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3 April 2009, 9:00 am 127 Comments

Why I Reject Gay Culture

This post was submitted by Michael

Photo by Hans from the TNG Flickr Pool

Photo by Hans from the TNG Flickr Pool

The recent Washington Post article featuring TNG co-founder Zack did a decent job of charactarizing what we are trying to do with this site.  However, it got one aspect wrong:  that TNG is a resource for young people.   The article impled that our efforts are for the Gen-Y and “Millennials” but that implication misses the mark.  Two of TNG’s three co-founders are in their 30s.  You don’t have to be young and just coming out to want more from live than what mainstream gay culture has to offer.

Let’s first get out of the way the fact that being “gay” and being a part of gay culture are two different things.  Being “gay” or “queer” or “lesbian” means that you are attracted to members of the same sex.  Being a part of gay culture means you accept and go along with a monolithic, single-minded “culture” mostly composed of people who are attracted to the same sex.  A culture that, unlike all other minority cultures, you aren’t born into. You have to go seek it out.

Unfortunately, at least in my experience, it isn’t very easy to break into this gay culture.  Firstly, it’s very male oriented, and white.  If you are a lesbian or a person of color, you’re already have a few strikes against you when it comes to acceptance by greater gay culture.  However, us white guys don’t necessarily have it all that easy, either.

Somehow, gay culture has evolved into a very homogenious and anti-intellectual stage show.  People who pride themselves on their indiviuality often have a hard time fitting in.  You have to look a certain way, like certain music, be interested in the lives and times of celebrities, and dumb yourself down.  A friend of mine went to a grad student mixer while at UC Berkeley a few years ago, and an attractive young man walked up to him, asking “So, what do you study?”  When my friend replied that he was getting a PhD in mechanical engineering, the other guy replied, “Well, we obviously won’t have anything to talk about” and walked away with a flourish.  If a gay male graduate student at a relatively elite university judges another for his scientific and intellectual pursuits, something is very wrong with our “culture.”

My personal experiences growing up have provided me with a very suspicious nature.  I experienced a lot of rejection in elementary school and junior high school.  It wasn’t until my sophmore year of high school that I actually made a good group of supportive friends who helped me feel that I had something of value to contribute to the world.  Up until then, I was always the butt of jokes.  Always the one told he had yellow teeth by his locker neighbor.  The one picked last in gym class, only to be horrified to learn that we were playing two-on-two shirts vs. skins basketball, and I was a “skin.”  Growing up with two domineering older brothers who were very athletic, and who equated athleticism with masculinity, the uncoordinated kid I used to be was often called “gay” before I even realized what the word meant.

In order to survive that sort of childhood, we social rejects, we kids-picked-last-in-gym-class had to develop defense mechanisms.  We built walls.  We focused on music, art, academics, solitary walks in the woods.  We learned to find nuggets of self esteem wherever we could find them:  long hair-coming sessions with mom on her bed; small pep talks from encouraging teachers; other reject friends who, when compatible dysfunctions could be found, provided a few months of friendship that quelled the urge to commit suicide or start planning fratricide or a Columbine event.

One thing that my mother used to tell me when I was feeling down and out is that I shouldn’t need the acceptance of a group in order to love myself.  Of course, she couched this conversation in Catholicism and told me to reach out to the love of Jesus.  However, I was able to glean some truths from her council:   Be yourself, love yourself, and find happiness.  I took that to heart and focused on pursuits that made me genuinely happy, having faith that one day my self-development would make me a person who was likable, or maybe even lovable.   Part of this process was to stop trying to be liked by people who didn’t like me.  I stopped making efforts to endear myself to my brothers and their common friends, the neighborhood kids whose post-pubescent interestes began to diverge from mine, the classmates who deigned to share their notes with me when I missed a day of school.   I learned to stop begging for acceptance from people that didn’t want me.

Fast-forward a decade or so:  After 5 years in a very sheltered same-sex relationship, I came out to a whole new world called gay culture.  At the age of 27,  I made my first gay friends with whom I shared very few interests besides an attraction for men.  These new friends accepted me very tentatively, unsure of who I was or what I had to offer.  And within a year, I experienced the same sort of complete and utter rejection from them that I’d experienced over and over again as a kid.  Somehow, I’d learned how to be myself as a person, how to get my needs met when it came to friendships and socialization, but I forgot it all the moment I tasted this potential acceptance by this new group of gay guys.  And I set myself up for a crash so hard that, at one point, I had to pretend that poor quality Thai food was the reason I was crying while eating drunken noodles with a friend who’d screwed me over.

After such an incredible year, a year like a rollercoaster of ups and downs, side turns and queasy stomachs, complete 180s and 360s, I remembered what I’d learned as a kid that got me through grades 7 through 12.  I retrenched myself emotionally, and repealed all of the exemptions that I’d made for the sake of being more open to people.  I redoubled all the laxed standards to which I’d formerly held others.  I picked myself up and started seeking out quality people outside the gay mainstream who also needed community and were sick of seeking it from all the dumb white aberzombies.  And I was successful.  Within a year, I had a good group of friends who, beforehand, all felt like social rejects from the gay scene.  Finally, we felt accepted by each other, and that was enough.

The title of this post  “Why I Reject Gay Culture” is actually a misnomer.  I didn’t reject it.  I attempted to embrace it, even lowering the high standards that my tough childhood necessitated for self preservation.  I tried.

Gay culture rejected me.

To all of you who perceive our effort with TNG as an attack on gay culture, you are the lucky ones. You’ve been able to find comfort and acceptance in a mainstream culture that accepts you for who you are.  Good for you.  Roll with it.  But please don’t feel threatened by rest of us, those of us who want more out of life than what mainstream gay culture has to offer; those of us who want to be friends with the entire spectrum of queer culture, including women, people of color and transfolk; those of us who believe in self-actualization instead of self-destruction and self-deprecation.

Please realize, mainstream gay guys, that we aren’t rejecting you.  We’re simply reacting to you having rejected us.  If it feels like rejection, well, maybe now you finally know what we’ve been through.


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127 Comments »

  • Anthony in Nashville said:

    There have always been scenes of “alternative gay culture” that exist alongside mainstream media-friendly gayness.

    Faeries, bears, and perhaps the original adopters of “queer” come to mind. There are others.

    I think living as a LGBT person is about finding your niche and embracing it, even if it’s not what you see in Out magazine.

  • wha, wha, whaaaa? said:

    this is really cynical. it doesn’t seem like you think so, but it is. it’s like that episode of 30 rock where liz doesn’t want to go to her high school reunion because she says those people were mean to her, but then she goes and finds out that no one wants her there because it was actually liz who was a bitch to everyone. something in this story makes me suspect there’s some of that going on here.

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/47444/30-rock-reunion

    i like the picture of jonanthan livingston though.

  • Jack said:

    Ya know, for a site that’s supposedly over the rainbow, you do spend a whole lot of time bitching about it. I’ve had my fair share of rejection from mainstream gay culture as an overweight computer nerd, and I’ve gotten past it. Yes, it stings every now and again, but seriously guys, get over it. You’ve got a wonderful idea here in this blog– creating an alternative to the mainstream– but you spend way too much time bitching about the mainstream. Stop being against stuff, and start being for something different (a lesson the Republicans are slowly learning).

  • Kyle said:

    I think Michael’s point here, and I may have missed it, is that the mainstream gay culture is so pervasive and such a baseline societal assumption (e.g., you’re gay? then you must love Madonna!), that on a certain level we alternaqueers are always fighting some kind of rear-guard action against it. I remember a remark from Craig O’Hara’s wonderful book The Philosophy of Punk about how queer punks rebel against mainstream society by coming out of the closet, only to realize that they then have to rebel against mainstream gay culture.

    I think the folks here are for many things, but what those things are, are so diffuse and individualized that they cannot be defined and limited. What we are for are as diverse as every person here, writer, reader or both. And therefore the default position becomes what we do not like or support.

    And as for faerie and bear subcultures, meh. I’ve met them, and they have their own set of rules of conformity, too.

  • Ben said:

    I really agree with a lot of what Michael says here. I grew up in a small town in which no gay culture existed. There were no out gay people in this town where there is a different Christian denomination for every 200 people. As a result, I had to develop an identity that had no influence by gay culture. As I began to make trips to the “big city” after coming out, I started exposing myself to it little by little, and felt extremely alienated. Everything from music, bars, clothes, etc, it all seemed so foreign and fake and forced. I saw a lot of guys who had the “gay” look and couldn’t help but think of the fact that they made themselves that way. In forming their own identities, they made that conscious choice based on their desire to fit in and not feel so alone. It’s amazing to me that so many guys who are motivated by a desire to fit in and feel like they belong could create a culture that is so alienating and closed-minded.

  • Joe said:

    i think you are over generalizing. just because i like madonna and enjoy going to gay pride parades and clubs does not mean i have rejected you. its not like you have to pick one or the other. and what about all the people who find that they like doing a mix of both worlds. both the new and old gay. im also getting tired of these sob stories. be happy with who you are and stop putting down someone else just because they like cher or britney spears. stop victimizing. im starting to find myself wanting to be OVER the new gay. ugh.

  • parker said:

    i think joe has missed the point. nobody is criticizing you or anyone else for liking to do what you like to do. perhaps michael criticized the actual things you may like (cher, cobalt, whatever) but that is his perogative. he doesn’t have to like that stuff and you don’t have to like whatever it is that he does with his time. he made that clear in the second-to-last paragraph of his piece.

    any number of us who follow this blog and who are friends/acquianted with those who started it could have written this post as well. i moved to dc alone and friendless. i spent some time hanging out with people solely because we had a mutual interest in fucking men. those friendships did not work out. i was tired of being rejected or called strange, contrarian, etc because i decided to skip “madonna vs. britney” night and kept my shirt on at the bars. i’m glad that michael and the rest of tng are creating a forum where people who may not be interested in what gay culture has traditionally had to offer in cities like dc can find things to do on the weekend from time to time.

    i think madonna is terrible. i would sooner burn down town than ever walk through its doors. but i know and respect plenty of people who will be madonnaing and towning it up this weekend. please respect my decision and michael’s decision to not enjoy those activities and to do something else with our time.

  • Jack said:

    @Ben: Those people made a choice to conform, that’s their prerogative. You chose otherwise, that’s also fine. But nowhere in your comment do you show that somehow by them choosing conformity they’ve rejected you which seems to be what Michael is claiming in his post.

    Desire for conformity isn’t limited to the gay subculture and shared interests are needed in most relationships both platonic and romantic. If we strip the gay subculture away from Michael’s post we’re left with:

    “I met a bunch of people, we had nothing in common, so they rejected me.”

    Where a better way of looking at it would be:

    “I met a bunch of people, we had nothing in common, so long-term friendships were ultimately untenable.”

    Michael seems to be implying that his former friends’ interest in “gay culture” led them, cult-like, to immediately shun the non-believer. Whereas it was simply a case of divergent interests. Now perhaps he has a right to be bitter against the way these people handled the ends of their friendships, but blaming the culture is a bit extreme.

    @Parker: I think what Joe and I have been saying in our comments (and which perhaps Kyle put a bit more eloquently) is that far too often this blog defines itself by what it’s against, instead of just being about what it is for. I don’t disagree that TNG has some great content, unfortunately that gets buried amidst the anti-gay culture screeds.

  • adam said:

    i think what people find irritating, and the reason this argument keeps getting rehashed around here, is that posts like this one are always draped with some sort of liberalish, free to be you and me platitudes claiming non-judgment. but you can’t harshly criticize a “culture” and in the same breath claim that you haven’t passed judgment on it or its participants. when the writer is so transparently “above it”, the argument isn’t made more palatable by hollow reassurances that he isn’t. i don’t think that growing a pair and just coming out and admitting that you think your tastes/interests/ideals are obviously better than those which you’re calling bullshit on will be less controversial, but perhaps it will put this particular back-and-forth to rest.

  • Kyle said:

    I have to say I don’t find blaming the culture to be extreme. If you have been going to the usual bars and while not fitting in, at the same time not feeling rejected, I would like to know where the hell these bars are. The standard gay cultural scene is catty, cutting and harsh. It really is a case, to borrow from Rush, of “conform or be cast out”. I do, however, think that the longer the alternaqueer is out, the thicker the skin becomes, and the less the rejection becomes an issue.

    And here is why I think this rejection stings so much: you would think that those who have been oppressed and/or ostracized would be your natural friends or at least allies. But that rarely is the case, it seems.

  • Anthony in Nashville said:

    @ Kyle:

    You say you don’t like bears are faeries because “they have their own set of rules of conformity, too.”

