ACTUALLY BOTTOMS CAN DRIVE

BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

It starts as a meme. Someone posts a joke about how gays can’t drive and your niche gay shitposting group goes wild. “ME” yells one person. “BIG MOOD” yells another. “SCREAMING” types someone who is actually very quietly sitting at their laptop. The meme takes off and soon new iterations appear. Suddenly there’s a macro of Tai from Clueless, except now she’s saying “You’re just a [BOTTOM] who can’t drive.” The internet erupts as every queer on the planet smashes their face into the keyboard as an array of responses like “ASFDASJDFI” or “AOPD{ds]A” appears. The internet agrees: bottoms can’t drive. And somewhere on a rural Indiana farm, a bottom whose only connection to queerness comes from the internet, sits atop their tractor and weeps.  

Well dry your eyes, you Hoosier cumdump, because I’ve got news for you: BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE. I come from the city of Atlanta where the sheer number of queer people is only matched by the sheer lack of public transit options. If bottoms can’t drive, then a solid third of the people of Atlanta must be sitting at home unemployed. But they aren’t. Why? Because BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

It’s a new meme cycle and now the internet is ASDKGJing about how gay people can only drink iced coffee. Where is this notion coming from? Have you ever been to a coffee shop that wasn’t staffed by at least 50% queer people? Espressos, macchiatos, lattes, and drips all served piping hot BY queer people FOR queer people. Queers can drink hot coffee. And BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

But the internet moves fast and soon we’ve discovered new ways to pigeonhole ourselves. New memes flood in and suddenly the queers can’t even sit in a chair properly, or play a male video game character, or do basic arithmetic. These are specious claims in most cases, and downright damaging in others. There are plenty of gays who sit in a chair the normal way. Think of every closeted Episcopalian organist! SonicFox became the world’s best Injustice 2 player maining primarily male characters. Alan Turing’s contributions to mathematics and computing are legendary and, not to toot my own horn, but I did pretty fucking good on the math section of the GRE. Queers can sit upright, main Road Hog, and do long division. Bottoms can drive. Hell, tops can take the bus!

Oh sure, they all start as light-hearted jokes but what happens to the mind of the sixteen-year-old queer who’s just learning how to drive and loves hot coffee and math? You’ve already got straight people telling you how to act and now you’re facing down the barrel of a shotgun held by your own community and also the gun is labeled “conformity” and the bullets are labeled “thinking Bloom is a bop” and “gays don’t know how to shoot.” Queerness should be about a world of possibilities--endless freedom to define your own self on your own terms--not about clicking like on a reductive meme and sighing as you wait for your coffee to cool down. The people of France are tearing down their government because they can’t afford basic necessities like gas. Yes, the very gas that is used to drive. You better damn well believe there are bottoms in the Gilets Jaunes. Bottoms can drive, and bottoms can riot!

BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

BOTTOMS. CAN. DRIVE.

A community that briefly valued a vast world of expression (this period lasted from the end of the original run of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and ended when we all decided we would fuck The Babadook) now seeks to force itself into smaller and more confusing boxes. A queer can’t even suggest that Honey isn’t that good without the stans coming out to eviscerate them. If you don’t watch Drag Race, prepare to be dragged through the mud by people who watched the Breastworld sketch but still think Drag Race is quality television. Queer people even organized a campaign to tank Venom so that Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born would do better at the box office. Imagine being such a rabid fan that you thought Venom posed any serious threat to any movie, let alone A Star Is Born! How many Venom fans read a fake review and thought “Oh I love Venom but these reviews are bad so I will go see my number two choice A Star Is Born instead.” Bottoms can drive. Even to the movie theatre. EVEN TO SEE VENOM.

Oh sure, all these stereotypes start as jokes. But lots of things that start as jokes soon enter the mainstream and become dangerous concepts that spiral out of control. Just look at the Tide Pod Challenge or our current president. Once an idea gets out there, it can infect the mind and wreak havoc on someone’s sense of self.

Our current political climate is dangerous. The limited progress that queer people have made stands on the edge of total erosion. Instead of telling ourselves that we can’t do this and we can’t drink that, let’s focus on telling ourselves all the things we can do. If you want to drink hot coffee, drink hot coffee. Sit any damn way you want in a chair. Change the station when Thank U, Next comes on the air. Just because we’re homos, it doesn’t mean we’re homogeneous. Sure queer people have some things in common like 1. we’re all depressed and 2. we’re all going to die because of runaway climate change, but we can’t let ourselves be boxed in. Be whatever kind of queer you want to be. Because when bottoms are allowed to drive, we’re all allowed to SOAR.




Julian Modugno is a loudmouthed queer who hates anal AND driving.