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Post-Mos and Privilege
June 10, 2011 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Toronto's new alt-weekly The Grid has kicked up a storm of controversy this week with their cover story Dawn of a New Gay, which focuses on a new breed of "post-mos" who sneer at the traditional trappings of homosexuality and gay activism. Torontoist responds, and one of the subjects of the article has denounced his involvement in the piece.
posted by yellowbinder (126 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
large, diverse population defies easy stereotypes, people up in arms.. story at 11..
posted by k5.user at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I got really into queer history a while ago, gathered a lot of books, stories, etc.

This article is written about every six years. Seriously. At this point it's just a shadow boxing pose.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on June 10, 2011 [33 favorites]


I don't think I've seen so many bowties in the same picture since the time I wandered near a Louis Farrakhan rally.
posted by deadmessenger at 10:21 AM on June 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Or, anyone who actually knew their history would know that actual sneering at traditional trappings of homosexual life would include slots and lots of heterosexual sex.
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 AM on June 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


slots?
posted by hermitosis at 10:22 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this where I get to say I'm totally not into the scene or I'm a chill, laidback T-shirt and jeans and beer kinda guy? Yeargh.
posted by ao4047 at 10:23 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


>slots?

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, baby.
posted by mosk at 10:24 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm looking forward to the East-vs-West Toronto Gay Turf War.
posted by Jairus at 10:26 AM on June 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


My prized possession is an original copy of THE BUTCH MANUAL, which is a lovely parody of the " I'm not like THOSE FARIES"

Early on, don't we have Astro Zombie pointing us to Camp Records' "I'd rather fight than swish"?

Wasn't there Banker's Drag, something Burroughs and Gram Chaplin did?

More people are not into the scene then the people IN THE SCENE. If you assume a scene exists. I've never seen it.

This is seriously lame.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a straight guy with very little dog in this fight, I just wanted to say that I want David(21, High Park)'s frames SO FUCKING BAD OH MY GOD
posted by penduluum at 10:28 AM on June 10, 2011


You can avoid the more flamboyant trappings of gaymaledom and still be an activist. I know from some of the rally pictures and from seeing quite a few gays in my time.
posted by Eideteker at 10:29 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Am I right that this author seriously believes appellations like "straight-looking" and "masculine" are a recent development peculiar to his oh-so-over-it generation?
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:31 AM on June 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Okay, can I say something? I LOOOOOVE the rainbow flag. I don't own one, or have a car to put a sticker on or anything, but I LOOOOOVE that there is a widely recognized flag, and I LOOOOOVE that it is a big ol' rainbow. It's simple, and yet the symbol has so many layers of interpretation, and somehow it's completely nutso-looking next to pretty much any other flag.

So listen up, po-'mos: you hit the jackpot, flag-wise. Own it!

Also, it never fails to amuse me when young people declare themselves to be some new wave of something or other. Unless you are actively wrecking shit or freaking people out in some impressive or unprecedented way, it doesn't count. You found a whole new way of fading into the background? How darling.
posted by hermitosis at 10:32 AM on June 10, 2011 [30 favorites]


I'm so straight acting and professional I only fuck girls, while wearing a suit.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on June 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


Christ... I am actually staring to really wonder about people. It boggles me that we still have to dance the little dance of realization that not everyone in group X is a caricature of what group X is.

I'm a-religious, that is.. an atheist. My best friend is a pastor. We have had some great long conversations about religion and we never fight, OMG. If we'd start looking beyond easy labels and what people actually believe and how they act, 40% of our problems would "magically" disappear.
posted by edgeways at 10:35 AM on June 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


No herm you dint understand I'm not boring I am a rebel, I am rejecting rebellion and embracing the opposite you see how clever I am I am very very cool.
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know the audience of this article is people living in a large North-American city, but could this outlook be any more myopic? Not everyone lives in a progressive, tolerant urban neighborhood.
posted by usonian at 10:35 AM on June 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


More people are not into the scene then the people IN THE SCENE. If you assume a scene exists. I've never seen it.

This goes for nearly all media reported 'trends'. The vast majority of humans are never part of any 'trend/scene/movement'. But that doesn't sell papers/magazines. Judging a particular segment of humanity based on those who are into THE SCENE is a good way to completely miss what actual people think.
posted by spicynuts at 10:35 AM on June 10, 2011


I'm like a secret agent or something, no one knows!
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a straight guy with very little dog in this fight, I just wanted to say that I want David(21, High Park)'s frames SO FUCKING BAD OH MY GOD

I have frames very similar to those. I guess I'm a post-mo!!! Hallelujah no more shackles of gay mafia oppression!!!
posted by blucevalo at 10:42 AM on June 10, 2011


What's funny/tragically familiar about this screed is that it mostly boils down to a fresh generation of homos insisting "I'm not a fucking sissy!" which sort of forgets that whole moment we had in queer politics where we took seriously the gender-subverting potential of behaving in ways that diverge for normative gender (e.g., being a sissyboy). Queer sexuality definitely needs to be more diverse than a sissy-or-butch binary, but denigrating male femininity is not the way to go about it.
posted by LMGM at 10:43 AM on June 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


When I think of all the gay people I know and have known over the years, the thing that they have most in common is how very different they are in terms of appearance, behaviour, taste and personality. I really do wonder about people who find it surprising that gay folks aren't some easily-categorised mass. I mean, heteros aren't all alike, are they? Why the hell would you imagine gays would be, or ought to be?
posted by Decani at 10:44 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Queer sexuality definitely needs to be more diverse than a sissy-or-butch binary, but denigrating male femininity is not the way to go about it.

What is the way to go about it?
posted by Jairus at 10:44 AM on June 10, 2011


What is confusing for me as a straight man is I know a few gay guys my age who have slept with more women than I have, and I don't think I have much chance beating them at their own game by sleeping with more men than them either.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:49 AM on June 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Okay, can I say something? I LOOOOOVE the rainbow flag.

Years ago, I was visiting Milwaukee, and a friend and I were driving around, and there were rainbow flags everywhere. And I was, like "is it Pride weekend? It's kind of late in the year for that..."
And she was "No, it's Rainbow Summer."
"Rainbow Summer?" I asked.
"Yes, remember Summerfest and GermanFest and IrishFest?"
"uh huh?"
"They rolled them all together into Rainbow Summer."
"Does the City realize that it has made downtown into a huge gay celebration."
"I don't believe that understand that, no."
"Hurrah!" And I enjoyed the rest of the drive down the huge gay boulevards of my youth.

