Rave review of Gay Man’s Worst Friend
The Dutch bilingual (Dutch and English) gay mag Gay News devotes five pages in their December issue to Destroyer and the book Gay Man’s Worst Friend – the Story of Destroyer Magazine.
The article is written by Hans Hafkamp, who is also the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
Here are some tidbits (I’ve made a few extra line breaks and added bold here and there):
In this day and age it’s asking for trouble if you try to catch the beauty of the Boy in words or images, as someone noted in response to Greer’s book: “We constantly look at very young girls in the media but as soon as it is a boy, we call it pederasty or pedophilia.” The gay community is not any different from the rest of the people. Andersson states – and I think he’s right – that what we think is an acceptable “gay identity” is being narrowed down continually. Shortly after the Stonewall riots in 1969 “homosexuality” meant (almost) all forms of same-sex attraction, but along the way more and more groups were maneuvered to the sideline.”
Hell broke loose when presenters of the radio program “P3 Homo” expressed their horror. One of them called the first issue “really, really disgusting. I must say I get these ancient Greece vibes, you know this age-hierarchical view on sex and young boys, no it’s disgusting!“
Some time later Sören Juvas, chairman of the Swedish gay rights organization RFSL, for which Andersson also has worked, said in an interview with radio program “P1-morgon” that he couldn’t recognize anything in Destroyer’s philosophy “that a large group of homosexuals think that this is a good thing, that is, feeling sexual lust towards teenage boys.”
A little later in the program he targets Andersson, who’s been taking part in the discussion over the phone, that he “of course sexualise[s] the young teenage boy. […] I think you’re pushing the boundaries in a way that I don’t think is good. I think this opens up the possibility of abusing young people.”
This homo-bobo criticism stings all the more sharply because it was in orchestra with the Swedish Ombudsman for Children and the extreme right wing. One could expect that Destroyer would be targeted by several neo-Nazi sites, but it still is a surprise that the “professional homosexuals” were up in arms too, and proof of Andersson’s claim that acceptable gay identity has been narrowed down further and further.
Most remarkable – and without any historical awareness – is the criticism on Ancient Greece. A society that was called upon by gay pioneers all through the twentieth century as a paradise, in which homosexuality had a legitimate position. With their objections to Destroyer the politically correct gay spokespersons denounced a large part of modern emancipation history in one single gesture.
Reading “Gay Man’s Worst Friend” made me think of Sigmund Freud now and then, who once claimed that the aversions most loudly expressed were closest to what was desired in secret. Recent research at the University of Georgia showed that the men who are most vocal about their homophobia, got the most excited sexually while watching gay porn. So one wonders what the Destroyer critics were really so excited about?
The history and reception of Destroyer […] raises questions that are not easy to answer. Although “Gay Man’s Worst Friend” only has 128 pages, Andersson presents an overload of material for serious reflection on the direction of the gay community of today. You probably won’t agree with all Andersson has to say, but it won’t hurt to think about the anti-lust rhetoric that surrounds certain topics at the moment.
This was the best review so far (here are the others) – I doubt it can even get better. To have an intellectual and historically aware gay man of the old school read my book and pick up on obvious (but still missed by so many!) references and criticisms was exactly what I had hoped for when I wrote it. All the better when such a reader is in charge of a fag rag!