I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He’s currently taking a class about gays and gays in ethnic minority communities and told me that it’s pretty insufferable. He’s gay, I’m gay, and yet the readings and discussions don’t leave any room for debate. You either agree 100% with what the authors and teacher say, no matter how asinine, or you fail. For example, he said one reading blamed all police for halting the progress of activism and trying to have an actual conversation on that was nigh impossible. Now he just gives the teacher what she wants in essays instead of actually trying to defend his points.
Though he also said that saying he doesn’t really care for drag shows or the drag queen subculture has almost labeled him homophobic or bigoted. Now, I agree with him, as I’ve personally never really seen the appeal but I know many who do and I know some drag queens and don’t care one way or the other if they want to do such shows. There’s a lot to be said about how modern drag shows could be this generation’s clown performances (except actually entertaining since clowns aren’t). But trying to explain how that is a good thing or even a thing at all is frowned upon because you’re just supposed to like drag. Period. End of story. Saying you don’t like the shows automatically gets us shunned by the “gay community.” Hell, even saying that they’ve become a similar sort of production is met by disapproving head nods.
Those sorts of things are why I never really joined any sort of gay clubs until recently. Now I’m slowly getting involved in things like gay nerd and gay gamer communities simply because the sort of “mainstream gays” have become a clique of all or nothing. You’re either watching what they watch, agreeing with their points, and doing what they do or you’re not gay enough. If you think that isn’t a thing, trust me, it is. I’ve been told I’m not gay enough because I don’t worship Madonna. So in these very roller coastery times in which we’re fighting for just the right to get married we’re still segregating ourselves because it seems that so many people in the community cannot accept that a minority can have different aspects to it.
While it is disheartening at times to know how much of a divide there is, us gays who don’t conform to the “mainstream” standards are becoming more prominent and are telling our own stories. For example, the documentary Gaming in Color about gay gamers which is just a hair away from being fully funded is going to tell the stories of those who had been bullied for not only being gay but for being nerds. Or gay nerds who are completely ignored by everyone because no one thinks we exist. I also didn’t mean for this to be a ploy to get the project more money. It just hit me as I was writing this up as an example of how the fringe of the gay community is speaking up.
So yeah. Help if you can/want to. No need to back the documentary if you can’t/don’t wish to. But I think the best thing we can do is agree that there’s always room for debate and questions and all sorts of people regardless of the minority group.