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Is it now normal to be Gay? And is that a Good Thing?


jameswilson
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Interesting article in one of Canada's national newspapers. Note especially the 3rd last paragraph...

 

 

Pride's just busting out all over

MARGARET WENTE

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080626.wcowent26/BNStory/specialComment/home

June 26, 2008 at 7:58 AM EDT

 

Yes, folks, it's that time of year again. Time to get out the feathers and the leathers and the nipple rings, and celebrate the wonderful diversity that is Pride Day. Time, if you are a politician, to parade your liberal bona fides and court the gay vote, which, in Toronto, is not inconsiderable, to say nothing of the incredible bonanza that Pride Day means for tourism. Time, if you hate crowds, to get the heck out of the city until they all go home.

 

"Why don't they call it the Gay Pride Parade any more?" my husband asked.

 

"Because 'gay' is not inclusive," I said. "Now it's GLBT."

 

Actually, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender does not begin to cover it. All these groups are divided into subgroups, each of which has its own pride, identity, support groups and discrimination issues. There are male-to-female transsexuals who have breasts and complain about being rejected by feminists because they're too feminine. There are transmen (female-to-male transsexuals) who complain they're barred from all-male S&M clubs. There are transmen who have surgically constructed male parts (known as "dangly bits") and those who don't. There are transmen who prefer sex with men, ones who prefer sex with women and, for all I know, ones who prefer sex with budgies.

 

Now there's even a pregnant man - Thomas Beatie, whose due date is next week. "How does it feel to be a pregnant man?" he wrote. "Incredible. Despite the fact that my belly is growing with new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man I am."

 

Before becoming pregnant, Mr. Beatie was a teenage beauty queen. Since then, he had gender-reassignment surgery, legally changed his sex, and got married to a woman. Today, he wears checked shirts and a beard, and wields a chainsaw. When he appeared on Oprah, she patted his protruding belly and called this development "a new definition of what diversity means for everybody."

 

I like to think I'm reasonably open-minded. But the new normal is always a step or six ahead of me. Just when I think I've caught up to it, my husband picks up a copy of Now Magazine and reads me Dan Savage's column. It is not to be missed. Mr. Savage gives sex advice to people who are engaged in practices I never could have dreamed of. Take, for example, the little old lady who likes to masturbate her budgie to orgasm. "Is this perverted?" a reader asked. Mr. Savage answered no - on the grounds that both parties enjoyed it, and they weren't hurting anyone else.

 

Well, far be it from me to deny the polymorphous perversity (oops, diversity) of human and avian sexual behaviour. As somebody once said, "I don't care what people do, so long as they don't do it in the street and scare the horses."

 

But a funny thing has happened. Now that merely being gay is normal, people who want to be transgressive have to fight harder and harder for attention. Now that two men kissing is a yawn, it takes a lot to épater la bourgeoisie. You get the feeling that some people want to have it both ways. They want to shock - and they also want society to accept the outer edges of sexual behaviour (as seen on the Queertransmen website) as if they were family picnics in the park.

 

In an age of limitless individualism, nothing is out of bounds any more. Everybody feels that he or she has an equal right to self-expression, no matter how bizarre. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. But what's wrong with restraint? Does everyone have to go on Oprah?

 

Many (actually, most) of my gay friends think it's all become a bit nuts. They're not transgressive - they're bourgeois. They're weary of the Pride Parade's tired clichés - the campy drag queens, the naughty costumes, the celebration of sex, sex, sex. Yes, it mattered once. But now it just seems faintly vulgar. They're going to spend the weekend gardening.

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I was taught in Biology that organisms in an overcrowded environment become homosexual (a demonstration of this in a rat population was mentioned). It almost seems like a natural control, a step or two before a disease outbreak that decimates the whole population to a more sustainable level.

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