    Can you tell me of any social group that does not have its standards of conformity? Whenever you interact with people you are being held to their definitions of acceptable behavior. The only way to avoid that is to isolate yourself at home. But then I’d accuse you of a superiority complex, lol.

    Everybody has to get in where they fit in. People are not as unique as they think they are, there is a group for everyone. You just have to find it.

  • Kyle said:

    @Anthony, please notice I didn’t say I didn’t like them. I said, and I quote, “meh”. I’m indifferent to them.

  • chrisafer said:

    @Parker “nobody is criticizing you or anyone else for liking to do what you like to do”

    Have you read this site?

  • Toby said:

    Ha ha ha, looks like the TNG readers are starting to reject YOU, Michael.

  • ejacksonindc said:

    This thread is one of the saddest things I have seen in a very very long time.

    Where is your compassion? Are some of you so fucking dead inside that you can’t relate to another human being explaining that he has been so hurt and rejected that he felt he had to create his own space? Isn’t that what the ENTIRE LGBT community is? We were so rejected and ostracized and persecuted that we had to find our own corners of the world to exist, and even when we did, the police and others still sought us out and still tried to beat us, kill us, terrorize us!

    Have you forgotten what it was like to be a gay kid or an awkward kid? Or someone who has been rejected? Have your lives been so perfect that you can no longer understand any of those things? If so, I feel bad for all the gay kids out there still being picked on, beaten up, and called names. According to one theory expressed here, instead of gay kids being picked on, their problem is that they are really bitches like the fictional girl on a television show. Really? Wow, I need to tell all the people out there trying to save the lives of the 1 in 4 gay kids who commit suicide that they should focus their attention on getting those kids to stop being bitches, stop whining, and to keep their sob stories to themselves. That is going to save alot of time, and I can stop donating money to all those charities focused on LGBT youth.

    Michael opened himself up and talked about the pain he experienced as a human being. In this context, no one cares if you like Madonna. This has nothing to do with you. This is about one individual’s personal journey. If you wound up someplace else and made different decisions, more power to you, but why on earth would anyone look at this post and see cynicism? Dr. Freud had a theory about that particular behavior.

    I am genuinely shocked that people can be so mean, people who have, to a degree, been through the same exact things, people who have the same fears of rejection, people who want to find a place where they can be exactly who they are, feel comfortable, and accepted. Raise your hand if you think that’s a bad idea!

    Plus, would you all please pay attention to the fact that Michael is writing about “mainstream” gay “culture,” not the gay community. The difference is being a part of the gay community and being a stereotype or caricature. Anyone want to admit to being a predictably cartoonish version of a homosexual? Any hands? From day one, TNG has said it wants to create a more inclusive LGBT experience.

    FOR EVERYONE WHO SAYS TNG STANDS FOR NOTHING, MICHAEL WROTE: “But please don’t feel threatened by rest of us, those of us who want more out of life than what mainstream gay culture has to offer; those of us who want to be friends with the entire spectrum of queer culture, including women, people of color and transfolk; those of us who believe in self-actualization instead of self-destruction and self-deprecation.” It’s in the 2nd to last paragraph of this post–stand for nothing?

    Please tell me what part of that quote you disagree with. I really want to know. Tell me what he said that has your Ed Hardy’s riding up your ass.

    There is a very specific list of things Michael criticized and there are things he said he personally doesn’t care for; when did expressing an opinion become liberal feel good whatever? What does that even mean? I guess compassion and treating others as you would want to be treated must be liberal feel good stuff also. The only people who should object to anything in this column are those who are self-identified as “self-destructive” and “self-deprecating.” Any hands?

    Oh my GOD, I SO toned this down.

  • Toby said:

    lol @ ejacksonindc’s OUTRAGE. Welcome to the Internet, you must be new here.

  • ejacksonindc said:

    @Toby. Let me get this right. Laughing at people’s pain, mocking them, dismissing our common bonds, and being and all around mean and dismissive person is about the internet? Mean unhappy people are going to be mean unhappy people with or without the internet. By the way, what you saw wasn’t outrage. It called passion. It’s what happens when you care about something. My partner is one of those people who was mercilessly teased as a kid. It got so bad his parents had to move him to another school. So, everyday, I remember those kids who still have to deal with that crap. I remember the kids out there who are isolated and the internet might be their only access to a world that is less hostile that the environment in which they currently trapped. Understand, I was blessed in that I’ve always found it easy to make friends and have had a relatively easy time with being gay. I’ve never cared about gay culture, but I am a member of the gay community. Like I said, in some way or another we all go through the pain Michael describes. There are young LGBT people going through it right now.

    Is this the example you want to set? Is this the legacy we are going to leave? Spiteful, petty and vindictive? I’m sorry, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the internet.

  • ejacksonindc said:

    Sorry, finishing a thought: It has nothing to do with the internet, and I want young LGBT people out there who might be reading this to know that, although it may not feel like it right now, you will have choices. You will get out of the hell you are in right now. Michael did. My partner, who I love and cherish did. This time in your life is temporary. There is a world out there that will accept you no matter what you look like, no matter how shy you are, you can be a big jock or a club queen. It doesn’t matter.

    If anyone out there thinks TNG has it wrong or that it can adjust the way it thinks, then be part of the solution. It’s easy to snipe and criticize from the cheap seats, but if you want to play ball … man up and submit something to the site with your perspective. If you like Universal Gear and Town and bareback sex or being passed out on the floor of a bathroom stall because you are out of your mind on drugs, then submit a piece telling TNG readers why you think it’s a good idea. Be that voice on this site. If you think the site is arrogant, submit a piece. I promise you this. You will get a chance here that you will not get in the mainstream gay culture.

  • Ben64 (aka Ben43) said:

    Michael, thanks for writing this. I enjoyed it thoroughly. You make some important, necessary distinctions also raised in another terrific post I really enjoyed reading: Ben’s Notebook: Dinner Theatre for One. As you both note, many people in Gay Culture have reduced identity to performance art: striving for distinction in our impoverished “fragile theatre of social life”. I look forward to reading more on these issues from both of you.

    Mainstream Gay Culture’s anti-intellectualism and overemphasis on the material and superficial betray an intense insecurity I find unappealing and unattractive. Ransoming one’s consciousness to subcultural conformity is merely capitulation to hegemonic control. A tragic and grotesque disfigurement of potential.

    The pageant swagger of mainstream Gay Culture is nothing more than sublimated rage and beauty in a performance of Grand Guignol proportion. As Ben put it, a “Darwinian theatre of cruelty”.

    Reminds me of Macbeth:

    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing

  • Toby said:

    @ ejacksonindc – Universal Gear, Town, and bareback sex. The story of my life!

  • chrisafer said:

    Did anyone see the most recent episode of Real Housewives of New York City?

    I don’t generally watch, but because a few friends were really into it and gushed about the last one, I watched it on Hulu.

    In the episode, Kelly spent the better part of the hour telling everyone and anyone why Bethany wasn’t important to her. It was interesting. And as much as the TNG crew seems very nice, it reminded me of them. If you don’t really care, then just don’t care. Life is too fucking short to despise people who wear cargo shorts and flip flops. Just don’t do it, and let those who chose to do it live their lives. Why make a production?

    Frankly I find this blog’s rejection all of “mainstream gay culture” (whatever the fuck that is) as anti-intellectual sort of sad. I love “smart” indie rock. I love Kylie. One of the few fucking benefits of being gay is that I can do both without having to feel bad.

  • Kyle said:

    I wonder if half the commenters here even read the post. Michael said that gay culture rejected him, rather than the other way around. Is he wrong to point out the rejection? Is he wrong to express his disappointment that this has happened? Why are the mainstreamers so defensive? Did Michael hit a nerve?

  • adam said:

    @ejacksonic it’s like some of you people don’t even listen to yourselves, let alone michael. the “liberalish” BS that i was talking about is this pretense of a come-as-you-are, welcoming, non judgemental space that’s presented, because you KNOW that’s how a good, compassionate, tolerant “liberal” should act. then you say something like, “If you like Universal Gear and Town and bareback sex or being passed out on the floor of a bathroom stall because you are out of your mind on drugs” then you should write something. see? we totally welcome you welcome everyone, even if they are slutty, shallow and stupid. it’s fine with me that you and michael think that you’re better than so many other people, but at least have a shred of self-awareness and realize that’s what you’re declaring.

  • Johnny Mac said:

    I don’t see why people can’t just accept that this is Michael’s personal experience and try to understand his perspective on those terms. Is it so outlandish that someone might not identify with the predominant images of gay culture? Presumably, people who read this blog share some variant of this very experience (or at least care to know about it) and Michael is simply sharing how this has shaped his life. Of course we define ourselves relative to other people, so there is bound to be some “this is who I am” and some “this is who I am not” in any articulation of how life experiences contribute to one’s sense of self. If you think this blog is all about bashing fans of Madonna, then you’re simply not paying attention.

    It’s really easy to heckle people who have the balls to post personal anecdotes and thoughts on here for all to consume and dissect, but, to echo Ed, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone share a story about how they waltzed out of the closet and quickly fell into a comfortable social scene with other like-minded queers. I would actually love to hear that story because it’s utterly foreign to my own experience. How nice that we have TNG so that I might hear that story one of these days. In the meantime, I’ll be reflecting on how, soon after coming out at age 22, I visited DC and went to Cobalt for my introduction to the gay world. How fucking horrifying that was. How different my comfort level with other queers would have been during those early years out of the closet if someone had instead taken me to Homo/Sonic. Maybe Cobalt was a good place to take someone else, and I wouldn’t begrudge him that (REALLY, I wouldn’t), but that wasn’t for me. If my saying that or Michael sharing this post somehow irritates you, then you probably need to ask yourself why, and you probably need to think beyond an insecure, kneejerk “Oh, they think they’re better than me” reaction.

  • Orion said:

    The conflict in gay subculture, like most cultural conflicts really, arises from the notion of “them” and “us”.
    Despite this post’s pure intentions (no sarcasm there), it comes off very irritating really. Gay culture is not that black and white….wasn’t it one of the co-founders that said that they don’t like Pandas for that very reason?

    Gay mainstream culture isn’t that easy to define. I mean, it’s not like you can just draw a line and say “Okay, this is my side and that is yours.” We often try to define gay maintstream culture as the things that “those kind of gay guys” like and do. The rest is up for grabs…open to interpretation. If someone isn’t an ‘aberzombie’ yet listens to Britney, does he automatically fall into the mainstream category? Or are there MORE subcategories?

    Just because you listen to some indie band that not a lot of people know about makes you a “different kind” of gay. Gay subculture, yes including the mainstream aspect of it, creeps up on you without necessarily knowing it. Culture is learned beyond the level of consciousness.

    Also, ever thought of the possibility of gaps between the generations? The 30 somethings view things very differently compared to people who are in their 20s. Perhaps these alternative groups will be tomorrow’s mainstream music – ditch them then?

    And you know I learned something very valuable when I was doing research for school. Don’t discredit a person’s entire credibility because you don’t agree with one of his theories. The mainstream gay culture, whether you like it or not, paved the way for the gay community.

    By the way, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, there are still plenty of people that go to your little non-mainstream gatherings on Thursdays and transform into fairy dancing mainstream folks who frequent Town dancing to Madonna and Britney on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • suzie q said:

    there are two reasons why i can’t abide by this post. the first is what all the other commenters allude to, that the diversity of gay culture and the multitude of countercultures within it have been around since the culture came out of the closet itself. the second is the post’s complete rejection of itself.

    “those of us who want to be friends with the entire spectrum of queer culture, including women, people of color and transfolk; those of us who believe in self-actualization instead of self-destruction and self-deprecation.”

    to be friends with the entire spectrum includes people you hate, including the dykes picked first for the teams you desperately wanted to be on and the shallow fags of all colors you yourself didn’t see through in the first place; self-actualization can reached through more modes than the fascistic newer-than-thou gay one, like the re-appropriation of gender norms favored by chunks of the trans community; and women, POCs and the trans population are not fetish objects you get to name to make yourself feel good, because they are NOT the “losers” you’re benevolently befriending since the people you really want to be friends with don’t want to be friends with you, they are people and they probably don’t want the pity you so desperately crave.

    maybe tng should throw themed pity parties. oh wait…

  • ejacksonindc said:

    @adam, it’s easy to snipe from the cheap seats. Submit a column.

  • adam said:

    i’ve submitted plenty of columns here. it’s just i wouldn’t write something as inflammatory as this and then expect people to view it as some sort of olive branch. i’d like to be clear: i’m not personally offended by the michael’s piece. i don’t sympathize with the “main-stream” gays, i wouldn’t consider myself “one of them”, but at the same time i think the columns and a lot of the comments are totally an “attack” on them. which would be fine with me if everyone would just admit as much and drop the “i don’t care if you go to town and do crytal meth and suck every cock in the rest room and support slave labour through abercrombie and propagate racism and ruin everyone’s self esteem and take the food from hungry children’s mouths, sure, your decision” posturing. stop trying to claim the new gay is for everyone when you obviously don’t really mean EVERYONE.

