from the October 2003 issue of
GAY COMMUNITY NEWS
Discovering an editorial in the gay press
that takes a critical look at "queer conservatism" and
at the same time introduces us to features that focus on disabled
queers is more than a breath of fresh air, it's a gust of wonderfully
contrary-minded wind. The views expressed below come not
from an American media conglomerate or radical faerie rag, but
from the longest-running free gay publication, with the largest
gay and lesbian readership "throughout Ireland, north and
south." We are grateful to Brian Finnegan, editor of GNC,
for allowing us to reprint it here, in full.
Well, here we go with another
out 'n' proud issue of the new GCN, and one that we're particularly
pleased with. This time 'round we decided to do features that had
some focus on the issues that disabled queers face, both on a social
and sexual level. It's a beginning in addressing people in our 'community'
who don't fit into the growing ideas of what 'queer' really is.
All gay men are not shaved and pumped party animals who like shopping,
dancing and hanging around with Bridget Jones; all lesbians are
not successful business women with picture-perfect relationships
The globalisation of gay has engendered
a kind of queer conservatism where we are all pressurised into adhering
to certain idealistic principles. In these days of shopping, working
out and fucking, it's hard to believe that being gay was once about
embracing and celebrating all kinds of difference within the minority.
Images of happy-go-lucky, perfectly-presented
queers in the media, enormous celebrations like EuroPride and Sydney
Mardi Gras; even a night at a packed-to-the-gills Dublin gay nightclub
can fool us into believing that we are not a minority anymorethat
there are no people out there who regard us as sexually disabled
in some way, or deviant from the norm.
The recent appearance by my deputy,
Rachel and her partner, Michelle, on the Late Late Show told the
real story. Despite all the positive images and mass visibility,
we're still living in a country where the national TV channel will
employ the rantings of ultra-right wing pundits to argue against
same-sex parenthood. We still get to watch programmes where audiences
applaud statements like, "God made man and woman to have children.
Anything else is not right."
And in the face of such visible
and vocal discrimination, what do we do? We try to pretend we're
"perfect" and end up discriminating against people in
our own community who don't fit into that ideal.
Don't be fooled. No matter how
'majority' you feel as a queer person, you are absolutely not. The
only way to really galvanise in the face of discrimination is to
be proud of who we are as queers, in all the shapes, forms and identities
we take. I'm not perfect, and I sure as hell don't want to be anybody
else's version of what "perfect" is. Anyone who is, or
does, is living in a fool's paradise with sharks coming up the rear.
© 2003 Gay Community News/Used