Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

23 Oct 2009

Post-gay: The final frontier?

Bored or tired of the same old 'scene'? You could just be entering 'post-gay' territory... as Nicholas Deroose, a Singaporean student in the US, has come to feel as a totally out person who "no longer wants to identify with mainstream gay culture."

It’s Wednesday night and I am sipping/gulping my second glass of red wine (I do it for the antioxidants) at Q bar while flipping through NEXT magazine. Between the pictures of bronzed bodies and interviews with porn stars, I suddenly became very disinterested. Not in a way that this is boring, disinterested but in a what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here kind of way. 

The friend that I had come out here with was at the bar chatting with some other guy while I sat at the opposite end on the couch. I have school tomorrow but here I am at the bar. It’s not that I did not want to go out. I wanted to come to have a drink. I was stressed out by mid-terms/ overseas studies application/ upcoming talk discussion/ badminton planning/ arranging school fees/ whatever else there was to deal with and I needed a break. All I wanted a glass of wine and the company of a friend. 

As I emptied my glass and looked around my surroundings I began to feel a certain sense of jadedness hardening over myself. The tacky sliver beaded curtain, the thumping music, the low lighting, it all suddenly began to feel foreign. It was at that point that two thoughts flashed across my mind.

Have we allowed our gay culture to define us or are we defining our culture? 

And what does being gay in America mean? 

I’d never really thought about it because part of me naively believes that being gay is universal and that regardless of the culture we come from we are able to identify with each other through our struggles. And that is not totally untrue because our struggles do carry a universal message of acceptance but however, culture does play a part.

In these pass two years, I have been very fortunate to be able to assimilate into American gay culture so quickly but part of me wants to say it’s because I have no noticeable accent and am adaptable. I believe that things would have been different if English was not my native language. Would I still be able to identify with the gay community here if I did not speak English?

I am bi-racial. I grew up in Singapore; my father is Belgian and my mother Chinese but I identify ethnically as Asian. If I did not tell people I am Asian, I could probably pass off as Latino because of my tanned skin and slightly Caucasian features. Flipping through the gay newspaper or magazines, I didn’t identify with any of those people. I kept thinking to myself, where are all the Asian faces? Are there no gay Asian Americans?

The thumping of the music overhead was getting too much; I needed to leave soon before my head would burst. I love dance music but when was the last time you heard slow soothing music in a bar? Is “bass” all we listen too? I believe that our musical taste are much more diversity, so why isn’t it reflected in our culture?

I wanted to come out for a quiet drink to de-stress and have a conversation. But the loudness of the music makes it hard to do so; maybe I shouldn’t have come to a gay bar. My friend R even commented on my dress code of sweat pants and a tee. I forget that a gay bar is a place you come to get seen and be seen. Not a place you come to be yourself.

Have I become post-gay?

Post-gay: The state in which gay people no longer want to identify with their mainstream gay culture.

Have I reached a point where I no longer see sexuality as a dominant part of my identity? It can’t be that way, because I am still very much involved in the community and am passionate about the issues facing the LGBT community, or am I confusing both? Right now, its 12.22am so it may be the wine talking here.


I came out when I was 17. I did so because I no longer could deal with the lies anymore and when I did I felt like I was born again and that a part of me that I have repressed for so long was now released. I wanted to find out everything that had to do with being gay and I plunged into gay culture in order to do so. Being Gay was me. 

I came out when I was 17. I did so because I no longer could deal with the lies and when I did, I felt like I was born again and that a part of me that I have repressed for so long was released. I wanted to find out everything that had to do with being gay and I plunged into 'gay culture' in order to do so. Being Gay was me. 


I became fiercely passionate, speaking up on issues of discrimination and advocating the need to speak up and become a ‘voice’ in a climate of silence and fear. Along the way, I also encountered the ‘norms’ of gay culture.

Do we see people who have just come out doe-eyed and innocent? Still clinging onto the idea of true love? That those who have been out for a longer period of time are conscious of the ‘reality’ that true love does not exist within gay relationships? That we all travel on the same progressive path of break ups and open relationships?

These questions stem from the experience of having been in a community that only existed within the confines of the clubs and only wanting to be gay within the clubs. It is this narrow view of the community and the overwhelming negative examples that we surround ourselves with that perpetuates a certain cynical nature that grows to become part of a mentality of have been out for a longer time than others.

Sometimes I think the reason why we always lament that the LGBT community is so small is because we are not considering everybody and that we have become exclusive. What about the people that don’t club? Who are physically challenged? Who aren’t fashion conscious?

I suppose the real question I have to continue to ask myself is: If I know now that I am gay, what does being gay mean and how do I continue to fit in?

Nicholas Deroose, 24, is a student in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US and the co-founder of Queercast, Singapore’s only queer podcast.

Reader's Comments

1. 2009-10-23 18:43  
I LOVEEE this article! I could completely relate & empathize with Nicholas. The gay scene today has been nothing more but superficiality, that we sometimes, so sub-consciously fall into this 'trap'.

The trap of " ... questions stem from the experience of having been in a community that only existed within the confines of the clubs and only wanting to be gay within the clubs. It is this narrow view of the community and the overwhelming negative examples that we surround ourselves with that perpetuates a certain cynical nature that grows to become part of a mentality of have been out for a longer time than others."

Perhaps if we all could take some time to sit & ask ourselves - if being part of the scene an essential for being gay? - then maybe we can discover true self-discovery of being gay.
2. 2009-10-23 19:08  
I never go to a gay bar, pls, don't laugh at me or call me a one-aloner or a naive boy, I just don't like the atmosphere inside and the way people there go out of their way to show off so that everybody could notice their outstanding personality or their sexy body. If gay communities want to be accepted by the mainstream society, we need to integrate more into it, and not create ghetto-like places where only gay people are welcome. For me being a gay is just like being a straight. I don't want to change my way of life trying to keep in line with the popular gay culture. Take it easy and be yourself! Good luck to everyone.
3. 2009-10-23 19:16  
Agree with this article, as I had similar thought before, only Deroose can write it better.

"Do we see people who have just come out doe-eyed and innocent? Still clinging onto the idea of true love? That those who have been out for a longer period of time are conscious of the ‘reality’ that true love does not exist within gay relationships? That we all travel on the same progressive path of break ups and open relationships?
Sometimes I think the reason why we always lament that the LGBT community is so small is because we are not considering everybody and that we have become exclusive. What about the people that don’t club? Who are physically challenged? Who aren’t fashion conscious?"

And stayed in US for some time before finally moved back to Indonesia, I saw that the condition is not different in different parts of the world. Is it g-netic?
4. 2009-10-23 19:31  
No, you haven't become 'post-gay'. You've just grown old before your time.
5. 2009-10-23 20:14  
LOL, post 4 may be right, 24 is a little young to become jaded with the scene, unless you just happen not to like it; it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea.

Interesting concept, “post gay”. I think with time it’s common and natural for many people to get bored with pubbing and clubbing, though these places can always be a friendly respite in hostile or unknown territory. Even if you're not a partying type, they do make it possible to travel almost anywhere and make new gay friends and acquaintances, not just hook up, which these days can be done on the internet.

But clubbing does seem pretty dated to me now (and probably unnecessary for meeting a partner, with the internet), but also, as there is increased social acceptance in many places, it’s so much easier to be yourself anywhere and with anyone. Limiting being yourself to a ghetto of pubs and clubs, I feel you miss out on getting to know so many great straight people outside it. And (IMHO) there are so many more interesting things to do. I don’t know if this is being “post-gay”, or maybe it just happens as you get older or through being in a couple.
6. 2009-10-23 20:47  
A Gay man can be Gay, but not have to go to a Gay bar. In San Francisco there are tons of things for Gay people to do that do not involve making Gay bar owners richer. Jogging groups, church groups and even 12-Step groups that help support obsessive compulsive Gay people stop drinking or taking drugs. But Post Gay? I have chosen to follow a path that is mostly outside of bars, but that was initially shown to me by American Gay pioneer Harry Hay...the fellow that started the first Gay organization in the USA in 1950 called the Mattachine Society. Hay thought it was important to make sure that people understood that he was Gay when they saw him. Hay would skirts, pearls and big sun-hats, attire most commonly worn by women. A drag queen he was not, gosh he often had facial hair and never tried to look like a woman, but he simply wanted to tell everyone what he was. For his last forty years alive he was associated with the Radical Faeries and involved with a man named John Burnside. I never saw either of them in a Gay bar. I like to dress as brightly as possible to help communicate that I am Gay to the world as well. I wear lots of pink, but really just lots of color in general. Once the Gay community has won all of it's battles for equality and acceptance in America and around the world then I suppose we will eventually have the luxury of getting to choose to be "post-Gay", but as long as a world exists where a Matthew Shepard can be murdered for being Gay...how can anyone really turn their back on the community, as well as themselves. Who is going to fight for our rights? President Clinton did not, and I think it is foolhardy to trust the Obama or anyone to give us exactly what we deserve. And on a final note...Gay men can be in long term relationships, Hay and Burnside were together for forty years until they both died in their early 90's. Each of us though have the freedom to define what we think a relationship should be, and so why not leave Straight rules behind and establish our own!
7. 2009-10-23 20:52  
It might be a comment on your life stage and being dragged out by your friend so he would not walk into the bar alone, (maybe if you were being chatted up rather than being ignored it might be different) or it could equally be that the typical gay bars are generally tacky with music volumes set to please the bored bar staff rather than the cash-paying customers. In my experience many (not all by any means) gay bars are cash making machines with very little investment or real care for customers needs as we are trapped due to lack of choice. In my town there are about 7 gay bars and none is great, but at least there is some choice. However I know so many gay guys who never go to Gay bars because the straight bars are so much more fun and vibrant with better music and more diverse people. However I don't want gay bars to close as I often have the need/desire to pop inside in the vague hope that they are magically better.... usually not.

Unless I am in other countries then Gay Bars are essential for meeting local guys out for chat/dance/fun.
8. 2009-10-23 21:08  
Greetz from Belgium! :-) Hmmm I think it all depends on wether a person may be a follower or not, independently from being gay or straight. Have I to be like everyone else or do I have my own personality? If I decide to join a club, I cannot complain of being member, of course. So if I see myself as playing a role in some kind of "scene", I would have to stand to it.
9. 2009-10-23 22:29  
one very gay thing you definitely haven't given up is narcissism...
10. 2009-10-23 22:29  
Nicholas, thanks for the article. Have never thought of the term "post-gay" but now that I've read it, I do totally identify with it. Be yourself.
11. 2009-10-23 22:39  
Being half-Asian myself and living in the States, I sympathize with your plight... Although this seems to be changing slowly, mainstream images in the gay male media have been dominated by buff white guys of various states of undress, and no matter what minority you are, this is bound to leave it's impression on you consciously or sub-consciously. Add to this the dearth of images of the Asian male in the general American media, it's easy to feel undesirable and excluded. The stereotypical images of the Asian male in the US are ones for which "sexuality" in any overt way is largely incompatible, so the media doesn't seem to know how to create sexual Asian male images. Personally, I think the time is pretty ripe. I'm pretty excited about John Cho's character on the TV show FlashForward.

But it would certainly be an overstatement that self-images are determined by mainstream culture and media. Putting aside the world of the Asian fetish, there are spaces where Asians fit in, and a certain kind of gayness doesn't feel so monolithic. It feels like things are changing. Hip-hop nights at The Cafe in San Francisco a few years ago were always multiracial with a strong complement of Asians, and Plan B here in Madison, Wisconsin, is probably the straightest gay bar I've ever been to--the 'flavors' of clubs, at least, seem to be multiplying. Unfortunately, the internet and decreasing ghettoization is sapping the ability of gay establishments to make money, so we're left with fewer choices of places to congregate...

I wonder if you feel the same jadedness in gay clubs in Singapore or other Asian cities. I lived in Tokyo for 3 1/2 years, and I found the radically different style of clubs and different calculus for "what is attractive" amongst Japanese gay guys really refreshing.
Comment edited on 2009-10-23 22:41:58
12. 2009-10-23 23:59  
I think Nick is slowly growing up and realise one doesn't have to go to a gay place to chill out! No more gay ghettos! JUst learn to rejoin human society where a bar is just a place to drink and a coffee place is just to drink coffee! Sure, there are times one wnats to be with just gay company but to live continually in a ghetto life is not healthy and a cop - out of life and society in general, no matter how one preceives them as anti-gay. I like to go to a gay friendly place for a drink or chat; strictly 'gay' places to me are mainly for cruising, and once a while to "be" myself. But I can be myself in gay friednly and also neutral venues.
As to the non Asian faces in mags and so forth, US is still very white and institutionally racist. It will take a very long time for Sandra Oh to win an Oscar!
13. 2009-10-24 00:08  
Hey Nic,

I have to agree to a certain extent on the overall sentiment of your article because my friends and I have somewhat grown out of the phase of incessant clubbing, etc.. Then again, life is a cycle of phases and I think one point you've mentioned that deserves more focus is about the identification with self and being gay.

It's a question we truly have to define for ourselves, regardless of location although I must say that some places do not enjoy the luxury of being privy to privileges/information/etc.. and hence the experience may be vastly different. It all boils down to self, identification with society and tension of conformity to societal norms.

If being gay means drugs, sex and clubs and you take away all of that, what do we get? If being gay means simply just it, anything else added and subtracted from the linear component will always negate to nothing but self.

Logical, maybe. But radical? I'm not entirely sure either.

Political or not, I've no explicit wish to ponder beyond the meanderings of what could be and what would be although we fight for what we all believe in - sexuality, religion, humanity, society, environment, etc... In the end, the pursuit of happiness ultimately lies in oneself. Does the truth set you free? It may not always be the case.

To each his own I guess. Carpe Diem!
14. 2009-10-24 01:16  
Had you not spoken English but Espano, you'll be proper Latino! =)
15. 2009-10-24 02:59  
Being gay was never a culture, just something to do with love and sex and should never have been allowed to define us as it seems to do so many who are gay first and people second...
16. 2009-10-24 03:21  
this is the most interesting article, up to date.
it strikes a nerve in the ones who relate to it.
im lovin the real-ness from it..
17. 2009-10-24 03:34  
I also came out at 17 but I'm practically 40 and I feel post-gay (since 30) but I think part of that is that I have an average body and am not a twink or a gym bunny or a bear so where do I fit in? I am told it all comes down to being yourself and accepting yourself for that (the latter is very hard in our community or any community for that matter). At the end of the day, you are still you and no one can change that. Maybe it is not "post-gay" or "getting old before your time"; maybe we are just mature before our time. Is it possibly that we are now defining the culture instead of the culture defining us? I wondered, is it possible to define culture and by defined by the culture? (in my best Carrie Bradshaw accent).
18. 2009-10-24 03:48  
Have a look at yveserwan's profile if you want to see a REAL example of narcissism!
19. 2009-10-24 04:37  
I think I have to agree with the article. Being a man who lives in Scotland in the UK. I rarely go onto the scene and even when I do I can't believe that after years of campaigning for equality in the UK, men still go on the scene looking for sex and falling in and out of relationships. Gay men still want the label of being GAY, not being equal . . . I think they were happier when things were unequal as it gave men who preferred to be with men the opportunity to scream and shout.

Reading all of the comments above, it's interesting so many of you think that the writer is too old before his time. I think he has 'grown-up' and definitely realised that life is for living and finding the happiness that most of us dream of.

Further more, we are in a post-gay world. The time has come to revolutionize the social climate in the UK by just being us wherever we are.

Like NIKE says, JUST DO IT.
20. 2009-10-24 07:21  
its all the matter of matter getting older and being more mature Nicholas . All you can do is being yourself , do what you wanna do , focus on your goal that you set out to achieve . Most important is be nice with people around you and treat them the way you want to be treated . Good friends who are there for you when you are up and down are the best you can have in this gay world .
Comment #21 was deleted by its author on 2009-10-24 07:58
22. 2009-10-24 08:25  
I ditched the 'homosexual establishment' and especially 'dated queer theology' yrs ago going my own way after realising that my sexuality is but an aspect of who I am not the totality, as we become more multidimensional beings moving from the usual immature one dimensional homosexual it's easy to cast off the dross and pomposity of self assumed importance and self defeating propaganda that surrounds us by manipulators who are but using us to create their careers as supposed 'queer activists' they try to keep us trapped in a model of thought that feeds paranoia so as to exploit our fears and promote them selves as our saviors.
Any way if you've lived in Sydney you know how tacky and self-absorbed homosexual life on the scene often is here...it’s easy to be 'non scene'
and you don't have to be plain or undesireable to understand that
Comment edited on 2009-10-24 08:57:38
23. 2009-10-24 08:59  
Ignoring the sexuality and politics, the day to day, practical life of being gay isn't that much different from straight life. In the West at least, being gay has become mundane, losing whatever exotic quality it had during more repressive times. Like high school, there are different groups and cliques, but as an adult, one can choose to join, or opt out completely. "Fitting in" no longer has the same sense of urgency as it used to, which is extremely liberating and a relief.

