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Are We Gay?

Are We Gay?

by Daniel Scheffler / 27.07.2010

Another fiery night in fast love city where identities are crafted with the exactitude of a masterful artisan. It is here that we question the power and the prowess of gay and gay identity. Thus questioning being gay, finding pride in gayness, identifying as gay or even the articulation of the concept. The word gay is by no means a word. It is an attitude, a choice, an entire massacre of philosophy and igneous politics.

We are now beckoned to question, are we post gay? Or in true honesty are we pre-post gay? In a post gay society homosexuals should be able to define their identities by something other than sexual preference, and heterosexuals will identify gays not by their stereotype. The fight now, or struggle as some emit it, is against a monolithic culture that is gay. The stereotypes are to be butchered in an attempt to expose the reality of being gay and not hiding within the acceptable, undemanding characters that society has crafted homosexuals to fulfill. These reflect and cultivate in so many different arenas we engage with daily, almost momentously: real estate, film, music and politics.

Rumor has it that once the gays arrive in an area it stands no chance of being unchanged, unshaped and unwound. Just look at local towns like Barrydale and Arniston who now have flourishing tourist seep and delicatessens alive with activity fueling economies and employment. From a world influence perspective, in Paris the famous Marais area was just a disregarded marsh, a dead land where the impoverished monks sulked and set up domicile to be close to the most famous church in all of France, the Notre Dame. Today, the Marais is an oasis of gay culture and everything associated. The homosexuals identified an area with massive potential, a helm if you have it; the combination of riverside space and cheap real estate of course encouraged this diagnosis. A bijou camp was set up by gays from across the globe. The enlargement of this tiny establishment and its true dexterity is evident in the sustainability of this as the top tourist area (arrondisement) in all of Paris. And naturally executed flair with rebellious fashion boutiques selling too much leather bondage and nasty sweet pink perfumes, vintage shops carrying heavy blazed Chanel and brazen Yves Saint Laurent, bookstores with forbidden gold, cafes serving cassis and of course the cocaine. Not dissimilar is New York’s Village and Cape Town’s De Waterkant. An undesirable precinct with substantial eritage cruised by the virtuous gay and artfully turned into a retreat for all. In a colourful South African real estate context: inner city developments and rejuvenation of the ancient downtowns of Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town is certainly also the focus on this decade for some homosexuals. So therefore the question flairs, does Johannesburg downtown have the ability to be turned into the next bustle? With Manhattan style eateries and neo-contemporary galleries like Arts on Main filling the streets and nouveau apartments kissing the sky one can certainly see the potential. Yet no one roams the streets, no one bombards the avenues with strides of ownership. Unlike Cape Town, where the gays have bought into the next area of competence: the Bo Kaap. With better views than anywhere else in the Mother City, unbiased and kaleidoscopic heritage and a derelict disposition it serves as the perfect idiom of adroitness and cunning forgiveness.

To further explore post-gay, contemporary film carries certain proficiency. With the fiery onslaught of gay films where pornography has been a demanding focus a new genre of gay film has skillfully arrived. Where it is no longer seen as ‘arty gay film’ but rather as ‘contemporary film’. Starring Annette Benning and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple with sperm donated kids the film, The Kids Are All Right tactfully demonstrates the transient novelty of the sexual identity. The focus instead is on relationships and complexities associated with them in all capacities.

As with music, Adam Lambert being a star in his own right not based on the homosexual identity he does not split from himself, the musician. So fighting the stereotype of gays starts with fighting the prejudice of the whole. Thus the support of the former Archbishop of Cape Town and a Nobel Prize winner, Desmond Tutu giving his name in the fight against homophobia and prejudice against gays is crucial. He describes homophobia as a “crime against humanity”. Reminding the world that discrimination is an easy evil cul de sac in prejudice. As the Anti Homosexuality Bill is passing in Uganda we can then see that progressive developments may be taking shape in cities across the globe but the world is still pre-post gay. Evident in the arrest and imprisonment of the Malawian gay couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeva who consequently have broken up and chosen not to be gay.

