Young Gay Rites: Why would gay men in their 20s rush to the altar?

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    Apr 27, 2008 3:29 PM GMT
    Young Gay Rites
    By BENOIT DENIZET-LEWIS

    Haven't read it yet myself but it definitely looks interesting and there was also a survey of gay teens basically saying they all wanted marriage and kids as well. Interesting, no?
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    Apr 27, 2008 3:38 PM GMT
    Not surprising, most people want kids, and the commitment and love from a soul mate. In Canada gay men can actually achieve both goals. I can think of several couples that have kids. "Times they are a changing" as Bob Dylan wrote, no more so then in the gay world. Hopefully my friends to the south of the 49th parallel will not be far behind Canada.
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    Apr 27, 2008 5:43 PM GMT
    Commitment for gays seems to come hard, but with commitment to a mate, and/or children comes a good sence of self accomplishment and stability. Gays should put aside their fear of it. I would advise waiting until over 25 though, and to me that goes for hetero's also.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wysiwyg60-- I wish gay rights would follow suit with you good neighbors to the north, but I think we are a long ways off, especially here in the south. The north east and the north west, southern California, and Miami will come to it probably decades before we will here in the "bIBLE BELT" South
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    Apr 27, 2008 7:26 PM GMT
    This is a terrific article. Valuable insights on the rapidly changing dynamics of gayness among both gays and broader society. I've emailed it to several buddies, some of whom had already seen it and were emailing it around.

    Most of us, probably, are navigating these uncharted waters. I find the age-related difference in our perceptions of and comfort with them to be pretty fascinating.
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    Apr 27, 2008 7:40 PM GMT
    Is it just me, or was anyone else who read this article just gagging over the pretentiousness of the profiled couples?

    ...“I beg of you — please eat a tuna roll!” Joshua barked, circulating around the spacious apartment in a blue blazer, slim-fitting corduroys and a pair of royal blue house slippers with his initials.


    ...Benjamin, sharply outfitted in green corduroys and an argyle sweater over a striped dress shirt...


    Here's some 24 y/o and 25 y/o newlyweds (24 and 25!?!?) in their perfect Boston apartment, with their perfectly groomed little poochie:

    27young01-650.jpg

    I mean, I know it's the Sunday NY Times, and the story is a better read for the Park Avenue types if the characters are well dressed, mannered, and come from pedigreed East Coast families, but oy. I found my lunch slowly creeping back up toward my throat the more I read about all these precious couples and their fanatically color coordinated window coverings, socks, and dog collars. I mean, monogrammed royal blue house slippers???

    ... excuse me... I ... have to....

    *retching noise*

    K

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    Apr 27, 2008 11:10 PM GMT
    IguanaSF askedIs it just me, or was anyone else who read this article just gagging over the pretentiousness of the profiled couples?


    I was less struck by their pretentiousness and more by how naive the couples seemed. I imagine their naivete is partly a result of privilege---when I was 24 I was in no position to provide sushi for 20 people. Even now, how many of us can think of buying a Honda instead of a BMW as an exercise in premarital fiscal responsibility? [Note to self: I gotta get me some of that gay buying power!]

    I think reporters have a lot of latitude in feature articles like this one. They can portray people in ways that serve an argument at the expense of a more complex representation of someone's personality. In this case, the subtitle of the article on the front page of the online edition says "Life among young men married to men in Massachusetts could not be more normal." I'll admit that the article presents a particular kind of "normal" I'm not directly acquainted with, but it isn't about the demographic group I belong to. And if it's "normal" to plan a wedding without informing your family, then that's news to me as well.

    The strongest impression I had when I finished the article was that those guys have no idea what they're getting into.

    As for the pictures---they're pure camp.
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    Apr 27, 2008 11:20 PM GMT
    Mike, I agree completely.

    MikeOnMain saidAs for the pictures---they're pure camp.


    And I'm normally not wigged out by media's portraits of gay guys, but I don't know, for some reason the whole campy, young/privileged gloss of the feature really pissed me off. It's annoying to see so many examples of this. It seems really rare that "regular gay guys" get into these kinds of articles.

    OK, I'm grumpy today.