As previous posters have said, a substantial part of the queer community have little to do with the club/pub scene, which, while being the most highly visible aspect of gay life, is really only one part and not the whole part of it. I don't know about being "post-gay" or being a"gay drop-out" (a phrase coined in a gay magazine I read a few years ago about the same issue). I just think that growing maturity means you look beyond the normal boundaries of what you are used to. It's not a experience confined to being gay.

Similarly, the issue of race politics and acceptance is a universal one. I think the US has more awareness and activism about this than say, here in Australia. Having made a recent trip to the US, I was impressed by the representation of different races in media, entertainment and politics (at least in mainstream society), being most pronounced in San Francisco. Believe me, I'm yet to see the same level of exposure in Australia.

An integrated society is a worthwhile aspiration, but in the meantime, division along trivial considerations remains a reality which may never be completely removed.
24. 2009-10-24 10:40  
Hey Nicholas... FINALLY someone is speaking some commonsense, particularly from a "younger generation" point of view. I agree totally with your comments. Being gay is NOT just about being able to go to gay bars and clubs, to dress up in the latest fashions, and parade yourself in the "places to be seen" venues, may of which are little more than "meat markets". (YUK..!!).

When I first came out 19 years ago (after a 16-year marriage and two children), I just NEEDED to do as you say... to get into the gay community, find out what it was all about and what I may have missed, go to bars and clubs, and generally soak up all there was to see about being gay. That last approximately 4 years, after which I decided it was all SO artificial and SO closseted and SO bitchy in so many ways.

So for the past 15 years my dear Singaporean partner and I have been living in "straight suburbia", we do NOT go to gay bars and clubs (couldn't think of anything worse...! The boom-boom noise alone is a major deterrent!), yet we are both, in our own ways, actively involved in certain gay community activities AWAY from the commercial gay scene.

We have great elderly straight neighbours with whom we get on famously, we shop AWAY from the gay shopping strips, and generally live a "normal" life along with all our hetrosexual community neighbours. That's how it SHOULD be... we should all be accepted into the general community, and ultimately there should be absolutely no need whatsoever for specifically gay & lesbian clubs, bars, discos etc. in which we need to "hide" away from the public eye, or because we think we may feel "safer" there.

Maybe we are very boring, but we have a great life with our gay AND straight friends, and see absolutely no need to have to go out "on the gay scene". Life is so much more relaxing and pleasant this way.
25. 2009-10-24 11:08  
I think gay not means to have gay scene life. Myself don't like clubbing and not really into gay scene and my life still as usual. Frankly, gay life only 20% of our life, other than that we still need to deal with reality life...We still can remain normal happy life but just our partner is same gender ^^
26. 2009-10-24 12:33  
We have MSM, that's quite enough already - we don't need another label or so-called post-gay.
What the heck, do we need another 1000 word piece of full self-centred rationalisation (Fridae to note)? get a life and get it over with.
27. 2009-10-24 12:45  
Why must there be so many jargons created in being gay. I'm sure there may be terms for pre and current gay, since there's post gay. Maybe in the LGBT community, the divide got to be torn down. Gay is human too. Perhaps, it's time to have a movement to just stop subdivide any further all the classifications and be who we are intended to be and more.

BTW, a quick look from Wikipedia we can see interesting term on narcissism ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism). To blow one's mind away look at Hotchkiss's seven deadly sins of narcissism:
1) Shamelessness
2) Magical thinking
3) Arrogance
4) Envy
5) Entitlement
6) Exploitation
7) Bad Boundaries

To add further complications, try Masterson's subtypes, Millon's variations or Other forms of narcissism like Phallic narcissism and Sexual narcissism. Perhaps, we are all eccentric to a certain degree and should take the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Test. haha. Seriously, this is not a laughing matter. Just remember to bring the updated contemporary electronic dictonary around when we have to decide or define the ever dynamic & evolving gay culture.

From a humble narcissist.
28. 2009-10-24 13:03  
To #4: I believe that is exactly the shallow type of arrogance the writer is referring to: it has nothing to do with growing old because we're all going to do that. It's called "growing Up".
29. 2009-10-24 13:24  
Hey Nic, thanks for this great article..it is enlightening to read it. However, I wonder if one feels this way when he's 24, what will his next stage of him growing up as a gay man be like?
It is also rather intrigueing to read all these comments on which patronising gay clubs..doing the main "gay things" have an underlying negativity tone and shallowness. It brings up the cliche "I am not in the scene, so does that makes me better than you?" argument.
The gay scene is here to stay, they are a part of us whether we like it or not. Being overtly consciously of being "non scene" just makes a person not embracing being gay and its totality.
We all have our moments and I'm sure this is one of them and there will be times you'll find yourself dusting off your disco shoes and having a good time with your mates at any of these gay establishments.
30. 2009-10-24 13:27  
I just know why we are gay, it is because we have different sexuality taste only.
Even in straight life also have clubbing!
Comment #31 was deleted by its author on 2009-10-24 13:34
32. 2009-10-24 13:37  
#26, yes, apparently we are not minding another 1000 word piece of "full self-centred rationalisation".

Because if you haven't realize how much positive compulsion this article has created, or how this article just brought together a group of people who feels the same way, or how this article made me feel like I'm not alone or I'm not that 'weird' after all,

then you're the literal, self-centered one. So much for getting a life & getting it over.

