Gay Politics

On different stages in gay identity…

I’ve been through three major episodes in my quest for a decent gay identity, and none of them have really fitted right. First came the pre-gay “Can’t we be just like everyone else” episode, where I wore what everyone else wore, sneered at gay people “celebrating” their difference on television and tried to cover up any “unnatural” urges I might have had to classmates at school and Uni.
Then came the early-gay “apologist” mode, where I appeared comfortable enough about the whole thing to declare myself gay to friends and family, and to live as a gay man, with the continual proviso that I should act in a politically appropriate way. This was when I was involved at quite a substantial level in student gay politics.
And then came the mid-gay, “fuck it” approach to the world, which is all about not allowing myself to pander to the whims of straight bigots or gay bigots, but just get on with things as loudly and annoyingly as possible. This stage has been great fun, and I sometimes wonder why so many people seem to spend so much time in the first two stages before realising the wonder of being a bloody nuisance whenever they get the chance.
With all this in mind, however, I decided to have a wander around some gay news, information and shopping sites – to do a survey, as it were, of the state of the gay (inter)nation. And unfortunately, I immediately came up against this: Gay E-cards so hideous and twee that it’s like my grandmother knitted them in a gesture of political solidarity.
I fear this is the final stage of the evolution of one’s gay identity. The individual concerned becomes so comfortable with being gay, that they actually start to return to the childish state of taking it seriously, and are again completely unable to see any irony or humour in anything at all. Only this time they’re buying each other bunches of chrysanthemums and washer dryers. I swear to god, the people who think these cards are cool can no longer be anything even vaguely resembling human. If this is the future of gay life, then I am a resolute homophobe.