  • adam said:

    not offended by the michael’s piece. all hail the michael.

  • Tyson said:

    michael, I’m glad that you don’t see this as a site just for young people.

    As a recently-minted 40-year-old, I grew up in a repressive religious culture from which I didn’t break free until a few years ago. Finding my own gay identity came after that, so mainstream gay culture is as alien to me in many ways as it is to many of your younger readers.

    Accordingly, I’m bereft of the markings of conventional gay culture. You name the stereotype and I don’t fit in. But I’m no less gay. I like men sexually, even if a dear friend has called me the least gay gay man she knows.

    I learned long ago that people can find any excuse not to like you. In college, people rejected me for my weight, my religion, my public school background, my degree choice, etc., but that didn’t stop me from being gregarious and making friends. If a person didn’t want to have anything to do with me, that was fine – after all, there are 6 billion others and they keep making more. Similarly, if I didn’t like a scene, I just didn’t hang out there.

    I carve my own identity as a gay man in the way that suits me best, and everyone else is welcome to do the same.

  • Clearlyhere said:

    Heterosexual men complain about women.
    Heterosexual women complain about men.

    We just have to complain about ourselves.

  • ejacksonindc said:

    @adam, you don’t support them or identify with them, but you defend them against wholly manufactured “attacks” and “posturing”? You read this column and saw incendiary comments as opposed to a person sharing some really painful experiences from his own personal perspective? That says alot.

    Based on your theory, I can’t say I don’t like my friends’ behavior without turning my back on them. That also says alot. As someone who has stuck with friends as they got sober, stood by friends when they became HIV positive, and teases friends who buy gaudy clothing from UG, I would really like to encourage you to consider alternatives to what seems to be a pretty limited, “either/or” way of thinking.

    And by the way, I meant write a column calling us out on our hypocrisy. Don’t just make playground taunts and accusations from the threads. Step up to the plate and make your case in a cohesive and, hopefully, more solidly constructed argument. Let’s have a real discussion. Read my columns. I am all about encouraging dialogue, but I only want to talk to people who are serious. So far, I get the feeling you are more interested in being right than where you might be perceiving things incorrectly. But, hey!

  • ejacksonindc said:

    @adam, and you are not offended, but you think it is “incendiary”? Okay … gotcha. BTW, I don’t take any of this seriously. So, please know that I am totally messing with you. I don’t like the implication that I am part of a duplicitous plot to mislead people, but that is only because I am actually trying to turn people into my own personal army of zombies. You gotta think bigger man.

  • adam said:

    yeah, i think it’s inflammatory. whether that’s by design or not i can’t really say. i’m not offended because it isn’t anything that would inflame my anger. i don’t take it personally. that doesn’t mean that i can’t see why somebody else would be offended and see it as an affront to themselves.

    and i haven’t called anyone a hippocrate (yet) — that’s not what i’ve called anyone out for. i’m calling michael’s post, and yours and a couple others’ comments, embarrassingly passive-aggressive. i think you’re either disingenuous or deluded. and THAT is why this argument keeps coming up (i’m having no trouble doing that on my own here i realize), and is at least part of the reason the site is criticized for being a holier than thou hipster blog. you claim inclusion one minute and then hiss at the perceived “mainstream’s” behaviour the next.

    and please, i’m not yelling. i’m not angry. i’m just trying to make a point.

  • adam said:

    look, i feel like i’ve was baited into this, especially considering that you’ve written ten lines for every one that i have. i mean what i wrote and all, but i’m stopping now. i like the site, i like the guys behind it, even if you seem like a bit of a douche. i’d be a little more embarrassed about being drawn into a stupid flame war if i hadn’t already alienated myself from the new gay and its’ readership on several occasions already.

  • Johnny Mac said:

    Adam – How can something be both too passive-aggressive and too incendiary? I guess I don’t understand how you would prefer Michael or anyone else express these thoughts. You would have liked for the piece to be more direct, but you also want it to be less inflammatory, accusatory, etc. I don’t think the world’s most capable diplomat could please you!

    And what part of this post comes across as an olive branch? The point is pretty clear: It can be difficult to assimilate into the predominant gay social outlets that are most readily available. Those of us who don’t fit that mold effectively feel as if we are minorities within a minority, and that’s an alienating experience. TNG is an outlet for those who feel rejected by or uncomfortable in many of the readily available gay settings. This blog and associated social events exist because the tent wasn’t big enough elsewhere.

    That strikes me as neither passive-aggressive, nor incendiary. It also strikes me as an honest take on a common enough experience that all of us are here talking about it. I’m going to refrain from imputing motives and emotions onto the author, because I don’t pretend to know him well enough to do so. Maybe you would see it differently if you didn’t put it in frames such as passive-aggressive, incendiary, delusional, etc., and instead accepted it as an authentic experience, regardless of whether it matches your own. I mean, your comments are at least as incendiary, unless you consider “delusional” a diplomatic or endearing term. This may all seem like a tired debate to you because you’re a regular reader, but I think it speaks to a shared experience that needs to be heard and may not yet have been heard by plenty of other people.

    Any of those people you cite who would dismiss this highly personal story as just hipster, holier-than-thou drivel either has very little capacity for sympathy or isn’t thinking very hard anyway. So who cares what someone who doesn’t think thinks?

  • Mark said:

    Here’s one (of many) things I hate about MGC. I don’t feel like doing the same damn thing at 44 that I did at 24. Regardless of your age, sex, race, class MGC only offers this one narrowly defined little claustrophobic culture in which we’re all supposed to find satisfaction. You have got to be fucking kidding me with this shit. MGC is just the same old recycled crap decade after decade in every city everywhere.

    Re Adam: No passive-aggression here, just open aggression. I am fucking judging. You got that?

    I said “HATE” because I truly massively HATE Gay Culture. I am not afraid to admit that. I am better than Gay Culture and I am better than everyone I judge dumb enough to swallow Gay Culture.

    I am not a “hipster” and judge hipsters as equally stupid to The Gays. Makes no difference if you shop at Universal Gear of American Apparel. Gays, Hipsters, etc. are all just trying to acquire an identity that ironically cannot be bought. Identity, masuclinity, etc. isn’t an article of clothing. It is nothing external that can be acquired but something inherent that is already there. Those of us who know that see Gay Culture for the sad snake-oil freak show it really is.

    My advice to The Gays? Stop pretending.

    Put down Genre Magazine and step away from the ghetto (which is not a place but a state of mind). Forget about the inferiority complex you got from reading MGC publications: travel ads in The Advocate for vacations you’ll never be able to afford, articles in Out Magazine on the latest gadgets and newest cars you cannot buy and the deluge of ads in Genre with bodies you’ll never get no matter how hard you work out. That is not what real life is like.

    Magazines like that are part of MGC. They work in tandem to first induce an inferiority complex, then thrive and profit off exploiting the resultant insecurity and self-loathing. Not “masculine” enough? Not “Fabulous” enough? Drive this car, get this cell phone, vacation at this High Gay resort. Haven’t you all had enough already???

    Stop pretending magazines and t-shirts make you authentic. Start being real men.

  • Mark said:

    No matter how much some of you can’t handle it Michael was DEAD ON right. We need to see much more. Bring this Gay Shame out of the closet.

    Michael is one of the few guys with the balls to talk about this. And it takes a serious pair of low hangers. Look at how some of you attack him, basically, for being alive and cognizant. Jesus. It’s like a cult. Say anything against MGC and you are ostracized, shunned and excoriated.

    No Kool-Aid for me. Thanks!

  • adam said:

    i know i said i was done but i feel like that’s really lightened the mood. holy. shit.

  • Orion said:

    @Mark….Your perception of gay culture at 44 is different from those of us who are 24. Though you might hate gay culture…I hope that you are aware that by simply being friends with a few gay guys, you absorb that culture whether you like it or not…and I think this goes back to using the term “gay culture” to describe “THOSE kinds of people”. I think that a lot of people are irritated with this tug of war on who’s better, mainstream gay culture or the alternative kind.

    You said, “start being real men.” But what does that even mean? If we filter out gay culture then surely being “real” men means that we should all get married to women and have children…because American culture is exactly that.

    And also, it doesn’t take ‘balls’ to write an article like this – when you don’t expect a backlash from those you have offended.

  • Kyle said:

    So now it is about age? I can say that at 48 I experience disenchantment with mainstream gay culture – that’s an understatement – but it really mirrors the disenchantment I had with US culture as a whole well before coming out. It isn’t about age. It’s about Michael’s (and other folks’) attempts to fit in, only to be overwhelmed and rejected by the gymbots, the aberzombies, the madonna-and-britney drones, etc.

    If you love those things you may take that last statement personally. I DON’T CARE. Some of us will never fit into your ‘beautiful’ mainstream gay world. So don’t be surprised when we wake up, point out your vacuity, and go and create our own lives without your silliness. Michael’s post is honest. Honesty is a rare thing in our country, and especially in the mainstream gay community.

  • Orion said:

    Not necessarily about age – just pointing out the gaps between the generations. What Mark may have hated (and still continue to do so) about the gay culture might only be present in the 30 somethings and up…and have less presence in the 20 somethings. Culture as a whole evolves, gay culture as a subculture is not any different.

    Like I said, the non-mainstream things of today might be the mainstream of tomorrow.

    Btw, when you say that Michael’s post is honest, I sure hope you mean it as YOU perceive as being honest…as some of us may not see it that way.
    But also as I pointed out…plenty of these TNG folks are also the mainstream loving, madonna dancing folks you see at Town every weekend.

  • J. Clarence said:

    I think while Michael raised a couple of great points, but he also painted the gay community with one single brush. The fact is no matter how mainstream the “aberzombies”–which my new favorite word–seem to be the gay community is an umbrella term for a composition of various sub-groups, like the alternaqueers , die-hard Madonna fans, etc; that share a common characteristic and experiences.

    Now it goes without saying that the way gay people are projected by the mainstream and perpetuated by ourselves is far off from what the vast majority of gay people are like. That is why I think TNG is so important because it an attempt to say to rest of world and fellow gays, “hold on, we are not all like the gays you see on TV or on websites like Manhunt etc.” It is difficult because these alternative voices are often overshadowed by the more prominent and popular voices that often perpetuate a stereotypical image.

    I don’t think gay culture rejected Michael so much as he climbed onto the wrong branch. The reality is that being gay is about not fitting into a predetermined mold, and if you step back and look look at the entire tree you see that the aberzombies and the like are just one branch among many. TNG and others certainly have a long way to go in making the rest of society and the gay world realize that.

    After all alternaqueers existed before TNG, TNG merely gave them a voice.

  • Mark said:

    Re: Orion

    “You said, “start being real men.” But what does that even mean? If we filter out gay culture then surely being “real” men means that we should all get married to women and have children…because American culture is exactly that.”

    You think being “real men” means marrying women and having children? Are you suggesting Gay people become parents because American culture requires it? If you read what I wrote you know I meant what I actually said: be “authentic”. Would it have made you feel any better if instead I wrote “Be real people.”?! Because there would have been such a huge tremendous difference.

    “…by simply being friends with a few gay guys, you absorb that culture whether you like it or not…”

    You’re generalizing from personal experience: i.e. assuming all homosexuals are “Gay!” and part of “Gay!” culture. There are men who simply eschew both as irrelevant. We exist.

    “I think that a lot of people are irritated with this tug of war on who’s better, mainstream gay culture or the alternative kind.”

    Uh huh. Why are you so irritated? Got something to be defensive about? I clearly stated I am not a hipster. What “alternative” culture are you referring to? What does “alternative” culture have to do with anything I wrote in the first place? How “alternative” is it to drive a hybrid, live in Bethesda and buy clothes at Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods?

    I don’t mean to make anyone’s head explode but some of us homos don’t have a need for Cher or America’s Next Top Model.

    “Your perception of gay culture at 44 is different from those of us who are 24.”

    Uh…yeah cuz Town was just invented. When I was 24 they didn’t have drugs or alcohol. They didn’t have Nation or Sound Factory or Limelight or The Roxy or Area or Danceteria or Pyramid, etc. Gay nightlife and Gay discos were just invented last year.

    The MGC I see now is no different from what I saw 20 years ago. But you know that already, right? Ignorance is no match for experience.

    “What Mark may have hated (and still continue to do so) about the gay culture might only be present in the 30 somethings and up…and have less presence in the 20 somethings.”