    *angry cookie munching sounds*

    K
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    Apr 27, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    personally, i just kinda want what my parents had/have- marriage out of college that gets better every year. i want to love and be loved, and know it'll last, or at least have faith it will. seems kinda empty and pointless (and unnecessarily painful) to put oneself through drama after drama with serial dating or worse. its the exception, i know; most of my friends parents are divorced- but i know it can work with the right person, empathy, and communication.

    maybe for the rest of our generation, its a kind of a desperate hope that our parent's generation was just a messed up exception in human history, with all it's divorces, and that humans really are meant to mate for life. i can't speak for those who want kids, cause i kinda don't (s'up in the air, for the distant future.. who knows?) but as far as the marriage thing goes.. i donno it could also be a cultural backlash against the impersonal turn inter-personal relationships have taken due to new technologies- like, everyone's craving a deeper connection than what one can find from states or countries away on a site like this one lol. it's illegal here too- that could be another factor; and we all want what we can't have- there's always the excitement of taboo. another thought: why do young gays seem to tend to throw themselves so quickly and wholly into relationships (i know i've been guilty as charged)? probably 'cause the dating pool, statistically (especially in many regions of the country- specifically everywhere that isn't California, NYC, Miami, Texas), is so thin and disparaging that when we find someone really worth our time, we throw ourselves at it. sometimes, the object of affection in question isn't even worth our time and effort, but we're just that desperate lol. whatever the case, i get the feeling the cause is one of cultural dis-ease, but the result is respectable enough.
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    Apr 28, 2008 12:02 AM GMT
    Hey, I have TWO pair of embroidered opera slippers and TWO coiffed pooches. (the rug is at least halfway decent)

    Those Boston bitches think they are hot snot on a silver platter but really they are cold boogers on a paper plate.

    Lighten up, have a cookie, it was a cute article, and positively outre for the Sulzberger clan.

    No one wants to read about normal people.....

    Chuck came home from the coal mine only to find Jim heating his TV dinner in the microwave, the tin plate sparked and caught the trailer house on far. Luckily their friend Jim Bob was there and put it out with piss and what was left of his Schlitz, or they would've been homeless.

    Iguana, you live in SF. There are more queers in Baghdad on the Bay who look just like these Aberzombies than you can shake a stick at. Eat a cookie already.

    Terry
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    Apr 28, 2008 12:29 AM GMT
    iguanaSF said*retching noise*


    Allow me to echo your sentiment. Where did they dig up these Skull and Bones Mary's?
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    Apr 28, 2008 12:30 AM GMT
    They are President Bush's G-dchildren. Who else would have a pink Miele vacuum (you know you want one Sister Sunshine).

    MunchingZombie said[quote][cite]iguanaSF said[/cite]*retching noise*


    Allow me to echo your sentiment. Where did they dig up these Skull and Bones Mary's?[/quote]
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    Apr 28, 2008 1:36 AM GMT
    ursamajor saidChuck came home from the coal mine only to find Jim heating his TV dinner in the microwave, the tin plate sparked and caught the trailer house on far. Luckily their friend Jim Bob was there and put it out with piss and what was left of his Schlitz, or they would've been homeless.

    Now that had me on the edge of my seat!!!


    ursamajor saidIguana, you live in SF. There are more queers in Baghdad on the Bay who look just like these Aberzombies than you can shake a stick at.

    I don't know Terry... I haven't seen an ascot, rep tie, or blue blazer with Khakis here since I... well, since I last went down to Palo Alto to beg for money from Ivy League venture capitalists.


    ursamajor saidEat a cookie already.

    *disgruntled munching resumes*

    PS I think I'm also jealous of that pink Miele vacuum.
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    Apr 28, 2008 2:27 AM GMT
    I just read this--after reading the piece on Jill Friedman's photos of sleaze and suffering during the '70s. She was definitely the more appealing character.

    This kind of journalism is sooooooo gay. There's a subtext of self-congratulation for being so out and proud and level-headed and romantic and clever. The language is as stylized as the photography (and one of the photo credits does mention a "prop stylist).

