|Coming out may end up being the easiest part!|
that rewards compliance (and assaults individuality or difference
of any sort) takes much courage.
Generally, growing and maturing requires escaping the clutches
of the regimented and puritanical smaller towns (resistant to change
and exploration, filled with overly possessive and controlling families.)
And yet we can find ourselves--those of us escaping repressiveness
and depression and leading into an adult world where we are free
to discover our true selves--becoming heady from our new freedom.
But not all is well in Camelot!
|Is there any difference between one brand of conformity and another?|
express one's inner self is very exciting, and adding to that experience
of--at long last--a sense of belonging and acceptance, when we add
the thrill of another's touch, a deep and intimate kiss, the release of
years of repressed sexuality...well, we can find ourselves not quite in
possession of our faculties any longer.
We may even be reluctant to admit (defensive, perhaps) that there are
caveats demanding new loyalties and concessions from our new comrades.
Things we miss seeing at first, in our euphoria, or perhaps are willing to
overlook due to our desire to finally be included.
The gay 'subculture' (at least on a social level) has an expected
accommodation of partying excesses, substance abuse, bitchiness,
gossiping, ageism, sexism, body worship and other nihilistic self-defeating
outrageous behaviors, including a disregard for safe-sex practices.
|Straights aren't the only ones bullying us;|
often we are cruelest to our own.
selves reflected back at us, instead of hiding our real self--being free of
condemnation...it's very intoxicating!
We might accommodate this new life by emulating those we have grafted
onto; become a body Nazi, drift into more experimental or aggressive drugs,
and other self-hating activities that pass for gay culture.
Like all oppressed people that find a measure of freedom, gay men
have a deep need to feel superior once they finally find their voice. And
the best means of feeling 'superior' is to be merciless cutting down others.
|Toned bodies and tans aren't the most important|
thing about our fellow queers; expand your interests.
to another. Realize that you can always make a change in your friends
and surroundings. This pressure to assimilate pervades every clique and
subculture; it isn't particular to the gay community. Just because your first
foray doesn't meet your expectations doesn't mean future ones won't.
Being yourself is really the only game in town, no matter who it is that's
expecting you to change to be part of their pack.