A young gay man, fresh out of a Catholic law school, notices a generation gap at this year's Pride festivities in Minneapolis:
One observation I made was that the younger crowd (perhaps ages 18-30) were very tame this year. In past years, I feel like the younger crowd has donned the more traditional Pride garb of brightly colored short-shorts, flip-flops, and perhaps a pooka shell necklace. This year, I noticed the younger crowd was not nearly as sexually provocative in their dress. . . . Most of the younger crowd was dressed normally, dragging along their puppies and dogs.The older crowd was drastically different. My friend and I were in the beer garden and she and I both commented on how so many "older" men were dressed provocatively and with the purpose of expressing sexuality . . . .
As a member of what I consider to be the younger gay community, the past few years have changed my behavior. With gay marriage nascent in Minnesota's and other states' legislatures, and its arrival in many other states, I have tried to put forth my very best behavior. I have encouraged other homosexual people to do the same. . . . The gay community needs to show greater Minnesota that we, as a culture, are the type of men and women that can and should be married with children of our own and leading a publicly respectable life as such. . . .I think much of the 60s, 70s and 80s were about getting the greater public to realize that gay men and women existed. The "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" mantra was more relevant then than it is now. In the recent 90s and now in the early millennium, the mantra seems to have shifted to "Now that you know we're here, what are you going to do about it?"
Assimilationist? That's one way to look at it. Performative rather than authentic? Perhaps, but radicalism in attire and manner is as much a performance as modesty can be. This writer sees better days ahead:
I think young gay men and women are beginning to see the possibilities for the general gay community and are starting to subdue and prepare themselves for leading a "normal" American life, something that a lot of gay men and women desperately need right now. I know I am and I am definitely looking to the future with high hopes.