    It reminds me of Andrew Sullivan's work for the Times Magazine years ago. He presumed (and continues to presume) that his little corner of gaydom is typical of everyone's. In one of his more infamous stories, a cover piece, he declared the end of the AIDS epidemic because he had responded to drug therapy that was still largely unavailable to most gay people in the world.

    It's amazing to me that the writer didn't go outside his own circle of acquaintances to research his piece.

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    Apr 28, 2008 2:46 AM GMT
    czarodziej saidpersonally, i just kinda want what my parents had/have- marriage out of college that gets better every year. i want to love and be loved, and know it'll last, or at least have faith it will. seems kinda empty and pointless (and unnecessarily painful) to put oneself through drama after drama with serial dating or worse.


    I don't think all of that drama is necessarily empty and pointless. For some people, it's part of the process of figuring out who you are...a developmental stage maybe. Straight folks who marry in their early 20s often (not always, but often) experience those emotional growing pains much earlier in their lives than gay men. Even in the straight world, marrying right out of college is the exception nowadays. Most people don't think they know enough about themselves or the world to make a lifelong commitment in their early 20s.


    Ursamajor threw shade manfully, thus
    Those Boston bitches think they are hot snot on a silver platter but really they are cold boogers on a paper plate.


    You go girlicon_exclaim.gif


    then he wroteNo one wants to read about normal people.....

    Chuck came home from the coal mine only to find Jim heating his TV dinner in the microwave, the tin plate sparked and caught the trailer house on far. Luckily their friend Jim Bob was there and put it out with piss and what was left of his Schlitz, or they would've been homeless.


    True. And hilarious (and, surely, it was a bottle of Schlitz...they are gay, right?). Now, if they were a trio I imagine there would be a story.
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    Apr 28, 2008 2:52 AM GMT
    There's 10 pages of that stuff!icon_eek.gif! Okay, I only made it through page one before the puck factor set in -- please just text me when the gays are eloping in Vegas in identical elvis costumes!

    And here I thought this thread was going to be about night clubs/bars, sex, and well more sex, and the occasional STD, well that and having sex with OW was 'a rite of being gay' -- at least I thought that's what you said it was!?!

    But whatever, at least some peoples lives or well organized they have no need for manicure, or is that diamonds coming out from the anal sphincter...?

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    Apr 28, 2008 2:54 AM GMT
    wrerick saidThere's 10 pages of that stuff!icon_eek.gif! Okay, I only made it through page one before the puke factor set in -- please just text me when the gays are eloping in Vegas in identical elvis costumes!

    And here I thought this thread was going to be about night clubs/bars, sex, and well more sex, and the occasional STD, well that and having sex with OW being gay was 'a rite of being gay' -- at least I thought that's what you said it was!?!

    But whatever, at least some peoples lives or well organized they have no need for manicure, or is that diamonds coming out from the anal sphincter...?

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    Apr 28, 2008 4:14 AM GMT
    IquanaSF: I'm with you. I couldn't tell if it was the couples who were twee and irritating and privileged or if the author was just emphasizing the qualities that would make them endearing to the "limousine liberal" set.

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    Apr 28, 2008 4:25 AM GMT
    Beats years of sex addiction in a self destructive club scene. But really, if more young homosexuals want to have stable typical nuclear families, than more power to them. Hell, with enough of them/us maybe the 'majority' rule in the US will accept homosexuality as something normal and will finally give us the rights we deserve.
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    Apr 28, 2008 4:44 AM GMT
    Do most Gays want kids? l dont for one?
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    Apr 28, 2008 7:23 AM GMT
    You know maybe I am in the minority here, but this article just brings up a certain uncomfortable feeling. I think deep down most of us want the same thing; we want to be loved truly, deeply, and we want to be secure in the knowledge that those things are going to last. I've wrestled with the question myself: Is the happily ever after thing possible for gay men, or is it at best a naive illusion to think that we could borrow this hetero social notion? Is it an exercise in pain to even consider such and are we better off discarding such bullsh*t notions and quit torturing ourselves?

    I think this whole trend towards early marriage is simply reflective of a larger truth, for most gay men any sense of security is a rare and fleeting thing. So when we find someone we can connect with, someone that we can develop feelings for we tend to assume love and seek out ways to keep it. We're all grasping in the dark for someone to provide that security that is so rarely present in our lives. Marriage is a contract, its a legal institution created to put legal and religious, moral and community authority behind an agreement to remain in love.

