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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.

He explains,

“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.

The latest OUTthink podcast can be downloaded from Podomatic, subscribe via iTunes or streamed from our Youtube Channel.

You can also find out more about Lawrence Akers and Release Hypnosis at the Release Hypnosis website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Do you have a story that you would like to share? Then why not contact Lawrence and get in touch. You can also find Lawrence and Release Hypnosis on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

You might also like to read;
OUTthink Podcast Hits 10 Episodes!
The Psychology of Drag
OUTthink – Matthew Cooksey – A Discussion on ‘The Velvet Rage’
OUTthink – Episode 10 – Dean Beck – Mental Health, Sexual Health, HIV and Drugs

Lawrence Akers

About Lawrence Akers

My approach is simple; I work with clients to determine what they want to get rid of, what they want instead and what that gap in their resources are that is preventing them from doing it. My focus is not just on motivation but on the capability to do it as well.