You could say similar things about any minority, once oppressed, community. All have n embracing of their “otherness” that some members would rather reject, in favor of mainstreaming it. One must, however, see the value of the community identity. One “comes out” of what, into what? The traditions you demean are a celebration and embracing of what society has for centuries put down. It is a source of empowerment. Having a girlfriend? !!! Wash your mouth out with soap!
I have read this comment three times and still am not sure what the message of the comment is intended to be.
I think its clear that not every gay person regularly (or ever in some cases) either frequent the gay scene or Pride. Thats a choice, and I wouldnt want it any other way than to be a choice.
Some people (including me on occasion) will choose to engage in Pride for a mix of reasons – protest, campaigning, fun, socialising, spectacle and many more. None of these reasons are invalid. Other reasons may also be valid. Other people (whether gay or not) may not like, empathise with or engage with these motivations or may choose to deliver their motivation in a different way. Whether they choose to subscribe or participate in Pride is their choice. If they feel strongly enough about Pride that they wish to see it differently then either they should set up an alternative or engage with Pride to change it from within.
Other people choose to engage and their choice to do so,
should not be depricated because it is not another persons or groups choice.
I have socialised in Soho, Vauxhall and elsewhere and enjoyed it. I can’t remember the last time I did. I am a gay man – but my orientation does not rule my identity. I believe in equality, freedom and choice – that includes striving hard for equality – but that does not mean I choose to comply with stereotypes, although I have done on occasion (through choice).
LGBT people in the UK are not equal – yet. Until there is full equality then there will always be a role for the protest element of Pride.
There will always be a role in Pride for the cultural expression that some LGBt people choose to engage in frequently, occasionally or as a one off.
I long for a day when there is true pluralism – where I am just Stu and what my orientation is really does not matter in any other context – other than those I choose to make it so. But if I choose to shout and scream about it, I should be able to.
I happen to be in a relationship with another woman, but that is just a part of me.
It should simply not matter.
But indeed, we do not have the same equality, not the same rights and not the same acceptation, so we every now and then have to remind society that were are there, and just want all the same rights and protection everyone else in society takes for granted.
And in that we as LGBTQI people are unfortunately not the only minority, and also as women we are not treated equally to men..
Society still has a very long way to go!
We could, perhaps, start with the media – with a gay press that doesn’t decide it will only feature events from those who chose to advertise in it, or publish photos that meet their own pre-conceptions of what it is to be gay, thereby helping to exclude many who don’t see themselves reflected in the pages of our “community” publishers.
For example, I’ve been out with a friend who had a substantially older partner. So too, it turned out, did one other person in the bar that night. But that’s not the image the photographer from the gay press wanted; instead the two young men – never having met before – were encouraged to pose for a picture together, ignoring the reality of things that don’t fit the narrow template.
There are many, many community groups and organisations that cater for lots of different interests and types of people; some of them were there at Pride on Saturday. But you’ll seldom read about them in the free gay press, because they can’t pay to advertise.
Well done, Patrick. Congratulations on completely missing the point and enlightening us to your own prejudice. If you had bothered to look at what was there on Saturday, rather than seeing what you wanted to see, then the diversity of people who consider themselves to be LGBT, or allies, would have been apparent to you. Pride is a celebration of ourselves. And that’s all of us, not just the ones that make your approval.
Your critique of the divided nature of the “gay community” – supported by your example of Vauxhall versus Soho – is a spectacularly skewed vision. If you look at the “the gay scene” today you’ll see there is a huge amount of diversity, from pretentious, over priced places to be seen, through to quiet spit and sawdust boozers to generic establishments where you can take your family for Sunday lunch. That some gay establishments cater to a specific sliver of culture is no different from pubs that are “Irish” theme pubs, pubs frequented by bikers, “student” pubs or a local
that is more like a community centre than a pub. If you feel that people have to go to Soho and listen to Kylie or be left on the outside, that is YOUR shortfall in imagination, a projection of you, not the reality available to others.
When I read articles like this, I see an immediate parallel of self loathing and judgement that comes across when we, inevitably, get a gay man protesting about 6ft hairy bears in a pink tutu, over the top drag queens and cloney types (yes, showing my age) wearing their jeans and leather chaps and sporting enormous moustaches.
The stereotypes of gay people exist not because they represent all gay people, but because they do represent some of us – some who are quite comfortable with that identity. Your superior attitude that we can only set an example by conforming to an image that YOU consider acceptable is as bigoted, oppressive and homophobic as the the god botherers who unleashed their hatred on us as we walked down Haymarket. Good luck with that job at the Daily Mail – this piece should set you in good stead.
Couldn’t agree more David…when I’ve gone to our prides there is a huge diversity of gay people. They didn’t ALL fall into this so called stereo type he seems to imply is all there is.
Couldn’t agree more with this article, dealing with the stereotypes and stigma of being gay as meaning over the top and feminine. It’s a real problem, it means people don’t see me for who I am and expect me to be some sort of feminine, fashion obsessed, celebrity worshipper where in reality I’m a normal guy (maybe a bit computer nerd) who couldn’t hate pop culture any more than I already do. as a rule I don’t tell anyone I’m gay until they know me for who I am its the only way you can change people’s ignorant perception of gay people. People like to think that by not being camp I’m somehow not being true to myself but it couldn’t be more wrong, ‘gay’ is who I am, ‘camp’ is not.
