Sunday, January 19, 2020
Genie in the toothpaste tube.
I was talking with friends and one woman mentioned seeing her nephew. This young man is probably in his early thirties now. Nice guy, tall, lean, good looking guy with sandy blonde hair. Typical young guy from around here, into sports, fishing, dirt bikes etc. Years ago, when he was near completing high school, he met this other kid, (a friend of friends) that would hang around with them on weekends etc. He was the opposite to my friend's nephew, short, more into books, always dressed nicely, that type of guy.
One day my friend's nephew realized that this other kid was gay, he felt very uncomfortable around the guy so he did what he felt he should do... he asked the kid to go out with him and the guy said yes. Good twist right? They are still together today... yes awww.
I have been thinking about this couple today, they grew up just at the perfect moment in time to be gay in Canada. I remember seeing the positive comments on social media sites saying what a cute couple they made.. and that was by people in this area. I have been thinking also about older gay people saying that the younger generation have no idea what it was like back in the bad old days.
In some way I'm glad they don't suffer from those memories. It must be interesting to grow up seeing the world as an equal in society. I always felt equal as a person but I knew society saw me as second or worse class. Some of the older people worry that if they don't know about past bigotry, things will backslide. I'm starting to think that probably won't happen.
Take for instance my friend's nephew, he came out really young, he has spent his entire adult life as a fully out gay man. He is with his childhood sweetheart. He is very close with his family, grandparents, parents all accept him and his partner. He is also very close to some of his uncles that have the same hobbies of fishing, dirt bikes etc. Now imagine someone coming along and trying to make him live a straight life? He could handle himself just fine but you would also have a large family coming down on you.
He is the opposite of me, he and many other young people that are gay, lesbian or bisexual, only know a life true to who they are. Trying to erase gay people from this society, would be like trying to put the genie back in the bottle or the toothpaste back in the tube. They don't know what it was like in the closet days but on the other hand, they only know what it's like to lead a sincere gay life. They have family and friends behind them, they have a different strength and are less likely to give up what they have. Even further, this guy has nephews and nieces that look up to him, imagine if one of them turns out to be gay, it will be a totally normal thing in that family.
Even very different is how his relationship played out. You wouldn't call him a stereotypical gay man... but then what does that even mean nowadays? It appears there were two types of gay men, those that could hide and those who couldn't in the old days. All my empathy and admiration to the ones that couldn't hide. Now these guys that fit the old "straight" mold, don't feel a need to hide anymore and so he started off living the way he was supposed to.
It's a completely different world for them, they grew up with the right to marry, with politicians marching in pride parades, with famous people proudly coming out, with tv shows about gay people, they grew up seeing themselves in society, how lucky they are. In fairness to this young man, when he came out to everyone, things were just starting to turn around for us, so it still wasn't a simple walk in the park for him. He is younger than me but I really admire him.
One of my straight friends text me about a contract he has with a young gay couple, he was telling me that they are getting married in the spring. He was joking with me that, other than them getting married, no one would ever realize they were a gay couple. Being a smarty pants like me, he said, "they even have a Lab as a dog and not an Italian Greyhound"! I text back that I know it's wrong but I still get some sort of satisfaction when people are surprised that I'm gay. He text me back, "actually Steve you should feel insulted if they think a regular guy can't be gay".