So, Fly, Rainbow Flag! Fly forever!
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:50 AM on June 10, 2011 [50 favorites]


Our sexual orientation is merely secondary to our place in society. We don’t need to categorize or define ourselves as gay, and who we sleep with—mostly men and, hey, sometimes women—isn’t even much of a topic of conversation anymore.

This. Fuck race, gender, and sexuality. Maybe soon we'll pick up our evolution where we left off before we started talking about them so much?
posted by herbplarfegan at 10:51 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sissies totally got you your freedoms, respect.

Butch femme is so annoying, can we have more of a grid? Can mod/rocker/square me on it?

I only really understand things via alignment charts or comic books so .....
posted by The Whelk at 10:52 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh come on, without Butch/Femme, the English Civil War makes absolutely no sense....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:54 AM on June 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


I don't think I've seen so many bowties in the same picture since the time I wandered near a Louis Farrakhan rally.

Not that I support Farrakhan or anything...but bowties are cool.
posted by jb at 10:55 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a terrible piece. Do newspapers have trolls or did enough people really think this was a worthwhile enough pile of words to publish?
posted by troublewithwolves at 10:57 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm so straight acting and professional I only fuck girls, while wearing a suit.

Like a boss!
posted by tommasz at 11:01 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


From The Butch Manual:

Who would it be more fun to imitate on a New York subway grating, Marilyn Monroe or R2D2? So why is everyone walking around acting like R2D2? Because R2D2 is Butch and Butch is getting laid.

Fucking WIN.
posted by Scoo at 11:01 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh, everyone knows this is a piece of crap but we all love disseminating how it's obviously wrong. That's why we keep getting these "how 20-something's are" and "social networks are anti-social" and any number of the broad-strokes approaches to criticizing lifestyle (choices) we've always had. They're easy to write and the refutations always get the piece more reads than anything.
posted by artificialard at 11:02 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is confusing for me as a straight man is I know a few gay guys my age who have slept with more women than I have, and I don't think I have much chance beating them at their own game by sleeping with more men than them either.

Ahhh, but have you tried?
posted by mikoroshi at 11:03 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
posted by The Whelk at 11:04 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


So listen up, po-'mos: you hit the jackpot, flag-wise. Own it!

I loved rainbows before I even knew what gay was; when I realised I was bi, I was like "score!" That said, I really want to buy my husband some rainbow suspenders like my Pop used to wear (he also loved rainbows), but he was all like "I don't want to be false advertising and claiming an honour I haven't earned."

But really, we can't forget how far we've come in such a short time. When I was a kid, no one would tell me what "gay" (or the insult of the day, "gaylord") meant, except that I knew it was a bad word; when I was a teenager, it was still a huge deal to have a gay character on any tv show. I've been lucky enough to live in a city and move within subcultures (artsy types) that are accepting, but I was still shocked to find out recently that a local, and somewhat tough, high school has a gay-straight alliance. Not even my progressive arts school had one of those in the 1990s, and now they are standard (in the non-Catholic system). I was shocked - and happy.
posted by jb at 11:05 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is the way to go about it?

Build, don't destroy. A straight dude isn't any more straight if he speaks out against queers. A gay dude isn't any more gay if he knocks down others for behaving in ways he doesn't.

Denigrating male femininity is, frankly, some horrible patriarchal bullshit. If a dude wants to be feminine, let him. If you don't want to be feminine, then don't. Raise awareness by existing and making people aware of you.

'Cause I know straight men who come off as fabulous, as it were, and I know gay dudes who you'd never ever ever guess were gay. And there's room for all of those and everyone in between. I sincerely believe that when we stop stigmatizing people based on their success or failure in adhering to gender norms, everyone wins. And I don't think it's possible to make any great strides in this by cutting down others.

You show the diversity of a continuum by adding points along its line, not by trying to cut off one end of it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:12 AM on June 10, 2011 [32 favorites]


What the hell is everyone hating on this article about? I'm seriously confused.
posted by herbplarfegan at 11:13 AM on June 10, 2011


This is great because I'm a Mod but no-one can believe it because I look like such a Rocker.
posted by zylocomotion at 11:14 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really want to buy my husband some rainbow suspenders like my Pop used to wear (he also loved rainbows), but he was all like "I don't want to be false advertising and claiming an honour I haven't earned."

I'm a het guy and rock rainbow suspenders. Or at least wear them, I should probably leave it to others to judge the rockingness. If forced to think about it, I think that among my peers (mid-20's Canada) it can cover anyone who's an Ally, especially with the recent news about GSAs who use the rainbow as their symbol. But really I don't think about it that much: rainbows look awesome, I wear suspenders, problem solved.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:18 AM on June 10, 2011


large, diverse population defies easy stereotypes, people up in arms.. story at 11..

Amazing, isn't it? So much of our discourse is now a pose of rebellion against a conventional wisdom that never existed. This is because journalism sucks. How many possible variations of this piece are there for politics, fashion, gender issues, men's identity, women's identity, animal rights, you name it? Millions, I say.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:19 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If a dude wants to be feminine, let him. If you don't want to be feminine, then don't. Raise awareness by existing and making people aware of you.

Please don't nobody killfile me, but I think that was precisely the whole damn point of the blog. I found it really encouraging in terms of gay rights. It expressed, from the homosexual point of view, what I've long felt about the rainbow/Pride deal: I'm straight, but it doesn't mean that I have a stuffed buck's head sticking out of the wall over the fireplace. The second necessary part of that is it's also in the context of their living in a place where the work of being recognized and sanctioned for who they are is, in a sense, "done," and the "Pride"-- which is really a word for "conviction to not stay obscure, not pretend, and continue to demand equal rights" is, thank God Almighty, a thing of the past.

Is that considered an invalid perspective on their part, or... are we all just seeing that we make the daily Metafilter quota for 'Pfft-- yesterday's news/I'm way too cool for this' ?
posted by herbplarfegan at 11:22 AM on June 10, 2011


Once upon a time, three friends and I bought a car with many gay bumper stickers on it. As per our particular arrangement, the car was a shared resource that didn't belong to any one person. So even though none of us were gay, no one felt they could remove the stickers from the car. It was as if nobody wanted to be the insecure guy who wouldn't drive a car with rainbow stickers. So the stickers stayed.
posted by ryanrs at 11:23 AM on June 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


Wait, I thought rainbow suspenders meant you were from Ork
posted by jtron at 11:24 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is that considered an invalid perspective on their part, or... are we all just seeing that we make the daily Metafilter quota for 'Pfft-- yesterday's news/I'm way too cool for this' ?