Of course I have no problem with people who do like fashion, pop culture, campness, etc but I think its over represented in the media and in events such as pride don’t show enough contrast and show just one culture and its often exaggerated too.
The Pride march itself showed many of those – I saw footballers, outdoor lads, rugby players, real firemen, paramedics, service guys, those who work with the homeless, lawyers, and all sorts of things.
But, unless they can be considered some “sexy” image, they’re unlikely to be featured in the media reports. The participants in the march do represent a huge variety of life, far more so than you’d imagine from the photos.
Just goes to show my point really, having never been to a pride event myself I can only see the image of it that the media portrays and its quite intimidating to me, it makes me feel that if I went to a pride even I would feel like quite an outsider. I think its just as much to do with how straight people want to see us as how we want to be seen that we are seen as camp.
So your perception tells you one thing, but the reality may be different?
Perhaps you should find out when the next Pride is taking place and pop down and check it out for yourself rather than judging it by what you see or hear in the media. You don’t have to join in, you could just be yourself and watch from the sidelines to begin with – but I think once you see the number of people involved, and the happiness that many people share at Pride – hopefully you’ll view things differently.
No offense clm1990 but if you believe all the media tells you or wishes to show you, there lies Your problem.
Think, see and be yourself not how others expect you to be. It’s only their own shallow minds and personally don’t have time for such people in my life.
A ‘real’ problem, clm? How about just being yourself?
That’s my point, I am myself, but because I happen to be gay people expect something different.
And that is why it’s important to be out, if you are able to be. As more and more people know someone who is gay, they realise that the stereotypes they pic up through the media aren’t the whole story.
Visibility is the most important weapon we have, whether it’s en-masse on the streets, or one to one with friends, family and colleagues.
And yes, sometimes the things you see visible don’t reflect you personally. But they don’t have to, because we’re all different.
Who do you think these people are who “expect” you to be different?
While those who have known me for while may not think of me as any different to any other guy when I come out people don’t often think I’m telling the truth either that or I initially I have to battle with hundreds of assumptions people make, all of which are wrong about me. I don’t know many other gay people because I think many are intimidated to do so in a non stereotypical setting (I’m an IT student and haven’t met a single other gay person since I started studying it whereas I have had friends studying art or fashion who know loads). I just wish being gay was as much of a non issue as being straight but at the moment it isn’t.
But who is it who is expecting you to be different?
I see that you know few gay people, but I do not see who you perceive as having these expectations on you to behave differently to how you do behave.
everyone tbh, unless they have got to know me, which is why I usually wait until I feel people know me well enough not to judge me based on a stereotype
My experience is that people do not have the expectations that I used to perceive they would have about me because of my orientation.
99% of people treat me no different because I am gay than when I had not come out to them
I suspect you may be anticipating mindsets from others that often are not accurate.
Clm1990 says little more than the fact he doesn’t fit into the stereotype/scene and a ton of people give him the thumbs down. There’s no clearer demonstration of the problems highlighted in the article. I tried to get into the scene once but foun the idea of a place where ignorance and shallowness are desirable qualities abhorrent.
I have experienced shallowness of the scene and also experienced great intellectual challenge and discussion through networking on the scene.
I guess some people just allow first impressions to be their only rule of thumb.
I see your point, but – pride aside – the scene is a specific, well, scene! and you have to understand that it will not only not suit everyone but some people will run a mile from it!
I don’t think it’s unreasonable for those people to want to have a voice – and I think it’s fair to say that their is some societal pressure (even if only self imposed from restricted media representation) to act up to the scene stereotype.
I don’t see why gay people asserting their identity seperate from the scene should get a hard time for being ‘heteronormative’ or countless other terms designed to restrict choice.
I concede that often part of asserting this identity is attacking the scene – but that’s how each generation defines themselves, by rejecting the values of their parents, society’s expectations of them (in the case of the original creators of the gay scene) or the scene itself.
I’m sorry to sit on the fence but just as I may be guilty of judging the scene too quickly I think many…
…others are guilty of underestimating how much the scene (that we have little to do with) affects our lives in terms of both other people’s perception of gay people but even our perception of ourselves growing up.
We’ve all grown up and realised we are different – but then when you realise that you don’t even fit into the ‘different’ club it can be tough.
‘scene friendly’ gay people tend to be the sterotype we still see on TV, but in my experience almost half the gay people I meet don’t relate to that at all and grow up thinking they are the only ones.
As I said before I think it’s very telling in our ‘accepting of difference’ scene that clm1990′s comment was immediately deemed ‘thumbs down’ by so many – based soley it seems on him describing how he doesn’t fit into the sterotypical ‘gay’ archetype.
Why is Pride a sin? Personally I, as a gay man take pride in the fact that we have achieved a lot and greatly advanced our rights in the past 50 years without having to resort to terrorism, murder, rape, extortion, hijackings and corruption that some other ‘oppressed’ groups felt justified in doing. Take Al-Qaida for example – their ‘repressed’ supporters can come over here, claim benefits and enjoy the freedom to gob off about how they are being persecuted, and I have had similar arguments with Irish people who were quite happy to live in this country and continue supporting the IRA.
Pride can however, lead to a downfall. Pride for example can mean that you take your car out in the snow thinking you can handle the conditions when you couldn’t, cause an accident, block the road and inconvenience other people.
I think he means that it’s an official sin in the bible.
