Thursday, November 10, 2005

The End of Gay Culture

Blogger and journalist Andrew Sullivan is one of my favourite political writers currently - if not my favourite - and while his writing on politics is illuminating and interesting, not to mention principled and non-partisan, he's really at his most poignant when writing about homosexuality, not just as a political issue, but as a much more broad topic encompassing history, sociology and family and community life. His recent essay, "The End of Gay Culture", is an incredible piece of work, and I highly recommend it to everyone, from gays seeking to gain an understanding of the past they could have lived - or did live - through, to straights seeking to understand just why it is that something they have taken for granted - marriage and social acceptance - could be so important for gay people.

Here's an exerpt:

"Gay culture was once primarily about pain and tragedy, because that is what heterosexuals imposed on gay people, and that was, in part, what gay people experienced. Gay culture was once primarily about sex, because that was how heterosexuals defined gay lives. But gay life, like straight life, is now and always has been about happiness as well as pain; it is about triumph as well as tragedy; it is about love and family as well as sex. It took generations to find the self-worth to move toward achieving this reality in all its forms--and an epidemiological catastrophe to accelerate it. If the end of gay culture means that we have a new complexity to grapple with and a new, less cramped humanity to embrace, then regret seems almost a rebuke to those countless generations who could only dream of the liberty so many now enjoy."


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