Wednesday, May 28, 2008

After Homosexuality or Trivializing “Gay” Identity: an Artist’s Soap Box Lecture

When I read the term “Post Gay” in the June 17, 2008 edition of The Advocate I wasn’t exactly appalled. * Frustrated and angered describe best my emotional response to the over simplification and trivialization of my sexual identity. After all, as of June 2008 the struggle to obtain parity with our heterosexual brothers and sisters hasn’t exactly succeeded. And, even if it had, I personally am a gay man though I consider myself to be many things in addition to my sexuality. First, I am an artist. Secondly, I’m a Caucasian male artist, which means that I’ve probably had many more advantages than many of my black friends, as well as those friends of the opposite sex. I’m also a retired art educator, which means I am now beginning to understand the marginalization that comes with increasing age in our culture. I am middle class, though many on my mother’s side of the family can best be described as old New England crust - they would (if they were aware of the greater culture) probably describe themselves as "post Boston Brahman.” I definitely feel the squeeze being put on my class by a government that has favored the rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor. Politically I am a converted Republican, a Democrat by choice, though of a conservative economic persuasion. Physically, I have had the advantage of being ectomorphic (ye gads, Microsoft Word doesn’t even know "ectomorph"), relatively handsome and well made, though my spine deviates to the left side by a few degrees, and I am slightly bow legged. I am also in the possession of moderate God given intelligence. Thus, by self definition and cultural definition I am, have been, and always will be "post gay."

However, none of these other characteristics, whether taken one at a time, or together in any combination affect the quality of my life nearly as much as does the fact of my being homosexual. Instead, my life long experience in our Western 20th and 21st Century North American culture has demonstrated that I must consider my homosexuality as problematic to many persons of the heterosexual persuasion.

Thus, wouldn’t it be prudent to wait until LGBT people are considered to be equal in every way to heterosexuals before announcing that we are beyond our homosexual identity?

* Harris, Chloe’, “Second Nature.” The Advocate Magazine, June 17, 2008. Los Angeles, (110-114).

1 comment:

wondermachine said...

Hi there. Really fabulous blog. I'm one of the editors of White Crane, and we're always looking for good artwork and collaborators. I came across your blog doing a search for Charles Demuth (the house collection was recently in DC on tour) and was delighted by your commentary on the foundation's take on his sexuality. We gotta keep at'em.
Anyway, thanks for a great blog and I hope to visit again soon!