This comes from a long year of one thing after another smacking me in the face and not being able to control or forsee events which I would normally. I didn't want this to be a blog, but a general essay based on observations I have made over the past two year about gay life, its attitudes, other attitudes and just how selfishness can override all other aspects of our lives.
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We see and hear alot about men who get divorced or who leave their families because of coming 'out'. In fact I once had a conversation with my all female colleagues when I worked in London, asking them if they could ever forgive their spouses for such an event. The resounding answer was 'no'. When asked why the most popular response at first was 'why get married in the first place?'. I looked at these independent intelligent people and realised that depite it now being a possibility in everyones lives so very little thought is given to it. Do we have to wait for an avant-garde comedienne to do a sketch on it?
From my liberal stance I weighed up the moral equation of this event, surely this would be better than a spouse cheating, or doing something more destructive to their families and spouses by becoming an alcoholic with a liking of saunas?!!
Their response hurt me more than I thought, it wasn't till I got home that I felt almost isolated by it. I was accepted by my colleagues because I was considered 'safe'. I was in a long term relationship, we lived together, we were both professionals and we had a cat! but when things started going wrong their whole attitude towards me changed, all of a susden I was a threat of some kind that would disturb their black and white world. I realised that this is not only for gay men but the same is done to single women. For straight men you get all the usual jokes, not so strange.
It was about this time that I became over-sensitive to everything, even online Debate I would get wound up and do a pretty good job of winding others up, and so this endless cycle of a battle of words took hold that only now I feel able to get a grip on. (Sorry for the navel gazing).
Now before I was in my relationship, I had never really been out on the 'scene'. Going clubbing and drinking at bars, more out of confidence that I might get beaten up outside if I was on my own more than anything. Then moving to Bournemouth was like a wake up call. Oh my God!! I can be myself and nobody actually gives a hoot!! I relaised that leaving the big city, rather than decreasing my freedom had expanded it. London is a paradox, the centre of the most liberal democracy on earth, culturally and politically, and the one place gay men and women have to scurry along in hope that there isn't a group of youths about to attack them.
You see there is very little unity if you belong to the gay and lesbian community. At least not here, you get pockets centred around one bar or club where the staff and their friends and regular patrons all look out for each other but no-one else, a bit like the Cove without Jessica Fletcher (but with almost the same number of attacks).
I finally understood why you see older gay men in groups, or deciding just to live together, because until you reach thirty five on the 'scene' youth is eternal and so is your string of partners. Then you hit that end which says 'you shall be alone and so will whoever decides to turn up to your funeral'.
The order of the day is promiscuity, and the addage 'just because you have sex with other people doesn't mean you don't love your partner'. WHAT???!!!!! This goes against everything and I am being told to accept it because the majority does!! Where did this begin? Are all men so pathetic they are unable to commit to one person?
Then I realised, it goes deeper and further than I could have possibly imagined before. It goes back to our upbringing, the first time we realised the attraction to men, the walls put up to stop you from doing anything other than what eveyone else does, the feelings of isolation, desperation and unattachment that stay with you for as long as you breathe.
So there is the inability to attach, reach out, accept another. In a community which exports the notions of acceptance, tolerance and reaching out, there is a severe lack of all three within itself.
And there is the long slide down, you realise freedom means isolation from the very things it is supposed to provide. A paradox? No, not really, the gay community has taken liberty and humanism in there purest forms. Liberty being the right to practice sexual acts and behaviour without legal intervention. Humanism as being the notion that even when you are with someone you can still act as an individual in every sense.
So is the gay and lesbian community free? No, because we still manifold our members to conformity in its own shape.
Ask not what you can do to poetry, but what poetry can do to you.