Also, is there any evidence to support the claim that “more young men of a homosexual persuasion are choosing to hide their sexualities” ?
Or is it simply the case that, as society has become more relaxed, a lot of people just don’t feel the need to go to a gay pub; 20 years ago, you might not feel comfortable even coming out to your friends, and go to a gay bar to make other ones.
Now, I think it’s less of an issue, and I’m not the only person I know who’ll prefer a decent pub over a specifically gay one.
Personally I thought there was more gay men AND women who have come out!
i dont even get half of what you are saying o.O firstly stop overthinking and turning your ideas into some messed up complex ball of s***, secondly pride generally is about being together showing love, support and acceptance. a fair amount of gay people around the world go through crap daily because they are gay and pride is the one day we all come together to protest and say we are not invisible, we are not criminals, we are not going to hell because this is the way we are… list can carry on
Also the drinking on the streets has always been… every year… you try take the pride party away and yea, we will rebel because we are not invisible and this is the day to celebrate being proud of you and if you are not gay its ur chance to join the party and show that you accept the gay community and generally party with them. mabe you should come out your shell and join the party.
oh and stereotypes… well im sorry but everyone gets setereotyped, whether you are white, black, asian,
After seeing the state of Soho (especially soho square) after I left at about 8PM, I have no pride in gays!
That said, I think the original meaning being the marches etc are very important, though now it is just an excuse for a party and not any kind of political/civil movement.
Perhaps Patrick did not attend Saturday’s welcoming Pride parade.
With other gays, I booked to see Billy Budd on Sunday, aware that more gay people enjoy seeing Beyonce. How does that make me less gay?
Patrick asks what are we proud of. I’m proud of every person who comes out in defiance of convention helped by the support of others. Pride is an annual filling of the tank with spirit for another year’s battle with the resisters.
I was on the first Pride march in 1972 and on Saturday shared other veterans’ wonderment at how much has changed since the early GLF days: an equal age of consent throughout the UK, hospital visiting rights, ‘widowed’ partners retaining tenancies of council flats, civil partnerships, immigration rights, employment rights, gay pubs and clubs run by gay people and not sullen straights, hundreds of other differences, all in the teeth of opposition.
It’s no time for sulking Patrick. If you don’t like Beyonce, it’s not the end of world.
Sorry but this article is crap!
Like in any community and in the wider society the LGBTQI community is diverse and that should be appalled but it’s those that keep banging on about stereotype that do us the most damage with people outside our community.
correction meant applauded not appalled, though I think this drivel of an article is such!
I still don’t get what he was trying to say – that Pride is bad because others are making a choice he doesnt want to?
I guess so and clearly he hasn’t been or he’d know that their are a multiple range of people there from all backgrounds and cultures. It’s should make us proud but I guess some just prefer to separate and stereotype by being stereotypical.
As usual, they gay community keeps bickering over what it means to be gay, excluding those who are too gay or not enough. That’s what happens when you emphasise one side of a person over the whole package. Outsiders then, outsiders forever.
I know it’s an over-used phrase, but this all sounded like internalised homophobia.
We live in a “post-gay” world where same sex attraction no longer need to be affirmed, defined or labelled by the word “gay”.
This is down to the overt commercialisation of the gay world since all and sundry decided to go after the “pink pound”, resulting in our culture being trashed by superficiality and overly-sexualised to the point where gay stores are festooned in racks of underwear, porn and gimmicky tat and nothing of any profound nature.
Even gays on TV are still of the overly camp, foul-mouthed type.
In a nutshell, the word “gay” today is largely associated with shallow pursuits, rampant hedonism and higher than average levels of alcoholism and drug-taking – a world away from the lives that many non-gay defined same sex-attracted people aspire to.
Hence why the spectacle that is Pride today is an anachronism of an age long gone when gays were fighting for acceptance and felt a need to stand out and be noticed, but which many today no longer identify with.
Really? Stephen Fry, Simon Amstell, Dr Christian Jessen for example?
or how about:
Steven Davies, Gareth Thomas, John Amaechi, Simon Amstell, Anthony Crank
They certainly do not shout out camp or stereotype to me. But even if they they did – so what!
Pride may be an anachronism to some people – thats their issue, not those who participate in Pride
Too many times we as a community are dictated to, usually by religion, by what we are called, what right we should have, what rights we shouldn’t have, what we should or shouldn’t be saying, that we shouldn’t be proud… the list is endless.
Why not just get on with it and leave everyone alone to be what they are with the same rights, same advantages?
Whilst 2 men or 2 women still cannot hold hands like any other down a street without abuse and violence there is every need to shout who we are. It’s the only way we become accepted in society. The more that see the better things become.
The march on Saturday was free and wonderfully diverse. the article is teeny snapshot of the gay scene. Not read books? come along to Paul burston’s Polari night or visit gays the word. all about fashion come and visit as I do Edward – all ages there Carpenter Community at Laurieston or the Albion faeries at Featherstone Castle or the Gay outdoor club. Ageist? You need to get out more – try visiting Pleasuredrome on a sunday afternoon
I will comment only for myself, and not placing judgment on anyone. But I, for one, do get what Patrick is writing about. Before I came out, I never felt like I fit in with any particular group. After I came out, I still felt like I fit in nowhere. I see people out at bars, at pride festivals, anywhere where gay people might congregate, and I am not able to relate to what I see. Again, not judging, just stating fact. I don’t appear to have anything in common with other gay people, or for that matter, any other human being at all. Maybe there are other people like me out there in the world. I’ve just never come across them, I guess.
