Is It Cool to be Gay?

I have been having Facebook discussions with several people lately over the whole bi-curious issue, if we can in fact call it an issue.

In the community, the bi-curious are those individuals who are questioning their sexuality and exploring it.

This discussion began when I put a flippant comment up on my profile about bi-curious straight women. One friend said she found it irritating that some girls have the “Katy Perry” syndrome, which relates to the song, I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It.

She said that as an out lesbian in a long-term relationship, she found it irritating that some women were so frivolous about being gay. It was like they were trying it on like a new pair of jeans to see if it fit.

She felt it disrespectful to her and others who have sustained long-term relationships through hardships and all the hurdles that being a gay couple can invoke.

She found it annoying that because being lesbian, in particular, has become somewhat trendy, girls are now jumping on the Sapphic wagon and taking a ride.

The flip side and polar opposite response I got to this was from a woman who felt that it was progress within society and the gay community that younger people were more freely able to explore sexuality without all the internalized homophobia that used to be part of someone’s personal sexual exploration. She felt that excluding people who are dabbling or exploring was doing a disservice to them and the community.

The gay community can be as divisive within itself as any group. There are always differing opinions about what should or should not be accepted. I have heard some lesbians say that any woman who has been with a man is not actually gay. That would eliminate about 98 per cent of the lesbian population but that is still the view of some individuals.

I think that the fact that younger people feel freer exploring their sexuality does speak to progress for the gay community. As the community becomes more mainstreamed and more accepted, people will more readily accept who they are without years of doubt and internalized homophobia. If that isn’t progress, then I don’t know what is.

The huge leaps that the queer community has made to become more mainstreamed seems to elicit emotional responses within the community as well. There is always a backlash to every forward step. Gay couples acting openly gay is becoming less of a spectacle and that, in my opinion, is a good thing.

However, I have heard grumblings from some that they liked when the queer community was more counter culture and less integrated.

Others in the community do not like gay marriage or think it was a necessary step.

These opinions may be coming from younger people who have no recollection of just how homophobic society was 30 years ago.

Regardless of opinion, and where anyone sits on these issues, the gay community has made huge strides since the birth of gay activism just over 40 years ago. The fact that the younger generation is less inhibited in expressing their sexuality speaks to the efforts made by activists over this time.

But as one of the women I talked to said, “If being gay is cool, next year something else will be cool and guess what? I will still be gay.”

So true.

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