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".


anne marie in philly said...

from my POV, young women of today don't know how it was growing up in the 60s-70s. you were destined for certain jobs, you were required to get married and have babies, and gawd help you if you were gay!

today women can have ANY job we want, we don't have to get married and have babies, and you can be out and proud.

I'd rather live in the now than in the past.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm happy that things have improved so much since mid-20th century for all kinds of minority groups, including women and LGBTQ+. It's great and it's what we were fighting for! But we must guard against giving any kind of social or political power to groups that would strip minorities of rights and return to the old days. It's still important to speak up and safeguard progress.

Jimmy said...

In 1980, when speaking with my mother, my sister (older) would refer to me as "Your son the homo". My mom told me she died ten years after.

Sometimes I wonder if I watch too much CNN and am hyper sensitive to what the Government is doing today. But , seven anti-gay bills were just put up to the floor for the next session of legislature in the state of Florida.

The young LGBT have no idea what we went through. And most of the horror and terror was unreported and overlooked.

John Going Gently said...

Things are always getting better

Dave R said...

Stereotypes have always been the bane of our existence up until Stonewall, then things began to change. This is how evolution works.

Ur-spo said...

For a week I have been lurking as the laptop update last weekend now disallows me leaving comments on Blogger. I am doing this on the office PC
It is good to see the younger folks not having to go through the horrors and sorrows of the decades past.

Old Lurker said...

In some ways the young'uns have it easier. In other ways they don't. When you were young and coming out you didn't have to contend with Instagram, and living up to the perfect lives all of your friends on Facebook post to their walls.

I think it is possible that the gays will be demonized again if there is some scary disease outbreak that can be pinned to us. I think it unlikely, however. There are other groups we can pick on and scapegoat for our problems, such as trans people. (Even the transphobia might be diminishing, but then I am sure it will be someone else.)

Jimmy is not wrong about the Republican backlash. It isn't just Florida. Our friends Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh (and whomever Trump/Mitch appoint to the Supreme Court next) will see that there are lots of interesting battles to come.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Oh, I agree with Jimmy and Lurkie
The IMPOTUS administration has stacked the courts with bigoted judges in lifetime positions that will try to undo all the progress gained in the last ten years. I don't think they'll try right away to reverse gay marriage, but they already fucked with Trans service members and are attacking adoption and workplace rights little by little.
Millenials and Linksters do have a better path than Boomers and even Gen Xrs, but they'll have to contend with other evils and they will have to be prepared.


HuntleyBiGuy said...

I’m glad for your nephew and his partner. I’m also glad that they are in Canada and not the US. As a few others mentioned, it’s still an uphill battle here thanks to the republicans and the religious right.

The LGBTQ phobia is still very strong in the states. And hopefully the tide will turn. The first step in that is getting the shit stain (sorry for being crass) out of the White House.

So there is still hope, but I think it’s getting a little dimmer here. But the fight will go on.

Michael said...

Overall, I think things are getting better. At least better than when I was growing up. It takes generations to make changes, and luckily I think we've seen those changes happening.