I, I, just don’t understand where this drivel came from. I’m not a gay man myself (I’m a bisexual woman), but as far as I can tell the gay community is accepting of any type of man who’s attracted to other men. There’s no assumption from the gay community itself that they must love pink or female pop stars. A friend of mine (who is a gay man) doesn’t fit into the stereotype you’ve described but he goes to gay bars and went to Birmingham Pride and never once mentions feeling excluded.
And you mention men who are attracted to men who have girlfriends. Are you sure you’re not talking about bisexual men? If so, I know some of them feel excluded by the gay community but it’s not for the reasons you seem to have given in your article.
Perhaps you mean the stereotype portrayed by the media. But that’s not the fault of the gay community, that’s the fault of the narrow and biased portrayal by those who produce the media.
The second most liberal time in recent world history, the first being the age of the Ancient Greeks, of Sparta and the Sacred Band of Thebes. Yet the difference is that in those days homosexuality was associated with chivalry, with truth and bravery and honour
A shallow and misguided view of the many strictures that surrounded male homosexuality in ancient Greece, principally that relations between adult males of equal status were strongly disapproved of, and that men of any standing were expected to be married to women. There can be no comparison between classical Greece and our era in terms of liberalism.
The problem is that, then as now, there was no one great monolithic attitude towards same-sex relations. Even more so when talking about Ancient Greece, which was divided into many tiny city-state communities with different cultures and mores (even within the same city), all of which changed considerably over time (Ancient Greek cultures existed for thousands of years!). The boy-love of the classical Athenian cultural elite was a very different thing indeed from classical Spartan military companionship, or the ideals of the Theban Sacred Band (which was surprisingly short-lived, existing only for a few decades of the early to mid 4th century BC). The sources show a wide range of attitudes, and some stern classical moralists very much did see same-sex love as a sign of effeminacy, narcissism and frivolity. The picture is much too complicated to generalise over. Also “chivalry” is a very specific medieval term and not at all appropriate in this context.
Quite right VP, though the one generalisation that can be made is that, whatever the ideals of comradeship within the various armed forces was (and in terms of honour it really wasn’t all that different from today, just that certain types of sex weren’t seen as something antithetical to honour), adult male citizens were expected to get married – to a woman. The possibilities of the modern Western world are in a completely different league from those of the various Hellenic cultures.
The more I read about the ancients the less I like them ! In the recent past gay men tended understandably to idealise hellenistic soceity and its gay practices . They did so because their contemporary political situations were often quite ghastly . I think its time we left ancient Greece and Rome to the classists and historians . Pagans were just witches by another name . . . Read Catullus !
They were all like that in the ancient European world – including the early Christians, with all the martyrs’ so-called miracles, not to mention the central ritual of symbolically drinking blood and eating flesh. The Greeks had better table manners at least.
Ok this is a hard one for me, but give me a chance to explain…
My partner and I have a running joke with our group of friends that ”We are the sophisticated gays” of our town… By this we’ve always meant (and remember this is a joke people) that we don’t prance around town in bright pink, that we dont’ wave our arms around in a fluster, we care nothing for celebrity culture, both have our original hair colour, no eye brow piecrcings or paw print tatoo’s and you’d never find a pair of skinny jeans or a tank top anywhere near our wardrobe…
We like philosophy, theology, classical music. We’d rather go for a nice meal or to the cinema than anywhere near the local gay bar where you can spend all evening staring at half naked guys working behind the bar…
And these sterotypes are everywhere! I have no problem with them, each to their own… Not eveyone that fits this sterotype will even be gay! But it’s this image the article is attacking. And it’s everywhere!
I like philosophy, politics, classical music, good food and wine, travel etc
I also like musicals, a night out in a bar (although these days I prefer a decent place where I can sit and chat), and yes I like Pride on occasions …
It is not impossible to do both – and not compromise who you are as an individual.
Each to their own as you rightly say.
I will always be gay. That does not define me. I sometimes enjoy being more expressive about my orientation by that does not mean being camp etc etc
This article is confusing as it does not state what exactly it thinks the alternative should be. But if it is attacking image – then the converse could be to attack the image the author chooses – its a subjective issue and a choice individuals make. There are few rights and wrongs on issues of this nature.
Surely Pride was always about fighting to be able to choose, to express oneself and to exhibit freedom? Isn’t that what the author is attacking?
No I don’t think he is. I completley agree with you that that is what pride has always been about in the past, that and making a stand for gay rights and equality. But the one and only time I attended London Pride (2 years ago) was with my partner who’s company had asked him to attend…
During that pride the majority of people had come for a ”good time” – nothing wrong with that at all.. A small minority that I spoke to and saw vocalised that they wanted increased rights (the law soceities banner certainly advocated this). And then boom you had the skimply dressed men advertising their porn site skipping down the street… and I mean literally skipping.
Now, I’m no expert on social history, but I have never known any other minority marching for their right for freedom have advertisments for porn sites. I’ve just never heard of it – ever. They weren’t the only ones there either, porn sites, male dating sites, modelling sites… and I think this is what the authors attacking.
I think that might be what the author intends to attack having read your comment and then re-read the article (for the fourth time), however, the article appears to go further (whether intentional or not) and to condemn those who attend Pride.