Not everyone is rosily comfortable, not every gay is aiding in the fight, not everyone is partaking in a post-gay society and with no doubt not everyone is an evangelist.

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RESPONSES (19)
  1. roquefort hudson says:

    This insinuation that the ability to identify and develop real estate for comemrcial and socio-economic improvement is a primarily gay preserve is troubling. It smacks of the stereotypical thinking that normally gives rise to the kind of prejudice that gay people have been struggling with for too long. Are heterosexual folk with style and imagination incapable of such achievements?

    Morrissey said it best – people are neither homosexual or heterosexual, they’re just sexual – with their own unique preferences and desires. Let’s stop pigeonholing and labelling people for the sake of convenience.

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  2. adrian hermanides says:

    …not gay as in happy … more like queer as in fuck you!

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  3. Andy says:

    Jesus roquefort did you even read the piece, because that’s precisely what it’s about. And no the “ability to identify and develop real estate” is not a primarily gay preserve, but certainly when you look at NYC, Berlin, De Waterkant etc, any area that is gentrifying both organically and artistically – not talking about your singapore style globo-gentrification here – has a large and active gay community involved, if not driving that upward mobility. And while you’re looking at broad social movements have you noticed how heterosexual developers tend to build gated (faux-Tuscan) suburban complexes?

    You’re trying so hard to be PC you’re stuck in neutral. There is nothing wrong with pointing out the role that “gay” culture plays in urban development

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  4. Boring says:

    Roquefort you need a plumber!

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  5. Daniel says:

    Love that we are now able to insinuate. whether we’re Gay or Not.

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  6. have you noticed says:

    How quiet these comment boards are when Rodger is watching movies? Just saying.

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  7. Annette says:

    love it. well written and provocative by nature, clearly we all view, interpret and react differently to conversations / topics we do not interact with on a regular basis.

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  8. creepy steve says:

    where do you draw the line between being homosexual or just slightly bromantic
    i guess bromance does very little for socio-economic development
    and another point; being boned by a horse is not gay it’s beastiality
    nice photo

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  9. walter says:

    God damn, paragraphs this long are gay:

    Rumor has it that once the gays arrive in an area it stands no chance of being unchanged, unshaped and unwound. Just look at local towns like Barrydale and Arniston who now have flourishing tourist seep and delicatessens alive with activity fueling economies and employment. From a world influence perspective, in Paris the famous Marais area was just a disregarded marsh, a dead land where the impoverished monks sulked and set up domicile to be close to the most famous church in all of France, the Notre Dame. Today, the Marais is an oasis of gay culture and everything associated. The homosexuals identified an area with massive potential, a helm if you have it; the combination of riverside space and cheap real estate of course encouraged this diagnosis. A bijou camp was set up by gays from across the globe. The enlargement of this tiny establishment and its true dexterity is evident in the sustainability of this as the top tourist area (arrondisement) in all of Paris. And naturally executed flair with rebellious fashion boutiques selling too much leather bondage and nasty sweet pink perfumes, vintage shops carrying heavy blazed Chanel and brazen Yves Saint Laurent, bookstores with forbidden gold, cafes serving cassis and of course the cocaine. Not dissimilar is New York’s Village and Cape Town’s De Waterkant. An undesirable precinct with substantial eritage cruised by the virtuous gay and artfully turned into a retreat for all. In a colourful South African real estate context: inner city developments and rejuvenation of the ancient downtowns of Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town is certainly also the focus on this decade for some homosexuals. So therefore the question flairs, does Johannesburg downtown have the ability to be turned into the next bustle? With Manhattan style eateries and neo-contemporary galleries like Arts on Main filling the streets and nouveau apartments kissing the sky one can certainly see the potential. Yet no one roams the streets, no one bombards the avenues with strides of ownership. Unlike Cape Town, where the gays have bought into the next area of competence: the Bo Kaap. With better views than anywhere else in the Mother City, unbiased and kaleidoscopic heritage and a derelict disposition it serves as the perfect idiom of adroitness and cunning forgiveness.

