What happened to the New Homosexuality?
Recently I came upon this book THE NEW EROTICISM: THEORIES, VOGUES AND CANONS
New York, Random House 1970 at a church book sale. It intrigued me because of it's age, there's been a lot of new chapters in the sexual revolution since 1970. The book is a collection of essays by prominent radical thinkers of the time such as Herbert Marcuse, and a lot psychiatrists who base their theories to an embarrassing degree on the now largely discredited theories of Sigmund Freud.
To me the most interesting chapter was by someone called Tom Burke, who originally wrote the piece for Esquire in 1969. It's called The New Homosexuality and it begins:
Pity: just when Middle America finally discovered the homosexual, he died. Countless stolid burghers, reconciled to the idea of such opulent phenomenon as acid rock and the male pill, are finally prepared to empathized with (if not quite approve of) this thirty-fivish semi-neuter whom they imagine to be the prototypical modern deviate: a curio shop proprietor with an uncertain mouth, wet basset eyes, a Coppertone tan and a miniature Yorkshire, who lives in a white and silver Jean Harlow apartment, drinks pink gin, cooks boeuf Bourguignon, mourns Judy, makes timid liaisons on 42nd Street, get mugged by midnight cowboys, and masturbates while watching televised swimming meets.
The public is now prepared to have a gingerly if patronizing romance with him, and, alas, the attachment is necrophilic: he has expired, with a whimper, to make way for the new homosexual of the seventies, an unfettered, guiltless male child of the new morality in a Zapata moustache and an outlaw hat, who couldn't care less for Establishment approval, would as soon sleep with boys as girls, and thinks that "Over the Rainbow" is a place to fly on 200 micrograms of lysergic acid diethylamide."
Hey cool, but how come I don't see much of this "New Homosexual" thirty-nine years later? Something happened to cause that old, stale image of gay guys as a sort of male version of a dumb 50's housewife to reassert itself. Part of the blame is no doubt the entertainment industry, which thought it was helping to expand the acceptance of homosexuality by making it cute and funny.
As I've said before - I'm queer but I'm not a fag. I refuse to be stereotyped into having certain opinions, attributes and abilities just because I'm gay. Being homosexual does not make me good at interior decorating, or at fashion or any of the other bullshit things I'm supposed to be and do because Hollywood and the TV industry told you that is who I am. I'm gay but I can do what I want, be any way I want and if anyone wants to tell me what gays are supposed to be like based on some straight person's ignorant stereotype of what a gay person is supposed to be, my reply to them is FUCK YOU I DO WHAT I WANT!
The many talents of former Northampton wonderboy Paolo Mastrangelo (above) have been exploding all over New York City since he moved there last summer. He's currently a contributor to one of New York's hottest blogs, and has even got New Yorkers talking about Northampton's proposed panhandling ordinance. To check out Paolo's latest adventures click here.
A sea of snow conceals the esplanade outside the campus hotel at UMass.
The snow we can stand, at least with a little self-encouragement.
But the arctic temperatures with a cruel wind is too much!