VIDEO: GAYmous Gives Me Seriously Not-Pretend Feelings

Self-identified electro slut-step synth band GAYmous is the best and jazziest band to ever come from a game of truth or dare. From their Facebook fan page:

Motivated by a dare and a mutual belief in the power of the synthesizer, GAYmous started emotionally scissoring with audiences in 2012 and now fans never want it to stop. Bay Area Slut Step artists, Pizza Cupcake and FXBoi, heat up the stage with their interactive theatrical shows. They have shared the stage with the likes of Nicky Click and Double Duchess. Choreo breakdowns and tiny shiny costumes complement a queer electro-pop sound that is the child of Prince and all his lovers’ bands, Gravy Train!!!, and the sound of the kinky sex your neighbors have upstairs. Their current single “(Let’s Pretend We Don’t Have) Feelings” will leave you covered in sweat and glitter and ready to process your myriad relationships.

(Let’s Pretend We Don’t Have) Feelings from GAYmous on Vimeo.

“(Let’s Pretend We Don’t Have) Feelings” has been on a loop on my computer for the past week, cheering me with its deluge of iconic queer community familiars which range from the classic Collective Tarot deck to the amazing space-kitten onesie jumpsuit thing everyone and their gay momma seems to have. It helps that the video features at least a dozen people I know, either in real life or from trolling Bay Area Tindr and OkCupid, and that Pizza Cupcake and FXBoi are super babes with mad keyboard and choreography skills. (Seriously, everyone in the video is a total dreamboat. Um, and if anyone in that video is reading this, I’m single, soooooo…) The video makes camp of the concept of faux stoicism, featuring queers crying and eating, crying and petting their dogs, crying through their glitter, and crying while using colored hankies to stop their tears (if you’re up on your hanky code, you can even view the video using the lens of codification, which serves to make the savvy queer viewer feel a bit like a homo Harriet the Spy). Though the video is light-hearted and funny, it touches on the all-too-real concept of playing cool in the dating world, especially as a community full of folks who have been socialized to believe that they are undesirable or unworthy of being wanted.

One of the most compelling messages of the song drives home criticism of playing it cool. My ex used to have a game with their friends in which they would say ‘put the phone in the drawer’ when one of them was too interested in a person they liked. For example, if I were totally obsessed with Jennifer Beals (no, I totally don’t have a 40″ poster of Flashdance on my wall, and no, Bette Porter isn’t my dream girl. Nope.), and Jennifer Beals and I started dating, I’d probably be all over my phone texting her, snapchatting all the food I make, emailing pictures of my cat, or sending her audio recordings of poems, because I would totally love the shit out of her and I’d want her to know all of my FEELINGS. But with the rules of the Play It Cool Game (or the theory of my ex and their friends), I would have a good friend who would say, “July, put the phone in the drawer.” Which means, essentially, “Show some feelings, but not like, ALL of them.”

But Feelings are valid, and GAYmous knows that. I know experiences of community, coming out, safety, and relationships are super varied and different for everyone, but “(Let’s Pretend We Don’t Have) Feelings” celebrates the tenderness of queerness that isn’t often visible or allowed to exist without stigma in popular culture (without the moniker of ‘lesbian processing’, or use of ableist language that marks queer feelings as ‘crazy’ or ‘insane’).

So let’s revel in this amazing new video, with this Bay Area sensation! And if you’re feeling particularly celebratory, you can preorder GAYmous’s album, and help fund them here. Even better, if you’re in the Bay(be) Area, you can see GAYmous live on September 18th, 2014 at The Stud in San Francisco (399 9th Street).

Profile photo of July Westhale

July Westhale is a Pushcart-nominated poet, activist, and journalist. She has been awarded residencies from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Sewanee, Napa Valley, Tin House and Bread Loaf. She is the 2014 Poetry Fellow at Tomales Bay, and was recently a finalist for the Creative Writing Fulbright.

July has written 6 articles for us.

25 Comments

  1. Thumb up 9

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    I feel like the circles I run in have gotten really cynical about queer media (like yawn, glitter, ugh, unicorns) and are kind of into dragging everyone down with them, and this makes me feel really happy and excited again :D

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    This is the best thing that’s happened to the Internets since Raptor Jesus.

    Seriously though. When I like someone a whole fucking lot and they get weirded out if I text them too many smileys per week, I’m like fuck you, my love is better invested on my pet shrimps.

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      When I first came out of the closet, a girl I met at a party took me under her wing and totally gave me a flow chart for appropriate texting (if she texts you by wednesday, you can respond, but if she texts on Thursday for the weekend make it the following week. don’t text more than once a day. text the morning after a good date if you haven’t slept over. that last one I still do, though, it’s good manners I think)

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        You lucky ass unicorn mofo. I never had a mentor in the art of Gayness. In fact I don’t have a single gay girl buddy in my area. Woe is me.

        I think I *AM* pretty good at gaging what’s too eager, and what’s laid back enough for texting. I’d blame my absence of success on the fact that I’m very unlucky with flirting straight girls. Here’s my fingers. Go ahead, slap them. D:

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          Also because both my comments put together sound totally like I tell straight girls to fuck off when they don’t like me back : lol this totally isn’t what I meant, I just really like to accidentally sound like a douche.

          My original comment was mostly refering to when I’m texting people and friends and acquaintances and end up feeling like I’m too enthusiastic for them. I’m a joyous pink little panda, k? If you prefer to send one-word replies, I’ll be in my corner friendshipping my shrimps instead.

          It’s still true that I constantly crush on straight women though. Lord help me.

  3. Thumb up 7

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    “without the moniker of ‘lesbian processing’, or use of ableist language that marks queer feelings as ‘crazy’ or ‘insane’”

    Thank you! I’m glad someone finally said it.

    This video and these people are terrific!

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    This vid is a-may-ziing!!! Being pansexual, and growing up in a super conservative religious household I learned how to communicate with men, but not women. Living on my own now, away from family, with freedom to do whatever I choose, and love whomever I choose has been very liberating. BUT, I find in the queer community we all seem closed and build walls inside of us to keep our emotions ‘safe’. Its (in my opinion) detrimental to all of us. We all have been hurt in our lifetimes, we need to find ways to break those walls down, and open ourselves up to what can be. Sure, it opens up to hurt and heartbreak, but those are growing experiences. If we all are honest with our feelings, and show them openly, I feel that everyone would be much happier and satisfied with their relationships.

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