Queer stuff 8 Replies

My brother (the Gay Historian of the Soviet Era Russia) says that we now live in a “Post-Homophobic World”.

I agree wholeheartedly. I think that slowly, slowly, monkey monkey we (as a gay species) have crossed over a singularity of acceptance that transcended all religions and political boundaries. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still killing gays in parts of the world, but hey – Canadians are still allowing seal clubbing… I can proudly and ironically say “We’ve come a long way, baby!” And I mean that in a “look where feminism is today” kind of irony. With shows like The A-List: New York, we now can be accepted as douchebags, like those Jersey Shore douchebags.

My brother’s statement seems a bit dark to me. I prefer to call us living in a Proto-Homo society. Where homosexuality is evolving into main stream acceptance, not being shoehorned defiantly. Watch as some gays mesh into the middle class norm of two dads and a couple adopted kids while others who see themselves as the defenders of a gay culture, sit outside, mocking inward. See: Sky Gilbert. Oh sure, activists got us here (cheers Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence! ACT UP! Westboro Baptists Church!) but we with the money will take it from here.

You may use “Proto-Homo” if you like. I may make it into a t-shirt.

8 thoughts on “Proto-Homo

  1. Dan the "Not-quite-Prof"

    Hmm, what did I mean when I said we live in a “post-homophic world”? I was getting at the impact all these official and institutional changes are having. We live now in a different world from the one we grew up in the 1960s-1970s, which was routinely and institutionally homophobic. Young people coming out are valued in ways we could only dream of – by employers, schools and universities, by the United Nations (parts of it!) and by the President of the United States, for Christsake. That’s breathtaking. Of course that doesn’t alter the fact that homophobia still exists, that fear and self-destruction still ruin too many queer lives. But there are so many more influential post-homophobic voices in the conversation. And opportunities like gay marriage – and yes, Dan, I want the state involved in marriage and recognising my right to it. You can go too far down the road of “getting the state off our backs”; do you want the state to stop funding a national/provincial health service? Better to teach the state to do things you want it to.
    Love you bro!

  2. Evil Panda

    I think in about 20 years, assuming that the US doesn’t turn into a Christian Fundamentalist country, that we’ll be in a Proto-Homo world. Not yet though.

  3. thejtree

    Hmm, “Proto-Homo”… I guess my thought about all of this is that, yes, homosexuality is becoming “tolerated” more — at least in the West, and really, is tolerance the goal? Though it is still ignored, punished, and vilified on a global scale. Plus, a “post-homophobic” world would imply that people’s experiences aren’t rooted in homophobia anymore. But gay youth still kill themselves in the US/Canada, teachers who even mention their same-sex partners in elementary and secondary schools still get slandered, I still feel the guilt of my Catholic upbringing raining down on me (and probably always will). Its not that I don’t *want* to be in a “Proto-Homo” or “post-homophobic” world, though I don’t know what that would look like… its just that I don’t think we’re there yet… we may never be depending on the parameters. I do think we’ve come a long way, but I still think there’s so much work to be done.

    Lovingly yours,
    Debbie Downer

  4. Dan

    Oh yeah, I remember that article (perhaps I’ll read more links too). I’m way off base. He’s anti-assimilation, making noise that all queers aren’t, um, “good”/domesticated/normal-folk-like-heteros. ‘Cause we’re not.

    I don’t see his work as hacking/selling gay culture, though, but drawing attention to a different kind of gay. He’s not alone in his assessment, but he might just be the loudest, crassest one expressing it. I think the level of “outrageousness” of his output probably hasn’t changed much over his career, especially taking into account the surrounding culture.. like crassness adjusted for inflation.

    Sure, it doesn’t go down well in Alberta (or Halton, or Scarborough, etc), but really, fuck ’em. These same people are offended by our mere existence anyway, regardless of how any of us present ourselves.

    On the other hand, meh. šŸ˜‰

    Er.. here’s a fun video: Steve Hughes: the “straightness” of gay men, and the “gayness” of straight men

  5. Dead Robot

    Cb: as long as you put a “Dead Robot Heavy Industries” copyright on it.

    Dan: I never got the impression that Sky Gilbert was looking for a cohesive liberalization. I always thought he’s selling off gay culture. Alluding to cum stains on his pink pumps in a national paper won’t go down well with the Alberta crowd. His “shock and aw, take it bitch” attitude isn’t a push forward, it’s a kick to the kidneys. He says he’s protecting our “culture” by writing about it, but in doing so in mainstream venues, he’s actually eroding it.

    Sky’s gotta eat. He lands a few freelance gigs at the G&M and writes about how he blew 1000 guys last year and lets the comments come in and the page views fly off the server. He made some great contributions to gay culture but with age, he’s hacking up gay culture and making money, not advancing any kind of cause.

  6. Dan

    The “problem” with Sky Gilbert and company is that they’re already looking (well.. have been looking all along, I guess) at a more general liberation that pushes everyone forward socially. More radical, and interesting, but still “out there” for many, for mo and non-mo alike.

    An example being marriage: wouldn’t it be better for the state to get out of the marriage business entirely (leaving it with the churches) and merely be a means for registering/administering to whom one’s benefits/assets should go, and how custody and welfare of kids is assigned? In practice very little would change for the majority of citizens (pair bondings of husband/wife, husband/husband, wife/wife would still be the norm), but allows for other interdependent relationships to be recognized (from triads and other poly arrangements, to non-conjugal pairings). If someone wants to go further to solemnize their union/arrangement within a religious context to be formally “married,” they’re free to do so.. but it would no longer confer any special status with the state.

    In the push for gay marriage, we’ve achieved entry into the institution and equality to heteros, but we can still lobby for a more liberal system for everyone.

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