Young Gays vs. Old Gays


There are a lot of differences between the various generations of queers, like how the older ones grew up reading Cosmo while the newer ones only bother with serious financial digests and video games. But I feel the main contrast lies in underlying attitudes towards sex. Old queens grew up with very little gay visibility in the media and a heightened sense of gayness being something taboo and even (in society’s eyes) sinful and downright sick. They came of age feeling that gay was something to hide or to “get over,” and often felt more attracted to anonymous, shame-based sex than to open, long-term connections.

Those hoary attitudes still pop up, but mainly the younger gays have grown up with queer iconography everywhere they turn and with gay marriage seeming to become an eventual reality as society progresses. They have healthier views about sex and seem unencumbered by the urgency to hide and slink around in dark alleys. In fact, they generally want long-term relationships more than their predecessors did (though they’ll gladly spice up those relationships with shameless online hookups, albeit often with their partner’s permission–or even inclusion. Compulsive anonymous sex is far from gone, it’s just a little more upfront.)

In sum–if you’re still listening–the younger queers may have far less sense of history about them, but probably a far greater chance for happiness, due to mere luck of the draw. Of course these are all gross generalizations, but as an older queen, let me tell you, they are totally true!

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