‘Gay Youth Culture’

This is a topic I am pretty sure ANYONE who identifies as LGBTQ+ is able to talk about for hours upon end, hey, it’s quite possibly a never ending argument and discussion – this whole notion of “gay culture“, as it can span into so many different areas and digressions.
And yet, I only want to focus on a few things, and those are things that I feel are quite evident and we are all ‘affected’ by (whether affected is correct word to use here remains to be seen…).

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The irony that the images I am uploading within this post so far have been highly stereotypical when one thinks of gay culture – Go-Go dancers and highly muscle defined men in speedos at a Pride parade – but to be fair, when people think of ‘gay culture’ it is this exact thing that people think of:

Promiscuity
High regard for body image
A LOT of partying
A general life of leisure.

Yet, what is highly frustrating with this automatic ideology of what the LGBTQ+ community is about, or what it pursues, is that a lot of us endear towards it – be that we strive towards the stereotype.
Now I know there is article upon article from individuals of a homosexual persuasion, though ironically more so from heterosexual writers,  which pretty much belittles this practice, and to be honest, I used to be one of those who secretly got agitated by people who reinforce what is commonly seen as negative stereotypes for gay people. However, in recent times I have definitely grown up and come to learn, understand and accept people to be who they want to be. We as a community tend to be more OTT, flamboyant, free, and that is simply due to a lifetime of feeling guarded about who we truly are… It’s like a butterfly escaping the cocoon when we come out the closet.

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What I find is the ultimate epitome of gay culture, particularly in the UK and among young gay adults, is this status that comes with being a barman in a gay club. I genuinely have no clue what it is, well no, I know exactly what it is – if you work in a gay club, you are smack bang in the heart of what is known as the ‘gay scene’, the places where we all go to unwind and what is seen as a necessity for all gay people – the desire to party til all hours as much as possible.
I have no idea where this stereotype came from, is it simply because gay people are only NOW being accepted as what can be seen as providing a foundation for a nurturing family, whereas prior to this, we were seen as people who only cared about ourselves?
But I digress, as the gay club is seen to many as the heart of the ‘scene’, those who work there are like the gate keepers to being known within that local scene. So to be associated with them, is to also be known with that particular scene…
It is so very bizarre, but I have seen it time and time again. Hell, I’ve even experienced it when my former partner used to be a barman in the busiest club in Liverpool – people would add me on social media, or see me out and make a point of saying “Hi, you’re Tom’s boyfriend, aren’t you?”
What’s it to ya?!

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I do love how social media has such an impact on gay people’s lives, particularly teenagers and young adults, even to the point of other’s judging our sincerity in our relationship with them – be that friendship or potential romantic relationship.
There is this absurd idea that if you have a multitude of mutual friends on Facebook, then that’s a bad thing, as it’s almost certain that you’ve slept with half of them; which is, of course, complete and utter nonsense. I don’t know what it is, but a high proportion of gay men don’t seem to like the idea of a potential partner having gay friends… again, stoking this horrific stereotype that all homosexual men are promiscuous and are incapable of maintaining a loving monogamous relationship. Again, complete and utter nonsense.
I find it so frustratingly aggravating when I meet someone, in a totally innocent set up, with no ulterior motive other than to talk and get to know them; and yet, they see my Facebook profile and instantaneously judge me on our mutual friendships – I’ve genuinely experienced a change in a person’s mannerisms and overall aura after they’ve seen this.
Is this a predefined stereotype that will forever haunt us as a community, certain individuals’ own paranoia and self doubt, or simply a thing? As I, for one, believe that the LGBTQ+ community is great when we stick together, i.e. we are friends, as we all have similar experiences and can be pillars of support for one another. It’s very sad when this is frowned upon for uncalled for reasons.

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I realise my examples thus far have been regarding gay men, but of course, I am one and these are the things that I notice more so than anything else, as I tend to either be involved in them, or be very privy to them.
However, there are several key elements to ‘gay culture’ surrounding lesbians, bisexuals, trans and any other denomination that can be ‘placed’ within the LGBTQ+ umbrella.

For example, I absolutely DESPISE the ignorance that is Bisexuality isn’t real. Who is anyone to say that a bisexual person is just a gay guy, or a lesbian, who is scared to either fully commit, or come out – sexuality is fluid. A person can be attracted to a man or a woman, let’s not forget that sexuality is just that – regarding a sexual attraction, a physical attraction – if a person finds beauty in both the male and female anatomy, then so be it. This type of thing should be celebrated, not shunned by a patriarchal society that demands gender roles be adhered to.
Personally, I believe bisexuality is probably how human nature is truly designed, we are all just on various points of the spectrum – some veer towards homosexuality and some to heterosexuality, whilst others identify as something else that can be frustratingly labeled within the LGBTQ+ circle of colour.

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Like I said at the start of this post…

This is a topic I am pretty sure ANYONE who identifies as LGBTQ+ is able to talk about for hours upon end, hey, it’s quite possibly a never ending argument and discussion – this whole notion of “gay culture“, as it can span into so many different areas and digressions.

And I could definitely carry on with further examples, but I’m pretty sure you get my point over this very highly debated topic that is gay culture, particularly modern gay culture with a focus on young gay adults. There seems to be a complete lack of education regarding that which has come before us, and how we have come to be a, to a point, accepted community.
I also believe, sadly, that there remains a lot of phobia within our own community towards each other – a lot of misunderstanding comes from within, and rather than accept and learn, we shun and dismiss.

Though we have come leaps and bounds, we as a community still have a lot of growing to do… But hey, that’s my opinion as an observer…

’til next time.

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