However, when the author throws up myriad (and varying) stereotypes and then extrapolates that those who are displaying the stereotype behaviour are purporting “it as what being gay means” is speculative and patronising.
“Such complaints are not unusual from middle class children…”
What snobbish, ill-informed drivel.
Still, nice to learn how perfect you think you are.
Interesting comment Patrick.
The fact is that Pride means so many things to so many people (reflected in the various opinions expressed) so why don’t we just accept it as it is.
It is a high profile event which enables people from from many backgrounds to come together in a token act of solidarity with each other – to further the movement for LGBTQI equality.
It enables us tempoarily to set aside our differences, which considering the specturm of different beliefs that people hold is quite an achievement in itself and provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our diversity.
That’s what I enjoyed about Saturday, being able to walk with 25,000 people from all walks of life who basically share the belief that we should be out, open and proud about who we are and that by doing so we have and will continue to change things for the better.
Your article leads us to believe we are all pink washed label queens – but look again and see the spectrum of views expressed at Pride this year!
What? I don’t see there is any point to be made here. Let the gays have their pride and let the “men who have sex with men” do whatever the hell it is they want to do. You can’t please everyone. Gay men can behave however they want, stop complaining about it.
Why has everyone suddenly become armchair sociologists? Keep your pseudo analysis to yourself and Step Away From The Keyboard.
No BTQ? are we not one community?
That’s the point, we are not one big community. We are massively diverse population. Not everything we do has to be totally inclusive of everyone.
First up: we do not want mayoral support, nor the backing of society. We are best when in opposition to the establishment, despite all their half-hearted transparent sops. If we ARE proud, then we should ACT proud.
“Gay scene”, “Gay culture”, I have no idea what the author is writing about. They are not any more valid or specific that the political “Gay agenda”.
Scenes and cultures are a local phenomena. What you appear to be talking about are the inner-city, 20-somethings, on a Saturday night, with some having an interest in the arts over scholastics or agriculture.
I’m in a rural area near a university and
the word Gay hasn’t been absconded by the school’s art department. I suppose we are all too busy trying to pay bills and locating a 15″ corn head for the combine.
Yes, we have a rainbow flag hanging from our farmer’s market canopy, but it’s not to proclaim an exclusive membership, it is there to support and bolster the self-confidence for the Gay teens should their bigoted family and classmates overwhelm them.
Gay culture here is more of one-on-one support and education. I’ve been to a few Pride Parades, but it was more for Gay teens, partiers, and the media. We were bored.
Great points.I couldn’t agree more
His experience of lesbian/gay culture does not resemble mine
He does not speak for me.
I would also point out that a “Scene” in terminal decline is not in any sense truly representative of the true vibrancy and sense of community we have today… Until we accept each other how are we to expect the acceptance of the wider community. Or is true equality not our goal?
It seems the article is attacking others who make choices – that does not achieve equality.
A week last Sunday in the Independent magazine was an article about the first gay pride in 1972. It said only 700 attended which I dispute as well remember something like 12,000 marching with many original members of GLF. We campaigned for equality and campaigned against oppression achieving the rights enjoyed today. But along the way Pride has lost the true cause having been taken over by commercialism where no longer is there room for diversity in the land of the beautiful people. Due to ageism, disablism and racism whole sectors of the LGBT community are being excluded from Pride events – the aged and infirm are not welcome – those with disabilities do not have access – Black and ethnic minorities whose sexual orientation is secondary to their belief systems avoid Pride and if they dare venture are either asked to kiss a man to prove they are gay or are accused of being a terrorist. Individually perhaps not but collectively, by default, we exclude many LGBT people.
How have these people been excluded from Pride?
Last time I went to Pride there were people there from infant to 90s, of all races, religions, nationalities, able bodied and disabled etc etc
Those people chose to attend and that is to their credit.
Things that annoy me about Pride and the media coverage that follows:
> Unless you’re a Queen, over 50, a service person, wearing kinky clothing, or overly political, you might as well be invisible.
Every single year pictures flood in of the above categories and news pieces follow focusing on said people. Every year I’ve been to Pride I’ve gone with my LGBTQ youth groups, which have pretty much flown under the radar. Even with bad coverage with the riots, nobody seems to care that young people turn up to celebrate who they are. Over the past two years I’ve lost my family, my home, friends and am unable to get a job. On every other day of the year I have to struggle with this knowledge and feel alone in my struggle. But on Pride I can celebrate with people who KNOW what it’s like.
Pride /=/ GAY pride. Pride is for everybody. Especially this year it was a year to celebrate the diversity among our community. Which seems to have been forgotten.
I do think it is our own fault that Pride does not portray accurately the gay men and women of this country. The ordinary gay men and women should join next year’s march, to redress this. I confess I have always been reluctant to be seen among prancing effete boys in satin pixie costumes. Most of us are successful, talented professionals, after all.
What’s the actual point of this article.
It positions itself as being about Pride, but the actual content is about the gay scene. These are 2 separate things
There are also a lot of presumptions about what peoples views are of their own behaviour.
Its a very patronising article that assumes people perceive being LGBT i a very one dimensional world – whereas its far more diverse and evocative than that – in each individual, let alone the wider communities.
Well it seems that gay women don’t exist in Patrick Cash’s world? All he talks about is gay men!! I thought Pink News was aimed at ALL the gay community and as Stu said…what are you waffling on about anyway?!
