Will equal rights destroy the gay community as we know it?

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    Jan 23, 2014 5:58 AM GMT
    It's the basic question...arguably, persecution brought cohesion to the community. Will equal rights destroy and render obsolete or even undesirable many of the characteristics that enabled the previous generation of gay men to survive and build the incredibly diverse relatively open community that existed, but we all see dissipating?
  • MikeW

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    Jan 23, 2014 6:47 AM GMT
    Every new moment destroys its predecessor "as we knew it". What it meant to be "gay" prior to our current era is already "destroyed." No one speaks Polari now because it isn't needed. What it means to be gay is different for those born after the great plague years -- or born after the advent of ubiquitous internet pornography -- not to mention subsequent instantaneous video sexing with anyone, anywhere.

    "Gay" as the necessary designation of a subculture shamed into existence by an oppressive (and sexually repressed) hetero-centric over-culture is becoming anachronistic. Sexuality is becoming more open and accepted as a means of sharing something fundamentally human: pleasure and intimacy. Sexual preference is becoming something fluid and circumstantial, rather than *solely* fixed around a rather binary 'either/or' coordinate. Yes, of course, individuals will still have their genetically determined "sexual preference" BUT how strictly they choose to express (or be limited and identified by) that preference is what is changing.
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    Jan 23, 2014 7:29 AM GMT
    moscowmikey saidIt's the basic question...arguably, persecution brought cohesion to the community. Will equal rights destroy and render obsolete or even undesirable many of the characteristics that enabled the previous generation of gay men to survive and build the incredibly diverse relatively open community that existed, but we all see dissipating?


    Could happen . In San Francisco, there used to be gay ghettos. Not so gay anymore. Lots of factors at play. The breeders for the most part no longer have an aversion to us, and have been buying up the housing. Lots of baby carriages in the Castro. The Folsom Street bars (Folsom Street used to be a predominantly leather scene) are mostly gone - having been replaced by straight venues. Gay guys are now dispersed throughout the city.
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    Jan 23, 2014 8:08 AM GMT
    I hope so because I dont like the gay comunity as it is right now
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    Jan 23, 2014 10:19 AM GMT
    I have no interest in any kind of gay community, so I don't care about it. I think a lot of the newer generation has a similar mindset and that might end up killing it.

    There's very little that still binds us together.
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    Jan 23, 2014 12:01 PM GMT
    This reminds me of the protests done by some of the deaf who feel hearing implants will destroy the deaf community.
    The hell?
    I don't get it.
    Is a community more important than the people who make it up?
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    Jan 23, 2014 12:26 PM GMT
    I think Dallas still has a strong gay community, but the gay ghetto has been replaced by high density living and 3 story urban homes.
    Most all of the straight folks living in those 500K homes are very happy to be near all the action and restaurants.
    There's an energy about urban living that attracts both gays and up and coming straights.
    I've owned a triplex in the gay area for over 20 years and I've seen it completely change for the better.
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    Jan 23, 2014 12:48 PM GMT
    It has. What was an egalitarian spirit within a shared sense of being a part of a persecuted community has become stratified and painfully class conscious. The powerful and elite show little tolerance for diversity of thought and culture. There is more clique-ism than ever. A lot of selfish motives and politics in the community. Power corrupts, its an age old truth unfortunately.

    Of course gains have helped with social injustices, but at the price of losing the community's soul? It's human nature I guess.
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    Jan 23, 2014 2:50 PM GMT
    woodsmen saidIs there a gay "community"?

    Only in the same sense of the children in "Lord of the Flies."
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 23, 2014 2:59 PM GMT
    JohnSpotter said
    woodsmen saidIs there a gay "community"?

    Only in the same sense of the children in "Lord of the Flies."

    Ah, now that's not nice. icon_evil.gif
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    Jan 23, 2014 3:31 PM GMT
    MikeW said
    JohnSpotter said
    woodsmen saidIs there a gay "community"?

    Only in the same sense of the children in "Lord of the Flies."

    Ah, now that's not nice. icon_evil.gif

    Well, no, Mike, but it wasn't meant to be. Nor was it meant to be overly harsh.
    I don't want to write paragraphs but there's enough "make it up as you go long" in both to draw a parallel.
  • Lincsbear

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    Jan 23, 2014 3:47 PM GMT
    Perhaps destroy is too strong a word, but change radically, yes. In general, whatever community that does exist will be looser and more fragmented in an era of more acceptance. There`ll be a greater variety of opinions, views, and dissent from gay men as the disciplining of society`s hostility fades away. The tightness or strength of a community is usually in response to a need of protection from adversity.

    Could valuable characteristics of that old community be lost in the new, open era, solidarity, creativity, even? Yes, but as said above, its not something that could be stopped or controlled. Gay life, as all life, is one of change and progression; of gaining and losing.
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    Jan 23, 2014 4:03 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidPerhaps destroy is too strong a word, but change radically, yes. In general, whatever community that does exist will be looser and more fragmented in an era of more acceptance. There`ll be a greater variety of opinions, views, and dissent from gay men as the disciplining of society`s hostility fades away. The tightness or strength of a community is usually in response to a need of protection from adversity.

