Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Who needs straight homophobes when we have The Advocate?

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | January 09, 2008 8:41 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Dick Cheney, homophobia, homophobic behavior, internalized homophobia, Jim Naugle, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Peter pace, right-wing ideals, sissies, Sissy awards, Snickers gay ad, The Advocate

When I saw that the January 15, 2008 issue of The Advocate had an article at the end called “The Sissy Awards,” forgive me for thinking for just one moment that the gay newsmagazine of record might have briefly come to their senses in order to reward gender defiance of the nelly variety. Sorry, girls, according to The Advocate, the Sissy Awards are meant to recognize "those who show arrogant stupidity, dishonesty, or just a severe lack of spine."

That's right -- no need to reclaim language, let's just accept the validity of virulent homophobic stereotypes, i.e. that any swishy queen bringing fever to the powers-that-be is actually a vicious traitor to the nation. But The Advocate actually goes further, and remakes the sissy stereotype to include bigots of all persuasions. I kid you not.

A quick look at the Sissy Awards shows as that the Republicans are the "Sissy Political Party," because some of their representatives have been caught looking for gay sex. Apparently that makes them sissies, because they’re unable to live up to their right-wing ideals. The Advocate shares no thoughts on police entrapment. Nothing sissy about that.

The Advocate tells us that the “Sissy Extracurricular Activity of the Year” is sex in public bathrooms, not the homophobia of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, who proposed spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on specially-designed public restrooms that would discourage amorous encounters. Oh -- and Fort Lauderdale is the "Sissy Vacation Destination" because the person in charge of the PA system at the airport was quoted as announcing, “A man who lies with another man as he would a woman is subject to death.” That's right -- the reading of lunatic passages from Leviticus is definitely sissy behavior.

Oh -- and "Sissy Grandpa" is none other than Dick Cheney, because he wouldn't answer questions about his daughter's new baby. Nope -- he doesn't make the list for helping to engineer a war for oil profits, that's what real men do. And everybody knows that real men aren't sissies. Unless they won't answer questions about their gay daughter's baby.

“Sissy Candy of the Year” Snickers, for the gay ad that ends up in a bashing . "Four-star Sissy?" General Peter Pace, who called homosexuality "immoral" while chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Sissy Internationale?" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president who claimed that there were no homosexuals in Iran.

Everybody knows that only sissies are homophobes, right? Thanks to The Advocate for clearing everything up.

Mattilda blogs at

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I'm stunned, Mattilda.

I always thought that sissies were good people, but thanks to the Advocate for setting me straight.

Moreover, these are their most important stories of 2007? Paris Hilton saying something stupid about AIDS? Matt Sanchez? Sheesh. Maybe that's why they put Lance Bass on the cover and just chided gays for not agreeing that he was the greatest thing ever - they forgot all the important things that happened this year, even those specific to sexual politics!

Ugh and double ugh. That's one of the many reasons why I don't read The Advocate.

And they start out the article with :

If there’s one thing right-wing pols like better than blocking gay rights, it’s having gay sex.

Their #1 reason Republicans are sissy is having gay sex. So gay sex is sissy. A magazine ostensibly for gay people thinks gay sex is sissy, basically calling itself sissy. And sissy is bad and homophobic, BTW, so now gay sex is homophobic.

Or something like that.

You're expecting credible, responsible community journalism from the Ragvocate?

You're going to be waiting an awfully long time. In fact, you'll probably do better on that score by picking up a copy of the National Enquirer.

The problem with the Advocate is that the mainstream straight/LGBTQ community sees it as representative of the queer community as a whole (and if I'm wrong, I'll be very glad to hear it). So mattilda's piece becomes really important in term of offering a critique of what people think we're about. Thanks, mattilda!

This makes me want to wear a button that says: "We're here, We're queer, We're Sissies: Get Used to It!"

chandler in lasvegas | January 9, 2008 1:12 PM

Wow, you just got out of bed and figured out that the Advocate has bee doing this for years and NOW you get outraged. Shocked, I am shocked!

If you paid any attention you might be inclined to come to the conclusion that the way people associate with the word Sissy has changed in the past few years. It is ANOTHER thing we have appropriated from the enemy, but before that it was a soft epithet that we threw back at the nasty opposition. Now you get your panties in a bunch and get all pissy about it but WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

If we didn't already think the Advocate had become irrelevant enough, this certainly proves it.

The fact that a magazine supposedly for "our community" would further (and add to) such damaging and mean stereotypes about "sissies" (a group of which I am a proud member) is ridiculous. They should stick to interviewing straight artists and actors who just want to come to the LGBT community to sell something. It seems to be their specialty.

You want queer news and view points in all its myriad forms? Come to Bilerico instead.

Well Guys "N" Gals This why the media must be held accountable. Y'all can't be serious about being shocked or appalled about this Come-On this goes on every day on the National and local mainstream media. Start holding all of them accountable for what they write.

They get away with it because You let them for so long.

Take care

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | January 9, 2008 1:54 PM

This makes me want to wear a button that says: "We're here, We're queer, We're Sissies: Get Used to It!"


chandler~ where has this massive reappropriation effort been? I think I missed that memo.

Yasmin~ I want one of those buttons! Maybe I'll just make a T-shirt....

Wow, you just got out of bed and figured out that the Advocate has been doing this for years and NOW you get outraged. Shocked, I am shocked!

It's sexy to see someone use sarcasm with such expertise. The written word is your brush, sarcasm your paint, and the Bilerico comment thread your Sistine chapel.

Did anyone read "The Sissy Duckling" by Harvey Fierstein? (Alex, I know you have.) I think every kid needs to read that.

I'm glad you posted on this, Mattilda. I noticed the "Sissy Awards" a few days ago and wondered why they were giving them to Republicans and making it out to be a bad thing. I filed it away in my "I should post on this file" and promptly forgot it. The best part? You gave it a much more thorough and thought out post than I could have. Great post!

Serena: I'll look it up

Rebecca, I've got the National Enquirer right here, and you're right!

Nick, sarcasm indeed -- sexy sexy sexy!

And thanks to everyone for the sissy love...

Sissie of the world unite! The Sissie is a stereotype that has been around as long as there have been men loving men and women loving women. The Advocate thinks that using this word empowers it, taking it back and using it against those who for so long used it on us! All they do is alienate their own, not only denigrating the Sissy - of whom i am a BIG one! - but linking us together with - ewww - Republicans! Yuck! No self respecting Sissy would knowingly allow any of them in our club! HA! It is too bad. I like that we have a national news magazine, and I know that with some good must come some bad, but how much bad do we have to take?