    There are young Gay men in their 20s going through the same thing Michael described. I’m interested in saving them from the self-destructive behavior of Gay Culture: substance use, depression, suicide, HIV & STD transmission. If you do not see that you need to put down the Appletini and step away from Town.

    “Btw, when you say that Michael’s post is honest, I sure hope you mean it as YOU perceive as being honest…as some of us may not see it that way.

    Maybe you should start thinking about how you are subjectively perceiving what Michael wrote. Not everyone is an anesthetized 20 something who loves dancing, Madonna and going to Town. I will continue to be extremely irritated by you. And I really don’t care if you can’t handle ONE PERSON, Michael, having the courage to say something about it.

  • Orion said:

    There are young Gay men in their 20s going through the same thing Michael described. I’m interested in saving them from the self-destructive behavior of Gay Culture: substance use, depression, suicide, HIV & STD transmission. If you do not see that you need to put down the Appletini and step away from Town.

    First of all…wake up! Not every Britney dancing fairy does drugs and barebacking. Sheesh!

    I had a whole lot of things typed up but I’d rather keep it short. I think I’m alone on this but…I don’t believe that being gay is purely biological. I believe that it is both biolgical and cultural The exposure to gay culture is present in all gay men and women. Yes I’m gay. And no, I don’t hate myself. And Michael is a part of Gay Culture..even you, Mark, despite you living in Bethesda and driving a hybrid.

    I’m sure you’re dying to prove me wrong….but first let me rob you of the illusion that you at 44 see ‘Town’ the same way that a 24 year old does. Your Biographical Situation affects your perception.

    But I realize…old dogs….new tricks. So I think I’m gonna stop here.
    FYI…I don’t like dancing and have never been to Town.

    Later.
    My Appletini is waiting.

  • adam said:

    oh god. he’s a g0y. not this again.

  • Kyle said:

    @Orion. Did you really write: “I’m sure you’re dying to prove me wrong….but first let me rob you of the illusion that you at 44 see ‘Town’ the same way that a 24 year old does. Your Biographical Situation affects your perception”?

    I just love it when some twenty-something tries to tell me how I feel and think as a forty-something. You do not know what life is for a forty-something. In fact, you aren’t even qualified to offer an opinion about life as a queer forty-something. Believe me, midlife in the queer community is a topic you do not even want to open up.

    I invite you freely to talk all you want, at will, about life as a twenty-something queer. I’m sure you’re an expert. But leave the forty-something specualitions to the people who are living it.

  • Orion said:

    @Kyle…umm…..I’m not trying to tell you how to feel. It’s a response to Mark when he suggested that the perceptions of the 40 an 20 something age groups aren’t that much different. What I’m saying is that perception changes as a person gets older due to several biographical influences…it’s a person’s adjustment in the culture…the more exposure he/she gets from different experiences. You don’t make sense of your world now that you’re in your 40s the same way you would have in your 20s…that was my point.

    So calm down.
    You need an Appletini.

  • Kyle said:

    So you admit you still have “knowledge” about the lives of forty-somethings? I’m not surprised. When I was in my 20′s I knew everything, too.

  • Orion said:

    In the aspect of perception, yes I fully admit that a 40 something’s reality is different from a 20 something. Twist that as much as you’d like. When you were 20 something, I wasn’t even born yet. Contrary to what you are implying, I do not know everything…but, I apologize in advance, if I assumed that the notion of ethnocentrism, biographical situations, and cultural relativism are common sense knowledge in this culture.

    Anyway, this is getting off topic.

  • ejacksonindc said:

    @adam–Seriously? Are you really going to call me a bunch of names and pick up your toys and go home? Really? What is this the 4th grade? LOL. You have thrown together a ridiculously unfounded “opinion,” and the best support you offer is “I like you, but you are a poopie head and during recess Stanley said he thinks you are a poopie head to.” Is that the best you’ve got? Other people agree with you? And now I am I “baiting” you. What is that? Is that like I triple-dog-dared you or something? It is probably best that you are done because I don’t even think you know what you’re saying anymore. You disagree with the mainstream. You defend the mainstream. You don’t consider yourself part of the mainstream. You attack TNG for “attacking” the mainstream. You understand how the hipster things TNG is “saying” could be perceived as inflammatory by the mainstream. You like the people at TNG. You call the people at TNG, who you “like,” deluded, disingenuous, and embarrassingly passive-aggressive, except for me, who you consider a bit of a douche. Maybe I’m a douche, but I am so not a “hipster.” I’m an old married guy living in a quiet upper northwest neighborhood with my partner. My idea of fun is home repair projects and playing with my niece and nephew, but guess what? The ultra-trendy hipster blog still welcomes me in all my boring, church going, family values, douchiness. What? Say it ain’t so. That sounds too much like inclusiveness. I will once again point out that Michael’s post was about a painful experience in his life. It was written from his perspective. If you can sort out where you stand on anything and you or anyone who you are or aren’t defending despite whether or not you agree with them–I can’t keep up–wants to write a column and make grown-up arguments, with supporting examples, defending drug use, bare back sex, anti-intellectualism, or even a whole piece about how I’m a bit of a douche, write it and submit it to TNG. Say whatever you want. Well you already seem to be doing that with no regard for accuracy, but your entire position is undermined by the simple fact that TNG will give you and the folks you don’t like but defend a chance that you and mainstream folks seem to be unwilling to provide. The only rule here is if you have something to say be able to back it up. Test me. Now, I’m baiting you. Prove me wrong. Submit a piece on the arrogance of the hipster movement, and see if it gets published. Actually, I’m not baiting you. I saying put up or drop it already. Calling names won’t ever make your point as well as submitting an anti-hipster piece and not having it published, which unless it is really crappy, isn’t going to happen. This is called sarcasm. I’ll translate for you. I’m rubber. You’re glue. You’re wrong. I’m right. I triple-dog-dare you to stop with the name calling and do something.

  • adam said:

    ugh!!!! i have a problem with the tone more than the content.

    since the site started there have been comments about how the new gay is just another stupid clique that thinks they’re above everyone else — that they believe if everyone was just a little more like them then the world would be a much more beautiful colourful tolerant place. not everyday, not on every piece, but consistently, since i started reading, commenting and submitting. which was a while ago.

    whenever these comments come up, they’re usually met with some denials on the part of the author(s), that they aren’t actually painting with broad strokes or that they’re not “attacking” any one, or that they’re just articulating “painful experiences”. it seems, to me, that the new gay doesn’t want to be seen as antagonistic, and some effort goes into promoting that image.

    but then this piece is published and it’s CLEARLY antagonistic. maybe not so much in content as in tone, but it’s there. he says “To all of you who perceive our effort with TNG as an attack on gay culture, you are the lucky ones. You’ve been able to find comfort and acceptance in a mainstream culture that accepts you for who you are. Good for you. Roll with it. ” this at the end of an article, wait, two whole years of articles!, decrying that very mainstream as shallow and stupid and slutty. good for you for being shallow and stupid and slutty! oh congratulations! that ISN’T passive aggressive?

    and so what’s the use of making this point again and a-fucking-gain if NOT to attract the ire of the “mainstream”? we KNOW the people here aren’t happy about “the madonna” (which i really think should just be adopted as a metonymic stand-in for “mainstream gay culture”, since she’s everyone’s favourite punching bag anyway). we get it. so is the new gay to serve as nothing more than a nest for wounded birds to vent their frustrations at their “oppressors”?

    i can criticize michael’s tone without defending what he’s decrying. i thought that was understood.

    and i think you’re a douche.

  • Ed said:

    @adam. In part you are saying the same thing. You’ve back tracked on parts and continue to toned other parts. It’s amazing to me that you can use big kid word like “metonymic,” but you can’t seem to grasp the concepts of “opinion” and “perspective.” Since I can’t seem to get you to move beyond rehashing the same argument, let me give it a try. No one on TNG is claiming to be an authority on anything. This is a blog purports to represent a perspective that is it’s own. Perspective colors interpretation, and it is your interpretation that Michael’s statement was passive-aggressive. It actually seem more like projecting your issues onto the piece. I am a generally content and secure person. So I see that those comments are not stabs at me-as someone who shops at Universal Gear, someone who believes in God, and someone who doesn’t go to all the supposed super cool hipster events. The idea that folks at TNG are sitting around putting effort into ways to inconspicuously offend/attack people is moronic. I use that word to make a point. I don’t know you. I can’t form an opinion about you because you are more than just bunch of random ideas posted on a blog. So I can say your ideas are stupid without thinking that you are stupid. But you say,”posts like this one are always draped with some sort of liberalish, free to be you and me platitudes claiming non-judgment. but you can’t harshly criticize a “culture” and in the same breath claim that you haven’t passed judgment on it or its participants.”

    See thinking people have that ability. I don’t say that to say I am better than you, but I clearly have much better grasp on drug abuse in our community and supporting my friends with addiction problems. It baffles me that you cannot comprehend the idea that I personally think that being so fucked up on drugs that you wind up on the bathroom floor in a club is a bad thing. It is a bad thing because I have lost friends to the rampant drug use in our community. I have also seen friends work their way back after being addicted to crack and meth. So, again, explain to me why it is it disingenuous to say, “I don’t like it,” but if you think it’s a good idea and want to post something defending it, I am more than happy to read it and give it consideration when TNG posts it. It’s tiresome that you can’t move beyond repeating the same things over and over without the ability to add to your point. I am beginning to think you might be a conservative or a Republican because you seem to believe that if you repeat something often enough it will make it true. And, by the way I am more of a moderate than liberal.

    Then you give me nuggets of wisdom like this one, “but then this piece is published and it’s CLEARLY antagonistic. maybe not so much in content as in tone,”. It’s CLEARLY antagonistic, right? Oh wait, “maybe not.” It’s not clearly antagonistic? It is antagonistic in tone, not in content. Are you clear about that? So, now your problem is you don’t disagree with what Michael said, you have problems with how he said it? Brilliant. When did you develop the power to accurately determine tone in things you read electronically. That, sir, is truly amazing. Everyone I know admits that sometimes tone isn’t always conveyed properly over the internet. When tone is assigned, it is either interpreted correctly, benignly, or based on the characteristics of the reader.

    The “passive-aggressive” thing is about you with the CLEARLY, maybe not, inflammatory,passive-aggressive stuff. That’s not about Michael’s piece. Think about it this way. If you were viciously mauled by a dog, would you have a positive opinion of dogs? Well we already know that you would hate all dogs. But some people are big enough to be able to disaggregate people from their actions, something you say is impossible.

    You say that if TNG has an opinion about behavior it has to be “attacking,” someone, which is nuts. Then you also say, “i can criticize michael’s tone without defending what he’s decrying.” Hmmm … let’s see. If Michael and TNG says criticizes behavior, you say we are being judgmental, arrogant and holier than thou. However, when you criticize our writing, you aren’t being judgmental? Gee willikers, now I am really confused. What clues did you leave that it was Michael’s tone that bothered you? Hmm … Let me see. Oh By george I’ve got it! Here’s a list of adam’s statements highlighting it’s the tone that bothers him:

    posts like this one are always draped with some sort of liberalish, free to be you and me platitudes claiming non-judgment. but you can’t harshly criticize a “culture” and in the same breath claim that you haven’t passed judgment on it or its participants. No tone there!

    when the writer is so transparently “above it”, the argument isn’t made more palatable by hollow reassurances that he isn’t. No tone there!

    i don’t think that growing a pair and just coming out and admitting that you think your tastes/interests/ideals are obviously better than those which you’re calling bullshit on will be less controversial, but perhaps it will put this particular back-and-forth to rest. No tone there!

    the “liberalish” BS that i was talking about is this pretense of a come-as-you-are, welcoming, non judgemental space that’s presented, because you KNOW that’s how a good, compassionate, tolerant “liberal” should act. No tone there!

    it’s fine with me that you and michael think that you’re better than so many other people, but at least have a shred of self-awareness and realize that’s what you’re declaring. No tone there!

    stop trying to claim the new gay is for everyone when you obviously don’t really mean EVERYONE.

    all hail the michael.

    i don’t take it personally. that doesn’t mean that i can’t see why somebody else would be offended and see it as an affront to themselves.

    i’m calling michael’s post, and yours and a couple others’ comments, embarrassingly passive-aggressive.

    i think you’re either disingenuous or deluded. and THAT is why this argument keeps coming up (i’m having no trouble doing that on my own here i realize), and is at least part of the reason the site is criticized for being a holier than thou hipster blog.

    you claim inclusion one minute and then hiss at the perceived “mainstream’s” behaviour the next.