    Truth be told is that security doesn't really exist for humans as a whole. Nothing we grasp at for security can possibly provide it. Everything is moving on and changing without end. We only hurt ourselves we cling to things for our security. Our only security is in accepting that there is none. Then we're free to step back and just enjoy the ride for what is while it is. Most often when that approach is taken then things can last because we aren't squeezing the life out of everything by holding on so tight in a desperate attempt for security. I really hate to think of a whole generation of young gay Americans headed for the heartbreak of divorce when they suddenly hit their 30's or 40's and decide they want more out of life, or that they gave up their best years all in order to find some illusory sense of security.

    Some might think this is a cynical view towards marriage and relationships, but in reality its anything but. I mean I would love to find that person with whom I could spend the rest of my life with. I just think the best chance of that happening occurs when we aren't searching for security outside our ourselves, when we aren't searching for someone else to complete ourselves, but instead when we find someone else equally complete that expands our life and brings joy and happiness to us without the excessive clinginess that destroys so many otherwise great relationships. Marriage rocks, marriage for security is a ticking time bomb.

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    Apr 28, 2008 10:32 AM GMT
    Well, I do want marriage, a wedding gown, a wedding cake, a wedding ring (must be a bigass diamond), and a honeymoon in Hawaii.

    But... is he vacuuming in a coat and tie and icky shoes?!

    Stepford gay men! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 28, 2008 12:51 PM GMT
    TurkishDelight saidDo most Gays want kids? l dont for one?


    You would be surprised the number of gay men that want kids! It is not a make or break thing for me (good thing being HIV+), even though I think I would make a pretty good parent. It seems a lot of men though when they get into their 30's start yearning for a family. I know of one couple that have 3 boys and 1 girl from two different mothers. Initially they thought they would be sharing the parenting 50-50 with the mothers, but one of the mothers is not too keen on the time commitment so the fathers are now spending 80-20 with the kids.
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    Apr 28, 2008 12:56 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said[quote][cite]iguanaSF said[/cite]*retching noise*


    Allow me to echo your sentiment. Where did they dig up these Skull and Bones Mary's?[/quote]

    To each his own I guess. I personally would not appreciate this lifestyle, but then again I don't have a lot in common with many of my gay peers. I did not get the materialism gene, like my dad and brother that way. Here is my late father in typical garb, going eye to eye with a bird on a New Zealand beach. Not exactly a fashion plate I am afraid.

    Stand-Off New Zealand Beach
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    Apr 29, 2008 2:22 AM GMT
    Wysiwyg60 said[quote][cite]MunchingZombie said[/cite][quote][cite]iguanaSF said[/cite]*retching noise*


    Allow me to echo your sentiment. Where did they dig up these Skull and Bones Mary's?[/quote]

    To each his own I guess. I personally would not appreciate this lifestyle, but then again I don't have a lot in common with many of my gay peers. I did not get the materialism gene, like my dad and brother that way. Here is my late father in typical garb, going eye to eye with a bird on a New Zealand beach. Not exactly a fashion plate I am afraid.

    Stand-Off New Zealand Beach[/quote] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I loved the pic of your father !!! --- I can identify with him, and what the surroundings suggest of a quiet life, symple enjoyments---I couldn't stomach the sherade of life like that led by those in the article, or at least the way they were portrayed. I live in my house!!! everything isn't perfectly in place and spotless, and I won't waste my time trying to keep everything that way. People who visit are always comfortable too !!!
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    Apr 29, 2008 6:25 AM GMT
    Yes, the photos and quotes were ridiculous, but the article had a deeper point about how some young gay men were rushing into marriage in marked contrast to older gay men who could also marry their short term partners but choose not to.

    If you can get past the Stepford gay couple, the article gets better. It's sad that one of the first gay men to get married and then divorced only got his grandfather's approval of his relationship when he got married, and hasn't told him yet about the divorce.

    It does seem to confirm what Dan Savage said about those men marrying for external validation of their love. It's a mistake for any couple, gay or straight, to rush into marriage.