END OF GAY CULTURE WATCH

Key West is going straight. This emailer makes a salient point about the limits of acceptance:

I’m happy for the 20-year-old poli sci major at UCSB. I’m happy that his coming out was easy, and that his friends have accepted him for who he is. That’s all good. But it’s not quite the reality for most gay kids in America.
For starters, he lives in LA. Although acceptance of gay people has improved everywhere in the country it’s still a very different situation for someone coming out in rural Arkansas or suburban Detroit or a small town in Upstate New York.
More important, our hero is an athlete, straight-looking, straight-acting, popular, and all that. Things tend to come easily for guys like that. Try being a scrawny, effemiate high school drama queen. You might not surprise anybody by coming out, but chances are you’re not going to feel like “one of the guys,” either.
Gay culture as we have known it may be fading away, but I suspect it will be with us for a long time in some form because there will always be some of us who can never feel like one of the guys.

Point taken. Because I consider myself a political integrationist, I have sometimes been accused in the gay world of slighting gay men who do not conform to gender norms, or even disparaging them in some way. I truly hope that I have not left that impression. I’m a classical liberal in many ways, and do not believe that government should be in the business of affecting culture through law, in so far as that is possible. I believe it should restrict itself to treating all citizens equally under the law, and that’s it (hence my opposition to hate crime laws, for example). That means that some cultural and social unfairness, even cruelty, will endure. I don’t endorse it; I loathe it; anyone who knows me knows I harbor no hostility to effeminate men, drag queens, trans-gendered people, and others. I need to do a better job of understanding their issues. But I also believe in limited government. One of those limits is eschewing the temptation to alter the hearts of minds of free people. That job should be left, in my view, to private institutions and human interaction. Anything else gives government too powerful and invasive a role in our lives. (If you want my extended take on this, Chapters Four and Five of Virtually Normal make the case.)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: