Thursday, October 16, 2014

Will Gay Bathhouses Return? The I'm Gay Text; No to Gay Play in High School

Will Gay Bathhouses Return?

This article talks about the history of bathhouses, how they reached peak in the 1970's, and how they started closing down during the 90's due to health concerns about HIV. I've never been to one, but I do recall the headlines in local gay publications in the 90's when they started shutting down. Frankly, from a cultural POV, I've always found them interesting.

But will bathhouses make a comeback? This guy thinks they will.

It was a social place then. That’s what I believe our function is even today. Yeah, there was sex, of course, but the clubs we were building had swimming pools, gyms—they had a lot to offer. We have people who have been going to one of our clubs for 20 years, 30 years. It’s part of their social thing. There are plenty of people I know just by there being there so much. It’s part of their routine.

I actually agree to a certain extent that bathhouses are social places, especially for closeted gay men who are married and have kids. But I'm not sure I agree with the way they play down the sex. Let me put it this way. Would anyone bother going to a bathhouse for all that social fun if sex were prohibited? Trust me, no gay man ever went to a bathhouse to swap recipes and decorating tips. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But let's be real.

I don't think they'll ever make a huge comeback, not with the way gay men are assimilating into mainstream heteronormative society with such excitement. The other reason bathhouses were so popular was that they catered to a closeted crowd of a different generation and I don't think younger gay men are willing to put themselves in that position again...the position of hiding and being on the fringes of society.

You can read the rest here. 

The I'm Gay Text

This is interesting because I talk about passive aggressive homophobia here on the blog a lot lately...because I see so much of it happening and most gay people don't even realize it's happening. In some cases this kind of homophobia can be as simple as a straight guy saying, "I'm not gay, just so you know, but it's okay to be gay. I don't have a problem with that." That statement implies there's something wrong with being gay, and I'm not willing to deal with that anymore. Or, even closer to home, when straight people tell gay men how to write gay books. And they do...and they shoot us for mentioning it aloud. 

This next article talks about a teen who had his phone stolen and the four asswipes who stole it texted his mom from his phone with, "I'm gay, you know that." The four asswipes obviously thought this was funny and they knew it would instill shame...because you know how horrible it is to be gay. And after he was roughed up and he returned home, his mom's reaction was even more interesting:

When the 16-year-old returned home, his mother was waiting for him, her eyes filled with concern. When the teen asked what was wrong, she held up her cellphone to display the text message she had just received from him.

The victim isn't even gay. I can only imagine the conversation he had with his mom after that text. In the comment section no one even mentions this is the worst kind of homophobia out there and it's never addressed. To make this clear to all moms and teens: if someone sends a text stating someone is gay there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Go back to life and enjoy it.

You can read the rest here. 

No to Gay Play in High School

In North Carolina the principal of a high school cancelled the rehearsals and production of a play with two gay characters because of too much alleged inappropriate content. It's a play that's been done in high schools already all over the US for many years. But the principal claims this:

“As principal of Maiden High School, I have an obligation to ensure that all material, including drama performances is appropriate and educationally sound for students of all ages,” he said.

The theater department is protesting the decision on multiple grounds.

The rest is here. 

The play, Almost, Maine, isn't actually considered LGBT themed, at least not from what I can gather (I'm not familiar with it). It just has two gay characters. And, it's been one of the most produced plays in high schools for almost ten years. I found this at Wiki...

The New York Times review of the play in 2006 was mixed: "A comedy comprising almost a dozen two-character vignettes exploring the sudden thunderclap of love and the scorched earth that sometimes follows, John Cariani's play will evoke either awww's or ick's, depending on your affection for its whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance."







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