New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Steal the Show

If you are uncomfortable with the gay community, I would not suggest taking up residence in New York City, particularly in the West Village. New York has some of the largest communities in the United States for individuals whose sexual orientation is other than heterosexual. And there are many orientations, as seen in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center at 281 West 13th Street. You can read about them here.
The gay community suffers from many stereotypes. As with any group, those that stand out are not necessarily those that typify the group. In fact, usually not. Religious fanatics don't generally represent the constituents of their faith.
Many of the gay men or lesbians seen acting out i.e. involved in wild activity, excessive promiscuity or gyrating on floats in the Gay Parade are just a small sampling. This may be something which is discussed frequently, but I believe it is perhaps only given lip service. The real problem is that most individuals in the straight community do not have interactions with or friends within the gay community.
I have worked with gay men and employed them. At one time I made close acquaintances with a large number of gay men who I saw on a semi-regular basis. At parties, my girlfriend at the time and I were the only heterosexual couple who attended. This was a great opportunity for me to really get to know a number of gay men well. I was always made to feel completely comfortable. The personalities, temperaments and livelihoods spanned the gamut. There were artists, pharmacists, bankers and real estate developers. Many were in very long term committed relationships. Some were quite conservative - "you would never know." Of course, as to be expected, the flamboyant always stole the show ...

8 comments:

alice said...

Here like anywhere, with anybody, in so many situations, mutual respect could be a good way of life...

Terry B said...

Thanks for a thought provoking post, Brian. For me, there are exactly two people on the planet whose sexuality is relevant to me: me and my wife. For everyone else, their sexuality is just one more part of their identity to me, like being left-handed or having curly hair or being good at math. I don't believe in don't ask, don't tell; my gay friends should feel as comfortable talking about their relationships with me as my straight friends. No, I don't want to hear about their sex lives, but I don't want those details from my straight friends either. I'm always happy to hear when any friend has met someone wonderful, however, or that they're planning a fun trip together.

And regarding the so-called wild activity, I think a lot of that can be chalked up to how politicized our society makes the whole issue of sexuality. If gay and lesbian couples were free to walk down the street holding hands without fear--if they could just be themselves--the need for such displays would go away. And you only have to think of Girls Gone Wild to realize they don't have a monopoly on "wild activity."

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with terry b... I too only care for my husband and mine sexuality. Alao it's true what he says about gay people having the opportunity of being themselves.

Just Roaming The Cities said...

Good post. Me and my boyfriend have been in a few places where we were the only heterosexual couple around, and it was all good to us, we could care a less. If everyone looks happy thats all cool to us.
Did you put this effect on the photo, the shimmering look? Or was it taken through strange glass?

Abraham Lincoln said...

In my lifetime I have met and talked and worked with a lot of gay people. I never thought anything about it. I even have a lesbian daughter.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the marriage equality issue is the civil rights issue of our time. Please support these efforts, and spread the word to friends and family.

I'm not connected in any way to either of these groups, but I feel that a couple of good websites to gather information are www.marriageequality.org, as well as www.hrc.org. They do good work.

USelaine said...

As far as I can tell, gay men and women are woven in to the fabric of my entire life - teachers, classmates, counselors, friends, coworkers, bosses, the person in the next seat at a diner - and always have been. I've found that people of any stripe can be domineering, manipulative, abusive, and self-centered, and conversely others can be kind, mutally supportive, dialed-in to each other, and generous. This was one of those "Ah-hah!" moments for me as a teenager, and I admit to judging relationships that I witness on those terms. It cured me of any homophobia anyone might have tried to teach me. And I am glad to say I have never known of anyone who hated me because I'm straight, and I'm grateful for good people who have included me in gatherings and activities despite my straight condition.

Anonymous said...

i really like your photo, it reminds me of a manet painting. everything on this blog is inspiring, thank you for sharing your love of the city.