    ’d be a little more embarrassed about being drawn into a stupid flame war if i hadn’t already alienated myself from the new gay and its’ readership on several occasions already.

    so is the new gay to serve as nothing more than a nest for wounded birds to vent their frustrations at their “oppressors”?

    Now, I am officially done. I didn’t know that being gay made some people unable to think straight. You’ve grown tiresome.

    Sincerely,
    Le Douche

  • adam said:

    what? i have no idea what you’re trying to say. god you’re even more insufferable than i thought. but since i surrendered any shame i had left to the internet long ago i’ll address the only point that makes any sense in this jumble. yes, i can determine the tone of something i read electronically. thinking people have that ability. it’s not a superpower that i have or anything. you determine the tone of something you read online in much the same way you determine the tone of something you read in say, a book, or magazine. these are just two popular examples. the determination is made even easier when you have read different iterations of what is essentially the exact same opinion from the same author ten times before.

  • Ed said:

    @adam, **THE FOLLOWING IS MY OPINION AND IS IN NO WAY REFLECTIVE OF THE BEHAVIOR ADVOCATED BY THIS WEBSITE. THE FOLLOWING WORDS ARE MINE, AND I AM SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM**
    I will make it simple for you. You have contradicted yourself so many times, a list of which is in my last post, that I can’t even keep up with you. You keep repeating your little, small opinion, and you refuse to do anything other than cry about what you, in your infinite wisdom, have determined to be an attack on people you neither like nor choose to associate with. On the other hand, you like the folks at TNG, except for me, and you attack them, calling them delusional and all kinds of other childish crap.

    By giving your shame away to the internet and proving what a mean, nasty bitch you can be to people you actually “like,” what have you changed? Whose life have you made better? To whom have you given hope? Or, as I suspect, is this an infantile tantrum to prove you’re right? We all know that being right is more important than being part of the solution–in the 4th grade. Is this your sad, desperate attempt to make people think you have something important to say?

    Do you really think you are the only person in the world smart enough to figure out that TNG still has some bugs to work out? The thing you are missing, Mr. Observant, is that the site is growing so fast that some things slip through the cracks. You don’t think people at the site have heard the stupid crap you are saying? I’ve said it you idiot. But I’ve said in because I know it’s not how folks here are, and I want to help make sure the site is as inviting as people at TNG want it to be. Why don’t you send in a memo so we can get to it by your deadline.

    Your constant sniping is nothing more than bitching for the sake of being a miserable, negative dick. So you sit on the sidelines and use your psychic powers to compare books to a 1,000 word post on the internet. You’re such a genius, but you don’t even know that a whole industry has sprung up around writing for the internet that is short and contains less detail. It is meant to be more direct, and, as a result, the tone is frequently lost. So, again, I say that you are projecting your own issues on to the posts you read, but since you “like” them, one would figure that you would know that. In this column, Michael says that he was betrayed multiple times, subjected to the disapproval of his parents, was so heart-broken that he cried out in the open, and even contemplated suicide. You are like a shark. You smell the blood of a wounded animal in the water, and you go in for the kill. What kind of completely soulless monster do you have to be to read that column, and turn it into a platform for you own selfish, bullshit issues? At best, this is the wrong time to do it. At worst you are a self-absorbed, incredibly annoying pain in the ass.

    You are either incredibly arrogant or unbelievably stupid to think that your petty small opinion of me matters, but I do care about the people on this site. What else would we expect from you though? By your own admission, you’ve alienated people on the site and it’s readers. Here, let me make your next reply for you. Waaaaa! TNG is hipster. Waaaaaa! You guys are holier that thou. Waaaaa! Ed’s a douche. I know I said this last time, but I am through with you. I am getting out of the sandbox. You can either become a constructive, contributing participant in the conversation or just shut the fuck up!

    **I can PROMISE you that Michael and others will not be happy with me for making that post. I am solely responsible for any language that points out that adam is a self-centered, mean person who is grandstanding at the expense of the feelings of someone he claims to like. My statements are neither the view of TNG nor are they written in capacity as a TNG staff writer. They are solely my opinion. Well, they are facts, but I am responsible for mentioning them.**

  • Ed said:

    Oh, and I am done with you. No more posts.

  • Jay said:

    This article is so compelling, powerful, and legitimate.

    And the people said – Amen.

  • Sam said:

    Very insightful entry. A lot of it rang true to me and expressed my exact feelings. But I have to say, some of the points and ideas you were making made me either shake my head or put my hand to my face. But I identify with this almost whole-heartedly.

  • manny said:

    Yes, I have dealt with this issue too. I live in portland and there is a pretty big queer scene, but even though it is different in a way and there are a lot of nice people, it is still really so much about the drinking and party stuff. I guess I am too much of a indie nerd who likes to sit at home and practice playing music, or read about permaculture. and i feel I will never fit into any gay or queer scene.

  • Jeff said:

    there is no such thing as a monolithic gay culture. it just seems that way at times. when i was coming out everything was west village clones and i was punk/new wave. go figure. find your own place and space and call it that. just live and stop worrying so much.

    Jeff

  • justin said:

    haha, i know what type you are, you aren’t “the new gay” shit, maybe you’re the future gay… once the rest of us in the “gay culture” drop the term gay and move on to something trendier… but who you are is nothing more than the nerd. You exist in every culture and sub-culture whether you be homo or heterosexual. Being gay has nothing to do with the fact that you are weird and rejected by the straight kids in gym glass or the gay kids in your 20′s. Don’t think for a minute that there is anything “new” about you. You’re antics are just as annoying as they were when your teeth were yellow back in elementary school. If I saw you, i would give you a swirly on behalf of all of us homos.

  • Vapen said:

    Under a photo with no hint of camp.

    Nice.

  • Rain said:

    Being “gay” or “queer” or “lesbian” means that you are attracted to members of the same sex.

    This line is so politically uneducated is almost offensive.

    Frist of all, being Gay does not mean that you are attracted to members of the (sic) “same sex” (by which I believe you meant “attracted to members of your own gender”).

    That definition is the definition for homosexual.

    Gay is a social, political, cultural, and life-affirming label that carries enormous personal and interpersonal connotations that cannot be reduced to a half hour of steamy, hormonal, huffing and puffing.

    You missed whatever intelligent mark you were aiming at by several miles here.

    Second of all, your line,

    Let’s first get out of the way the fact that being “gay” and being a part of gay culture are two different things.

    is a shoddy catchphrase that has sprouted like fungus since the mid-1980s. But just like most fungi it is toxic at best and lethal at its most extreme.

    What “Gay” (with a capital G, girls…the one with a lowercase “g” still means “happy” in the English language) culture are you inferring? That should always be made explicit when discussing this chimera. We don’t all inhabit the same local cultures so it would follow that we don’t all have access to the same local Gay cultures.

    For example:

    I live in New York City where I have access to an array of Gay cultures ranging from the white-oriented, Chelsea club culture to the white-oriented, Lesbian Park Slope culture, to the South American-oriented Jackson Heights, male Gay culture, to the Puerto Rican-dominated, Gay male, Parkchester culture, to the African-American oriented, Gay male, club culture, to the various Asian Gay subcultures, to the expat Gay male culture of British residents (mainly Londoners), to the more sedate, Gay and Lesbian, family-oriented, child-rearing culture of the Upper West Side.

    You get my drift, or have I floated a bit too far along the stream of consciousness?

    I don’t believe that I have to delve into the rest of this ridiculous pseudo-analytical drivel only to say that for pure intellectual sake -

    Somehow, gay culture has evolved into a very homogenious and anti-intellectual stage show.

    - the word is spelled homogeneous.

    There are no geniuses here, people.

    Move along…

    Rain,
    NYC

  • EPIC said:

    “to be friends with the entire spectrum includes people you hate, including the dykes picked first for the teams you desperately wanted to be on and the shallow fags of all colors you yourself didn’t see through in the first place; self-actualization can reached through more modes than the fascistic newer-than-thou gay one, like the re-appropriation of gender norms favored by chunks of the trans community; and women, POCs and the trans population are not fetish objects you get to name to make yourself feel good, because they are NOT the “losers” you’re benevolently befriending since the people you really want to be friends with don’t want to be friends with you, they are people and they probably don’t want the pity you so desperately crave.

    maybe tng should throw themed pity parties. oh wait…”

    LOL YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! I’m a black gay man and I’m tired of seeing articles like this using black gay people to prop up their pityfest and the bad feelings they have to gay culture. I’m like “wow shut the f**k up”.

    It also seems they forget there’s a black gay culture that is pretty much the same to the mainstream one. Replace “Britney” with “Beyonce” and you basically have the same thing. So yeah.

  • AdamH said:

    Do you think maybe, too that we are simply used to looking at ourselves as outcasts which means that we either a) make it socially and have this unforgiving need to make others feel like outcasts to boost our poorly rooted egos or b) don’t make it and adopt an attitude of perpetually being rejected? I too don’t relate and would probably be rejected by some gay social scenes. Does that mean I should choose friends who similarly feel rejected? I think what this challenge is really about is finding those things to root our egos in that won’t ever make us feel rejected. I just moved to LA and am really disappointed and angry at some of the more materialistic gay crowd here, but deeply impressed by other aspects of gay life.

    I work in HIV and my biggest concern is that gay culture has created many environments where queer folk are at risk for HIV and STDs without the kind of support and emotional-support network to not get infected. What kind of social and cultural structures can we build to deal with these issues?

  • Mitch said:

    I love this article. I think society in general has become more callous and desensitized. In some ways, mainstream gays are reflecting this dehumanizing attitude towards others and in some ways they are adding their own twist to it. If you have done something insulting or demeaning to someone in the last month then you need to see yourself in this article and recognize that you are part of the problem. Bullies and people who are just not very nice humans usually try to defend and justify their behavior.

  • gopostal said:

    What I gleaned from that article is that, no matter how much you have been ostracized by different groups, gay or otherwise, you aren’t alone and not everyone out there will judge you. I have always been a weird fucking person and that’s fine. I never took it too horribly being given shit by people that I held in very low esteem, and when someone gives me shit just for being different, they fall into that category. I did ok. Other people have had a harder time coping with what they’ve come up against, and it seemed to me like Michael was speaking to those people, to offer some reassurance that it isn’t always hell to be odd.

    The bit at the end that reads “To all of you who perceive our effort with TNG as an attack on gay culture, you are the lucky ones. You’ve been able to find comfort and acceptance in a mainstream culture that accepts you for who you are. Good for you. Roll with it. ” didn’t seem passive-aggressive to me. It honestly just seemed like he wanted to clarify his stance, that he did not begrudge others who found their places in mainstream gay culture. It was that this article was for the people who did not find their place. That’s what I got.

  • Hillz said:

    I did not read the comments, but I just want to say that reading this article really touched me and I am so truly happy for the author for finding happiness.
    :-)

  • Panurge said:

    Ehh.

    If “Hot Rocks, Pt. 1″ is any indication, I don’t belong here, either. Same old “ironic” indie-rock “life thux, so let’s laugh” crap I’ve been seeing for a quarter of a friggin’ century–I don’t even need to hear it. It’s just sclerotic in a way that classic rock has never been and IT NEEDS TO END IN 1995 or so. Damn.

    No way are indie-punk queers the only non-clone queers out there; they’re just members of another well-defined tribe who Just Happen To Be Gay. If you want to have a REAL problem, try being a hair-band-dude lover. Be very thankful you’re not that, because it’s pretty much an invitation to spend your whole life alone. No secret handshake, nothin’.

    You can have the pop-clones and the indie-clones. I’ve got nothing else, but better nothing than something I actively dislike.

    All anyone can do is look for other gay people in their own tribe. “Gay people” shouldn’t be a tribe.

    @Ben: Creating standards that must be conformed to is how people acquire a feeling of fitting in. That’s the whole point.

    @Joe: Mile in our shoes, guy. Being alone culturally usually means being alone action-wise, too.

    @Kyle: I guess some people who’ve been oppressed for long enough have to find someone else to oppress. Maybe the insiders think the outsiders “aren’t showing solidarity” or “are giving gays a bad name”.

    @Anthony in Nashville: Yes, generally there’s a group for everyone. Unfortunately, that group is likely not based on sexual appetites and so might not have anyone in it that you find attractive.

    @Mark: RIGHT ON. Well, generally. (But hipster culture is all about “irony”, y’know.)

    @Rain: Sorry, most people still spell “gay” with a small G. Like I just did. I kinda wish you were right, because it would make things clearer, but you’re just not.

    Justin is, of course, a jerk.

    Mitch gets it closest; this post’-60s ass-covering “I ain’t no fuckin’ hippie” reaction-formation bullshit has just gotten completely out of hand and infected practically the entire Western world. Personally, I blame punk as much as Reagan. Thank you.

