Wednesday, July 07, 2004

So M says to me" "There is a Homo Joidep tonight." Just like that. Maybe a chuckle. And I go "Whoa! Come again?" We had just come back looking at Kang and photographing various ritual uses of rice for my Rice Queen project. So we go back to videotape some more after I leave my shoes behind. Cousin L is there when we got back = turns out she is the lead singer. The temple is all closed and people sit on the mats all around. I love the paintings of the incarnations of Vishnu.

The Homo Joidep is the last act. I mean it has got to be the most coolly radical expression of cay culture I have ever encountered. Right from the very use of the term Homo. Empowerment? Taking the sting out of an epithet? Ironic? Yes, all perhaps but I suspect even more. Like is less is more.

The boys are good dancers. They too do the 10 incarnations - choreography by, as it turned out. O j a B. So we are talking high art performance. (I don't use classical any more) Plus in a traditional venue in a traditional way. Yet it goes beyond the usual rituals and performance avenues for homosexuality in traditional cultures. They are gay in a modern way but without taking cues fro the post-industrial West. I mean, the Indian word for gay is khush, which literally translates as gay. So one imagine an Indian gayboi at NYU going back all empowered in Gay pride.

But no, this is more like the gay Purim at Rodeth Shalom (?) that Andy (aka Esther in drag) and Sandi told me about. Without the irony. A bit like Farmer Tom who dressed in women's clothes up in Vermont where L and J used to live. (Wife to Mrs. K: I don't mind ironing his dresses but I will not iron his underwear). He is Tom first and then Tom-Who-Wears-Dresses second. So with the boys I suspect. Basically accepting with a few homophobic catcalls.

I must research more. A whole new way to gay culture. I think this is astounding.

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