What happened to our Gay Gentlemen? (Guest Blog)

Before I start the actual blog post, I would like to say thanks to my best friend Lauren for letting me say my piece on her blog. I love how she writes, and what she writes, she is a person totally in charge of her own life and her own sexuality and this is reflected in her stories and experiences. I encourage you to read her pieces in this blog and enjoy them as I have (after reading mine of course). I think you’ll find them all unique and quite insightful!

I don’t blog that often but here goes…

The social and cultural strides of the Gay movement and the sacrifice of so many men who have perished and suffered for the freedoms I have today, are immeasurable. All the way throughout the Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Ottoman, Oriental, Ancient, Medieval, and Enlightenment periods as well as Modern History; Gay men have played their part in the rise and fall of empires, key political and economic thought and, in one case, cracked the codes of one of the most evil regimes of our time. Our reputation as gay men, as leaders, as individuals and as winners, took pride of place in our battle to be accepted as a societal norm.

Societies thoughts around gay men use to turn to inventors, people of style and fashion, leaders of their class and profession. Friendliness, openness, acceptance, perseverance, and confidence are all traits associated with gay men. Societal norms of the recent past often meant gay men were not as tied down to family commitments and often redirected that focus to further themselves and their ambitions, often giving them a leg up (pun intended) over their Heterosexual counterparts. The Pride came from, their work and their image; and also from personal success, attention to detail and old fashioned gentlemanly like conduct.

Gay men in Britain now, because of the campaigns and the sacrifices of others, have all the freedoms of every other citizen (and arguably more). Homophobia is not tolerated, and any form of discrimination is come down on upon, with the full force of the law. I can hold my boyfriend’s hand in the street without a second thought and if anyone says otherwise, the likelihood is that someone else will step in before you can! It truly is liberating in every sense of the word. But, with Liberty and Freedom comes responsibility…

Here comes the controversial rant…

We, as gay men, need to respect our freedom (like any other citizen) and not exploit it to do and say everything and anything we want all of the time. Yes, we absolutely have the right to do that and so we should, where appropriate. Especially when talking to people about those freedoms. But, that certainly doesn’t mean that every conversation we have should be about our sexuality and our sex lives.

Everywhere I go now with other gay men, there are more and more people talking openly about what happens in their bedrooms, about whom and what they did. Nothing is private or personal or even mysterious any more. As a gay community this is slowly becoming normal, to chat about sex acts, in public places with other people (and not just other gays).

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chat about the nasty, but there are times and places for these things. Not at Sunday lunch, in a restaurant full of people just trying to enjoy their day out with the kids. What happened to good old fashioned innuendo? Instead, we get comments like “So I was banging Dave last night…”, as if we were some sort of American frat house. Where has the class gone? Where has the romance gone? (possibly a different can of worms for another time).

Our freedom and liberty as gay men, comes with a degree of responsibility for who we are and how we want the rest of the world to see us. If we are going to paint ourselves as a community with a difference; then the actions of each of us reflects on the rest of the community. We need to consider those actions. I fundamentally believe we need to own our sexuality, manage its image, and paint that picture of success and confidence. Don’t get me wrong, our sexual freedom and the ability to meet other gay men should never be trampled, but there’s no reason why the entire restaurant should have to hear about it…

Of course, there is the more sexualised side of gay culture. One we should absolutely be proud of. We have an association to sexual freedom that people of all genders, and sexualities, could take a lesson from. We own that, and where appropriate we should flaunt it. This is however, where there needs to be a line sometimes. How do we paint that picture of our community? Do we want to be known as the confident successful individuals of this world, or the sexually promiscuous gay boy? By all means, be both, but which image do you want as a label for the community for the outside world to see?

Our fight in this country is at the stage of drawing happy conclusions and the political theatre turns to those countries whom we give money to… but still lop of the heads of our gay brethren overseas. Our work is not done, and we need the world to see our best gay men on show so that we can command the respect we fully deserve. Act like the confident, successful man that our community produces and take others to task in gentlemanly, stately fashion. Not just in your day to day life, but in our efforts to take on those inferior peoples who stand in our way, and kill us because they are scared of us.

Let’s do what we’ve always done best. Dress well, moisturise, and stand tall. Hold the door open for folks, smile at our enemies, chuckle with your friends, buy a round… Be a Gentleman…

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