Speaking only for myself, what I said was more of a response to the conversational thread here.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:27 AM on June 10, 2011


Wait, I thought rainbow suspenders meant you were from Ork

Yeah... in the seventies maybe! I am so post-Ork now.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:28 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I’m almost 25 now, and a man has never asked me out without a screen between us, let alone in a cute little café."

Really? I find that sad.
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Years ago, I was visiting Milwaukee, and a friend and I were driving around, and there were rainbow flags everywhere.

Not to far from my home a new subdivision was being built, and lots being sold. Just outside Milwaukee as it were. The sign advertising the new construction and the lots for sale had a big, beautiful rainbow flag attached to it viewable from the freeway. "Yay!" I thought "A gay friendly community going in right next door. Take that intolerant, republi-facist suburbs!"

About two weeks later the rainbow flag was replaced with an orange and yellow one. I'm not sure who realized what mistake, but they quickly corrected it, much to my disappointment.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:32 AM on June 10, 2011


What the hell is everyone hating on this article about? I'm seriously confused.

Herbplarfegan, this article highlights some of the points people are taking issue with.
posted by dendritejungle at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I LOOOOOVE that there is a widely recognized flag, and I LOOOOOVE that it is a big ol' rainbow. It's simple, and yet the symbol has so many layers of interpretation ...

So do cupcakes!
Rainbows banned at Mississauga Catholic school

Despite a ban on any rainbows at the St Joseph Catholic Secondary School anti-homophobia event June 3, the student organizers found a creative way to get their message across: hiding rainbows inside the cupcakes.

Leanne Iskander, 16, who founded the school’s “unofficial” gay-straight alliance in March, tells Xtra the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board put the kibosh on displaying any rainbows at their information booth.

“We brought signs and posters with rainbows, and we were told that we can’t put them up,” says Iskander, who was recently named the 2011 honoured dyke and youth grand marshal. “They said rainbows are associated with Pride. There’s so many other things that a rainbow could be. It’s ridiculous.”

The teacher who delivered the news told Iskander the decision came from the board. “The board wasn’t there, but they knew about the event,” she says.

Since rainbows couldn’t be displayed openly and proudly, the students baked rainbows into the cupcakes by dying the batter in a rainbow of colours. The cupcakes were sold for 50 cents each, raising about $200 for charity.

But the students couldn’t donate the money to any gay, lesbian or trans charitable organization, such as the LGBT Youth Line. “We asked if we could donate to the money to the Youth Line and the board said no. We were told to donate to Covenant House, a Catholic homeless shelter.”
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


...although I should perhaps add it describes itself as a "heated takedown" of the original article. So yeah, not unbiased. But its bluntness does make the issues (whether or not you agree with them) clearer than in some of the more neutral responses.
posted by dendritejungle at 11:37 AM on June 10, 2011



What the hell is everyone hating on this article about? I'm seriously confused.


Herbplarfegan, I'm not hating, I'm smirking. I'm amused because:

A) Group of young gay men who claim they are defying stereotypes appear in article setting them up as a gay stereotype.

B) All of this has happened before and will happen again. When I was in my twenties, I was a normagay who railed with his friends against prevailing gay cultural stereotypes and institutions.

C) Dude who jokes with his friends that he isn't gay he's just a dude who fucks dudes because he doesn't like any stereotypical gay things and is so butch. Butch dudes who act like dudes but fuck guys is something gays stereotypically really, really like.
posted by zylocomotion at 11:41 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've broken my all-TCM television diet this week because I'm having a horrible bout of tendinitis in my left arm brought on by my savage, embarrassing motorcycle, and for one of my pity party self-indulgences, I've taken to watching non-TCM TV.

This week, I've watched a program called "1 Girl, 5 Gays," which (a) has ruined my faith in the moderate superiority of Canadians and (b) convinced me that I am either not actually queer or that I am the product of some sort of accident with a time machine and a contraceptive that's landed me in a very catty parallel universe. I mean, I can hardly imagine anything more horrific than the prospect of spending a night out on the town with a bunch of gibbering gay guys talking about whatever the hell they're talking about on that program, and I'm not sure what it is they're talking about because the very act of watching them banter back and forth actually runs the tape in my brain backwards and records over it with a gentle bossa nova version of "Do You Know The Way to San Jose" because that's what my brain does when it's threatened with destruction.

Both of my long-term exes are rabid sports fans, by which I mean foaming at the mouth, stomping around the house, jumping up and down because some athlete did something good, bad, or stupid sort of sports fans. One's a born-again Christian, one's obsessed with fishing above nearly all things. I can't seem to slip into the gay mainstream, not that I'm bothered, but I wonder how many gays are in the gay mainstream more than the gay mainstream is just a part of the overall mainstream, and therefore a potent chemical intoxicant for anyone with access to any form of mass media. Then again, I'm a homo who grew up in Scaggsville, in a little farm tract in what became the 5th richest county in the country, and I live in Laurel, another little town in Maryland that's just recently had its temporary gay bar turn into an actual gay bar, albeit a gay bar where it's half gay bar, half sports bar, frequented by NSA spooks, Fort Meade DADT dudes, and heterosexual mechanics and horse groomers from down at the race track. I think these "post-gay" things are largely an urban experience.

"Yeah, I'm so fuckin' not into gay porn," my bodybuilding musclebear Los Angeles rocket scientist friend grumbled, watering his garden with a hose. "I'm really more into the straight stuff these days, with actual dudes instead of these fuckin' twinkie things."

"Umm, but don't you decant your shampoo and conditioner into vintage apothecary jars with bar spouts like Martha Stewart does?" I asked.

"What's your point?"

"You big city gays are complicated."

I'm kidding, of course, except when I'm not. There is a sort of weird self-consuming, over-theorizing thing that happens with all my big city gay associates, though, and when I hear how they're just soooo over this, or so post that, or so not feeling like they're included in the mainstream urban gay paradigm, or how they don't fit it with all those A-listers or whatever, I just think, well, don't you have the internet there?

I guess there was a time when everyone flocked to the city to escape the horrible prejudices of their ungay existences in little farm communities, but it just went all sideways and Animal Farm out there, stratifying right back into holier-than-thous and those without stars upon thars, so I feel like maybe the post-mo crowd should put their money where their mouths are and lead the exodus into the new bohemian diaspora, rather than just becoming fussbudgets in bowties. In my day, you sort of had to play the game and blend in at the bars because you wouldn't get laid, otherwise, but it's a whole new world.

Thing is, there's room for the post-mo brigade because of the disco-dancing sissies, the mortifying Uncle Bobs with their rainbow-heavy decor schemes, and the air pinchy gossips with permanent OMG faces did the ground work, so I know I'm not of that culture, even though I am free to not be of that culture because they did the ground work.