Yep I am gay…Nothing changing that one. I am proud of who I am, but I am also proud of being a pagan and being a woman. I believe I am a good person gay or other wise and that’s something to be celebrated!
There are good and bad gay people just as there are good and bad straight. Some of us choose to have a visual identity, but that’s no different to goths punks etc…Even as a pagan I can dress and look different to how I do normally. I have tattoos that are pagan and gay.
Personally this reads as if Mr Cash has a problem with himself…I enjoy who I am and I’m excepting f my community no matter how they choose to dress or behave, as long as they are good people. Not too much to ask…So where does this ‘sin’ come in please? For me being me?
The perception I got was if the world did not fit into Mr Cash’s own world view and perceptions then it was wrong. I also got the impression he knew what it meant to be gay, and others who made different choices were wrong. It hardly considered lesbian, bisexual or other groups within our communities. It was sanctimonious waffle.
Well said, I was begining to wonder if Mr. Cash was aware that there’s such a thing as a gay women.
Interesting article and even more interesting comments. I also struggle to see the aim of the original article.
1. Buying into a homogenised culture when you discover it as a teenager is nothing new.
2. That the dominant image and lifestyle is one that displeases those who aren’t into it is also not new.
3. This dominant lifestyle isn’t my lifestyle either but iv never once thought that because it isn’t I see myself as anything other than gay
4. Its surely about self confidence. There’s more diversity within the gay community than at any other time in history and frankly the old cliche about stereotyped media images of gays wears increasingly thin. they still exist but their influence on young people within a developing, tech savvy society gets weaker.
5. The more vacuous elements of gay culture are surely increasingly tied in with mainstream lifestyles now. Surely then this is a mainstream issue and not a gay issue?
6.who cares about what kind of gay dominates gay culture??
In fact on reading it again its actually a really tired old argument and one that I grew out of thinking once my confidence in myself
Hear hear, let us decry the lack of diversity among gay people in Britain by systematically ignoring everything that doesn’t fit a very narrow stereotype! Let us take a brief glance at a few bars on a street in London and presume it’s all there is and everybody else is hiding!
I find this unedifying tendency among the residents of the capital all too often. Too many of them are parochial in the extreme. A good number of Londoners seem to think London is the entire world, and ignore everything beyond its borders. I hate to break it to you, but Soho and Vauxhall are not the only places in the world…
Oh I think the London centric thing goes way beyond the LGBT communities. The dichotomy about the London centric view (about there being little of value outside the M25) is that its often more prevalent amongst those who live in London but were originally from “the provinces”.
The problem with this article is that it perpetuates that view of a one dimensional aspect to how being gay is – if you do not fit into the authors perception then you are somehow damaging gay culture – and thats bollocks!
Is there a ‘Homotopia’?
It is always good to celebrate Pride (of course) but the message of WHY we should celebrate it has been totally lost. It is to commerate one day in the late sixties when the Stonewall riots occurred – showing th epolice and authorities that ‘we are here, queer (hate that word!) and people should get used to it’
Now it is about any excuse to party. Not to mention the integration of the skankiest drugs imaginable, getting pissed and the integration and the shocking acceptance of gay prostitution into the culture.
I have no regard or respect for the scene. Though I have more time for provincial gay communities. Also, practically every gay men with any semblence of muscle is either a rent boy or has some questionable background involving porn. HIV rates are massive. Nobody is doing anything about this except for making ongoing profits.
Naturally Pride is what you make it, but i think its time for each and every gay person to personally examine what Pride is all about. Its lost its way
I guess Patrick is ashamed of some of the more flamboyant aspects of gay culture. It might be time to remind him that we celebrate diversity not conformity. A little tolerance for the differences within our polycultural milieu might be in order.
And his obviously grey monotonal worldview couldn’t have been made clear in his gender arrogance… women are also gay …. what a chauvinistic bore you are patrick
You are far kinder and more eloquent than I am managing to be. Indeed, I’m struggling for an alternative way of saying – This article is a pile of egotistical insular one dimensional cr@p.
Half of the people attending Pride are women. Most of the people attending Pride are not a stereotype. BUT I vigorously applaud those who are (and not just because I’m a bit diesel myself). It is as legitimate as any other way to present yourself. And I know how much I owe to those who were in the vanguard, who weren’t read as anything but LGBT and took the burden on their shoulders to work for change.
And the London club scene has precisely nothing to do with Pride so kindly spare us your projections and get over your gender bias. YOU Mr Cash are the negative stereotype I wish to avoid – the oh so bored by everything, Post Gay, poor little me sort who sounds more than a little self loathing (if that is NOT your intent then I recommend beta reading your articles far more thoroughly)
We may have achieved great deal towards LGBT equality but there still remains some work to be done in this country, you only have to read some of the recent articles about same sex marriage to know that.
We must also remember that whilst we enjoy the freedom to march and celebrate our identity this remains but a pipe dream for many in other countries and when I march a reason amongst many is on behalf of those denied that right.
I marched with the firefighters again this year and we did not mince or prance or fulfil any of the stereotypes perceived related to LGBT people, nor wedded there to fulfil stereotypes of muscle bound firefighters, just ordinary everyday people from a specific profession that has members from all sectors of the community.
