….according to Bridget Saunders from the Sunday Star Times:
I guess gayness is no longer interesting because it is so accepted now. It is everywhere and no one much cares. There is minimal stigma if any, and actually, sometimes there is kudos. Sometimes it is a help to your career (makeup artistry, for example).
Some black American commentator said, after Obama got in, he (the commentator) was colour blind now.
What he meant was that colour, after Obama’s election, was just not an issue any longer. It just wasn’t interesting.
And that is how I see gayness. It is like having dark roots on blonde hair. It used to be a no-no but nowadays it’s so accepted it’s not worth commenting on. It just is.
Well, bless my cotton socks, good old Obama has got rid of racism in just a few months after all those hundreds of years of genocide, slavery, economic oppression, sexual violence, forced break-ups of families…..
He’s one clever man, that Obama.
But back to the gayness thing. My guess is Ms Saunders has missed the cultural phenomena – the backlash to greater visibility and acceptance of same-sex desire – known as calling anything you think is naff “gay”. Some Facebook users think it’s a big enough deal to organise against.
Then there are those pesky, boring gay men who get themselves killed for being so, well, boring and gay:
Stanley Waipouri RIP (mutilated and bashed to death, 2006)
Robert Hunt RIP (multiple knife wounds, 2004)
Robert Green RIP (shot in back of head, 2004)
Barry Hart RIP (multiple knife wounds, 2003)
David McNee RIP (30 – 50 blows to head, 2003)
John Sorrenson RIP (stabbed in back, 2002)
Jason Johnson RIP (murdered by a father and son pair, 2001)
Jeff Whittington RIP (bashed and stomped, 1999).
And then, of course, there is what young queer people say about their lives. The Youth 2000 report talked to 10,000 kids in schools in Aotearoa. Nearly 8% said they were not straight, and of these queer people:
- 25% reported depression symptoms
- 10% reported they had tried to kill themselves in the last 12 months
- 10% reported not feeling safe at school most of the time
- almost 50% had been deliberately hit by another person in the last 12 months, many more than once
So Bridget Saunders, guess I’m not with you on thinking being queer is so yesterday. But then, maybe we mix with different queer people.