And I'm definitely enlightened by all the other posters who brought up the point that sexuality only plays a minority in a person! Cheers!
33. 2009-10-24 14:06  
i guess we all go thru the different phases of our sexuality viz a viz our society. when we (or at least i myself) first come out, there was this fear and discomfort. fear of how people will accept me and how i will be able to come to terms with myself. i directed my energy inwards. energy to go with the `norms'. to be accepted by `my' community. with the acceptance of myself comes the passionate fight for my rights. this came about as i was struggling to find my own place in a society. i started to direct my energy outwards. fighting for it and trying to make things change. with time, i found my balance and i was able to be at peace with myself in my society and that was when i started to re-expand my circle beyond my gay friends. this was when i become, as you have put it - post-gay.

ultimately, i conclude that it is about my own growing up as a gay person.

thanks for writing and sharing this article.
34. 2009-10-24 14:47  
Wow you realy write out of your heart . and very honest . yes is is true . there are times you say why it need to be a gay bar is it because you wanne pick up some ons or you people might thing you are . why do we diccrmiate girls ... we do not like them sexcually but sure we like to chat with them . we are still the best frineds to girls . often i wonder why there can not be bars for all sexes . we gays as well have to see that the world has chnaged . we are what we alwasy wanted to be ...gay and normal ...so how come we do not go to the normal bar . yes sure there are alwasy some bullies . but they are as well in the gay bar watching you if you waer gucci or whatever . . i agree it is good to have gay bars for the guys which needs to explore if they are gay find each other . but sure there is a post gay / would we not just love to go to some bars and restaurants where we are all just one . Humans ...
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and all the other comments
35. 2009-10-24 15:01  
Great article. Thanks. After my frustrating experiences at the gay bars on Oxford Street in Sydney (because I am Asian and because I do not fit into the ideal gay image), I have given up going to the gay bars. Gay bars are alienating places in which I feel being commodified and consumed by other people's gazes. But I agree that this is not the shared experiences of many others. For some of my gay friends, going to gay bars is an experience of going back home, or finding one's home.
36. 2009-10-24 15:28  
Nick...welcome to the mainstream society... being Gay doesn't mean you have to live a gay lifestyle... your life is too short to limit yourself to what you are comfortable with...enjoy life.. where ever and who ever you are..
37. 2009-10-24 16:41  
My typical VERY gay routine :
1. work
2. Gym
3. Drinks with STRAIGHT friends
4. Sleep

In between, there's the laundry, grocery shopping, dinner with parents, travelling and what not. NEVER a trip to gay hangouts because like Patrickbao77's, I have stopped going to these places because I don't typically fit the 'scene'. Which in the end, I gathered, places like these are only for those looking good and always looking for action.
38. 2009-10-24 16:56  
'Lynkster' has wonderfully summed up what many of us feel, and 'Yveserwan' marks a perfect point

Having lived in the US, Australia for many years, I can still recall the wonderful moments I have had in gay bars...it was then, this is
now; I do not regret, however, a single 'then' moment as they were
great time. If one can call himself 'gay' these days it is because guys did assemble, discuss and plan -albeit taking tricks home, so what?- our 'survival' and advancement for years to come and where we are now.
You may not like it for looking to much at your bellybutton, your tongue in the mirror and out of sheer narcissism (as already said, so justly)., but don't blame the gay bars: join the basket weaving evening classes or peruse Jung.
Have tea and sympathy !!!
39. 2009-10-24 17:21  
Well written story that reflects what most of us have felt at least every now and then. Don't think it has much to do with "getting old" or so. Basically, being gay is not the single thing that defines us. And so, sometimes, when entering a gay bar but being "not in the mood" (whatever that is) gives an alienating feeling. Life is like traveling, discovering.. Sometimes getting tired of a place, and sometimes rediscover the vibe you once felt and lost at some point. Most important is to find the wisdom and confidence to follow the track that suites you best. Some of the signs will read "gay" (or LGBT to be correct), but it will be different for all of us.
40. 2009-10-24 17:22  
Just don't go there... find other ways to enjoy yourself. Not everyone has to buy into that culture, its not so hard to just do your own thing. I agree with article to an extent...
41. 2009-10-24 17:23  
I read some of the comments ....and feel for people who happens to be in that situation before , now or in future (for those who prefers to be arrogant) ...I believe this is referred to sometimes as stereotyping...if the hetero world is full of variety ..so why cant the gay world be ? a lot of people willingly or unwillingly fall into this trap because of peer and PLU community pressure ...not all are able to be strong or brave enough to be different and not follow the herd ...

who says all gays need to have six pecs, a gym bunny , flambouyant , loud and needs to go clubbing ? if you do , perhaps you need to ask yourself why is it ? peopls and sexuality is a scale . So why limit your lifestyle to what people defined it to be ?

as for whether it is growing up or growing old ? does it matter ...activities should not be tagged to a certain phases of your life ...do what you like , anytime ...then you are living your life ...not some Bruno lifestyle imposed on your unconciousness...

whether it is a term called post-gay or not , it doesnt really matter because ...I believe the moral of the story is ...be inclusive, celebrate diversity and live your life ...gays are already being discriminated in the hetero God-fearing and culture-obsessed world ..it is sad to see that our brothers and sisters here are being discriminated and alienated by their own kind ...shame on you ...I am always guilty of thinking that most PLUs are shallow lumps of muscles and meat....thats all...but once in a while ...one or two will prove me wrong ...

42. 2009-10-24 17:41  
Comment number 18 I have followed your instructions and checked out yveserwan's (comment 9) profile. I also read yours.
My conclusions are that

1. yveserwan's profile is... a profile, ie he describes himself and what he's looking for. That's what profiles are for, nothing to do with narcissism.

2. your profile is short and says you are looking for "love and kindness". Well then, how about giving it before you ask for it ? You made a vicious and bitchy attack on another member just because you don't like the way he reacts to an article. But this comment board is MEANT for us to react to articles. His reaction was intellectual, while yours is simply a personal attack. Makes you look silly.

