"Notturno Bologna," by Paul Cadmus
Redefining marriage in and through making same sex marriage the law of the land, pretty much zaps all the uniqueness of being gay. As Karl Lagerfeld observed: “In the 60's, they all said we had the right to the difference. And now, suddenly, they want a bourgeois life.”
How to explain that? Probably because young LGBTQ persons have always been out - they never really needed a closet. The SCOTUS decision was welcomed by gays - even former gays may have received the news with joy - simply because it more or less symbolizes the end of societal, institutional discrimination against LGBTQ persons. It leveled the playing field - to some extent. No more being singled out for abuse or exclusion - no more shame. That's the superficial impression of course - the one the 'world' celebrates. Former gays, celibate-faithful same sex attracted persons no longer defined by sexual inclinations, know it doesn't make it real or true. It is simply a socio-anthropological development.
A friend sent me an interesting article from the NYTimes touching on what I had been thinking regards the idea of normalizing homosexuality and gay marriage and the sense that the "specialness of being gay,” is gone. The outré dimension is gone. It became a movement, and the strategy was to normalize - hence the embrace of the "bourgeois life." Perhaps that facade of normalcy was always there - as a way of blending in, being accepted, and just surviving - but it was pretty much a facade.
There are oral histories by bachelors who led a conventional life, successful businessmen and professionals, who were gay - although not severely closeted, in the sense they did the bars, the baths, and parties which often included orgies or at least 'circle jerks'. Yet for all intents and purposes, they were neither out to their family or colleagues - after Stonewall - that double life started to fade away. But I digress.
When I was a very, very young man, out and about, I always thought the domestic illusion attached to gay marriage was absolutely repellent - why would anyone want to be normal? Why would I ever want kids? The Looking for Mr. Goodbar persona - straight by day, gay by night - was to some extent acceptable to me - especially since the 'hidden life' of nightclubbing seemed so 'underground' and Bohemian. Sadly, for many that lifestyle degenerated even further into a life of dissipation, unless AA or religious conversion intervened. When AA alone became the salvation, somehow it became easy for the person to view being gay as an identity to be embraced, to accept being gay as normative. Which in turn was the first step to domestication, if you will.
What accord is there ...?
Way back when, as for religious closeted gay people, I just thought they were creepy. If someone I met told me they went to church at all, I thought they were like Little House on the Prairie people - it totally freaked me out and I was completely repelled. I remember a guy who worked with me, when I was in display - he was from the South and was a born again Christian in a stable relationship with a man. I could not comprehend that and avoided him as much as possible. No one I knew had any interest in same sex marriage or being accepted by any church whatsoever.
I experienced similar rejection first hand when I returned to the Church, to the sacraments. I'll never forget running into a former bar friend. I wore a medium sized crucifix like that Pope Paul VI used for his ferula/crozier on a chain around my neck. Buddy pulled it out from under my shirt, looked at it, and said, "What's this?!" Laughing out loud, he let it go, waved me off and said something like "She's a nun now." He walked away and pretty much never talked to me again, except for an occasional hello.
This is where 'you can't be gay and Catholic' makes sense.
My point is, being religious and gay just wasn't a good fit back then, and I have to wonder why gay-Catholics think it is today. After returning to the sacraments, Paul's letters to the Corinthians really made sense to me, especially the section in 2 Corinthians 6: "Do not yoke yourselves in a mismatch with unbelievers... what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common, or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What accord is there between Christ and Belial?" That stood out to me - and still does.
Something is off.
I can't help but recall what Masha Gessen once said about gay marriage:
“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. - Read the rest here.What the SCOTUS just did was open new avenues for the redifinition of marriage... Although they redefined marriage legally, it will go beyond what that, the next step is open marriage. Marriage has not only been redefined, it is changed - and it will change Stepford. Wait and see.
"Gay is not enough anymore."
As I mentioned, a friend sent me a NYTimes article quoting John Waters who made that statement in a commencement address recently:
John Waters, the film director and patron saint of the American marginal, warned graduates to heed the shift in a recent commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design. “Refuse to isolate yourself. Separatism is for losers,” he said, adding, “Gay is not enough anymore.”Gay writers lament the loss of specialness, Waters suggests gay is not enough anymore,
“What do gay men have in common when they don’t have oppression?” asked Andrew Sullivan, one of the intellectual architects of the marriage movement. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.” - NYTimesThey've all worked so hard. There never was an agenda of course .... What? Of course there was - and is. What's the next step?
We just took it.
We bought the lie. Ask Masha.
Song for this post here. Just don't say it's not sin. It is.
and people are diving right in...
h/t PP for NYT piece.