My nieces are swimming in little gay friends, and it's so interesting to see how post-homo they are without being "post-mo" or "post-gay" or whatever the hell that nit, Jack Malebranche/Donovan, has been rambling on about for forever. The thing is, though, they're not "post-mo." They're just loose and natural and exploratory, and they take some familiar things and leave others. There's not this identity politics of "I AM NOT LIKE YOU" at work, at least not yet. I enjoy their company, when I'm with my nieces and their friends, largely because they've not yet drawn all those battlelines and let their essences ossify, either with or outside the current. Why can't we celebrate that, instead of more us against them?

Then again, I don't get out much, so I'm not the best person to answer that.
posted by sonascope at 11:42 AM on June 10, 2011 [23 favorites]


I only fuck girls, while wearing a suit.

I only fuck suits, while wearing a girl.

/buffalo bill
posted by FatherDagon at 11:44 AM on June 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Okay, can I say something? I LOOOOOVE the rainbow flag.

It's a nice flag. What it says to me is, "Everything -- all inclusive." So that's what I'd love to see it become in some hopeful future: the flag that EVERYONE can fly, that is not tied to sexuality or nationality or religion or ANYTHING other than one's acceptance of EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. And the cool thing is that it will have started with the so-called "gay community" which we will have mostly forgotten about by then, not unlike the suffragettes.

Here's hoping.
posted by philip-random at 11:51 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aguirre-Livingston's piece is lame. And I say that as a queer who doesn't march, do activism or own a rainbow. I know nothing about The Grid, but I seriously can't fathom how such a piece was deemed "good" in any way when it's clearly a personal manifesto of what it's like for Paul Aguirre-Livingston to be gay. In Toronto.
posted by New England Cultist at 11:55 AM on June 10, 2011


The guys with the biggest butch pose, the hardest muscles, the highest boots, the most fuck you I hate the world cigar stomping stance always, always always always, have an apartment full of Disney princess figures and swag curtains and floral print pillows.

This is why I wear suits with brightly colored ties. It's basically neutral camouflage cause I used to wear a leather jacket cause it fit me well and was warm and I kept getting dragged into these weird personal fantasies where people would be legit upset if a multi-sybalbic word escaped my lips. I am so not...into that dynamic and really don't want to be a fetish object for your sins so that jacket had to go away, replaced with A fur-lined one that keeps all the very fastidious, very exacting butches away.
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I must admit, I'm a non-linear reader who often hits the opening and closing paragraphs before picking at the filling in the middle. The whole, "we're so different" speech was rather spoiled for me by using all of page three to shill for the new cool gay parties outside of the "Village." They're not calling themselves "gay" but they're doing the pride after-parties, reinventing bear/otter culture, and setting up their own bar nights around their subcultural kinks. Okay....

There's nothing here that we've not seen before. In fact, Andrew Sullivan built his career on being the gay-but-not-gay conservative scold of greedy liberals and femmy queens. Harvey Firestein touched on butch/femme dynamics back in the early 80s, and it certainly goes back well before then. The generational angst certainly isn't new either.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:03 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's what cracks me up about the original article.

From the second paragraph: "We’re tattooed and pierced and at the helm of billion-dollar industries like fashion and television."

From the very next paragraph: "most of us have come to resent the stereotypes and the ideals associated with preceding gay generations. It’s not that we hate gay culture; we just don’t have that much in common with it anymore."

Does the author seriously not know that being tattooed and pierced and working in fashion and entertainment is one of the biggest gay stereotypes there is? Really?
posted by dnash at 12:04 PM on June 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


a new breed of "post-mos" who sneer at the traditional trappings of homosexuality and gay activism

same as it ever was. (or what Ye Olde Whelke said.)

[There’s this] idea that all gay guys like pop music and bad denim from Guess, and talk like a lame, effeminate caricature of homosexuality.

There may have been ... 20 years ago. These po-mos act a lot like pre-mos.

What's interesting to me is how the photos of these post-mos make me sort of angry. Everyone seems to be smirking. I think I understand how the hipster haters feel now.

These guys are acting like they are too cool to be "gay." They just "fuck dudes."

"I’m almost 25 now, and a man has never asked me out without a screen between us, let alone in a cute little café."

Really? I find that sad.


I'm almost 40, and no man has ever asked me out. :( (Made passes, yes, but c'mon, I'm at least worth dinner!)

As a straight guy with very little dog in this fight, I just wanted to say that I want David(21, High Park)'s frames SO FUCKING BAD OH MY GOD

I think you can get them from China for $8.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:04 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Better to fall into robust dandyism and if anyone says different just hit them with your walking stick and be gone.
posted by The Whelk at 12:05 PM on June 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


the flag that EVERYONE can fly, that is not tied to sexuality or nationality or religion or ANYTHING other than one's acceptance of EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.

This is the exact inverse of what flags are for. There is this monstrosity, though.
posted by zamboni at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2011


Years ago, I was visiting Milwaukee, and a friend and I were driving around, and there were rainbow flags everywhere. And I was, like "is it Pride weekend? It's kind of late in the year for that..."
And she was "No, it's Rainbow Summer."

Unfortunately, Rainbow Summer was ended in 2004 (for budgetary reasons, not because of teh gays). It is Pride Weekend here (right now!) so if you want to get your rainbow flag on, come on over. I just looked out the window of my workplace and the street is festooned.

More on topic: one of the first openly gay guys I'd ever met - in 1991 - was a pickup-driving construction worker. He was a member of ACT UP (this is back when marriage wasn't even on the radar). So I never really had that conception of gay = sissy and it's kind of mystifying to me.
posted by desjardins at 12:26 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So it is now, so it was then, so shall it ever be, etc., etc., ad infinitum:

Sutherland presented Malone on Christmas Eve with a heap of gifts: a goose-down parka, hiking boots and backpack (for he saw this as the next fashion trend and wanted Malone to exemplify it), an amber scarab from the Fifth Dynasty, The Duino Elegies, a record of trained canaries singing to an organ recital (the product of a woman who had a shop beneath Rockefeller Center), a bottle of Joy, scented soaps from France, a first edition of Yeats, a recording of Pachelbel's Canon (the music he played endlessly when alone in his apartment), and a cabochon emerald. All of these things were stolen. He went into Bendel's dressed as Mrs. Charles Dickens and came out with trifles hidden in his skirts. Each evening he read the Gospel of Christ's birth to Malone and jumped in a cab and went to the Everard Baths. [Andrew Holleran, Dancer from the Dance]
posted by blucevalo at 12:28 PM on June 10, 2011


the flag that EVERYONE can fly, that is not tied to sexuality or nationality or religion or ANYTHING other than one's acceptance of EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.