3. The main article obviously generated quite a lot of reactions and it's a good thing, I guess. It disturbs me though, for all kinds of reasons. I'm roughly the same age as the author of that article, but I don't care a bit for the gay scene, I never have, and I don't see why he confuses the SCENE, the CULTURE and the IDENTITY. A confusion that seems to be very common, however.
If you like bars and then suddenly realize that they're kind of shallow, it doesn't mean you're not gay any more, as the term "post-gay" implies. It just means you change. If the author of the article thinks that being gay automatically implies being "in the scene" then he does need to grow up and start looking around, ie not just around his navel (hence, I suppose, the use of the word "narcissism" by yveserwan).
Then there is a whole other part of the article that deals with a completely different issue, ie being gay AND Asian in the US. That part is a lot more relevant and interesting, and I can't comment on it because I have no idea what it's like.

I don't know if narcissism is part and parcel of the gay identity ; some writers claims that it is, and they may have a point, although among my straight friends I see a lot of it too. More in men than in women, I must add.
Vicious bitching, on the other hand, is definitely common in the gay scene as comment number 18 clearly shows. I'm sick and tired of it especially in people within my age range who always seem to confuse between "funny" and "nasty", and I would expect a guy in his 40s to be more mature.

Peace !
43. 2009-10-24 19:06  

We just live our lives, that's all. :)
44. 2009-10-24 20:59  
Dear Nicholas,

I'm a Japanese gay guy who lives in Hong Kong. I'm very surprised and pleased, because your article exactly reflects the discontent I have experienced over the past decade. Yes. I have been made to feel a social misfit for not being, say, typical, mainstream or not conforming to big gay cultures (no matter local ones or, if it exists at all, the "universal" one... I guess it's more appropriate to put it in the plural form). I do gym but I don't need a macho body like many other asian friends. I do go clubbing only when my friends strongly urge me to do so. I am surely happy to be gay, but I also feel uncomfortable to stay in what you call "mainstream gay culture". I think I'm or I'm willing to be a post-gay. Thank you very much for your extremely inspiring opinion. I will introduce your view and the concept of "post-gay" to my friends in Asia. Your idea is hopeful. HUGS!

45. 2009-10-24 21:24  
And AthleticEuro - your comment is ridiculous. You don't have to be middle aged not to enjoy the gay "scene" (as u seem to define it). There are plenty of objecionable things about the "scene" to make it unejoyable for people of all ages.
46. 2009-10-24 21:30  
danu22bttm - I can't be bothered to reply to your post - apart from saying I can't be bothered!
47. 2009-10-24 22:31  
(Its nice to see someone kick-off this pseudo-cultural-criticism discussion on a public forum. Yes the article was very "raw" but it worked - it got us thinking no? )

I object to the term the author has coined. First of all, by labelling this possible ideological drift as "post-gay" , i think we're prematurely declaring the death of the "gay" period if there is even one. Its like coming up with Post-Romanticism when Byron was still penning "Don Juan". Is that even possible you might ask? Doesn't a new era begin at the very moment one avant garde visionaries is "enlightened"?

Yeap. That used to be the case. But the prositution of these "-ism" terms have undermined the credibility of the terms itself. As such, we no longer believe that "Post post post marxism", "Googlism" actually have any significance in summing up the past or predicting the pattern of the future. In other words, "post-gay" might not be a genuine revelation but is just some imaginary sentiment conjured up by us (unknowingly) in our extrapolated post-modernity.

More importantly, Is there even a "Gay" period for us to "post"-ify? I think not. If anything, the unequal progress of homosexual rights around the world reminds us that we are not ready to sum up the last, say, 200 years and characterize it simply with "narcissistic" or "cynical". If we do, it will probably be the most shallow, pretentious, self-deluding piece of garbage in some library (maybe only a tad more meaningful than the systematic research of Beckham's hairdos)

Look at ourselves. The mere suggestion of "Gay" as a period sparks off vain debates regarding the validity of clubs and gyms as indicators. But at the same time, there's the Ugandan death penalty for HIV+ gay men and Iran-ians being witchhunted. Can we honestly say we share a universal agenda that is even remotely homogeneous? If we don't, having a label "gay" or "post-gay" will just be academic vomit used to entertain some self-indulgent gay intellectual.

I empathize with the writer. His feelings of inadequacy and unconformity resounds in most of us, at least sometimes. I respect his conviction to include the less vain, less beautiful, less "queer" people in our agenda. Its very sad if we marginalise people in our already marginalised community. I get that.

But to actually declare an era (and then declare it dead) is presumptious bordering on self-indulgent. Whose gay experiences are we describing by using such a term? At BEST a loosely Anglo-centric one. Post-colonialism and Orientalism remind us that we need to at least TRY to be all inclusive. If not, whatever profound-sounding cultural outlook we have is going to alienate more people than those we include.

I think we should not mistake opinion for truth.

Comment edited on 2009-10-24 22:56:32
48. 2009-10-24 23:28  
As we grow older, it's important not to feel jaded. Prioritised your life and attain realistic goals. Being gay is only a small part of a big picture. You can't find fulfillment purely by being gay. There's so much in life than that.
49. 2009-10-25 00:05  
reitrating yveserwan comments --- indeed...

one very gay thing you definitely haven't given up is narcissism... :D
50. 2009-10-25 00:13  
Love your artical! I agree with #48 ZGMM.
51. 2009-10-25 01:24  
gay or straight or anything else ... life today is driven by media stereotypes which has essential become the new human culture.
look harder, am sure you will find a nice cultural niche somewhere yu prefer...

as a POST post-gay person, it's really all about what are one's priorities in life and what one want to do with the time one has.

danu22btm said it well, he seems to know how to live "gay" and happy ... just going with the flow.

Whats life anyway? 90% straights just go with the course of reproduction cycle. gays just have to invent one, some are more creative about it and write their own stories while the other 90% try what the mainstream culture "invents" for them to "replace the reproduction cycle drives".

afterall, we are just living organism ... dont be too hard on those trying to channel that drive but dont disappoint yourself if thats not the way you want to drive that brand new rocket of yours... be creative ... fall in love with someone ... something ... or go save some souls or the planet.

