In the first instalment of this new column by Symonne Torpy, meet Clark Rockerfeller, the virtual gay man trapped inside a woman’s body.
The aim of beauty is to keep the populace hypnotised, (hence desperate to be led to safety), by the menacing wit of Wintours and other robots, manufactured upon polished skin and cigarettes. This world, all of it imaginary, is what we like best, for it is a reincarnation of the picture books we suckled at in our youth. In a world where the wild things are real, it’s all the better to see them cloaked in glitter.
It all began with Clark Rockerfeller. We had met years before in the pages of Vanity Fair. Fresh-faced, eighteen and enjoying my first foray into freedom from matriarchy, I bought the rag, convinced it represented ‘going native’ in New York. I also bought a hot dog in Central park. It wiggled limply in the NYC winter. I savoured my ‘Sex and the City’ moment… minus the fashion, the cocktails and the cashed up 30-somethings. So, all I had was a fake limp dick and a magazine. That coming of age wonder seems so innocent when you look back at it, cynical and hardened, at twenty-one.
Clark was intriguing and delicious (yes, he and I are now friends, and I refer to him in the first). Pretty in his youth, in sunglasses and with a full head of quaffed Nordic hair, he looked like he’d jumped out of an ad for Colgate toothpaste or Nova Scotia, or something else hyperbolically wholesome. But far from white, Clark was touched by that supremely attractive trait of criminality. He was a fraud, even a murderer. And he was a modern Marxian triumph. Clark had used the constraints of Feudal, class warfare against its capitalist arbiters, without the need to resort to hippy love melodies or muted, hessian colour schemes. He had achieved the Marxian dream – essentially fucking over the capitalists without having to carry out any legitimate work within the Capitalist system at all. And that’s what my cock-eyed version of Political Economy 101 will have you believe. So our dear Clark was my dark hero from the start.
Some four years on, the chrysalis had totally fallen away, and I was discovering another city – one that had always been there, but that I had never claimed. Sydney. It takes a revelation to fall in love with a place that has always been home. For me, it took a million dollar inner city apartment and an iPhone application called Grindr.
Grindr is a gay social networking site endowed with the cultural values and norms of any gay space – the ability to move from cruise to connection to coitus – quickly. It’s a place where the uncertainties of the physical realm are caught behind a screen, yet grandstanding and cock-parading are all the more pronounced. It proffers a veritable smorgasbord of men, arranged from nearest to farthest in geographical proximity. And for me, the sexual menu provides the means of viewing, taste-testing and even partially cooking the specimen, before ordering him to your door. Never one to let gender get in the way of a conquest (or a restaurant), I was determined to take my seat at the table.
And so my Grindr life began as my life does in any city. With a disguise. My old friend Clark obliged. Photographing his face from the Vanity Fair spread (I had kept it like some divine symbol of my passage to adulthood), I uploaded his picture into my profile. I named myself Clark. And so Clark and I shared this little fraudulent inside joke.
Perhaps if I had been a gay man, the joke would have remained relatively uncomplicated. But my world, most of it imaginary, began that day on Grindr, where an image of a torso or a face or a penis grinds upon an alternate level of beauty. I am a gay man inside a woman’s body. And thus, the story begins. Cloaked and manufactured and glittery.
Log-on next week to follow Clark’s story …