Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Angry Assimilationalists

Happy at the end of that rainbow?
Well it's begun, the "post-gay" era.  We can stop being "gay" and go back to "homosexual".  In popular culture we will begin to disappear and become whitewashed like African-American characters in a network sit-com.  Those characteristics of language, dress, culture will be looked down upon by our assimilated brothers and sisters as "gay ghetto".   We will all strive to be what everyone places as the ideal: the "Midwestern Standard Heterosexual English Speaking White Male" which according to MSNBC is rapidly becoming an endangered species.
Finger snapping, calling buddies "gurl" or "girlfriend" will be a no-no.  Assimilated gays will argue for assimilation and say "we're free now" so lets act like boring straight white people. In sit-coms we'll root for the outrageous gay who is set against a "Carleton Banks" like character who shows us the "right" way to behave. Our assimilated gay culture will look down on gay men who hold on to gay touchstones, mannerisms and culture.  They'll say things like, they'd be more accepted if they'd just stop acting "gay".  "I mean we're free now, throw away all that gayness."
Really, would a straight guy paint this?
While there is nothing inherently better about "gay" culture per se, there beautiful things that grow from human oppression.  Gays, like other oppressed groups have created a sensibility that help them deal with being treated as "less than".  Fashion, music, design and art pull from the pain of isolation and create a "better world" for those of us who can't or don't want compete in a hyper-masculine world.  This fusion and blending of gender roles allow for new exciting trends in popular culture that may be unimaginable if not for a gay sensibility. It would be a pity to see all that just thrown aside for the privilege of being "one of the boys".
We are rapidly approaching a post-gay era and the culture is changing around us and we are adapting to the new changes.  From younger gays who have grown up in a more tolerant society question the need for things like Gay Pride Parades and organizations that cater to gays and lesbians.  The constant refrain is "we're just people, like everyone else. I don't want to be defined by who I have sex with. I'm just me, not just gay."  It's a sweet sentiment.  This rush to dismantle a movement that has had such success in an incredibly short amount of time is a bit strange and self-defeating.
This whole "I've got mine" attitude, apart from being selfish, assumes you actually have what you want. Also assumes that homophobic attitudes would not resurface, that while a large population is in favor of gay rights and significant minority is not.  Ask any black man if racism has gone away, look at incarceration rates for blacks in America and ask yourself if there is still racism.  
Inside the (formerly) gay community hostility towards "gay acting" will increase. Already you see a demand for "masculine" men.  #masc4masc is the refrain on dating and hook-up sites, so to be desirable you must be athletic, beer drinking and know about sports.  Gay men will be held to the same strictures as straight ones. The gay exploration of what "manhood" really is, as to what masculine really is would probably stop.   Understanding that "manhood" and "masculinity" are just distantly connected.
I am excited and depressed about the coming changes. At last I won't worry about things like inheritance, taxes, benefits that are given exclusively to heterosexual couples.  Yet, I don't want to give up the need to feel outrageous, fabulous or different.  I AM different, my sexuality colors the way I see men, women, beauty, and life.  To say I'm just a person is say I'm a fabulous GAY person is just so much more fun.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gay Wedding Redux

So, when are you really gonna get married?
Ahhh I just went to the most beautiful wedding.  It was two young men getting married after being together for several years.  There was pomp and circumstance. Flowers, food, dancing and love, in fact if it weren't for the two grooms, the wedding could've been conceived by a bunch of giggly 16 year olds and some very smart old ladies for a young bride and groom anywhere and in any era. During the processional the grooms were preceded by adorable flower children and a host of groomsmen and groomswomen all fresh and beautiful in their early 20s.  Rented tuxedoes, lovely gowns graced church's historic apse and all was right with love.....except for me.
I was very excited to attend this "gay" event. The whole church had been invited and there was great anticipation held by all.  I had spent a few days picking out outfits for my HUSBAND and I. When we approached the church the crowd was entering and I said hello to a church friend, she replied: "when are you two going to tie the knot?" 
This woman has known my HUSBAND and me for several years and should have known better. I replied "we are married, we were married in California in a civil ceremony."
Her response: "but that's not a REAL wedding, you know what I mean."
In truth the wedding I was attending was not a "real" wedding in any sense of the word. I mean it carries no legal standing anywhere. It is not recognized by my state or my country. This wedding doesn't confer any of 1,138 privileges guaranteed by the federal government to heterosexual married couples. Two people who know us asked me that question that night.
To the second person who asked, I said the wedding would have a circus theme, everyone would be dressed like clowns and theme song would be "Send in the Clowns". Or something nautical with gay synchronized swimming. Crap, they want a "gay wedding" I sure as hell am going to give it to them.
Yet OUR simple ceremony witnessed by our son, my parent, and close friend, using a bible, which granted our relationship equal status under God and the laws of the Great State of California is not "real".  My HUSBAND and I have fought hard for the right to be equal under the law. We have given thousands of dollars and volunteered hundreds of hours for the hope that our real California marriage will become real and legal for us everywhere.
This idea because we as the LGBT community have not invited you to our wedding, to our "coming out", that you did not witness the birth, growth, and graduations of our children that they didn't happen.   That we lived in one big disco until you befriended us and assigned all the half-truths and ignorance that you believe of us.  Yes, we are married, legally even, we have taken care of each other for almost two decades. Have careers, raised kids.  
My HUSBAND an I are 45.  For the last 17 years we have lived, we have loved, and yes, we are MARRIED!
(fuck you old straight lady)