No big names ?. I only recognised Boy George from the sets and he’s a big name alright …. Unless you were not born when he last hit the charts. I think a great many younger priders were a little confused about who the ‘man in the hat’ was :-/
“a homosexual persuasion”? There’s a term to warm the black heart of every homophobe. Used three times in this one short article. Hands up those who were persuaded into loving someone of your own sex? I suppose we should be grateful we weren’t treated to that other bigots’s favourite ‘proclivities’. And why only talk about boys? Surely, us older guys, not to mention those of us who can’t stand Kylie et al, and who do like rock music (and Bach) are often just as excluded or even more so, than these ‘boys of a homosexual persuasion’ Cash seems rather fixated on. I think he makes some good points but but then damages his case by using this limited reference of ‘exclusion’ and only talking about his boys. Older men and, dare we say, women (!) are also involved in this ‘Pride’ thing!
I’ve always hated the term..’homosexual persuasion”, as if we have to be persuaded or choose to be gay. I’ve never heard the term applied to heterosexuality, has anyone? Just because I don’t hang out in gay bars or clubs, doesn’t mean I’m any less gay and that I don’t identify with the rest of my gay brothers and sisters. We all choose to do what we want and we all don’t have to “fit in”. I just don’t see the point of this article.
I couldn’t agree more with you and Rufusred above re ‘homosexual persuasion’. I thought that’d gone out with … oh, I don’t know, extreme shoulder-pads. Or the Dodo.
Perhaps the instinctive way to react to some painful truths is to resort to denial mode.
What the author says about the gay scene and culture being less tolerant and more judgmental than mainstream’s society’s attitudes towards us is oh so true.
If you’re not young and pretty then you need to fit in and be accepted by the many, often opposing, factions that comprise gay society.
Which inevitably means conforming to a stereo type, be it a bear, drag queen, steroided muscle mary, leather daddy, screamer, whatever.
No wonder so many seek lives outside the “gay ghetto”, devoid of the crassness and dumbing-down epitomised by the likes of GT, QX, Prowler, Chariots…
Attitude magazine is about the only thing that does gay culture a service these days.
Check out Life Outside, the acclaimed study into this very subject, by Michelangelo Signorile.
We sure have an awful lot to learn about accepting one another just the way we are (cue red arrow onslaught…)
In short, gay men can often be each others’ worst enemies.
I know from personal experience that if you don’t fit into a particular niche or dress and behave a particular way how harshly you can be judged by other gay men and all your neuroses, insecurities, anxieties and lack of self esteem be sent into overdrive.
I have known some very sane, loving and open young men whose essences were eroded and their soft natures ruthlessly hardened after a couple of years of stepping onto the competitive arena known as the London scene, which can be the loneliest and most loveless of places if you refuse to be assimilated.
That the scene frowns upon individuality and non-conformists is the crowning irony considering that Pride is largely an assortment of drag queens and leather men who themselves are sticking two fingers up at mainstream society’s definition of conformism.
In breaking away from society’s norms and rules on conformism, we have instead somehow succeeded only in creating our own.
Simply put, The Scene and Pride are not one and the same thing.
If you scroll through the photographs on a parallel thread (admittedly a disappointingly tedious process, speaking in terms of web design) you can see several examples of people who don’t fit the tired and tiring stereotypes you and the author of this article seem to be bemoaning.
Does your staff read this stuff before allowing it to be printed under your auspices? This is pure unvarnished rubbish. Likewise the “Gen Topher” piece. Please keep to news….forget opinion pieces, especially non cogent ones.
I have to say I agree with certain aspects of this article but I don’t come to the same conclusions. There are people (me included) who don’t identify with what is regarded as the ‘gay scene’.
I am 29 and only really started to come out to most people a couple of weeks ago. There are many reasons for this but one of the main ones was I felt disconnected from the gay community. I like rock music and football etc. All things not generally associated with being popular amongst gay people.
It was only after I really started to see what else the gay community had to offer in Manchester other than Canal St. I looked at the LGF’s directory of social clubs and communities and I was amazed with what I saw. Football clubs, outdoor activities and other music lovers.
I think the real problem here is that these groups are under represented. I think more effort should be made to promote this side of the gay community. Maybe the media has a big role to play in this as well?
Perhaps, Patrick, you should try living in a place where “gay” people are still being beaten up with baseball bats as they walk home from a club at night. I think the right to be a frilly, femmy, stereotype without having to be badly beaten is a goal of which we should be proud.
great article. And how long have I been talking about this.
The gay community is nothing but a big CHARADE.
It is suffering with an enormous identity problem.
This is why most of us don’t fit in or relate to it.
The gay community does not know what sexuality to cast themselves under.
Pushing so much for the “STRAIGHT LIFESTYLE” which is such a contradiction to everything that is and means gay.
No wonder a lot of us have dropped out altogether and just feel that we need to create or embrace another sort of life as this one is not the one we want to be part of.
This subject will be discussed for generations to come and what it means to be gay
Anyone who thinks there is one ‘gay community’ is deluded.
Being gay is far from one dimensional which Pride often proves – for those who can be bothered to get off their backsides and see who actually goes rather than rely on their presumptions or snippets on the news
I’ve recently been hearing a lot of straight folks say things like, “Why do the gays have to flaunt their sexuality?” or “Why is there a gay pride parade? You know that people would freak if there was a straight pride parade!” or “What happens in the bedroom is your business, but don’t flaunt it. I don’t want to have to see that sh*t.”
