If you are on tumblr you have probably seen or read some comments on an article about post gays or nugays. You will read a lot of comments on what judgemental douchebags the guys interviewed come off as and how out of touch they are etc. I don't think the photos really helped with making them seem at all approachable. Really my issue is not with them. They are all pretty young. At that age I was an insufferable arrogant asshole (hell I probably still am now at almost 29). Thats the arrogance of youth. Thats part of the journey. Thats the age range when we say stupid shit and do stupid things because we are still building a core identity for ourselves. I would want nothing to do with 21 year old Aaron other than to tell him to smarten up and drink less. Hopefully some of the guys featured will see how they come off and maybe take something positive from the experince. Reaming them out all over the internet doesn't help them and it sure wont help the community.
My main issue with the article is that the basic hypothesis that it puts forth is false for 99% of the rest of the community (yes I think it is a community regardless of what some may say).
a new generation of twentysomething urban gays—my generation—has the freedom to live exactly the way we want. We have our university degrees, homes and careers. In Toronto, we’ve abandoned the Church Wellesley Village. We’re tattooed and pierced and at the helm of billion-dollar industries like fashion and television. We vacation with our boyfriends in fabulously rustic country homes that belong to our parents, who don’t mind us coming to stay as a couple. Hell, we even marry our boyfriends, if we choose to, on rooftops overlooking Queen West. Our sexual orientation is merely secondary to our place in society.This myopic worldview is fine when your young, well off and well educated. Choose to see the world like that if you wish it is your right but doing so ignores the experinces of the vast amount of people who's lives are affected by systemic societal inequality.
I was at Edmonton's Queer Prom on the weekend very briefly. Queer Prom is a safe, supportive gathering for youth 16 to 25 who do not feel comfortable going to school events because of bullying or homophobia. It has been growing every year attracting kids from as far away as Alaska. This year attracted over 350 youth. Many of these kids are at risk or living on the streets or couch surfing. Some are just regular kids from supportive families in the suburbs (these kids are the exception not the rule).
The BEEF Bear party that my buddy Daren and I organized managed to raise about 1300 bucks to go towards food for Queer Prom. As many of these kids don't know where the next meal is coming from food is a big deal at an event like this. We dropped by after being invited by the organizers to touch base with some of the volunteers and see how things were going.
Walking into that party was such a heartwarming experience. Everyone was having a fantastic time smiling and dancing away. Many of them you could tell were just taking first steps into realizing themselves and the power that accepting yourself can give you. The tentative unbuttoning of shirts while dancing, the awkward glances they were shooting each other, the first kisses..
Life without any fear for the first time. Those moments were like a rebirth for me when I was young. It was all totally adorable. I was so honoured to be a part of it and to be able to help out in some small way. I was a lucky kid. I managed to stay closeted and finish two bachelors degrees and not kill myself while living with my parents. I own my own home and have a wonderful partner whom I hope to marry some day and luckily we live in a place where we can. We both also have very supportive and loving families. As someone as lucky as I am I feel it is important to try and give back to help those who are not been as lucky as I am.
So when someone says that our sexual orientation is merely secondary to our place in society I think yes your allowed to have that opinion but please do not wash away the struggle that many are still undergoing daily to love and live as freely as you do. Not to mention it totally abandons all the sacrifice and hard work of the generations that fought for your current comfort level. I hope this "new gay" the writer is talking about isn't universally ignorant to the suffering around them.
So to this I say Happy Pride everyone! Go out and queer it up if thats your thing (or don't if you so choose) but at the very least try and do something good for someone else!