In the 1980s, ACT UP used to chant, “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!!” It was a rallying cry in the City for civil and social rights.
By the mid-1990s, there was a cartoon in the New Yorker, that featured two men on a couch, with one talking on the phone, responding to the caller, “Oh, no we aren’t going to the Parade. It’s just that we’re here, we’re queer, we’re used to it.”
I laughed when I saw that cartoon. We were young and childless living a gay cultural mecca. We were still lovin’ it.
By 2002, POB and I were more interested in “Mommie(s) and me” groups than tea dances or gay events. We huddled with our straight friends with children and talked about the best baby strollers, or how to get our child into the right “twos” program that would feed into the right pre-K program that would feed into the elementary school, and so on, so that the only angst was in paying for our child’s trajectory into happiness and financial promise. (Actually, life doesn’t — didn’t – really happen that way but more about it in another entry.) There were playground parties, play dates, and child-centered socializing schedules that rivaled even our single days being “out, loud and proud”.
Our son is 10 years old and he is more independent. So, POB and I can start to dream again of having an adult couple’s social life.
Still, yesterday, an Op-Ed in the New York Times decried the “death of gay male culture” as a little like the “exaggerated” reports of Mark Twain’s death.
Today, I was on a long run to meet the family at our synagogue’s Gay Pride family picnic.
Sidebar: Ok, the “run” involved running, walking and taking a cab, because this ol’ broken down body was “running out of time” to get to the picnic. More on that later.
There was a real energy as I jogged into Chelsea and then into the Village. It felt good. I wished I were wearing something with a rainbow.
I realized as I mingled at the picnic, we are NOT assimilating; we are NOT over being gay. Being gay is different. And that different is good. We are just on hiatus while we raise our kids.
And when you have kids, NAMBLA (National Association of Man-Boy Love) is a little scary. Let’s just be honest. I don’t need to take my young son to a parade where NAMBLA members are also proud and marching, rather than being on trial like Jerry Sandusky.
But, in 2020 when SOS is 18 years old, watch out, because two recently emancipated 56 year-old lesbians will be tearing up the dance floor, celebrating Gay Pride, all-out, all loud and all proud.