There are gay neighbourhoods, filled with gay shops, doctors, clubs, restaurants….pretty much any service you can think of really.
For a lot of my life, I thought this type of segregation was wrong, even if it was by choice. I mean, isn’t the ideal a world one where we can all live together freely and in harmony?
The answer may well be that yes, that is the ideal. But that ideal it seems, is a long way off. My perspective is changing and I’m starting to come around to the idea, that in the meantime, maybe it is OK to live in a gay cocoon.
One of the things I’m starting to realise is that equality doesn’t equate to freedom.
My partner and I have a lot of the same rights that are granted to defacto heterosexual couples. In that regard, we have a degree of equality. What we lack though, is freedom. Freedom to walk down the street hand in hand, freedom to call each other ‘baby’ in a crowded public space, freedom to act like we’re in love, basically.
These may not seem like big issues, and granted, in the scheme of the world’s problems, they’re not. But it’s something that’s starting to matter more to me as I get older, for reasons that in all honesty, I don’t truly understand yet.
By nature I’m a private person and not fond of public displays of affection by anyone, gay or straight. I also have no desire to march in a gay pride parade. It’s not about that. I’m not looking for a one off, big time statement. For the first time in my life, I think I may be missing the little things that straight people take for granted. The little forms of expression that may not be seen by everyone, but that allow me to be myself in public.
It’s been said that gay people are accused of either hiding their sexuality, or flaunting it. It’s an unfair criticism that’s often levelled at us, but it’s a valid one. In many ways, the advantages of living in a gay cocoon can shield gay guys from this issue and allow us just to be ourselves.