Monday, 21 January 2008

the gay ghetto


I think I'm getting bored with the homogeneity of the gay community. I was catching up with friends Sunday afternoon at a popular watering hole in Sydney and the place was packed with people who looked, well, all alike. From hairstyles to clothes, to attitudes, to, well, general behaviour. I know everyone is different, but it certainly didn't seem like it today. I guess it is the 'in' place to go on a Sunday afternoon, so maybe that draws the 'in' crowd who follow the trends. Perhaps I need to get out more... but living away from the ghetto that is Gay Sydney I guess I've come to enjoy some diversity in the people around me - and when ever I'm in Sydney - I feel increasingly out of place in places gay.

I think there's a time when guys are coming out and getting to know one's place in the world as a gay man, and finding like people to connect with can be incredibly beneficial. Living in a ghettoised existence for a more prolonged period though seems to homonogenise rather than add diversity. I don't want to be a stereotype and I do want to be seen as more than just a gay man. Is it better to live safely in isolation from the outside world, or to go out and be who you are within that outside world?

12 comments:

GeoffnTerry said...

Yeah!!! A voice of sanity in the wilderness.

Glad to hear your musings. We all know that we can do the scene thing if we need to..look right, dress right, say the right things blah blah blah but are we comfortable with that deep down...does it give us a sense of meaning at the end of the day...is it really us or just us trying to fit in?

I am a fashion disaster, my 42yo body is starting to do all those wonderful things that 40+ body does and I am an introvert by nature. I have always felt like I was faking it in these situations...it wasn't me and it did not make me happy. At the same time I want a sense of community and belonging with a community of gay men.

Although there are quite a few people that I may bump into or chat with in my community I don't have a big network of friends...I have 2 or 3 close friends (which includes my partner) that I can be myself with and just enjoy that with them.

In our own ways I think all of us are at our sexiest when we are at home in our own skin...that sort of confidence is how i define sexy these days.

Love to all

G

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Ah another blogger censoring anyone that has the hide to be critical. I forgot that blogging was only invented to provide a service for self adoration.

Trevor said...

Look 'anonymous', I'm very happy to have constructive debate about any topic, but relentlessly bagging me about things that you obviously have no real insight into nor any sense of humour about isn't going to help anyone. It's easy to anonymously criticise everything that comes before you and interpret things in your own way - but if you have to rant and rave - create your own outlet in which to do it.

If you want to ask questions and contribute to debate - please do, but your comments so far are just inflammatory and unproductive - I'm not telling you what to do, so please don't tell me what to do.

Mandy said...

Don't take any notice Trevor: I learned from many years of living in Darlinghurst that most ghetto queens in Sydney have two things in common: an inability to distinguish between criticism and observation, and a tendency to panic when more than 300 metres from a gay bar.

Gabriel said...

being gay gives a new meaning to being lost in the crowd :)

JUSTIN said...

Here in Chicago we have our own "gay ghetto", Boystown, and I must agree, it seems very homogenious. Same clothes, same hair, same music, etc. Not that I consider myself some kind of "revoultionary" gay man (really, I am anything but) - but sometimes I feel like an outsider within the gay community because I tend to not follow the normal lifestyle. I really feel more comfortable in the "outside" world, as the Boystown scene here reminds me of high school in a way.

Sydney said...

Superchilled, I use anonymous as I cant be bothered signing up to Google.
My comments were not designed to bag you or as a rant. It was a comment on your post about the Gay community. I was making the point that communities everywhere tend to have similarities and if you dont or do enjoy those similarites then one naturally choses where to live, based on the community. They shouldnt bag those who chose to live in that community. Especially when you proliferate a particular style of gay man on this blog through the photos you use. It seems a little hypocritical to rail against the gay ghetto.

Trevor said...

geoff: Glad my post resonates!I too think that people are their sexiest when they're in their own skin, in their element, dressed as they like.

mandy: thanks.

gabriel: I'm not quite sure what you mean, looking like you fit in - but not really feeling it?

justin: I didn't expect it to be a Sydney-only phenomenon, and you've supported that. Pity that there isn't more diversity locally for you to find somewhere you feel more at home.

sydney: I was at the gay pub in the first place - and apart from my just-been-in-the-surf hair I probably fitted in just like everyone else. I'm not saying the ghetto is all bad and I'm certainly not railing against it - I'm just postulating that it would be nice to see diversity more widely accepted and practiced. Getting outside the ghetto can be benefit us all by making the rest of the world more tolerant simply as a result of increased exposure to gay people. I want to make the world a better place - removing myself from it won't do that, but asking questions from within is more likely to effect positive change. I think people need to question things more than they do. So I'm leading by example. It doesn't mean I'm always right. But if I can stimulate people to think then I'm happy.

The Patient Man said...
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Martin said...

My trev, you have caused a stir.

I think it's the same everywhere - and it has its time and place in every gay man's life.

I have more thoughts but perhaps a topic for a post more than a comment.

Love Mandy's comment. So well put.

Monty said...

I'm with you Trev...hence why I like to live on the Nth Shore. The "ghetto" has its place and I do like to go into a gay bar as much as any guy, where you can feel part of the crowd, but equally I like to go home, to the "real" world, where there isn't just gay guys, but there's all sorts. Living, working, playing in the "ghetto", in my humble opinion, will leave you with a narrow perspective on things!