This is the exact inverse of what flags are for.


Cool. And once everyone's flying one, we can lower them all and make an amazing quilt. power to the people.
posted by philip-random at 12:34 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


More on topic: one of the first openly gay guys I'd ever met - in 1991 - was a pickup-driving construction worker. He was a member of ACT UP (this is back when marriage wasn't even on the radar). So I never really had that conception of gay = sissy and it's kind of mystifying to me.

Yeah, similar experiences here. I was friends with a fellow for several years. One day I asked my partner, "Is Scott.. gay?". She almost belted me one right there for being so oblivious. After some consideration I decided my gaydar was simply unfunctioning, bit later I decided I really didn't give a crap it and couldn't be bothered about figuring out what sexuality someone was. Some people are flamboyant about it, some people are not. Whatever.

Some great conversations come about from talking about come-of-age, or difficult experiences and how they shape your life. And those are wonderful and/or important to have. But and the end of the day, who you are as expressed by compassion, thoughtfulness, engaged with the world matter oh so much more to me then what gender you choose to love/have sex with.
posted by edgeways at 12:38 PM on June 10, 2011


I've been wondering if all of this "post-racial", "post-mo" talk I've suddenly been seeing recently is just going end up being used as more of an excuse, or maybe a bludgeon, than as any kind of real on-the-merits observation. If we live in a post-racial- post-mo society we really don't have any grounds to complain about discrimination, right? We're all past that!

Except that we're really, really not, and if discrimination happens and we're all quiet about it, I don't know if things have improved as much as they could, or need to.
posted by mhoye at 12:39 PM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I used to fuck girls, wear rainbow shit and march in the Dyke March wearing lipstick and Doc Maartens (and some other stuff). I would never have been caught in Birkenstocks because THOSE LESBIANS were something, something, something.

I was young.

Now I don't fuck at all, wear whatever the hell is comfortable and haven't marched in years but donate to causes I feel strongly about.

I am also old.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:41 PM on June 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


One more thing: these boys aren't post-mo anything. They're gay hipsters. The sartorial style, the mainstream-as-strawman ideology, the smug self-congratulatory exceptionalism and the neo-19th-century chic is all completely indistinguishable from current trends in hipster culture. This isn't any more "beyond stereotypes" than clones, twinks, bears, sissys or whatever; they just get their sense of fashion and superiority from Vice Magazine.
posted by LMGM at 12:50 PM on June 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


What is confusing for me as a straight man is I know a few gay guys my age who have slept with more women than I have.

That shouldn't be confusing. Pretending to be gay to get women into bed works like a charm. Actually being gay probably works even better.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:57 PM on June 10, 2011


The Grid responds to why it published the piece.
posted by New England Cultist at 12:57 PM on June 10, 2011


Straight acting

I realise this is coming right out of privilege, but I'm constantly amazed that there's anything idiosyncratic enough about being straight that it can be impersonated. I suppose it's like trying to get my head around the fact that I speak with an accent.
posted by Grangousier at 12:59 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realise this is coming right out of privilege, but I'm constantly amazed that there's anything idiosyncratic enough about being straight that it can be impersonated. I suppose it's like trying to get my head around the fact that I speak with an accent.

Well, for a lot of people it's defined negatively. "Straight-acting" = "not gay-acting."
posted by eugenen at 1:07 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Grid article: To be a twentysomething gay man in Toronto in 2011 is to be free from persecution and social pressures to conform. It’s also, in most ways, not about being gay at all. And herein lies the central question for the post-mo: Is there even a gay struggle to be had anymore?

Blurgh, what rancid horseshit. I don't know from Toronto, but I was living as a twentysomething gay man in NYC up until recently with my partner. We were harassed, threatened and called faggots on a fairly regular basis. We were also featured as a particularly homophobic "Don't" in Vice Magazine. Sure, my generation is a lot less likely to confine themselves to a "gayborhood" or to cruise in bathhouses. Sure, a choice between politicization via the HRC or some commercial Pride parade is a pretty lame choice to have to make. But this nonsense is as ludicrous as declaring 2011 post-feminist or post-racial.
posted by vivalamusicapop at 1:28 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never really had that conception of gay = sissy and it's kind of mystifying to me.

A large part of the reason that the "gay = sissy" stereotype exists is because when a man acts effeminate or otherwise "not masculine" he stands out. People notice that he doesn't fit into their idea of what a man should be. It's harder to stay in the closet when you're a so-called sissy.

Gay guys who fit a more traditional image of masculinity aren't going to "seem gay" (for lack of a better phrase). They don't stand out as "weird" or "effeminate" so people will typically assume that they're straight until informed otherwise.

Basically, it boils down to "sissy" = people assume you're gay because don't act how they expect a straight man to act. "Butch" = seems "normal" so no one questions his sexuality.

This is also why the "sissy boys" and "disco queens" were often the ones at the front of the early gay rights movement. They weren't able to "act straight" as easily as the more traditionally masculine guys, so they had less to lose by standing up for themselves (since they were already marginalized by the mainstream society of the time).
posted by asnider at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2011


I take this piece mostly as the author's affirmation that gay has been mainstreamed---and that such mainstreaming should be embraced. As a feminist in a post-feminist era, I say to this: Be afraid. Things for gay (men) will get harder from here.

In every cultural friction group that has won a measure of acceptance, there comes a point where some kid loses perspective and declares absolute victory. That declaration is appealing. We all want to think, "At last, the long war is over! Finally, we can relax and enjoy the [erm] booty."

But saying it don't make it so. Cultural movements, like software development, are subject to a 90/90 rule. The first 90 percent of equality accounts for the first 90 percent of the cultural struggle; the remaining 10 percent of equality accounts for the other 90 percent of the cultural struggle. And that last bit is the most critical, most difficult, and least sexy.

The mainstream benefits that Aguirre-Livingston enjoy belie the subversion of gay (male) oppression into more insidious, intransigent, and wholly legal forms. If gay men ignore that subversion, they will find (as pomo feminists have) that derision and discrimination will not only NOT go away, they'll spread---because they're plausibly deniable. You say that social and professional discrimination still exist? Well...that can't be. You people say yourselves that you're equal. You got your laws, and even Bob in logistics stopped saying "faggot." So quit yer whining and go dance dance revolution or something.
posted by diorist at 1:32 PM on June 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


So, over-privileged urban young white fags are boasting about their superiority? And dykes, trannies, people of color, poor folks, and non-urbanites aren't in their gay club? Who needs a movement or allies as long as one can get it on with people who are just like oneself?
Nothing new here. Until they need legislation, or a surrogate mother, or nursing from HIV. Let me know how that goes, over-privileged boy.
posted by Dreidl at 1:32 PM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The guys with the biggest butch pose, the hardest muscles, the highest boots, the most fuck you I hate the world cigar stomping stance always, always always always, have an apartment full of Disney princess figures ...

