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The New What Now?

(The only "personal" piece I posted on LJ--a very, very little bit of cultural criticism.)

So, I was reading an article in the Washington Post the other day about a website that was trying to provide a different kind of place for gay guys (and the occasional token lesbian) to get together. Not a hook-up site--they won't even take ads from hook-up sites. They pride themselves on being a place for gays who are not all about wearing great clothes, going to the gym, and dancing the night away before bedding random hotties. A place for everyone who feels like they don't fit in with the rest of gay society. As a gay male who doesn't buy great clothes, never goes to the gym and rarely dances the night away, (never mind the random hottie bit), I was, needless to say, intrigued. So, I read on.

This group calls itself the New Gay, and apparently it organizes concerts of the latest, hippest music, plus all sorts of other activities--none of which are of any interest to me whatsoever. No Doctor Who discussion groups. No "Dress as Your Favorite Jane Austen Character" costume party. No stroll around the lesser-known historical sites of DC. No, instead, another party--with the hippest music. True, they claim the party is a chance to hang out, have fun--no pressure, no meat market vibe. Still...another party with the hippest music. What if I don't like the music? (I almost certainly won't.) Is it because I'm not gay enough? Because I'm not hip enough? Isn't this just another way of making some gays feel like they don't belong?

This in turn got me thinking about the reason that gay guys (and gay girls) hang around together at all. Now, there are not nearly as many universal similarities amongst all gay men as the most narrow-minded straight majority might think. In fact, aside from being a) men and 2) gay, many gay men have very little in common with each other . I think that's why any gay-dominated social event, chat room, or community gets so obsessed with sex--like it or not, it's the only thing that binds us together. Which means a premium is put on a good face, a great body, and nice clothes. As disgusting as it is, that's simply the state of things, and it will continue to be so until a really new way of being gay is found.

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