Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hairdressers turn to the Dark Side

What does it mean to be gay in a society that until recently, was not as accepting of the orientation?

I guess we have to define what the word “acceptance” means, and I don’t mean this in a Clintonesque let’s-define-what-"is"-is sort of way.

Does acceptance mean that we can count on the token gay guy (along with angry black man and slutty college girl) being one of the archetypes for a successful Real World cast? Or that we get roles on TV as mincing, effeminate style mavens or anguished and disturbed serial killers? Or that we are being held up as the single reason why marriages fail in America?

It may be that there are more openly gay people in society. America woke up one day and found that their flight attendants and hair dressers had turned to the Dark Side, and I don’t mean they went to the tanning salon. Aunt Ethel and her 'roommate' Sophie were not just elderly spinsters who loved each others’ cats, feline and otherwise. But one just has to look at the suicide rates of gay teens to know that acceptance is still a long way.

At the moment, we are tolerated in some pockets of society, like places where there are tap dancing classes. Gay people can get married in the state of Massachusetts, but the minute they step beyond state lines, their marriage is invalid.

For Americans, with our Hot-or-Not mentality, tolerance is very much an uncomfortable middle ground. There are forces that are currently in motion working to topple the so-called “Gay Agenda,” trying to push us back into the closet.

Next: Call me “Kitty”

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