So true. A friend of mine in S.F. is one ol' big Bear who collects Barbies, jetting off here and there for Barbie conventions (who knew?).
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on June 10, 2011


The Grid responds to why it published the piece.
"We also feel it would be irresponsible to ignore the response. Amid the mud-slinging, we have received dozens of intelligent, diverse and worthy critical responses to our 'Beyond Gay' cover. We will devote a special section of the next issue of The Grid to publishing your reactions."
I look forward to reading that section.
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on June 10, 2011


Reading the now-published transcripts of the guys who were interviewed for this article is interesting. Many of their comments are in direct contrast to what the author claims is the new, "post-mo" way to be.

I kind of feel like they were duped into allowing their photos to be used as representative of the group that the author is attempting to portray. Reading their responses to the questions asked of them really undermines the original article.
posted by asnider at 1:47 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, if Canadians and Torontoists don't want Americans to continue to think of them as a tad slow on the uptake, they shouldn't publish shite like this, ten years after we've had this conversation in the US, post-ACT-UP. Seriously? A bunch of twenty-somethings don't want to be defined by other people's stereotypes? I'm pink with shock and awe...

(Actually, I don't really care at all about a bunch of self-absorbed little poofters - in TORONTO, of all places - but this type of thing does genuinely sadden me because of the utter lack of respect - or even acknowledgment - that an entire generation of men made this possible for them, the little shits, but those men are no longer with us to point that out... I could do it myself, but I have to take my nap now.)
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 1:50 PM on June 10, 2011


I realise this is coming right out of privilege, but I'm constantly amazed that there's anything idiosyncratic enough about being straight that it can be impersonated. I suppose it's like trying to get my head around the fact that I speak with an accent.

Honest? Come on over and we'll watch NASCAR, play Call of Duty on Xbox, work on my truck, barbecue meat, and check out girl-on-girl videos on PornoTube.

Actually, I don't really care at all about a bunch of self-absorbed little poofters - in TORONTO, of all places

Rowr. Catfight!
posted by mrgrimm at 1:54 PM on June 10, 2011


mrgrimm, I think you just described the stereotypical redneck, not the stereotypical straight male.
posted by asnider at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2011


BTW -- I highly recommend watching the PBS documentary, Out in America, which has been playing on public stations this week. It portrays the diversity of the LGBT community, as well as the history of the gay rights movement.
"Out in America is an uplifting, funny and highly respectful look at what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in America today. Above all, however, the film is a beautiful celebration of love and shared humanity. Featuring interviews with an extremely diverse group of couples and individuals interspersed with just the right amount of historical and political events, Out in America portrays LGBT Americans in one of the most real and honest ways I have ever seen on film."*
Trailer || Excerpt.

Check for the program airings on PBS local schedules.
posted by ericb at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vivalamusicapop, if you “don’t know from Toronto,” then STFU about Torontonians’ experiences.
posted by joeclark at 2:11 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I pefer the rainbow design to being willing exposed to Studio 360.
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 PM on June 10, 2011


Joeclark, as long as there are stories like this coming out of Toronto I feel relatively secure in imagining that the situation for gays isn't that radically different from urban centers here in the States.
posted by vivalamusicapop at 2:15 PM on June 10, 2011


mrgrimm, I think you just described the stereotypical redneck, not the stereotypical straight male.

Come on over and we'll watch NASCAR the NBA Finals, play Call of Duty Madden 15 on Xbox, work on my truck tricked-out Nissan, barbecue meat, and check out girl-on-girl videos on PornoTube.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:15 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Throw in some beer and I'm in!
posted by desjardins at 2:19 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dude, you don’t know what you’re talking about. “I live in New York so Toronto must be similar – wait, lemme Google a news article” does not an argument make.
posted by joeclark at 2:21 PM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm contesting the idea that the struggle against homophobia is over anywhere. It's clearly not over in Toronto.
posted by vivalamusicapop at 2:25 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Age them all twenty years or so and not only will no one know they're gay, but no one will even care.
posted by Work to Live at 2:28 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Work to live, I think one of the points of the article is that in his experience, nobody even cares that he's gay now. Of course, he is living in a particular bubble of privilege -- white, well educated, middle class, living in the core of a Toronto. But none of that should be used -- and I'm confused as to why people want to use it -- to deny the reality of his lived experience. I'm straight, but I live in Toronto and I recognise his experience in conversations with gay friends of mine who live in that same privileged bubble. In their world, which is an increasing part of Toronto, their sexuality is simply irrelevant to the way in which they interact with the world around them and the ways in which that world interacts with them. Not in 20 years, but now.

I understand how that ruffles some feathers if you read his experience as a claim to be the "universal" experience of gay men his age. But if you read it just as a description of one young man's experience growing up gay in Toronto, I don't know that all the vitriol is justified. People seem to be reading a lot more into it than was probably intended by author.
posted by modernnomad at 2:36 PM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I usually stay out of my own posts, but being called out on using the word privilege, I'll throw in my two cents here.

Certainly, being able to be gay and have that be only a small part of who you are and how you are perceived is a wonderful thing, and as a late 20s gay man in Toronto that part of the article does ring true. It's great and it's freeing and very contradictory to the worries I had as a young person worried about how society would perceive me.

Being young, white and male as most of the people in the article are, I'd say they (and I) are about as privileged as gay people can get these days. But that privilege didn't come out of nowhere, it came out of the hard, brutal fight that those before us fought so that we could live a "post gay" lifestyle.

As presented in the article (and thanks to asnider for posting the transcripts that show the quotes were extremely cherrypicked), these guys don't have that respect, or have even taken the lessons that came out the dark days in the not too distant past. They're receiving the benefit of decades of struggle, with no regard for where those benefits came from. Gay people can be privileged too.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:44 PM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


And yes, the struggles are far from over. Just this week the news in Toronto has been filled with the Pride event (at a Catholic school, but still) that wasn't allowed to have rainbows, or a comedian asked not to appear at an anti-homophobia event because organizers found out she was married to a woman.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:49 PM on June 10, 2011


gaymaledom

I had a really hard time parsing this. My brain went gay-muh-LEH-dum.
posted by not that girl at 2:55 PM on June 10, 2011


The Empire of Gaymaledom is ruled by two kings and two queens who form a rude sort of paralmentarly system.
posted by The Whelk at 2:58 PM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Duke and Princess are elected offices, with only three hereditary Baronets given votes.
posted by The Whelk at 3:00 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course, he is living in a particular bubble of privilege -- white, well educated, middle class, living in the core of a Toronto.

