The New Millennial Gay Experience
|Posted on January 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM|
A commenter on another site posted the following to a review of the first episode of HBO’s Looking:
“It was so nice to have a show again where all the characters are gay.”
My instant thought was this: what a quintessential example of the “old millennial gay experience.”
I assume the writer was referencing Queer As Folk when he referred to having a show “again” with only gay characters. I loved QAF, but it always bothered me that no meaningful straight characters – except for Debbie, an “honorary gay” – were to be seen. Despite the fact that 95% of our fellow citizens do not share our orientation, QAF established an alternate universe where straight people were the unseen menace, the mysterious “others” who lived “out there” somewhere. It reminded me a bit of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, where the residents kept at bay “Those We Don’t Speak Of.”
That world has never been my world, and I have never wanted it to be my world. I have no interest in living in a walled-off enclave with only gay people in it. That world developed in the past because most straight people could not be trusted to accept as an equal someone who came out to them as gay. Only among “our own kind” could we experience acceptance. But for many if not most of us – at least in the developed world – that is no longer the case.
The “new millennial gay experience” is that gay people and straight people are all just people. The “gay or straight” paradigm is increasingly a minor factor.