Monday, September 25, 2006


I really don't give two hoots about the 'gay community' anymore. This probably makes me some sort of traitor to some circles, but I've had it proven to me again this evening. Going to a local gay pub - old style, thrown together with the requisite cabaret drag act - didn't resonate with me at all. At all. It did once when I was younger, when the world around me was substantially different - now it's just...a throwback to a time in history long since past. Nostalgia's one thing, flogging a dead horse however is completely different.

It's a subject which came up in conversation with an ex in recent weeks - it's surprising how quickly and how utterly my views have changed in this. I used to volunteer for the Terrence Higgins Trust, Stonewall, the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, went out to places like the Village Soho, G-A-Y, I even worked at the Albert Kennedy Trust. None of this does anything for me now - my needs of the world around me, and the needs which come from my sexual orientation are being expressed completely differently. Is this maturity, greater experience or jadedness? Who can tell?


Mamluke said...

oh it's definitely all of the above for me. Just had an almost milestone birthday this past week and was of course doing the requisite evaluation of my life so far - and I can agree - your connections with those things "gay" around you does change with age. I'm going with maturity, in that as you move away from the excitement in youth of discovering more of those like you (whether in a club, pub, or organization) you gravitate as you age towards those things that are more 'you' and that interest you, whether gay or not. In my case, I aim towards those things that I'm interested in where it doesn't matter whether I'm gay or not and I get far more societal,cultural,or whatever you want to call it, kind of support from that than I ever did from just doing something because it was labeled as "gay" and happened to have a million other people doing them. I also see it developing that way in cultures too. Countries and cultures which have had an "out" population longer tend to have not only the pubs,clubs and gay orgs that are "stereotypical" but also a good number of other outlets for those of us who've moved on. Countries and cultures newly minting their gay folk and just allowing them to live "out" tend to only have the gay stereotypical outlets for expression because they as a culture are still dealing with the whole "oh my god, there's more than 2 of them!" and are appreciably excited (either negatively or positively) about that. I notice the same thing in small towns here in the states. IF they have a gay bar, it will be filled with pretty much every glbt person within 200 miles and tend to capitalize on the stereotypes as to what makes them different from the world around them in their everyday lives. Their place to "be themselves" translates to "where can I do things that would get me a harsh glance or killed outside of here." And the energy of being able to do those things goes overboard a bit and translates into extremes of behavior. The more the world around them grows (in size of town or size of heart & moral sense) the less those extremes are necessary to feel comfortable.

Another diatribe-sorry to take over your comments - you just hit a nail for me though. :)

Jason said...

Great assessment, and I think I agree with everything you've put there. My sexual orientation for a spell was extremely important, probably down to certain social conditions as well as being a question of personal development. Right now it matters rarely to me - it's interesting, I don't reject gay culture, but I don't feel personally bound to it in any way.

My tolerance of the stereotypes is also diminishing, although not because I disrespect them essentially. That really feels like a question of maturity to me, whether or not it is...