What's so Free about Gay Freedom?

The gay lifestyle exists almost totally in a commercial sphere.

Think about how you learned about gay culture. Homosexuality is probably innate, but gay culture is learned. Your first contact with gay culture was probably either through books you read, if you're a bookish type, or through going to a gay bar. Both of these are commercial - books are sold and gay bars sell drinks. You expressed your gay identity publicly through the first gay t-shirt you bought, with some slogan like "So many men, so little penis." Or you bought freedom rings which really should be rainbow-colored handcuffs, symbols of gay culture's bondage to commercialism.

You bought lifestyle magazines to teach you "the gay lifestyle." You ordered clothes from Shocking Gray or the International Male catalog. You got your first apartment and bought a rainbow flag to hang from the balcony, and furniture from Ikea because of that ad they did with gay men. You went on a gay cruise ship. You bought gay music CDs. You got radical and bought some queer zines. You paid for some piercings, lambda earrings, and a pink triangle tattoo on your trip to San Francisco. You paid higher rent to live in a gay neighborhood. You bought countless drinks at gay bars. Maybe you paid a hustler, or just got a massage.

In fact, what stuff related to gay identity have you done that hasn't involved cash transactions? Perhaps going to gay pride parades (though in increasing numbers of places you have to pay for the after-festival -- why don't people start competing free events, with no corporations or politicians allowed?) Hanging out with your queer friends is free. Cruising in the park is free (I'm surprised that there aren't commercial private sex parks.) Having sex with your same-sex sweetie is free. Dressing in drag stolen from your mother's closet is free. Giving yourself the first crewcut of your baby dyke life with dad's old clippers is free. Shoplifting nail polish is free. Thinking of these free things is so much more laborious than thinking of gay things we pay for. Of course straight people pay for the straight lifestyle also.

Try to do something gay without pay every day.

Larry-bob
larrybob@gmail.com
7/2/98


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