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Author Topic: A study in gay suburbia  (Read 2528 times)


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A study in gay suburbia
« on: December 11, 2006, 01:21:17 PM »

A study in gay suburbia

Much of Brekhus’ research comes from the many hours he spent in gay bars in New York City and the New Jersey suburbs. In his book, Brekhus concludes that there are three degrees of identity among gay men in the U.S. Being gay dominates the lives of “lifestylers,” men who are fully committed to their homosexuality and are proud and daring with their sexuality, much like a peacock. Others, known as “commuters,” see their sexuality as something to embrace only when in the appropriate environment. Commuters are like chameleons, Brekhus said; they change their attitude and behaviors to fit their surroundings. They take pride in their sexuality, but only at the right time and place.

Brekhus compares the third category of gay men, “integrators,” to centaurs, the mythological beast often portrayed as half-human, half-horse. Integrators don’t consider their homosexuality essential to their identity but instead see it as one small part of who they are.

This seems to be an interesting approach if one considers being gay a "lifestyle" matter - like having a fancy for cuban cigarres, football or a particular music style. Being a heterosexual living in a moderately oppressive country, Mr. Brekhus has missed some essential and less funny aspects of being gay - the violence, the ridicule, the hate, discrimination at school and workplace, non-recognition of marriages etc. All the aspects of being a second-class citizen or a de-facto foreigner in one's birth country, or simply an outlaw. A "peacock" then? Oh yes, with hunting season open.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it." Thomas Paine
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