Saturday, July 2, 2011

On "Dawn of a New Gay"

Elsewhere in the internet, I wrote a response to "Dawn of a New Gay", a feature article on Torstar's new Eye Weekly, The Grid. It's a good enough article, I suppose, but it seems a bit ungrateful. Here's what I wrote:
TL; DR. I got as far as where "...most of us have come to resent the stereotypes and the ideals associated with preceding gay generations" was followed a few lines later by ""over the past decade, the process of assimilation has accelerated faster than anyone probably believed it could". To quote someone earlier in this page, 'well, duh'.

People bemoan the preponderance of the drag queens and the S&M 'slaves' and the naked men and whatever at Pride, but it's precisely because of how flamboyant these 'representatives of the community' have been that gay politicians and celebrities and whoever else have snuck in unnoticed. Societal change unfortunately occurs only as slowly as it has to, and if we had been timid about forcing public acceptance, starting with only the quietest, least offensive gay public figures, it'd have taken forever. By now, we'd probably only be at, 'sure, gay people are okay, but not when they dress all fruity' or 'they can be gay, but they shouldn't kiss or hold hands in public' or some crap like that. Instead, the in-your-face-ness of early Pride actions blew the doors open, letting people who were 'incidentally gay' stroll through unnoticed.

Yes, there probably will come a day when we'll look back with a head-shaking embarrassment at your more flamboyant übergay 'queen' types, but it's those drag queens and walking stereotypes who have created the world we now live in, and they're the Emmeline Pankhursts and Rosa Parkses of our times. One day we'll all be embarrassed by them, but if we appreciate living in a world where being gay is no big deal, we have them to thank for once upon a time making it a very big deal indeed.


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