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Wednesday 08 October 2008

"Help me… I'm too camp!"

Posted in: Family Matters
By - 14th November 2007

Jacquie Grant affectionately known as the "tranny granny", Jacquie's had a colourful life which has seen her go from being harassed by police and arrested on the streets of King's Cross in Sydney in the late 1950s, to a happier life in New Zealand, where she has fostered more than 60 children, and now has numerous grandchildren. Jacquie lives in Hokitika.

Bill Logan is a counsellor, celebrant, gay activist and revolutionist in his fifties, Bill's been on the Gay Helpline in Wellington since 1982, was a co-founder of the NZ AIDS Foundation, and played a significant role in the struggle for homosexual law reform.

A J Marsh was voted Mr. Gay Wellington 2007. AJ’s a down-to-earth, community conscious, country-dweller whose experience in the community with UniQ and standing up against the Destiny Church shows he takes his role as the capital’s ‘Out and Proud’ ambassador seriously.

Previous advisors include secondary school teacher Carol Bartlett, gay activist Jim Peron and editor Jay Bennie.

If you have a question you'd like to put to our panel, please complete our

'Anonymous' writes:

How can I butch it up a bit? I'm naturally camp, and sometimes get hassles for it. Any advice on how I can tone it down would be welcome.

Bill Logan responds:

Find a bad barber—or if necessary cut your own hair. Never polish your shoes. Wear plain clothes and dull colours. Forget the deodorant. Don't talk much. When you have to talk, do so slowly and in a deeper voice, less articulately and with more hesitation, and pick your topic carefully—rugby and cars are good. (You might have to read up on them.) Belch and fart freely. Adjust your genitals openly. If desperate, grow a full beard.

A. J. Marsh responds:

I think that the best way would be to find a behaviour, either in your environment or in a media to which you have access, that you found acceptable or that you would like to emulate and try and do so – find a person you know, a TV character, a personality who has a manner that you think fits the bill and try to copy or characterise some of what they do. Maybe you have a lot of camp friends and should try to find friends who act more in a way that you'd like to act.

There is no right or wrong way – butch, camp or somewhere in between - to act and as LGBT people, I think that we're about ending stereotypes and challenging gender roles that dictate how we have to behave. You should always be yourself and if you want to change your mannerisms, let it be for the right reasons.

Jacquie Grant responds:

Stop plucking your eyebrows and walking like you are permanently on a catwalk.

Seriously, if you are naturally KAMP acting in your mannerisms and speech I'm not going to try to tell you to act like someone you are not, that would be like denying your whole personality.

If you get hassled hassle back.

Jacquie - 14th November 2007