Friday, October 05, 2007

Grumpy Old Gays: Keep the straights out

It's funny how reasonable discrimination seems when you're protecting your own interests. And it's even funnier when the discriminators were the discriminated not so long ago.

At a condo development for gay seniors in Santa Fe, N.M., the grumpy old gay residents are angry because straight people are buying condos. There goes the neighborhood.

"If straight people are in the majority, it's different. It's not what we came here for," one resident told the Los Angeles Times. "It's not where we want to live out the rest of our lives."

According to the Times, the gay seniors are "quick to say that they don't want an all-gay enclave, just a majority one where gays can show affection without fearing rebuke, and find respite from a world in which the vast references to romance and daily life are in a heterosexual context."

In other words, they want to live among "their own" and not be bothered by the messiness of diversity. Once, gays cried out for tolerance and acceptance ... they marched on Washington, protested at Stonewall, crusaded for inclusion in sports, entertainment and media, even "outed" each other as a way to show their often-hidden roles in society. Now they grumble about uppity straights who only want to spend their retirement years in the rather luxurious accommodations they enjoy.

Once, they crusaded for housing laws that prevented discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Now they want to banish them ... at least as much as they apply to straight people. Straight people shouldn't have the same rights as gays?

Once, gays argued that what they did in the privacy of their own bedrooms wasn't anyone's business, least of all the government's. Now they're saying it means everything ... and what others do in their private bedrooms might simply be abhorrent to them.

I gotta wonder: How many homophobes will be moving to a renowned gay-senior retirement complex? Probably not many. The grumblers are only grumbling because they fear people who aren't like them.

Gee, sounds like the same old Broadway show-tune, second verse.


PHOTO ABOVE: Kate Barbee, left, and Patty Gomez, both of Santa Fe, take a spin around the dance floor. (Katharine Kimball for the Los Angeles Times)

4 comments:

Balancing Act said...

Interesting how the tables can be turned.

Pewit said...

Funny how you can read the same article and your bias can give it a completely different slant.

Research has shown that the majority of senior communites are very homophobic (both staff and residents) or just ignorent and untrained to even be aware of gay seniors.

Rainbow Vision is one of only around 20 gay senior retirement communites in the USA which is less than 1% of the total - so I don't think it's too much for the gay residents to request that they be in the majority - that's why they moved there in the first place.

The article also doesn't suggest that strights would be excluded - but that the access to the facilities be restricted.

For examples of the kind of discrimination experienced elsewhere read this link http://www.queersighted.com/2007/03/27/gay-elders-lives-of-courage-shattered-hearts-and-crushed-souls/

Pewit said...


href="http://www.queersighted.com/2007/03/27/gay-elders-lives-of-courage-shattered-hearts-and-crushed-souls/">this link

Ron Franscell said...

Pewit, I agree that we each view articles through our own special prism. In this case, the LA Times article was about the discomfort of gay seniors in a condo development with the influx of straights. Strip away the rationalizing and you've got a story about discrimination by one group against another. Plain and simple.

In this case, the discriminating group is one that should understand the raw pain of discrimination, and THAT's why this is a story. You don't think the LA Times would do a story about straights who were uncomfortable with gays, do you? Unfortunately, that's so terribly common, it's not news.

For the record, I am aghast at all communities that are, in general, intended for one persuasion or another: Over-55, gays, women, families with children, etc. I've never understood how covenants could exclude anyone just because they're "not like us." It just ain't American ... or maybe it's terribly American, in the worst sense.