Friday, October 16, 2009

Self loathing

One of the major hurdles that people like myself had to overcome when we came out in the early 1980's was the whole legacy of negative media stereotypes for gay people.  Luckily guys and girls today who are coming out have a different social climate that we had back then.  We didn't have it as bad as those who came before us. And who knows, maybe I'll live to see the day were people won't need to "come out" - people will just be accepted without there even having to be a revelation made about who they choose to be attracted to.

But, for those of us who remember them, "books" like these were, for a number of us our first encounter of what life was like for gay guys.  We can laugh about them now, but if you were a teenager in the 1960s or 1970s and didn't know any better, these books were at once a revelation and a sign of doom to come. 

These books had no happy endings, no normal people - these were about the most extreme stereotypes sex starved doing stereotypical things, all the while, mincing, prancing and skipping through an empty life.  And they were never proof read before they were published.  Riddled with errors, we believed that life was nothing but episodic sex and misplaced apostrophes.

Still, it is good for us to periodically remember that everything hasn't always been mainstream - and most importantly - that WE should control how we are portrayed in the media, not fashion our lives and outlooks to how the media portrays us.

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