"Style" gets a liberal interpretation at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Photo: James Brickwood
IT WAS the great sage and sex-tape star Paris Hilton who said: "The only rule is don't be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in."
Hilton's wise advice is perhaps the best definition of style you will find, and one many gay men appear to ignore.
In popular culture, a gay man without style is like a bully calf deprived of its testicles — both have had their manhood irreparably compromised.
That is why television shows such as Sex and the City feature expensively dressed homosexual characters ever ready to dispense with bitchy bons mots and fashion tips for Botoxed women friends.
These men and their ridiculous advice should be ignored.
Fancying blokes does not automatically mean you will give good sartorial advice, as fashion designer Calvin Klein points out: "There are a lot of gay people in fashion, but it's not as if every gay person is a good creator."
Gay men cannot even be trusted to dress themselves.
Style, as Hilton preaches if not practises, is not the same as the ability to wantonly spend money on overpriced clothing worn with fashion labels sewn on by underpaid south-east Asian sweatshop employees.
Nor is it stylish to wear aforesaid apparel too tightly over gym-enhanced pectorals deforested of hair like an Indonesian rainforest.
Yet this is what legions of gay men (and Alex Perry and Napoleon Perdis) flaunt themselves in, while glaring disdainfully at those less-expensively dressed and gymmed.
Too often, they are mutton dressed as man, a pine tree in a forest; that is, undistinguishable from each other.
Originality, as Hilton and countless others have said, is the true measure of style.