Here You Come Again! . . . or There’s No Escaping the Magnificent, The Notorious!
“Booooooooop! . . . Are you gay? It is impossible to hear those words without a particular smile happening. There’s no way not to . . . smile, that is . . . or laugh, even.
“. . . Are you gay? Are you gay? . . . Pick up the phone. Evil. You don’t pick up the phone, that mean you gay! Only g-a-a-a-a-a-y . . . screen call. You are gay. Why don’t you talk to Mommy about it? . . . You have a cool mommy. Mommy is so cool and Mommy know all about the gay. W-a-a-a-a-a-s- s-h! So many gay . . All over the world. . . . But not Korea! Not Korea! But everywhere else. So many gay.
Sitting on the grass along the National Mall, it was my first time to hear that voice. This was the Millennium March on Washington in 2000, the one that almost didn’t happen because the grassroots groups were up in arms in outrage at HRC. Remember? I was too. There we were by the thousands, the Washington momument in the background, like the very erect penis that it is.
That distinctive Asian voice, projecting across the lawn and the Smithsonians, like dominos, one by one, on the periphery. An Asian voice, saying “You know when I think you gay? When you born. . . . She so beautiful. What a dyke! What a big dyke! . . . You’re so dykey. Maybe one day you will grow up to be P.E. teacher.
“Booooooooop! Are you gay? The crowd roared each time she said it then and has ever since. The crowd roars, and I roar too! Totally unusual on my part, living in the detached spectator position as I do. Cannot not.
Never have quite recovered. Although having no idea at the time, it has become clear, subsequently, the voice was pure, signature . . . purely signature . . . pure magnificent, signature notorious . . . Cho . . . who has a cool mommy!
A couple of years later, there she was on stage at the Herbst Theater for Frameline’s opening night. There she was, talking about her mommy, and it turned out Mommy was in the audience, and Daddy too. She introduced them with delight. A couple of years later, there she was onstage at HRC’s San Francisco Gala Dinner. We in the audience, we laughed until we were falling out of our seats. “Are you gay?”
Now, a couple of years later, here she comes again, a member of Good Vibrations’ Board of Directors. Margaret Cho said, upon assuming the position, “I am joining Good Vibrations just in time. My Hitachi (vibrator) has just fallen into two pieces after fifteen years.”
Are you gay? Yes, very gay that she will be with us in April, my birthday month, so, my birthday present this year is tickets to see the True Colors Tour recently announced by Cyndi Lauper with Margaret as emcee . . .
Magnificent and notorious! Chooooooooooooooo!