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  10. reality says:

    Pretty, pretty, pretty prose – but what does it say? This is not about the ‘gays’ this is about a small cross-section of wealthy, largely white urbanites for whom gay is another manifestation of their crass consumerism.

    De Waterkant was never undesirable. Ask the people who were forcibly removed before the Slave Quarter became the gentrified as the Cape Quarter. Green money/Pink money – can we escape the fact that there is a mix of blood money? These pretty people (with some exception) have little interest or imagination in the fact that lesbians are murdered in townships. Gay is not bought – it is fought.

    An interesting starting point might have been to ask the question ‘are we the only gays?’. Thats the question the superficial set need to ask themselves if they are to be vaguely relevant.

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  11. The JZA says:

    Did Brandon Edmonds write this? It’s so gay.

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  12. brandon edmonds says:

    You’re pushing it JZA

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  13. roquefort hudson says:

    My name is Roquefort, not Jesus Roquefort thank you very much.

    Firstly, opening a paragraph with a “rumour has it” qualifier is a rather weak escape clause from what follows. Your author falls prey to the tiresome assumption that because gays are visible participants in the hip rejuvination of precinct that it is this gay-ness which is the primary social force behind these changes. That reeks of weak convenience – for your average hetero onlooker surveying the collective behavior of these new arrivals, the gesticulations of a handful of more open and stereotypically demonstrative gay men would be all the more noticeable and eyebrow-raising. But do a survey across the board of the people who move into and shape these neighbourhoods and I think you’ll find that most of them are just as conventional as the rest of us. You’ll probably even find that many of those who do indulge in quintessentially homosexual practices are pretty quiet and private about it too and that many onlookers would never guess that they fell into that category.

    We need a new concept of “post-gay” about as badly as we need to worship the fruits of post-modernism. Relax your mind and your abs will follow.

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  14. The JZA says:

    Sorry Brandon. I can’t bring myself to write horrible things about gay people, so I decided to pick on you.

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  15. Finn says:

    Roquefort…’pretty quiet and private’…you a closet homosexual by any chance?

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  16. Luke says:

    So now i am superficial just because i live in De Waterkant…. wearing Armani does not make one superficial !
    I give generously to the car guards.
    I have always tipped the bar men and waiters well especially if they cute!
    I spend thousands upon thousands in the shops from De Waterkant to the Marais via Barrydale and Parys.
    And have done all of this while being Gay – but without needing to wear the T Shirt. I do feel that labels, both on clothing and as regards ones sexuality, are dated and done especially in the South African context.
    We are who we are – that is the beauty of being South African in 2010, lets hope however that people who sleep with people of the same sex continue to discover areas that need attention and allow for artistic expression as the world will be a much duller place without them….

    now the question is – do i even send this reply…?

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  17. Guy says:

    Great article Daniel! But I still think the gay inhabitants of Cape Town should also redecorate “the Bronx”. I wonder what’s keeping them from doing so, since it was the grossest place I’ve been in Cape Town (except for some bars far out in the Cape flats).. Maybe it’s because they feel this is the place to leave the image of being decent, biological cookie baking, monogamous and pretty. Maybe this is the place were all gay people in Cape Town elude in the desired intoxicated lascivious status were no condoms can be found because they are so far gone they aren’t even able to remember how they got at this godforsaken situation in the first place (:-]) . Strangely they all seem to like it the way it is…

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  18. roquefort hudson says:

    Finn – go fuck yourself, and in doing so you can give rise to a third category of carnal practitioner – the autosexual. Then ponder the collective gaze of other unsatisfied, inadequate morons such as yourself upon your pigeonholed identity, together with their inane speculation that you may secretly fall into some other ‘category’. Not a very appealing thought, is it?

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  19. Finn says:

    Roquefort…One day the truth will find your prostate. And the truth is definitely a manly bear.

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