  • Brendan/little magic said:

    Ps, you used to refer to me as little magic, again thanks Ben because you were one of few people who really kept it together for me, proud of the direction my friends and I are headed and never feeling guilty about not looking back. Keep well and in touch,
    Brendan.

  • Loonesta said:

    “Mainstream gay culture”, like any other, when bought or co-opted, chopped and mixed with (hetero-normative) commercialism & regurgitated back at us by corporations with dollar signs in their eyes can be repulsive to someone of that culture.

  • Ed said:

    Um… can I join your non-mainstream gay guy club? *Sigh*

  • Jackson Goff said:

    @Orion: “…wasn’t it one of the co-founders [of gay culture] that said that they don’t like Pandas for that very reason? The thought of gay culture being founded is a hoot, or maybe I’m mistaking what you meant by that phrase.

    I mention it because gay culture developed organically in response to the assignments of society. Michael is talking about that. Others drew a circle that dismissed. So he drew a bigger circle that included. Michael suffered the cruelly ignorant arrogance of others when he was little, so he turned from things they valued to wider pursuits. He developed a sense of taste and of self while his brothers developed a sense of obedience and obligation.

    May I suggest that the embrace of coming out in the gay ghetto is a further circle rightly outgrown, so that you can embrace the whole world. What was once the torment of every day becomes a much smaller thing in the new perspective. Maybe that is what Michael’s example might be. Not that we reject our old lives but that we build new ones, larger and richer each time. Grow beyond the constraints of childhood into an identity of the gay world and then beyond that mainstream into what is part of an even bigger perspective. That’d be an ideal place for even Generation triple Z to found their lives.

    @ejacksonindc I applaud your empathy with Michael and your courage in defending him. And though I’ll fight for what I believe is right, I don’t have to do so very often because I have little empathy. So good on you, brother.

    Bestly,
    Jack

    Things happened before we were born, and knowing of them enriches our thought.

  • Pirl Harbour said:

    ejacksonindc,

    I so agree with you. My take on this column is that Michael is not asking for pity. Please read it again. He is explaining why he thinks/believes a certain way. And that is as valid as any other view. Is this not a free forum in a democratic society (well trying to be democratic)? I would say that his critics are the real cynics here.

    As a lesbian who also rejected the main stream lesbian community for similar reasons I opted out as a conscience effort to follow my sense of self and independence. In coming out I encountered so much narrow mindedness about political correctness, labels, dress codes, attitudes etc., it was like leaving the confines of the straight world to enter the ones in the Lesbian one. It was at that moment that I realized that fear of the non-conformer is a threat to an ideology. After all why live my life at half throttle to please others. Better to accept people in your life who are accepting you for who you are and not what they would like you to be so they can feel safe within their little world. They are as many way of being gay as there are people.

  • Thomas said:

    Maybe I only relate to the article so much because I live in upstate South Carolina. Surrounded by churches and banks, and apparently you either come out and pick a stereotype to fill, or (more commonly) stay in the closet, get married, and set up a ManHunt account.

    All that being said, I am really glad to actually read my thoughts coming out of someone’s mouth (not mine). I feel like maybe I am not being so demanding that I want to meet people who have more than sexual orientation / preference in common.

    Thanks.

  • Wow You Guys said:

    I knew when I loaded this page that the article itself would take up about a twentieth of the scroll bar and the rest would be filled with snarky mindless drivel in the comments section. It’s an amazing trend on the Web how someone can spend a lot of time writing something they hope is meaningful and then a hundred jackasses come out of the woodwork typing whatever crap comes to mind to try and destroy it.

    To hell with gay culture, I reject it and make no apology, it deserves it. For every Oscar Wilde or Walt Whitman there is a hundred thousand of you lot who will be paved over by history and utterly forgotten. The only important part of this page is the article itself, the rest being a total waste of bandwidth. Hopefully Web 3.0 will usher in a trend of no comments sections and human dignity can get a shot at survival on the Internet. Every time you speak in a comments section, including what I’m saying here, you make us all look incredibly stupid. I no longer think of the word “gay” in the same way, now I see it is a more potent word than the word “shallow” itself, but with largely the same meaning. Straight people are “shallow,” but it takes a homosexual to be “gay.”

    Have fun being nothing important for 60-110 years and then slipping mercifully into oblivion for the rest of the history of the universe, it’s the most mercy you could offer future humans, the absence of your presence.

  • Pirl Harbour said:

    To: Wow You Guys,

    Who dropped you on your head as a child? A tad snarky yourself. Please try reading each post again because they are not all of the same ilk.

  • kstern said:

    I don’t know. I’m understanding this article. I know what its like to be told that I’m not a good gay because i despise lady gaga and beyonce, or that i think having a seperate “gay prom” is self segregation and a stupid idea. More so because i think protesting after a bill fails is beating a dead horse. so yea, i get the rejection of gay culture.

  • Luis said:

    I am gay man myself, and I firmly beleive that we” gay community”are our worst enemies. We keepcomplaining of rejection and discrimination fromsociety,when in reality we are the biggest offenders against each other.
    We called ourselves animals,(bears),we leablize each other( top,bottom,vers, etc)in adddition to inbox each othersin places,( bi- trans, gay,lesbien, etc).
    We are the top of self destructive behaviors, we have absolutely no clue what social respnsibility means, and above all,have the biggest sense of entitlementsI have ever seen in any humans beings. We have themost inflated egos, to the point,that we really came to beleive that becoming a Porno Star is the american gay dream, and that being a drugdealer is actually a very productive job.
    The one who is addicted to crystal meth,judges the one who uses crack,and the one who is completely promiscuos attacks the one who has intimacy issues. We are a total Joke!
    We called ourselves boys at the age of 50 and we are completely convinced that we have seen it all at the age of 20.
    Our way to fundraisemoney for HIV research is by throwing the black,blue,red,yellow,purple,etc parties in which more gay men continuosly keep getting infected with the virus.
    However we are very smart, very smart to rationalize and to manipulate the knowledge to the point that can accept that having sex like animals is “cool”and that mixong loneliness with singleness is actually the same concept,and that open relationships are for those that are ” more evolved”as way to justify our inability tocommit,be responsible and to do the real work…
    We are missing the boat

  • Alan said:

    Wow, kind of a broad paint brush. I am gay man who is close to 57. I am out at work and a Corporate leader. My friendships go back as far as high school. I lead an ERG with 400 LGBTQA members company wide. I find so much love with in our LGBT group. We are all ages and in manty parts of the country.
    We have wonderful shared values. When I was last to get picked in Gym class. I learned the value of inclusion. I say find people who vale people and you can not go wrong.

  • ex-gay homo said:

    I reject it because I simply don’t like it. Age has nothing to do with it. I’m not a philistine now as I approach 30 and I wasn’t a philistine when I was 20; mainstream gay culture never appealed to me. The number of gay men who let LOGO, etc, define who they are is stunning. Why is it that there are so many different thriving subcultures and individuals among heterosexuals, yet with gay men there is only one mold to fit. To talk as though several sizable alternative gay subcultures exist is a joke. Looking like a hipster on the outside, for example, but being embracing MGC on the inside does not count as belonging to a subculture outside the gay mainstream, but it’s no surprise that a different exterior is enough to fool most mainstream gays.

    I think there’s a problem with the OP’s distinction between “gay” and “gay culture”. While checking out a variety of gay bars (“variety” and “gay bars” are two words that you won’t see in the same sentence elsewhere) to see if they were as bad as I imagined over a period of a few weeks (that was my entire gay bar phase) I found my expectations were exceeded and the only two times I’ve been afterward was because my friends dragged me there. My being gay was called into question for not knowing the lyrics to a Donna Summers song and not in a joking manner, but a mocking one. Whatever happened to celebrating diversity? Now that I think about it, I think he was right. “Gay” has become a loaded term with certain shared attributes, such as liking certain music, fashion, talking a certain way, etc. I’ve taken to referring to myself with a word that actually means that I’m attracted to other men and nothing more: homosexual. I’ve conceded the word “gay” to the gay mainstream. I can no longer march in, let alone attend a gay pride parade, especially after being disillusioned with my first hand experiences in a couple of large gay rights organizations. The college chapter of one such organization was all about hooking up with each other and/or sleeping their way up into the state/national chapters themselves. I had to leave and join a mostly straight political organization that actually took action on what it stood for. I choose to stay on another side of town when the annual parade takes place to ensure I can avoid the celebration of gay “culture” that dominates gay pride.

    In the end it’s not so much that MGC is the problem or that so many gay men themselves are so quick to adopt it as their identity whether entirely or partially. Those are not guys I want to waste time on anyway and in that sense I am thankful for how effectively MGC weeds them out. What frustrates me is that once you’ve weeded them out you’re left with such a minuscule number of compatible men that even just finding them, to say nothing of actually seeing if you like them, is a daunting task that I’ve grown tired of.

    I live in the Great Lakes region in a large city whose homosexual population exceeds 5%, yet have never gone on a single date with a guy I’m interested in, since they all seem to be drawn to a handful of bars and clubs which are bastions of MGC. For us non-mainstream types, we can choose from a number of subcultures that are not “gay first”, meaning that the sexual orientation of those pertaining that particular subculture is not at all a priority or we can try to find individuals who don’t belong to one. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that if I stay in this city I am guaranteed to continue being alone for many years to come since I’ve had no luck at all, so I hope to soon escape to another large city that has some variety in its homosexual population instead of only having a bunch of MGC clones to choose from. Otherwise I would much rather be straight and find my niche, of which there exists no gay equivalent. Not here anyway.

  • Michael (author) said:

    Hi, “Ex-Gay Homo”. Thanks for your comment. What I’ll tell you is that it only takes one person to be an agent of change. There are a variety of ways to do it, but perhaps the easiest way would be to start a branch of TNG in your city, drop some promo materials around town and start a happy hour for non-mainstream queers. Make it happen.

    For the record, there was another comment on here until seconds ago where someone took your entire comment and replaced your references to “gay” and MGC with “black” and MBC. If the person wanted to make a comment that “everything you say is the same for black people”, they could have just said that. I found the comment plagiaristic as well as trivializing of your genuine frustration. So I took it down.

  • ex-gay homo said:

    Appreciate that. For me, it makes no sense whatsoever to define yourself with something as arbitrary as sexual orientation or race. In either case there are no intrinsic cultural values, mainstream or not, that you are born with. The reality though, is that many choose to take what subculture has been artificially fused to minority trait X, Y, or Z by previous adherents of a subculture and simply continue the illogical tradition, as is especially prevalent among most homosexual men.

    There was a page on TNG for my city and it basically highlighted some good bars and live music venues that aren’t gay-oriented. The few places listed that were gay-oriented, as is always the case it seems, were outlets of MGC I’ve been to all sorts of places around town (I know this city like the back of my hand) and I stick with going to places I like, but after having spent a year in, another year next to, and this year further away from downtown I still haven’t run into like-minded homosexuals and there’s no reason to believe that will change anytime soon. I’m not at all surprised that my city’s section was put to rest. I am thankful to have found pretty much the only place where this issue is even being discussed, let alone seriously. Starting a non-mainstream gay event here is too little too late: I’m ready to leave this city behind and with my field it shouldn’t be too hard to do so. I’ll be happier in another city where a decent number of homosexuals don’t do the gay scene and do their own thing instead.

    I also found this similarly titled article which is worth reading in addition to the original post: “Why I Reject Popular Gay Culture (Or: What to Know Before Setting Me Up With Your Other Gay Friend)”.

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cjas/may_reject.html

    Similar to the author in that article, a good friend of mine (straight dude) doesn’t get that another guy simply being homosexual isn’t enough for me to want to initiate something.

  • Jeff Martin said:

    I have to admit that there were some points made in this article that I agreed with and could relate to. I can also sympatize with feeling like there is something lacking in what I percieve to be “mainstream gay culture.” But at the same time I felt like I needed to shower after I read the article to wash away the stench of self pity that wafted putridly from the author’s overall statement. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, homogenized about the gay culture. What I gleaned from the article seemed like a tantrum thrown when a child is told no, or first finds out that he/she must actually earn his/her place in life. It seemed like someone who spent months in a tragic gay bar, trying to be cool, wishing to be the gorgeous, muscular, charasmatic super-mo, but discovered that wasn’t reality and rather than accepting himself and the people he met, he became jealous, self-pitying, resentful and indignant. I say this because throughout his article, the author repeatedly calls himself and the few who actually were his friends rejects. I have lived at every end of the social spectrum, actively involved and actively avoiding “mainstream gay culture”, whatever that means, and at every point I met good, caring, loving, intelligent, ambitious, hopeful, supportive people. I also met assholes. I met people who expected the world to lay out a red carpet and bow down becase Mr. Hotstuff has arrived, and when that doesnt happen happen, the person rushes home to write an article like this, sounding like a poor, rejected, no-body-loves me sob story that doesnt inspire openness, tolerance, acceptance or fellowship its author so pitiously seems to crave. Instead the article yields a reinforcment of the authors misery, and not rejection, but fleeting disdain from the “mainstream gay culture” who don’t have time in their busy lives to the author anything more than a fleeting thought, if that much, before they return to their lives, loved ones and beautiful, thriving, timultuous, crazy, vibrant, imprefectly perfect community.

