Respectability is the new closet

Published June 3, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Respectability is the new closet | Mark Simpson | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

This article ask an interesting ‘Wether some in the Community are in seeking respectability trading our history for a sanitised version’ .While poorly written it asks a number of pertinent questions drawing on a critique of Milk the movie as one example of this revisionist tendency. The other theme was around the Stonewall riots as the birth of modern rights movement and the key players. These were and I am proud to say drag queens, hustlers and homeless youths high on drugs, who were the founders of the modern rights movement. They were people who stood up against injustice perpetrated against them by the law because of whom they were. The question here do we have to trade our history and culture?

The current campaign for recognition for ‘gay marriage’ seems to be triggering an oppositional politic, this article may reflect the later. In so much as that by trading our history and culture, we will gain social respectability. If so, this is not the first time that Gay people have sort to dance with assimilation and normalisation. I think for too long the Community has sort tolerance rather than acceptance. While I support any push for acceptance, I cannot give up my history and culture for a him in the burbs.

This may be the difference in our personal expectations whether to seek tolerance or fight for acceptance or something beyond recognition. In my lifetime, we have gone from social outcast, to fashion accessory and now what is next.

People have died for the civil rights movement, now do we trade on their deaths for respectability.


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