    Could valuable characteristics of that old community be lost in the new, open era, solidarity, creativity, even? Yes, but as said above, its not something that could be stopped or controlled. Gay life, as all life, is one of change and progression; of gaining and losing.


    I like this, as well, I think gay communities (notice the plural) will remain cohesive for other reasons. Communities often thrive on the old 'birds of a feather flock together' axiom.
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    Jan 23, 2014 4:30 PM GMT
    Lincsbear said... The tightness or strength of a community is usually in response to a need of protection from adversity...


    I don't know that people moved into gay areas because they were fearful or rather because they saw opportunity to meet others. If it was to meet others and not fear, then it is more so the electronics of hooking up than the logistics of avoiding judgment that's destroying community.

    We've seen fear in action. Fear and populations were used in the colonization of America whereby the government relocated Native American populations in ways to keep the European populations dense enough to create an economy. Aside from physical relocations and reallocations of reservations there was likely a lot of propagandizing of fear to keep the white populations from dispersing too thinly, until that population had grown enough to expand outward.

    So I think that while some of what you say had play, I don't know that fear was the primary motivation that corralled gays. Fear wasn't required for we were always free to roam. More so I think it was opportunity to party. Not so much to just be ourselves but to be ourselves among ourselves. If that is the case, then that also points to electronic community as being, maybe in greater part, the destroyer.

    Because even if endowed our human rights, without electronics, we'd still need to meet each other. So gaining rights by itself might not be the cause.
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    Jan 23, 2014 10:31 PM GMT
    i doubt it will and here's why. civil rights among the "non white" communities didn't cease the discrimination or the solidarity and years later there's still discrimination and solidarity. i don't think equal rights would break down barriers put up by different groups but they can be broken down by instead of looking at someone's differences, looking at their similarities.
  • Webster666

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    Jan 23, 2014 11:05 PM GMT
    No.
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    Jan 23, 2014 11:19 PM GMT
    As far as I see there is no real community anymore anyway. It would be best for us though.
  • Lincsbear

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    Jan 27, 2014 10:29 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    Lincsbear said... The tightness or strength of a community is usually in response to a need of protection from adversity...


    I don't know that people moved into gay areas because they were fearful or rather because they saw opportunity to meet others. If it was to meet others and not fear, then it is more so the electronics of hooking up than the logistics of avoiding judgment that's destroying community.

    We've seen fear in action. Fear and populations were used in the colonization of America whereby the government relocated Native American populations in ways to keep the European populations dense enough to create an economy. Aside from physical relocations and reallocations of reservations there was likely a lot of propagandizing of fear to keep the white populations from dispersing too thinly, until that population had grown enough to expand outward.

    So I think that while some of what you say had play, I don't know that fear was the primary motivation that corralled gays. Fear wasn't required for we were always free to roam. More so I think it was opportunity to party. Not so much to just be ourselves but to be ourselves among ourselves. If that is the case, then that also points to electronic community as being, maybe in greater part, the destroyer.

    Because even if endowed our human rights, without electronics, we'd still need to meet each other. So gaining rights by itself might not be the cause.


    My statement about communities` development was very general, I admit. I agree that they may develop for many reasons, some positive, some negative. Poverty was certainly one negative cause in the past in Europe. For gay men in USA/Canada it was more positive, a meeting of congenial company in a society of much greater individual freedom, etc.
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    Jan 27, 2014 11:30 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidMy statement about communities` development was very general, I admit. I agree that they may develop for many reasons, some positive, some negative. Poverty was certainly one negative cause in the past in Europe. For gay men in USA/Canada it was more positive, a meeting of congenial company in a society of much greater individual freedom, etc.

    Responding three days later! I thought this was the internet. I had to go back and reread.

    SmokeSignals.gif

    What you say about economics, though not so much by poverty, actually did and does play in the gathering of gays simply because we don't have children to worry about school districts so we can initiate gentrification either by the necessity of a lack of funds to buy into better school districts or the attitude of why pay for services we don't utilize. Plus we like to fix up houses when we're not out getting laid.

    And that was case of Wilton. We didn't move there because it was gay; it wasn't. We moved there because it was inexpensive and looked to be the next area to improve. And we worked hard on that, with many of us volunteering to help fix the place up. But then the gay businesses, particularly the bars, did move into town and the whole thing snowballed. With, I'll add, the momentum of the housing bubble, not that we were aware of it at the time. So it was really all those components which came together.

    Another housing bubble might happen again, populations will increase, areas will become more dense, and more gay people will be living openly. So some of that might again be replicated but the socializing aspect which has moved online to such a great degree I think from now on will interfere with physical community, so it might be harder to get that snowball rolling.

    A friend on the phone this afternoon was commenting about his observations in a restaurant: how most of the young adults have their phones are the table; are looking at them during dinner conversation (my mother would have slapped that out of my hand); are interrupting the waiter to catch a text; and they're taking pictures of their food. How does that build a real time community?

    I think it's all going to go the way of Key West.