  • nellies83 said:

    This is HIGHLY specious.

  • Jake said:

    Thanks for writing this, Michael. Reading this (and the comments that people who actually understood what you were trying to say wrote) makes me feel a little better about how “socially homeless” not fitting in with mainstream gay culture has made me feel lately. Maybe I should consider transferring to a school in DC…

  • Kate said:

    Regardless of all the rest of this debate, I would like to say a big thank you to MIchael. I only just discovered this site thanks to a link on AfterEllen, and after reading the amusing Natalia Kills article I looked for other articles that would tell me what The New Gay was all about. When I saw the title of this article I immediately clicked on it.

    I have always been the weird kid. I will always be the weird kid. I LOVE being the weird kid. I liked opera when I was 12, old Jazz when I was 13, out there rock like Captain Beefheart at 15. I love science and science fiction, and cannot figure out why this isn’t true of everyone. I read shakespeare for fun, have loved philosophy forever, particularly Kant and Rousseau, and will spend hours talking about this. I’m telling you this so that you’ll understand that being a lesbian was last on a very long list of things that make me the weird kid.

    Having grown up in a small mining town in Northern Ontario, my exposure to gay culture was limited, although I was extremely lucky to have a very open and welcoming highschool. Everyone and everything was accepted there, all sections of the population, and there was a class for pretty much everything as well. So when I went to university and started hearing the welcoming “we accept everybody” messages coming from the numerous GLBT campus groups, I assumed it would be a continuation of my highschool experience.

    I was sadly mistaken, and here my experience largely resembles Michael’s. This all inclusive space was in fact a place where if you strayed from the conversational agenda of sex, kinky sex, pride parade or gay marriage, you were deemed odd. If you attempted to debate or dared to presume that some of the mainstream ideas might be a little off, you were deemed offensive. And sure people with differing views go their different ways, but the attitudes I encountered time and time again were not “oh yeah that’s cool, not really my thing” they were more like my elementary days of “what the hell are you talking about you Freak!”

    But until today I genuinely thought I was alone in my experience. The gay culture is accepting of everyone, so I thought I must REALLY be a freak to be rejected by them. I was the weirdest of the weird, doomed to never find a social group in which to belong. To come here and find that I am not alone, that the gay culture perhaps needs a little more truth in its advertising, and that there are people like Michael and the rest of The New Gay group trying to create a space that is as accepting as the mainstream gay culture lead me to believe it is, is for me absolutely thrilling.

    So, thank you Michael

  • Tyler Christian said:

    It is seriously like you took what I am going through and put it out there for others. Thank you for not making me feel so crazy and alone.

  • john said:

    I am an engineering major at UCLA. I spend most of my time doing biomedical research or studying chemical processes. I don’t follow celebrities on twitter. I don’t wear scarves or vests. But I am gay.

    It seems to me that “gay culture” has several prejudices against certain types of gay people. Gay culture glorifies fashion, celebrities and flamboyancy. Gay men are portrayed by the media as effeminate hair dressers or fashion experts. There is nothing wrong with being flamboyant, fabulous or fashion forward–but the idea that you MUST be “fabulous” to be gay is incorrect and damaging. It is difficult for me to make friends with members of the “gay culture” because I don’t fit the limited description. I know there are other gay people like me out there, but they are difficult to find because they too feel rejected by “gay culture”. Furthermore, young gay people who have an interest in science often give up that interest to fit into “gay culture”. (This happened to my best friend growing up). I hope that someday “gay culture” will expand to accept gays who don’t look gay. It would be great to see more openly gay scientists, doctors and engineers.

    Thank you so much for posting this article.

  • Colin said:

    Whatever “gay culture” we can recognize evolved because of oppression and rejection from “mainstream culture.” There is something beautiful about it because of that history. But there are some (like me) who do find the overweening drama, the worship of the cult of eternal youth, vapid and unfulfilling. The fellow who wrote this article has obviously gone through a lot of emotional turmoil in his life, but he should rejoice that he lives in the present historical moment. I’m from a small town where I’m openly gay and almost all of my best friends are straight men. Such a world wasn’t possible even ten years ago. Thank God it is now.

  • sean said:

    This blog, although my discovering it is a few years late, speak to the things that exist in me that I could never construct the words to say. I think the topic at hand is one of representation. Not only is the gay community in the traditional sense just as judgmental and catty as any other faction of society, but it also forces those who are gay but don’t quite identify with it to automatically be considered “other.” I don’t dislike the gay community as it is, I just wish, as others have stated, that we could collectively understand the history of what has happened to us as well as those who came before. We ought to be building from a common ground, to help the world understand us better, rather than accepting the community as it is. Like anything, we should always strive towards progression.

    I’m 27, and to be quite honest, was lucky enough to have not felt the sting of judgment based on my sexuality. I think I was able to pass under the radar while in high school. It wasn’t until I entered into the gay community that I felt the rejection and indifference that so many in the blog have addressed. That said, I’m so grateful that there are others who can see between the lines and aren’t afraid to call bullshit when they see it.

  • Jermzy said:

    I agree with and relate to your article 100%. I’m bi and sure I like musicals and fashion. I also happen to like hardcore console gaming, explosive action movies, vintage comic books, indie music and soccer. I’m not masculine nor feminine- I’m me. I defy stereotypes and don’t fit in some neat box.

    I really find it abhorrent that gay people today think stripping people of their individuality and forcing stereotypes on one another is empowering or beneficial to gay rights. I have never sheltered myself withing the “LGBT community”- most of my friends are straight but I can assure you I relate to their lives more than I could ever dream of with most people in the gay community.

    I honestly don’t think anyone needs a gay community- if you want to find other people who partake in similar behavior to yours then don’t lump them together and call them “gay culture”.

  • Jermzy said:

    Also in response to ejacksonindc, ALL gays have gone through some form of discrimination. Sure it hurts. The difference between mainstream gay culture and the rest is that the former decide to let these experiences define them.

    Getting mocked or teased for being bi hasn’t made me any more hateful of the heteronormative world we live in, it’s made me hateful to stupid, ignorant people who insult others.

    We’re not insulting feminine gays or gays at all. We’re merely criticizing the ostracism of other people from mainstream gay culture. For example from my experiences in said community I’ve been given the impression that straight people shouldn’t be allowed into gay bars because they “create a threatening environment”- this kind of reverse discrimination makes me sick.

    And it isn’t being done by those gay teenagers at home contemplating suicide around the country, it is part of a much larger community.

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  • Gene said:

    I can relate to what is being said here. In my several attempts to come out and be out I have been flabbergasted that it has been easier to be accepted by straight and even conservative types than finding and developing friendships in the gay world. I’ve even joined a gay church (both as a place to freely worship as who I am as well as make friendships) and find that unless you’re associated with some sort of gay group outside the church it’s hard to find acceptance. And then, all the myriad scenes and sub-vultures within a sub-culture. If you don’t fit in to one of those or don’t care to do so it’s another strike against you. I won’t even speak of the immaturity besides saying it’s wholeheartedly disappointing.

  • Doctor Whom said:

    Different people, upon coming out, have had to deal with different “mainstream” queer cultures. When and where I came out, mainstream queer culture for the most part meant political correctness, which if anything was even more stifling than what you describe. One big difference between the mainstream gay culture that you describe and the mainstream queer culture that I experienced upon coming out is the difference between “You’re not exactly like us, so you don’t get to be our friend” and “You’re not exactly like us, so we will pass moral judgment on you.”

  • Doctor007 said:

    This post feels to me as though you’ve made some attempts at finding a niche but just gave up after some rejection. I felt the same way when I was young – I grew up a cub in a town that was all about twinks and surfers. I was interested in culture and things like fishing or rock climbing. The only gay people I knew were slim, hairless, tanned and vapid.

    The thing is, if you don’t feel like you’re fitting in, it’s because you don’t. You keep looking, find INDIVIDUALS within a group that you identify with and create your own tribe of people. Rejecting gay culture because ‘it rejected me’ is simply a display of petulance and bad nature.

  • Krista27 said:

    I think what Michael wrote is great. It’s honest and passionate. I don’t understand why there is a need to pick it a part. He was diplomatic and respectful, and if he feels that the gay scene rejected him, than that is how he feels-plain and simple. Feelings are never wrong, actions are.

    The gay scene/community/mainstream etc. is overall very clicky, and it shouldn’t be. Gays, of anyone, should be the most open-minded and accepting culture around, but it isn’t. I am not a clicky person and I choose to keep a distance from the gay scene because I personally, flat out, wholeheartedly don’t care for it. I respect everyone’s viewpoint here and I think that blogs like this creates progression amongst the human race in general, not just gays.

  • Doctor007 said:

    And as readers we have the right to post comments that contradict or challenge what a blogger posts. If you don’t like it, disable comments.

    Your comments about the gay scene being about cliques is just uneducated. Every culture has cliques, and it follows logically that every culture has individuals who are not part of those cliques. Does it mean they reject that culture?

    Learn to accept that someone may have an opposing viewpoint, or keep your own to yourself.

  • Krista27 said:

    Doctor007-

    I said I respected everyone’s viewpoint actually, so I don’t know why you think I’ve got an issue with an opposing viewpoint.

    My life experience in the gay culture is uneducated? How so? How can you say that what I’ve experienced in my personal life without knowing a thing about me is uneducated? Your comment is specious.

  • Krista27 said:

    I never said that the gay community is all about “cliques,” I said it was “clicky,” there’s a difference.

    Your question about being rejected from a clique doesn’t even make sense. I don’t reject the gay community, I keep it at an arm’s length.

    Please don’t tell me that I have to learn to accept anything either. I’m very open-minded and compassionate, I accept people as human beings; not as labels, or status symbols… And the key word in community is unity, that is the true premise behind it.

  • Krista27 said:

    One more thing, implying that Michael is petulant and badly natured because of the way he expressed himself, and that I’m uneducated is quite condescending to us both. Stick to the blog, not personal attacks.

  • Nicepunk said:

    If Michael posted his picture here and he turned out to drop dead gorgeous (which he may be), the mainstreamers would be APPLAUDING his every word!

  • Matt said:

    I have always been treated like shit by the gay community. I was a Marilyn Manson fan as a teen in the 90′s and we threw rocks at the “God Hates Fags” people. I loved metal, the Cure, Bauhaus (admittedly Erotica era Madonna) and I went hard. I came out and went psycho on the 3 dudes who harassed me and beat them all up and smashed out windows and was suspended and never had any issues since then.

    The straight students stopped and the gay people that tolerated the bullying hated me after that and they were too stuck up to include me because I was goth. The thing is that the gay community is just as bad as any other group. I don’t care about any of their causes and as far as being a “self-hating” fag… no, I am not afraid to tell anyone I am gay but I see no need to mention it all the time. I can live without fear of being exterminated and that is all I care about. Do I want to have the 3 Abrahamic faiths accept me as a candidate for marriage when their 3 books have quotes that they use to claim people like me should die??? no.

    However, if gays started getting rounded up, I would be the head of a militant group to defend my right to live and all gay people… hate me for being masculine or not liking Gaga or Madonna but I will show you what a real “gay community” is if history every repeats itself…

    Obama, Ayatollah Santorum, Romney, Paul or any of those liars will not care.

    Being gay is just a small part of a person, it doesn’t need a community or identity nor do people need to conform to a way of behaving to fit in. Because, I will be real here and I have seen things in the “gay community” that I can share that make right wing homophobes sound like Mother Theresa. And if you think the Left is on your side, watch a Youtube video about a closeted republican and see the nasty homophobic slurs that comes out toward them from the left. Everyone hates. I know gays that hate bisexuals and transsexuals…. personally, I can’t stand lesbians and straight women…

  • Jordan said:

    I just wanted to let you know how much I love this artical!

    You have given me the hope and strength to just be myself until someone accepts and loves me for just what I am. Also that there actually ARE people out there like me that WILL accept me.
    Lastly this helps affirm what I just came to the conclusion I should already do: To stop giving so much of my energy and my genuineness and caring to people who will not and can not give it back to me. To just wait until I meet people who are worthwhile to give my energy too.

