(Old post republished for your reading pleasure, new material coming soon!)Last week I came across a post by an older gay man. I was quite surprised that he had access to the Internet and knew how to operate a computer, given his age. He seemed angry and disillusioned with the younger gay generation. He made mention of the younger community being ageist, sexually promiscuous and living in a fantasy world where coming out and having new found rights made them unappreciative of what is important in life. He made us sound like a bunch of fairies living in fairytale land. He stated that there are no gay role models and noticed a clear moral degradation amongst our gay youth. This made me wonder, is there an immutable generation gap, is it just a matter of growing up and coming of age in a different era or could he actually be right? This is my opinion…
Gay people became open about their sexual orientation when gay clubs and bars started sprouting in every town, as the gay community became more accessible and gay rights came of age. We express ourselves more freely now and no longer hide our relationships. We even have pride parades. This new found freedom could be conflicting to the older generation who were never offered these opportunities and whose value system were shaped by their era they found themselves. As the gay culture evolved the changes could have caught some queens and kings off guard. The traditionalist values of yesterday have now been defied, but this does not mean that the princesses and princesses does not face challenges of their own.
In a society that has not truly overcome homophobia we all still carry this burden at times - coming out still is not easy. Issues of acceptance, monogamy and ageism still pose a challenge. As mentioned in a previous post about relationships, I would hate to be single at the age of 33. Being single while in your prime (ages 18 to 30) is far less complicated. Once you enter your thirties you no longer have youth on your side, you are more career orientated and, I for one, could be said to be somewhat set in my ways. Therefore, finding a companion is slightly more of an endeavour. Being a gay man or lesbian in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70's I would suspect is even more difficult.
I would admit that there are not enough gay role models. We might not have accepted or fully understand the freedoms we have today apposed to the lack of it our older Queens and Kings faced. If we did, I believe we would act with greater responsibility, respect and appreciation. Maybe we should not look for role models amongst our own generation, but rather to those of the generation before us. Look at what they survived, sacrificed and accomplished for us. We may not always understand their reasoning or certain judgements they fell over our behaviour, relationship choices or sexual escapades, but we can make more of an effort to understand them.
Till next time.
Born This Way Parody by Sherry Vine