hilton als on white girls

10BENJAMIN-articleInlineRich Benjamin at The New York Times:

A gay black man, Als portrays gay black men’s longing to cherish what they cannot sexually love, the putative opposite of themselves, yet the emblem with which they deeply identify: white girls. Als admires and loathes white girls, mocks and mimics white girls, is ignored by white girls, is depended on by white girls, is perceived to be a white girl. “White girls,” he shows, is not just literal people. It’s a state of mind, an art of being.

Witness, in one essay, the black drag queen wearing jeans, a halter top and an upswept hairdo, who plunks herself on the lap of an older white gentleman and announces: “That’s what I want you to make me feel like, baby, a white woman. A white woman who’s getting out of your Mercedes-Benz and going into Gucci to buy me some new drawers because you wrecked them. Just fabulous.”

Als owns up to the sadomasochistic nature of white-girl worship. Watching “Gone With the Wind” for the first time, he fell in love with Vivien Leigh, who as Scarlett “suffers, and says she will never suffer again, and I loved her so much I didn’t want her to suffer.” He adds, “I would have made her forget that I was colored and that she could lynch me if she wanted to because I knew I could make her love me.”

more here.