Friday, September 25, 2009
Jaguar-Ville Coming Soon to a TV Screen Near You
On my the morning of my 40th birthday, I sip coffee taking an unusual pause to savor it's black-bittersweet goodness and then take a conscious, deep breath for the first time as a sporty-40 year old Latino, gay, American man. It's disorienting to have a self-conceptualized age clash so drastically with your real one, In my mind I stopped aging at 28.
I absorb the energy and electricity of the highway below my balcony and notice a billboard just put up the night before, announcing a new TV show with Courtney Cox called CougarTown. It's set in South Florida and is about a Cougar divorcee' realizing truths about aging and dating. I snicker at the clever title for a new, cool show that may or may not be a hit. It made me think of the nicknames or epithets we create for each other. All the categories and containers that us humans love to put ourselves in. Like a farmer sorting his livestock into different pens, humans like to coin nicknames to group types of people. I guess it's some primal survival instinct to put people into logical containers so we know what to expect from them. I never felt like I belonged to any typical gay-nickname container group. I related to being a latino and American but not the everyday-gay you see around. I believe the minute you completely own the title society gives you, you are in essence contained and as a result limited to other experiences out of that box. Like a Cuban or Argentinian that can't conceive of any other latin culture as great as his own. We run the risk of becoming ethno and homo-centric all at once.
I don't relate to leather queens, so I'm not a leather daddy. I'm not a Cub or a Chub Chaser. I'm definitely not a Twink nor am I a Muscle Queen. I'm not a Tweakerella (druggged up gay) or a self-hating gay. I'm not a Fem nor am I a Butch. I'm close to being one of those "straight-acting gays" only that I don't "act" straight, I'm just a masculine gay guy and am completely healthy in expressing and defining my emotions. I guess I could be close to an Otter (a tall, thin, hairy gay guy) but I'm not hairy.
After all this thinking (this coffee's got me running circles in my mind) I realize there isn't a term for an older, (40+), hot gay guy that may or may not date younger men like "Cougar" is for older straight, hot women. I rack my head for a nickname fitting enough to describe this social group left out of our everyday vocabulary. "Sugar Daddy" is close but has a negative connotation of a loveless relationship where an over-the-hill kind of guy pays younger boys to be with him. There has to be a more dignified term for such virile, accomplished, balanced and yes, still hot, gay man. Then we have the new "GRAMP" group which is a new term for a "gay-rich-alone-middle aged-positive" gay man but that's a bit sad and not as funny or light as "Cougar". It'd have to be a species of cat such as Cougar for the simple reason that both like to hunt fresh meat. Gray Wolf came through my mind but not all 40+ men are graying. Hmm, Puma...nah. That connotates a youthful energy or a young-buck kind of gay. Then my boyfriend suggested, Jaguar and with the speed of a brief gay gasp, a new container was born!
Jaguar's are fierce creatures to contend with; fast, strong, slick, elegant, powerful, excellent hunters and like the car -very sporty and slick. So the next time you see a 40+ guy with a sexy, young number on his arm. Say to yourself, "Check out that Jaguar over there. He's an older guy that's still got it going on." So there you have it. You have full permission to steal it. I eagerly await the moment someone first calls me a Jag, there certainly are worse names someone can call you.
Only thing is, although it would be a compliment, I don't feel like a Jaguar and I've never really felt ONLY gay--I like to think myself in Walt Whitman terms, "I am large, I contain multitudes.". I feel like so many things more than any one title can define. So when the novelty or humor of the labels like Cougar, Jaguar, Otter, Twink, Breeder, Diesel-Dyke or whatever, wear off and the pendulum swings from trying so hard to fit in a group to finally realizing we are all one with a whole lotta' different colors, maybe then we'll get "it"- and our labels won't limit us anymore. The stereotypes will finally be outgrown and shed like tortoises' shells. We will finally be free to surprise people again, contain "multitudes" and maybe just grow up enough to stop calling each other names at all.
What is a GRAMP?http://www.bilerico.com/2009/08/hes_in_love_with_a_gramp_gay_rich_alone_middle-age.php
What is a gay Otter or Wolf?
Article on Cougars:
A new kind of gay, the "Straight edger":
Origin of gay sea otter term-perhaps http://lordsofapathy.blogspot.com/2007/03/gay-otters-terrorize-on-lookers-at-zoo.html