans teens. But our anger also contains multitudes, and as we bid an enthusiastic farewell to Pride, we thought we’d kick things off by venting about some of the smaller-scale things that enrage us, too — the gnawing thorns in our sides that we’ve been waiting to pull out all June long. Yes, we never want Samuel Alito to be able to eat in public ever again, but we also hate the on-the-nose feeling of hearing “gay anthems” at “gay functions.”
In other words, whoever came up with the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff” was definitely straight. We’ll sweat whatever the fuck we want to sweat.
Below, please find a sampling of things Them staffers and contributors hate. You’ll like us when we’re angry. If not — look away.
Top and Bottom Jokes
While queer people are leaving binaries behind, can we please get rid of the top/bottom binary and, by extension, every single terrible joke about them? We don’t need your unoriginal observation about how there are too many bottoms, what bottoms need to eat, or why bottoms catch feelings and tops don’t. I mean, if you’re looking to get retweets in 2014, go ahead. But let’s face it, the jokes haven’t been funny in years and they’re now downright cringe. — Mathew Rodriguez
Don’t get me wrong: I get it. There is a long history behind the rainbow being a symbol for LGBTQ+ pride. And it’s been so necessary! Unfortunately, it still is. But consider my position: As someone from “the Rainbow State” (Hawaii) who is now the editor-in-chief of this gay site, I have always been surrounded by rainbows and expected to not only embrace them, but have them on my driver’s license, my clothes, all manner of accessories, and especially my Zoom background during every panel I do. 🙂 But I’m an iPhone-on-dark-mode girl; a Scorpio moon; a reformed scene kid. Please, give my weary eyes a rest from the prismatic cacophony constantly imposed on me. I know there are legions of other monochromatic queers out there. We exist. — Sarah Burke
“Gay Anthems” at “Gay Functions”
We’ve all been there. It’s around 11 p.m., and you’re just pulling up to the venue. Some cuties are smoking outside as the bass begins to wrap itself around you, pulling you in. The energy feels right. The floor is moving. You get a little loose yourself. And that’s when it happens: the sexy Britney edit twists out of recognition and is replaced by Gaga or, worse, ABBA. I love these artists as much as the next queer, but there’s something irritating about the obsession with reinforcing the “gayness” of the party by playing so-called “gay anthems.” Can’t we just be gay, without needing every aspect of our spaces to scream it? I’m trying to vibe out! White queers, this is mainly our problem, and it must be stopped. — Wren Sanders
The Ratio of Straight People to Queer People in “Queer” Spaces
I don’t consider myself an optimist, but do expect that if I’m going to a queer bar the people there are going to be oh, I don’t know, queer? But lo and behold, I walk in time and time again to see one queer individual per 27-person gaggle of their closest straight friends. Now, I don’t hate straight people, per se. Some of my closest friends are straight. However, if I’m out cruising, I’d rather not be made to feel like a spectacle for kissing someone in the middle of the Stonewall Inn, somehow flanked on all sides by cishets. So, I have a proposition for my fellow queers: Stop allowing straight people to use you as their golden ticket. Limit yourself to one ally. Flip that ratio and make them the token straight. I beg of you. — Cáne López
Praising Straight People as “Gay Icons”
I mean, I get it, but now that we’re moving into a time when more and more celebrities are out, let’s retire the need to praise straight women for making music to bump in gay bars. Sometimes cishet women’s relationship to queerness can be toxic and just downright weird — you know, “the gays love me” kind of women — and I feel like the “icon” label fuels that fire. Cringe. We’ve even found that some turn out to be extremely homophobic as well. (Y’all know who I’m talking about.) Let’s stop allowing ourselves to be backup dancers in a cishet pop star’s show, shall we? — Catherine Mhloyi
Targeted LGBTQ+ Amtrak Ads
In 2019, I made the terrible decision to take the train from Seattle to Los Angeles. What was supposed to be a 35-hour straight shot down the Pacific Coast became a nearly two-day-long nightmare of unexpected stops and broken locomotives. Ever since then, Amtrak has been targeting me with LGBTQ+ advertising showing smiling queer couples and diverse millennial friend groups enjoying the hell out of their rail journeys. They’re smiling like they’re not trapped inside a rickety tin can enduring judgmental stares from straight strangers. Lies! In reality, riding the Coast Starlight found me being understandably wary of every retiree I met and, at my lowest moment, eating cold DiGiorno for breakfast. Never again. — Samantha Allen
“Be Gay Do Crime”
Let’s get one thing straight: I love crime. But I have also noticed that the Venn diagram of people who are constantly saying “be gay do the crime” and people who would call the cops on a shirtless guy in a pup hood at Pride is almost invariably a perfect circle. So my issue is not so much with the phrase as it is with the lack of commitment to the bit. I’m not advocating for murder here, but a crumb of civil disobedience is called for in this instance. — James Factora
Furry Hate in 2022
When internet culture was new, the idea of people dressing up in fursuits for sex and calling it “yiffing” might have seemed weird and even funny to some people. But it is now fully 2022, and gays who still claim they’re grossed out by furries are just being performative and/or cowards at this point. Not only does erotic furry art cover a wide spectrum of styles and kinks that can appeal to a broad audience, the general furry community is overwhelmingly queer — and leaving them out to dry as embarrassing perverts is just as bad as abandoning the leather community at Pride. And frankly, all you leather subs in your pup hoods are about a yard of pile fabric away from your own fursona, anyway. For the love of SonicFox, get with the times! Y’all are starting to sound like Republicans worried about litter boxes in schools. — Samantha Riedel
There are plenty of politicians who outright despise the LGBTQ+ community, but there’s something particularly insidious about those who claim to be on our side before showing their true colours. I’m thinking specifically about London Breed here, the cunning (read: spineless) mayor of San Francisco, where I live.
Just last month, after the recall of our progressive District Attorney and much bloviation about “crime” (the data say it’s down, despite what our whiniest moderates would have you think), Breed declared that she would refuse to join the San Francisco Pride Parade unless cops were allowed to march in uniform. It was one of many craven moves she’s taken to appear “tough on crime” of late.
The politician chose not to march in this year’s parade because cops can’t attend in uniform.
Breed ultimately arrived at a compromise with SF Pride and rejoined the Parade, which ended up allowing a contingent of officers and command staff to march in uniform and with weapons, sparking boycotts and the cancellation of a Juneteenth drag brunch. Whatever favour she curried with the police was surely undone by putting herself on the queer community’s permanent shit list.
Breed clearly wants to leave a good record on LGBTQ+ issues. She recently announced a $6.5 million program to end trans homelessness in the city, alongside ongoing efforts to grow health and social services for the community. So why was she so willing to side with cops in this spat? It’s this kind of repellent manoeuvring that reveals a politician’s actual values, and Breed is not the only mayor who’s guilty of it.
There’s Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot, the country’s first Black, openly lesbian mayor — and one who’s all too willing to throw more cops on the city’s streets. From Seattle to New York City, we’ve got no shortage of local leaders who will loudly declare how much they love queer people (and their votes), all while working to enact policies that criminalize, impoverish, and otherwise further marginalize us. It’s a special kind of hypocrisy that’s hard to swallow. It’s one thing to smack us in the face, but it’s another entirely to stab us in the back.
Welcome to Wrath Month, our post-Pride series dedicated to embracing our queer anger.
An article by Tyler Trykowski on them