This is why I always talk about "sub-culture". There has been gay-friendly sub-cultures in Toronto (and lots of other places) for at least 15 years (by my own experience) and maybe longer. But I was always aware that this sub-culture which I was blessed to be in did not include places outside of my urban enclave or even all places within my city. My arts high school was a safe place to be out in the 1990s; a mile or two away, at a high school that mostly served a very affluent suburb, someone who came out had rocks thrown at him.

Gender equality has gone the same uneven route; there are places in Canada and the US right now where the gender situation is a lot more like what my mother experienced in the early 1970s than anything I would recognise.
posted by jb at 3:01 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's also a job description.
posted by Eideteker at 3:32 PM on June 10, 2011


OK, OK, one last thing: The group photograph with everybody dressed like what Log Cabin Republicans would've looked like in the 50s kinda speaks volumes. It points to uncanny resonances between the author's desire to disavow the cultural inheritance of queer sexualities and the long legacy of conservative homos yearning to be integrated into a(n unfair) status quo.
posted by LMGM at 4:07 PM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]



The shear amount if please love me daddy is so big it stopps being funny and it's just all decades of abuse and. Repression and resentment and pain.
posted by The Whelk at 4:21 PM on June 10, 2011


It's probably worth noting that The Grid is only a month old and boy, what a great way to get everyone to find out about Toronto's new alt weekly eh?
posted by mendel at 7:35 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, there's just so much going on in this article, a lot of which has already been mentioned in this thread. Here are a few things I noticed.

Interesting that an article supposedly about how this new generation of gay men don't see themselves as part of gay culture has so many mentions of this sort:
Post-mos like me were breastfed on self-empowerment models like The Spice Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and their mutant strain of feminism. We were all about Girl Power, and I designed a shirt in computer class to prove it. We learned important life lessons about how to be confident in our sexuality from Britney Spears.
Um... hello? You're a male who is taking cues about liberation from Ginger Spice and Buffy and Britney, comparing finding power in who you are to feminism, and then talking about how you're a new breed of gay male who doesn't buy into gay culture? Just because you might have done all this by the time you were 15 doesn't mean you're special and new. It just means you're an early bloomer.

Also... gay pride? The reason it's called "gay pride" is because up until 1970 and the first Pride Parade, all our society had to feed us was SHAME about homosexuality. Pride isn't about being proud. It's about not being ashamed.

Also, the article seems to be really blind to a basic fact of gay life over the past 40 years -- as the queers move in, the places they claim start out underground, then become edgy, then become cool, and finally the queers move on and the places they used to be become uncool if you're queer.
Things have moved outwards, and we have moved on. West Queen West, where I live and love and play, has been unofficially dubbed Queer West for some time now, with grimy party nights at The Beaver and Wrongbar and blackout parties at the Drake or on Ossington along with the new set of cool straight kids who are also flocking to be part of the action. Monthly parties have also begun to pop up east of Trinity Bellwoods, like dance-till-you’re-wet HER at La Perla, a Mexican restaurant by day on Queen near Bathurst. We’ve even got an east rising happening: Wayla Bar on Queen East is attracting mad business and giving us west-enders a new reason to venture past Yonge. The Village has all but become a dirty word in circles of the nouveau gay. We just let it die.
Um... duh! There've always been the straight kids who want to be in on the gay party. And "the neighborhood" has always been moving and shifting.

See... this is the danger of disengaging from your past.
The idea is littered throughout gay iconography: Guys with beards and tattoos are the new hot commodities. Hairless twinks, move along. Online, more and more, the words “straight acting and looking” or “masculine” have popped up in “Looking for” boxes.
Um... wow. What was going on with all those Joe Gage films? Kansas City Trucking Company? El Paso Wrecking Corp? L.A. Tool & Die? There's nothing new under the sun, kids, and these movies were made before you were born and defined "gay porn" for many years before it was streaming into your computer for free. Here's a shocker for you: hairy chests, thick moustaches, flannel and jeans were the de facto uniform of the "clones" back before AIDS turned everything into the clean twink fantasy.
Recently, I ran into a fellow twentysomething gay who was on his way to a rare new party in the Village being spearheaded by some hairy-chested youngun’ like me who, unlike me, wants masculine men only. The “allure” of this party was broken down to me like this: “It’s where all the masculine guys and shit go now to avoid the fags. Hairy chests, facial hair—you can’t even get in without stubble. I mean it, real men.”
Yeah, the Bear Movement started in 1987 when Richard Bulger started up a little 'zine for him and his friends depicting gay men who were into "Masculinity Without The Trappings". That itself was a reaction to the twink porn which was itself a reaction to the "dirty" era of rampant AIDS, before which the gay liberation movement was largely driven by gay urban hippies who were using the lessons they learned organizing against the Vietnam war to try to change society to make it more friendly for homosexuals.

Overall I'd say the author comes across either as un-self-consciously detached from his own lack of real historical context, or is being willfully blind to what has come before him in the previous 40 years (not to mention the 40 years before that, which have their own gay history of their own)... And seems to have entered into writing this article with an agenda and a purpose and then has bent the interviews and the facts to meet his ends. That's not reporting. It's propaganda or treatise writing or something.

But it's a crap article, and I'm glad The Grid and the author are getting some heat for having published it.
posted by hippybear at 7:37 PM on June 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


I have regular HIV tests, because I’m aware of the importance of sexual health, but I’ve still managed to forget the condom once or twice without freaking out.

Yikes. I know people are more cavalier about AIDS these days but this really made me flinch.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:41 PM on June 10, 2011


west queen west used to be all about the mental hospital and bike shops with stolen bikes. Now it's ... trendy.

I probably should be glad the 90s are over, what with Harris and homelessness. But mostly I feel like my city went and got a makeover while I was gone and now it's too fashionable for me.
posted by jb at 7:42 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hippybear, I also had to laugh at the wide-eyed assertion that the new generation of gays has invented tattoos, piercings, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:04 PM on June 10, 2011


The parts in the article about stereotypes were silly and really didn't follow themselves, as already pointed out. But I really like the, albeit brief, parts where it touched on the idea that being gay isn't really who you are, as a person. Who I sleep with is so far down the line of who I am. But it's the thing that's 'different', so it's the thing that society chooses to focus on.

