How dreadfully sad for us all.
When I come out in 1990, I discovered a community of kaleidoscopic variation and difference.
There were no "cookie cut-outs" like there are now. There was colour and depth and wonder and it was fascinating and confronting and captivating all at the same time.
Now.......... beige. With a tint of anger.
In 1990, at the night clubs I went to, there were muscles, drag queens, femmes, suits, trash, punks, andro's, hillbillies, goths, suburbanites, metros, surfers, twinks, Asians, indigenous, lipsticks, bulls, and everything in between.
Now, if you go to a club/bar you see predominantly muscle (white), a smattering of bears, 1 or two Asians, no people of colour, and everyone is completely disinterested (or at least projecting they are) in everything and everyone.
What the fuck happened to us? Simple. WE happened to us.
Somewhere along the line we became so fearful of our own individuality standing out and keeping us a target that we desperately sought to FIT IN. Because if we fit in, we wouldn't get bashed or harassed or discriminated against.
Boy did we get THAT one wrong dears.
OH - and Masc happened. The singular worst thing that could have EVER have happened to the broader Gay community. We actually began viciously and voraciously policing our own people's masculinity. We also seemed to embrace a higher level of racism and socio-facism than the heterosexual community. Yes really!
We did a real number on ourselves didn't we. I think we have lost so much more than we think we have gained.
Now the ANGER.
- POC Gays are angry that White Gays don't value them and are racist.
- White Gays are tired of being called racists for the couple of bad eggs that don't represent the majority.
- Asians Gays are pissed off coz EVERYONE forgets them.
- The lesbians are angry that the gays aren't caring that they are angry anymore.
- Trans people are angry that they are looked upon as a "niche/entertainment", rather than full members of the Club.
- The Bisexuals stopped caring a long time ago and are quite happy just getting along with their lives (but inside they are a FURIOUS - and they have cause to be).
Pretty ugly stuff.
AND we feed this. WE provide the ammunition to all this. How? Social media. Rather than have sit down discussions like we used to do. Or "Town Hall" meetings like we did in the 90's. Am I the only that remembers these?
Now - is this a Gen Y thing? Because I am all verklempt at this. It didn't exist in my generation and I wonder why it does now? Oh yeah. Social media is giving everyone a voice. Including the bitter and angry.
OK - so why are the bitter and angry voices (Michael Lucas & Waddie G are two good and ghastly examples) getting all the reads? I know lots of people on social media who are far more intelligent and balanced than those two. Why aren't THEY getting equal reads? It's because they are balanced and intelligent. No sensational aspect there. No need to read them. We need more Oscar Wildes of our generation. Sadly though, I do not know that there are those with the same eloquence and draw.
Hmmmm. Okay. So the balanced and intelligent need to write more because surely we want THESE community voices to be heard over morons like Lucas and G yes? Otherwise what we have is the equivalent of handing over sensible news reporting to the Big Brother House, and the Oscar Wildes are sent to social media prison because they aren't interesting enough.
Now here's a question - if we get Marriage Equality, do you think there might then be an opportunity to repair some of the damage WE have done to ourselves? Because I for one think we have other issues that once Marriage is settled need serious addressing. Firstly the issue of racism within the LGBT community, then transphobia, then the fact that we are a community divided.
We have a long way to go. But I choose to have hope.