Gay Culture to Me

Gay culture is not similar appreciation for a single genre of music, literature, or way of dressing, but within each new generation are the previous’ creating touchstones of a culture.  An origin of this is because the school- and college-aged generation of the early 1990s, began crafting their identity as the AIDS epidemic was reaching a pitch.  During this period gay-culture that had found a footing after Stonewall and throughout the 80s, was pushed back underground and took on a seedy 8mm feel.  In this pre-internet era, and its ability to connect subcultures, youths were driven into isolated bubbles, forming individualized cultures independent of greater gay knowledge.  This means each person was permitted to create their idea of ‘gay.’  If someone enjoyed Marilyn Manson, then Marilyn Manson replaced Donna Summers in their gay pantheon; the same goes for Nirvana, ‘Friends,’ Nicktoons, or whatever.  Options went beyond Truman Capote, Liza, or The Portrait of Dorian Gray, creating a generation that broke stereotypes because they didn’t know any better.  Suddenly, the Sailor Moon, comic book, and Armistead Maupin-loving person was declaring their gay identity.  It was no longer images of police officers, construction works, and mustaches.

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