Despite some popular perceptions, Pride is not simply an excuse for scantily-clad gay men to dance around on colorful floats (though that is an awesome part of any Pride parade).
Nor is Pride simply about throwing a middle finger to the Straight world (though that also can be a pretty fun part of Pride).
Nor is Pride simply an excuse to get pretty drunk and party like its 1999.
Pride actually has 3 main premises:
People should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
2.Diversity is a gift, a gift we should celebrate.
3.Sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered, so we should
celebrate ourselves as we are – Whether we are Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or somewhere in between, we were Born This Way.
While those may seem like pretty simple statements, when I stop to think, I realize that they are quite radical. After all, most messages in the media, in politics, and in religious discourse say that if you are anything but Straight as an arrow, you should be ashamed. Our schools are often horrible places for anyone who is not Straight. An atmosphere of shame and bullying ends in the leading cause of death among Lesbian and Gay youth being suicide.
At it’s essence, Pride is a humanizing celebration. Too often our public discourse on sexuality dehumanizes those who are not Straight. It silences. It shames. It often even terrifies Queer-identified folks from openly proclaiming who they are.
For most of the year, the idea that two gay men might hold hands or kiss on the street would be met with jeers or even violence.
of the year, the idea that two lesbian women might openly express their love for one another would be met with shouts or, again, violence.
For most of the year, a drag queen or a trans person would risk verbal or physical violence for simply walking down the street.
However, during Pride, for at least one day, the Queer community and their allies use the power of numbers to proclaim, “We’re Here! We’re Queer! And We’re Proud!“
Straight people (as in any case of power and oppression) have a tremendous amount of privilege:
* Socially acceptance to show affection
* Privilege to marry chosen partner
* Seeing their own orientation reflected in just about every film and television show without controversy and in a positive light.
* Ability to discuss their orientation without being accused of pushing it onto others
* Their orientation is usually assumed as the standard – they do not need to come out
* Their orientation is reflection in school curriculums without controversy or
accusations of an agenda
* Their behaviour is not assumed to be a wider reflection of the “straight community”
* If they are called straight it is not an insult
* They are not asked to think about why they are straight or how they came to be that way
* They can go to any religious service without worrying that the sermon will condemn their orientation
* They don’t need a Straight Pride parade because every day, on every street, on every channel of television there’s a Straight Pride parade called life
And the list could go on and on
Pride is about turning these privileges that Straight people enjoy on their head (if only for a day or a week or a month). Pride is about Queer-identified people demanding that they be treated with the same dignity and respect as Straight people. Whether done subtly or with flamboyance and pizazz, Pride is about Queer-people asserting their humanity in a society that so often treats them as less than human.
Try getting employed in a serious job during these economically difficult times while your wearing a dress or acting very camp. You will be told you need to dress ‘appropriately’ or ‘Act professionally’, even by job centres . Yet the young are learning if you hide your LGBT side, you get better job prospects. That’s why.
Ah I get it now, sorry. The LGBT are hiding not due to stigma in society but due to the LGBT community its self. So its the fault of the victim now.
Definitely liked your Article. We have become awfully dull in our raucous demands for recognition, our almost offensive grabbing at publicity, all fired by an uncontrollable self-esteem.
This lack of modesty is doing the Movement no good now that joining it is not so difficult, (in the so-called liberal countries) but only the demonstrative come. The raucousness of our Pride events puts off many I’m convinced of it.
If we now believe that to a certain degree we have entered Rome, then we must act accordingly as a central and inevitable force in Society, speaking from a basis of power and no longer screeching like an enemy forcing his way into the Citadel.
This does not mean that we must become stolid, – but solid. The War is not over, but our methods must be adjusted.
I particularly liked your reference to the Age of the Ancient Greeks – by all accounts they knew something we have not yet learnt.
You mean have a younger boyfriend as well as a wife? It’s not to everyone’s taste, you know.
Great Article!! And I agree completely. I especially liked this phrase: “Some people are the energetic enforcers of this concept, others simply go with the flow. But if a boy of homosexual persuasion felt different and an outsider because of his sexuality at school, then it is the inevitable conclusion he must conform to this identity not to feel different and an outsider in the very community he turns to for acceptance.”
No doubt it is the “energetic enforcers” who have labeled this article as a homophobic rant. To me, it is an honest observation of the oxymoron known as “gay culture”. There is no gay culture. From what I’ve seen it is a “culture” that idolizes youth, large penises and money. And if you have none of that then you are marginalized and treated coldly, rejected by your own peers for being “different”. Using the rainbow flag as a symbol of gay diversity is a joke. Diversity in gay men is not encouraged – just look at any gay hook-up web site for proof of that.
I have a gay best friend who is a cyber goth and isn’t remotely camp, as a result he has often been abused and rejected for ‘not looking gay enough’ in the words of a person from 360 magazine. In other words, he doesn’t conform to the mainstream stereotype of being gay and is therefore worthless. That said, he has never described his orientation as anything other than gay as a result. I do think this comes more from the mainstream and from people assuming that the gay scene is indicative of the wider gay community.
The thing that infuriates me whenever any aspect of Prides are discussed as here, is that people will frequently refer to it being an LGBT community event, yet the predominant focus seems to always be on gay men.
I am bisexual myself, but you would be hard pressed to find anything in support of the bisexual community at prides aside from if a Bi group is brave enough to run a stall or march in the Parade (if there is one) at such an event.
and once again lesbian are invisible…