    That way I wont feel drained anymore and will be full of all the happiness I used to be full of before I attempted to be part of this horrid gay community.

    YOU are such a beautiful person and I am so thankful that you were born onto this earth!

    <3<3<3

  • Larry said:

    I loved this article. I really did. It’s nice to know that more people have been there and have opened their mind, instead of just mindlessly following blind logic that does not work in society. I wish more and more people would see that the gay culture is annoying and zombie-like. I wonder if you would be interested in reading a blog that I posted. I wonder if ya’ll would read it and tell me what you think:

    http://musiquebleue.blogspot.com/2012/05/fresh-coat-of-paint-to-gay-world.html

  • Alan said:

    I Help – Does everything have to be so extreme and negative in gay culture…what are we known for, good sense if style experts on the latest greatest drug…sex,sex and more sex…almost any search of gay anything will bring up something to do with sex. Sex is fine but can’t we come together and show the main stream there is more to our community than what they see on their favorite soap…let’s pull all of the amazing creative energy and do something positive rather than another circuit party….its time for us to stop being portrayed as hand bags for the women of real house wives. That does not represent the average gay person I know… ending the gossip and insecurity within our community and coming together as the professional creative force we are would be a start .. I have my own issues I have been in and out of the scene for some time.. the younger guys seem to get this concept much more than the old school crowd.. Its time for us to mentor and support in a positive way.. yes I’m feeling guilty for sleeping with them (younger guys) and not offering any positive support to help them navigate … I know I have no business writing.. time to evolve….

  • RickA said:

    I agree with most of what this article has to say. I was also badly treated by the gay community being over weight all my life and, God have mercy, an intellectual with an MA in History and an MA in Religious Studies. I have never known what it is like to be loved but I do know what it is like to love and to be rejected. Other gau have even rejected my friendship because I “don’t fit in”. Hence my life has been one of loneliness and a struggle not to commit suicide. I am now 50 and no longer able to feel love as I have only experienced rejection and hate from my so-called fellow gays. There are some positive aspects though. I have not had someone draining me of money who wanted me only for my money. I survived the worse part of the AIDS epidemic where many of the popular boys are now long sense dead, and I have maintained my independence. On the negative side, I would not pee on the gay community to put them out if they were on fire, and I now avoid supporting any pro-gay community laws as I feel we do not deserve special status as we are not morally or spiritually mature enough to deserve them – look how we treat each other. Shame on us!!!

  • scooby said:

    the entire gay community can completely go f_ck itself. my experiences of going to gay bars, clubs has left a lingering bad taste in my mouth. and forget about finding a gay site to join to meet people, everyone just wants sex. and if you’re not “HOT”, you can forget about being their friend. due to my experiences of not being hot enough, rich enough, not wearing expensive trendy clothes and other material things, and also being WEIRD, i could give a rats ass about any and all gay causes. i am lucky enough not to be a flaming queen, so i can easily hang with straight people. and i am finding that i prefer them to gays. God forbid you happen to like to play video games. God forbid you happen to like horror movies. God forbid you happen to like action movies. God forbid you happen to enjoy watching Viva La Bam reruns. God forbid you mention GOD at all. God forbid you could give a fuck what the founder of Chick-fil-A does with the money he F_CKING legitamitley earned himself. oh no…..i went off the marriage equality reservation. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! i am so very sick and tired of the group think and victim mentality that has INFESTED the gay community. blogs like Joe My God and Towleroad are liteed with that shit. everyday i am supossed to be this anal rainbow warior screaming about the injustices done to gays and what religious and straight people think about us???? last time i checked, gays were free to do what makes them the happiest…..and that is getting fucked up the ass. sorry, the secret is out, and the truth hurts. why are they screaming for marriage rights when every couple i run into is in an open relationship? these are things that boggle my mind. like i said, i have gone off the reservation and can no longer pretend i don’t have a brain of my own. i recently had my profile on Big Muscle Bears deleted. thousands of members, each looking for the same muscle clone. but with facial hair. and i paid money to that site for the “extras”. live and learn. sorry to rant like a lunatic, but this has been built up for awhile. i am happy to get away from MGC and finally i will work on myself and not try to measure up for the “gays”. like one other guy said on here, the independent road of a gay man might be lonely and fellow travelers might be few and far bewtween, but it is worth it in my opinion for the peace of mind alone.

  • Doctor Whom said:

    I don’t agree with everything that scooby says, but kudos for pointing out the elephant in the room, namely, the political group think. We seek to liberate ourselves from one stifling orthodoxy by embracing another. For all of the happy talk about diversity, the keepers of the orthodoxy treat viewpoint diversity as something to avoid at all costs and appear to have convinced themselves that principled viewpoints other than their own just cannot exist.

  • steven said:

    Here here,
    I also found that coming out as a bisexual man was one of the worst decisions I made. After trying for years to be heterosexual, I came out only to be persecuted by the persecuted.

    Those years of being rejected by others their acerbic wit and sharpened tongues lashed at me everyone I said who I was.
    I was just looking for acceptance for something I still felt ashamed of not being straight. It was only after my first pride event that I realized what it meant to be a member of this subgroup of American culture.

  • Colin said:

    I know a lot of bisexual guys who can relate to what you way, Steven. Not too long ago, I even saw a “scientific” study which concluded that bisexuality wasn’t real. (It did so by measuring how much of an erection different men experienced while watching different types of porn, hardly a good way of calculating “romantic love,” in my opinion.)

    Speaking as one who’s exclusively gay, I think a lot of us feel unfair antipathy toward bisexual men. In my case, it’s a matter of jealousy and my deep romantic affection for some of my bisexual friends. Most bisexual guys I know, while sometimes dabbling in same sex relationships, will eventually go for women. I don’t blame them, really. Despite all the acceptance we gays have won in the last ten years or so, it’s still easier to date women if you can stomach it or actually enjoy it :)

  • Wisdom desmond said:

    Gay to me is a life stly iam a gay buttom, but only if ur close to me u will know that am gay. Gay is a thing of mind.

  • Doctor Whom said:

    Something recently happened that shows in a nutshell the difference between me and orthodox queers. When I tried to explain to someone the fallacy in his reasoning, he took me to task, not for using unsound logic myself, but for using logic at all.

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  • Rob said:

    I am glad to run across this article on the Internet. Like many here I feel I have not been treated very well by the gay community. I am a very deep introvert, do not like partying and running around all hours of the night, and am not promiscous (sp?) by nature. Having spent most of my life on tbe outside looking in, I no longer really feel the need to conform to any crowd – I have no desire to wear what everyone is wearing or be like everyone else. I am my own person. And that does not work in the gay community. Not at all. I remember once I worked for an upscale pizza chain and most of the guys serving there with me were gay and not one of them liked me, as I would not go out after work and do the scene with them. One of them told me once that no one liked me “since you talk about things no one else talks about.” Right then and there I realized that for me, being gay was probably going to be a lonely experience BUT the consolation prize was that I was going to be my own person anyway. Nice to see that there are others our there who are their own people too. Happy travels down the road to all, Rob, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Alan said:

    I, too, am an outsider to gay culture. This is as true for me today at age 57 as it was when I came out in1980 at 25. I say “gay culture” rather than “mainstream gay culture” because I am as alienated from gay subcultures (bears, fairies, leather, etc) as I am from MGC.

    Most gay men today were not born into a gay culture. Instead, they adopted gay cultural attributes – consciously or by osmosis – as part of their coming out process.

    That didn’t happen in my case. I didn’t cultivate a gay look, a gay accent, or a gay attitude. I don’t know why, exactly, but it could be because I’m not gregarious. I got into a long-term relationship early on (31 years and counting). Like me, my spouse doesn’t feel culturally gay. Our gay friend are outside the mainstream too. We have just as many straight friends. I feel more comfortable around some straight people than I do in the presence of men who’ve taken on mainstream gay characteristics.

    I’m not suggesting that one culture is better than another. But I am acknowledging that as human beings, we tend to seek out those who are like us. People in the MGC aren’t my tribe. I can’t wish that away. When I am around MGC types, I find myself feeling like I am not gay enough, not cool enough, not sufficiently fabulous. That’s not good for me. So I hang out with the people I like and who love me for who I am.

  • George said:

    If you want anti-gay culture visit Man2manaliances and other forms of organizations of that nature. You guys feel bad now, imagine if you’re like one of these men

    – hate anal sex
    – masculine identity
    – non promiscuous
    – non open relationship
    – non bathhouse and sex clubs
    – no Gay Pride Parades

  • Robert said:

    Thank you for putting in words what I have been thinking for years. Im from the time when being openly gay in High School could get you killed. I lived for the day when I could come out and be who I was and make friends and meet the man of my dreams and all would be well.
    Well that’s not what happened, I came out all right but what I found was a very judgmental, unfriendly, world of people who only took notice of you if you had on the right close, listened to the right music, and lived in the right part of town. I soon felt more out of place in this world then I had ever felt in High School pretending to be straight.
    For years I looked for gay guys who liked and did the same thing as me, but never found any. Now I have made a friend or two over the years, but none that I could ever get close to. its funny, I pretend more inside the “gay world” then when I was still in the closet. When I try to talk to my gay friends about how I feel out of place and not accepted, they say its my internationalised homo phobia that makes me feel this way. Its not, I just don’t like the main stream gay world.
    I have long ago accepted that Im gay, but I sometimes wish I wasn’t, not because I thinks its wrong or bad, it because I don’t like other gay men or at least how they act. It can get close very lonely at times. anyway thanks for your post, its nice to know that other gay men are unhappy with the gay world. I guess nice is the wrong word

  • Andy said:

    You make very good points. Mainstream gay culture IS very superficial. One example I can think of is people embracing Lady Gaga’s music simply because she speaks for gay rights. While she shouldn’t be disliked for doing a positive thing for society, music that is, in my opinion, bland and lacking in content, shouldn’t suddenly become the definition of art. Anyways, I digress. I just want to point out that what you said about mainstream gay culture, upon further pondering, can be said about much of mainstream culture in general; it’s almost as if intellectualism is a plague nowadays and that the proper thing to do is to embrace superficiality.

  • Davy said:

    I kind of like what’s going on here. I have always felt like an outsider. FULL STOP! I have a few really beautiful and amazing friends, though we are all outcasts of sorts.

    Andy is right about societal norms in general. They have moved away from valuing knowledge/substance/truth.

    And please save anyone who has ever gotten with a group of gay guys and criticised the hedonism and self destructive behaviour. I suppose it’s a bit like Bill Cosby pointing out issues in the African American community. The man is only trying to help people better themselves.

    Thing is… I have always done my own thing, which sometimes actually involves liking something totally mainstream. I actually like Madonna’s music. Not ironically my favourite albums are those that didn’t do so well, like American Life. Now I notice all the Gaybots around here are told to hate Madonna and turn their attentions to other younger Divas. I don’t think Madonna is that good of a singer and don’t like her live, but I like her studio work with all the manipulations. So it’s funny that now I find myself defending her against the “Lady Gaga is a Genius, True Original” crowd. But as we all do, I digress.

    Anyway I love some aspects of “Gay culture” and despise others. I pick and choose what works for me. I mean, I like to dance, really throw down my moves, BUT I am a teetotaler. Never drank a drop in my life, and even on the Saturdays I go out to dance til 3am, I am always at church the next morning to sing and play and worship. You guessed it men. NO DATES for Davy! LOL

    I can only imagine what vitriolic responses will now be hurled my way for expressing who I am and what I believe. Force-shield activated!

  • Greg said:

    Thank you for sharing, Michael. I can identify with much of what you wrote. I have found that our unique personal experiences are in some ways battle wounds. I have many of the same battle wounds that you have, and I wear them proudly. Those scars have given me maturity, wisdom, self-appreciation, and perspective. Just as I have earned everyone of my grey hairs, I have earned my scars. Today, I’ve learned that we’re all doing the best we can do; but nobody has the right to insult my dignity as a human being. And to those who do not respect our dignity, I say “fuck ‘em”, and carry on.

  • Chris said:

    I think the point he is making, most of you are over-looking because you enjoy what the gay culture has to offer. This isn’t about the website or anything like that. Its a simple really well written article in regards to something I can 100% relate to minus the bullying. I was raised in a culture and surroundings of really well educated people. Yes in high school I kinda fell into a slump and dumbed myself down to try and fit in. However, I got over that. The fact is. The gay young culture is mostly based on uneducated gays that spend more time in clubs then they ever have a class room. So to be intellectual and gay in a club is like being a lawyer in a room full of lawyers that never went to law school. They pride themselves on knowing how to “twerk” and being able to recite the trivia of some African American cult film. I personally believe this culture needs to be toned down. Their should be room for is all. We should all be accepted.

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