52. 2009-10-25 04:02  
I think Nicholas is just growing up. That's good. Some people never do. They are the 40 and 50 year old guys who hang out in gay bars every nite as if it were still 1974. At some point most men learn to be true to themselves rather than to embrace a shallow stereotype. Gay bars are fun - once in a while - but you don't have to live there. Being gay is an important part of our identities, but it is still incidental. If you really care about changing people's attitudes towards gay people the most effective thing you can do is come out to straight people who already know and like you. Wearing clothing that identifies you as gay is not helpful. It only feeds the prejudices of narrow minded people.

So now, Nicholas, you will probably find other ways to spend most of your free time. If you are like most of us you will still go to a gay bar once in a while, but it will not be the central point of your social life. You may even discover that long term relationships do happen (I have been with the same {Singaporean} man for 19 years). It just doesn't happen the way starry-eyed romantics think it does.

Happy Birthday, Nicholas
53. 2009-10-25 06:26  
I'm not sure it's gay, it's growing up. Straight people go through the same reflection. You are only 24 Nicholas. There are a lot more levels of reflection and maturity to come. There is a lot of falseness in humankind, not just gay people. Growing up is about finding the strength within to be oneself.

Nicely written, thanks.
54. 2009-10-25 06:55  
If you had chosen the right company to hang/chill out with in the first place, it wouldn't matter where you hang out with your friends, but you wouldn't be left alone on a couch having your mind wander off like that.
Who gives a damn about complying to the mainstream "scene" if it's all about having a great time with the right company and friends?
55. 2009-10-25 08:21  
You are not gay, you are EVERYTHING, you are the universe.
56. 2009-10-25 09:08  
All the commenters above "get it". Whatever the current and popular catch phrase we use to describe our growth and social evolution as we live our (gay) lives, growing tired of the thump thump thump at the dance clubs and draping ourselves in designer brands, eventually seeking out other social and intellectually expanding options (like staying home to study, read a book, listen to softer music, inviting friends over for red wine to de-tox and dvds, taking exotic vacations, joining the gym, attending house parties) is, I believe, a perfectly normal and natural part of growing up. (some above called it "getting older"; and that's a goal isn't it....to get older, live a long life?). And I've faced it (the inevitable, predictable gift of age) many years ago myself and stopped living the stereotypical "gay" lifestyle. Today I would look pathetic on the dance floor with spiked hair, D&G draping my torso, ear, cock and nose-rings attached to my flesh, dancing to the all too familiar thump thump thump. I also agree that even though the article was "raw" and the (familiar) literary style just a bit too "Carrie Bradshaw-ish", Mr. Deroose has brought to the table a nice, seldom discussed issue for us to share, pontificate and ponder......
Comment edited on 2009-10-25 13:03:08
57. 2009-10-25 13:09  
love the article. and the response. =)
58. 2009-10-25 15:29  
Quite an interesting article. I guess in some ways I'm the mirror image of a few respondents... rather than being an Asian living in America, I'm an American living in Asia, so my life here has been very much an enlightenment (something many Americans could well use!) -- and I agree with the notion of this article completely.

When I first came out, I was in college and traveling to the paradoxical gay mecca of Atlanta, Georgia on weekends to meet gay friends and party, etc. Along the way, I met this one guy whose entire life completely and utterly revolved around his gayness. He worked in a gay bookstore, had only gay friends (and girlfriends), ate and shopped and clubbed and socialized in the Piedmont Street district, where everything is either gay or gay-friendly. There was even a gay steakhouse there! Although he was a nice guy, it was a real eye-opener to me and I made a conscious decision that, while being gay would unquestionably be a real part of who I was going forward, I would never let it consume me or define me as a person.

As John Mahone's wonderful character proclaimed in "The Broken Hearts Club," and I paraphrase, "I remember when being gay was something you rarely talked about. Now it's ALL you talk about. You talk about it so much, you forget all the other wonderful things you are besides gay."

I don't think it's really accurate to call it "post-gay" -- it's just the homosexual version of true self-actualization, the zenith of psychological development.

Thanks for an interesting piece of writing, Nicholas.

Good luck to your Phillies in the World Series. I'm from Denver, so naturally I'm a huge Rockies fan, but the Phillies won the series from us, and I was thrilled to see them oust the Dodgers! :)
59. 2009-10-25 16:29  
More and more I love meeting gays who are themselves. Those who don't subscribe to the mainstream gay culture. They do what they want, not what society tells them to. Subscribe to yourself and your own identity.

We can never be "post-gay" though. That's just a label. Being gay affects every moment of how we live, act and think. It's a part of you forever, but it should never be the whole. Nice thoughts Nick!
60. 2009-10-25 16:32  
Nicholas has a point. I have been in Asia for about 15 yrs now.Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong , Malayasia and Singapore. Being from NYC I desired for places like The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center(http://www.gaycenter.org/) where I can meet other gays in positive atmosphere, with common interests. After I came out, it took a while for me to realize "I'm me and I happen to be gay" and not let gayness define me as a person.
61. 2009-10-25 17:53  
hehe i can sort of relate this to myself as well. feeling the gay culture is so skewed and dont represent meself. i prefer to just laid back on my couch jamming with my playstation =3
62. 2009-10-25 17:59  
I agree. The subculture created by this pop gay phenomenon makes same gender relationship very superficial and scores more scorn from the straight community. Now what teenager in the exploratory stage of his or her sexuality will want to come out as possibly gay, lesbian or transgender?
63. 2009-10-25 19:20  
I think people should ask if the bars are that way because the customers want them like that are or if they are that way because the staff/owners want them to be what they are. God knows they are never romantic or play any romantic music and as Nicholas says you can't have any kind of normal conversation in them. I think it's better to meet people in positive places but if you're not lucky enough to have those places available wouldn't it be nice to have a sane pleasant place to meet and talk to other gay people? You can voice your opinions to the staff/owners too, after all.
64. 2009-10-25 19:56  
I don't want to sound cynical, but I think the writer is probably waking up to what most most gay guys who haunt the scene wake up to sooner or later: realizing they're no longer into the scene.
I'd be pretty sure it's been happening since gay bars & clubs were invented. Bars & clubs cater to a certain crowd and once you're over it, you just are. You just realize one day that it's after all, kinda limited in scope. Nothing wrong with the scene for fun, but it's not going to reveal the meaning of life to you either, so to speak. It's not about being post-gay really, because I'd bet a worthy dollar that just about every gay guy who's ever been a clubber and also lived to the age of 30 or over has been in exactly the same situation since the word "gay" meant something other than just being happy.
65. 2009-10-25 20:49  
free will -- hehehe
66. 2009-10-25 21:31  
i really relate to this article, i think the main gay culture is now getting way over the top, it's... bad~
67. 2009-10-25 23:10  
gay? post-gay? who cares...

