OUTthink – Scott Brennan – Gay Men and Humour
The latest OUTthink is an interesting podcast simply because of the fact that we’re handling a topic you may not have thought of before; gay men and humour. More specifically, how gay men are used as the butt of jokes and also how gay men frequently use humour as a form of defence mechanism.
It should be noted here that the entire LGBTQIA community are frequently the butt of jokes by the mainstream AND use humour as a defense mechanism (many people do regardless of sexual orientation) however, for the purpose of today’s podcast, instead of trying to be all encompassing, we have focused largely on gay men.
It has often been said that humour needs to have an element of truth in order to be funny and that it is a reflection of the society that it comes from. For this reason, laughing with or at the gay and lesbian community can be both something that brings us together as well as something that can bring each of us down in shame and self-loathing. We’ve all bonded over a joke in some cases while being the butt of someone else’s joke and having felt the intense anger, shame, humiliation and embarrassment that can accompany that. It wasn’t funny to us, but it sure was funny to them.
We also chat a little about how Dr Alan Downs discusses the use of humour in his book ‘The Velvet Rage’ (refer to last podcast episode for more information on this book) and discuss how Downs coined the phrase to refer to a very specific anger he encountered in his gay patients – whether it was manifested in drug abuse, promiscuity or alcoholism – and whose roots, the book argues, are found in childhood shame and parental rejection.
“Velvet rage is the deep and abiding anger that results from growing up in an environment when I learn that who I am as a gay person is unacceptable, perhaps even unlovable. This anger pushes [me] at times to overcompensate and try to earn love and acceptance by being more, better, beautiful, more sexy – in short, to become something I believe will make me more acceptable and loved.”
In the book, he says,
“Gay men are known for a cynical and biting sense of humour. We often use humour as a channel for our rage. No one can write a searing commentary on the latest fashion faux pas of a celebrity like a gay man. Society has come to recognise and appreciate the sharp-tongued, ‘bitchy’ humour of gay men.’
This podcast is part 1 of a 2 part podcast. Part 2 will be published this coming Saturday 29th April due to part 1 being published a week later than usual.
Within this podcast, we also reference the film ‘Boys In The Band’.
About Scott Brennan
Scott is an actor, comedian and writer who has appeared in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, countless television shows including skitHouse, Comedy Inc, Agony Uncles and Neighbours, podcaster on Talking Poofy, one third of the production company Mashup Pictures and most recently had a short online series Housemates on ABC iView. He has also, just in the past week, won the Golden Gibbo Award for his most recent show in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival! Congratulations, Scott!
About OUTthink Podcast
OUTthink is a fortnightly podcast aimed at shining a light into topics of mental health and mental wellbeing relating to the LGBTQIA+ community. As a community, we need to be able to discuss topics that are uniquely related to the gay, lesbian, transgender and the many diverse labels in-between, that impact on our psychological well-being.
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OUTthink – Episode 10 – Dean Beck – Mental Health, Sexual Health, HIV and Drugs