"Our sexual orientation is merely secondary to our place in society."
posted by shesaysgo at 8:48 PM on June 10, 2011


But if you read it just as a description of one young man's experience growing up gay in Toronto, I don't know that all the vitriol is justified. People seem to be reading a lot more into it than was probably intended by author.

I think the author definitely intended it to be read as more than just a personal essay:
Forty years after the Manifesto and the infamous Stonewall Riots in New York City, a new generation of twentysomething urban gays—my generation—has the freedom to live exactly the way we want.
...
Post-mos don’t hang rainbow flags in their windows or plaster them on their bumpers. We don’t march in Pride and we probably never will. (After-parties only, please.) We don’t torture ourselves to fit in with other gays. In fact, most of us have come to resent the stereotypes and the ideals associated with preceding gay generations. It’s not that we hate gay culture; we just don’t have that much in common with it anymore.
To me, this reads less like a reflection on his own life and more like a manifesto of his own. And while yes, he focuses on Toronto (apparently, a land of unparalleled equality that has nothing in common with any other first-world metropolitan area), it's pretty clear from the first paragraph that the author imagines that this applies to most of today's "twentysomething urban gays." I'm not contesting his lived experience; if anything, it seems a lot like he's contesting ours.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:08 PM on June 10, 2011


I saw an old, old 'gay astrology' book on a discarded books pile the other day. For a second I thought, "Oh oh. Another sign that all the trappings of the old days are fading away."

A few seconds later I realized, no ... it's just revenge because it didn't work with him. In a few days or weeks, a new copy will be sold. Round 'n round it goes, where it stops...
posted by Twang at 11:47 PM on June 10, 2011


I take this piece mostly as the author's affirmation that gay has been mainstreamed---and that such mainstreaming should be embraced. As a feminist in a post-feminist era, I say to this: Be afraid. Things for gay (men) will get harder from here

I was going to say exactly the same thing. Progress is not a straight line towards absolute equality, it's a series of losses and gains that have to keep being fought for.

Outside of places such as Metafilter (and even within it on occasion) feminist has become an dirty word and many gains, such as increases in status and pay, determination over our own bodies, representation in culture etc seem to be stalling or reversing. The same has happened for class equality.

I've come to the conclusion that equality for traditionally oppressed groups is a fragile thing that is always on the verge of being reversed when economic and political conditions change even by a fraction. No one can sleep on the job.
posted by Summer at 3:07 AM on June 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyway, Toronto isn't the great and magical paragon of acceptance that this article paints it to be. There's been at least a couple of hate crimes against gays in 2011 there. In fact, in both Toronto and NYC, it seems as though going into the gay neighborhoods to beat up on the faggots is still a bit of a sport with certain types.

Funny how the big cities sometimes have more of that kind of violence than much smaller cities.
posted by hippybear at 4:36 AM on June 11, 2011


So everyone's agreeing that gay men are an incredibly diverse bunch and assumptions can't be made about their lifestyles or anything else because of their sexuality. Why is always assumed then that they must all vote the same way and have the same political viewpoint?
posted by joannemullen at 4:59 AM on June 11, 2011


Who's assuming that?
posted by Summer at 5:05 AM on June 11, 2011


That's pretty much only assumed by people who buy into stereotypes and who don't actually have any clue how the real world works.

Not really sure where you're getting your information....
posted by hippybear at 6:17 AM on June 11, 2011


Anyone who knows any actual gay people knows their voting patterns are as varied as anyone else's. It seems to be only the Daily Mail that has this image of militant socialist gays/dykes with crew cuts and bovver boots strong-arming schools/churches/B&Bs into accepting their evil, unnatural lifestyle.
posted by Summer at 6:54 AM on June 11, 2011


I could get behind the militant socialist gays in bovver boots.

(rim shot)
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 AM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


You fascist oppressor.
posted by Summer at 7:08 AM on June 11, 2011


(rim shot)

Rim shot!
posted by LMGM at 10:06 AM on June 11, 2011


Rum shots for everyone!

Today was Gay Pride in Spokane, 20th Anniversary. It's the biggest I've seen it yet. The first year we attended it was a bunch of people having a furtive march across a stretch of road which didn't allow for bystanders to watch, followed by a non-gathering in the park at the end of the route. If 150 people were there, that would have been stretching it. That was 7 years ago. This year the parade tied up several streets in downtown for nearly an hour, with the roads completely shut down (in the past they'd only closed half the street and allowed traffic on the other half), and with actual floats with drag queens on them and a whole contingent of leathermen walking in full dress. We had dykes on bikes, the local burlesque troupe, a zillion churches, even a high school group (from the high school Dan Savage's husband attended) marching.

The Pride Celebration at the end of it was mostly community organizing, everything from gay bowling leagues to political groups to the Democratic Party registering voters. The children's village area had multiple inflated bouncy and slidey things for families who brought their kids. There was entertainment scheduled for hours. The place was so crowded it was difficult to walk around, and the entire atmosphere was one of celebration and joy.

In just seven years, this little city is starting to grow up. It's amazing to see. I feel bad for all the Toronto queers who think they're beyond this kind of thing. Maybe the problem is, they've never had to see a community struggle to exist before, and so they don't realize how magical it can be when everyone sees everyone else turning out for such an event.

posted by hippybear at 2:19 PM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't ask how, but last night I found myself riding in a stretch hummer limo through kensington market.

As the background was filled with the sounds of garbage bouncing off the sides of the vehicle, I found myself actually wanting to set myself on fire.
posted by tehloki at 2:35 PM on June 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why is always assumed then that they must all vote the same way and have the same political viewpoint?

I don't see anyone assuming that. But you should expect that most gay people will agree on the issues that directly affect them as a group - and in the US, that pretty much means that gay people will vote Democratic to the extent that they care about gay issues.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:49 PM on June 11, 2011


Well, except for that whole Log Cabin Republican thing... or are you ignoring that there's a contingent of the gay and lesbian community who feel strongly enough about conservative fiscal policies that they're willing to vote Republican and seek to change the social issue planks of the party from within?

I'm not one of them, but I never forget they exist. They have been consistently working toward court-driven appeals of DOMA and DADT in ways which the Democratic queer community has not been.
posted by hippybear at 7:00 PM on June 11, 2011


Oh come on, without Butch/Femme, the English Civil War makes absolutely no sense....

Roundheads vs. Cavaliers? Say no more.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:39 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm totally listing my orientation as Cavalier from now on.

my doublet brings all the boys to the yard </small€
posted by The Whelk at 11:58 PM on June 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


my doublet brings all the boys to the yard

Don't you believe it; it's the way you work that ruff that brings the varlets around.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:26 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


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