if you like gay bars, fine and dandy; if not, don't go. plain and simple. it's nothing to do with maturity as some people would like to delude themselves by thinking.

only a 20yo narcissist would feel the need to write a "commentary" on something so banal and have the audacity to submit it for publication.

68. 2009-10-25 23:47  
Ones always expect to be footloose and re-write their own life story if they think that the life they are living cannot content their "soul" anymore.
U can named it post-gay or whatsoever, but for me it's just another phase of life.
Afterall, we are all different one another.
Hope you can define your "happiness" soon enough.
69. 2009-10-26 00:31  
DISCLAIMER: What i say is NOT absolute, nor am i posting under the assumption i am correct. I most certainly might be wrong. But this is what i am thinking at the moment after reading the article. You may criticize me however you like, but be warned, if its a simple, "you're dumb" or "your just in denial", i will simply ignore you. But yeah.... i'm open to critcism :)

Post-gay? Does that mean there's a pre-gay? if so what does it mean? I don't think its possible to 'label' our opinions and values in specific time frames of our life. It's all a matter of personal preference and what we have learned up to today. What i mean by this is what we know, what we hear and what we see is what we learn, so every single person ends up being different. It isn't a matter of going through phases or growing up, because isn't it possible for someone to 'get over' clubbing but later on get back into it? Is that considered a phase too? We, as individuals, not as gays, or lesbians, or heterosexuals, are influenced by so many things in life, such as (not limited to, but includes) media, peer pressure, culture and religion, and these factors are what alter our decisions in life, and consequently our beliefs and values. Also i hear the term 'gay culture' often. Yes, gay and lesbians have been discriminated against for a long part of our history, and yes we have been mistreated for a part of that time. I understand that being treated as an equal gives gay and lesbians freedom and openness, but why do we have to create our own culture? If we live in asia, we are asian, influenced by the asian culture. Why must we separate ourselves when we ourselves are the ones that wanted to be equal to everyone else? Can we not just be a gay male living in wherever?

Then theres the stereotypical image of 'gays', which differs between countries, but in general gays and lesbians are stereotyped similarly. Everyone knows that stereotype, and it is completely up to us to change that. Not saying that we need to all change, but the opportunity was always in front of us, we just never took it. Is it possible that this stereotype is being passed on to generations as a natural cycle of life? There was one time i was in a study room with my group members for an assignment, and the topic of gays came up, how i dont remember. I do however, remember one of the group members saying, word to word, "Gays now adays are just so sleazy". Who are we to blame, other than ourselves for coming to the point where someone can say this so openly? Is it not the public image that we have created the cause to this stereotype? (correct me if im wrong). Then again perth is quite the ghost city... not much happening here anyway.

These are just thoughts which pretty much popped up into mind while reading the article and while writing. There is still so much more to discuss about and not to mention that this is one point of view out of the many that are possible, but im so tired...... and the 'comment' is already really long... ill stop :P

BUT WAIT, since the last post was post 67 :P

@ post 67. I'm not trying to flame you, but the issues brought up here are most certainly not plain and simple, it's not like we can just say "i won't go to gay bars because i don't like it" If i say "I don't like work", does that mean i can just not work? It's good that you know where you stand, but there are people that are still in search of their identity or are confused with where they are heading in the future, and this applies to everyone, not just gays and lesbians. That i believe is why the author posted this article, and i believe he has every right to bring it up, regardless if hes a narcissist or not, regardless of what ethnic origin, age or personality he is.
70. 2009-10-26 00:36  
when i was typing that, now i see as a freaking long comment. 67 was the last post :P so dont think im picking on u :P
71. 2009-10-26 01:52  
Thank you for your honest thoughts and observations Nicholas, as a "late starter" I flung myself headlong into the local gay culture but after 10 years realised there was more to life than bars, clubs, the annual "prides". They still have a place in my life, but only a small place, life has much more to offer now. If this is post gay, then so be it. However, I do appreciate that there are many people around the world who are not out and who would love to be in a position to attend gay bars, clubs etc but because of culture, family pressure etc they feel unable to do so. The internet can offer some contact, but I guess bars and clubs will always be needed as points of contact for whatever reason. So Nicholas, you have raised some interesting comments which have generated further comments from around the world which is a healthy thing. Nice one!
72. 2009-10-26 07:46  
my friend who is self proclaimed post-straight think as a gay I need to be happier with myself rather than being critical, diva-like, too hopeful in a gay bar (when no one looking at me will result for me to over analyse), narcissistic (tho i have to disagree, lots of my post-straight friends just love when girls drooling at them). he said to me,''sam, chill out my man, the world doesn't resolve around u just because u r mixed blood because tho u modestly stating it to the point of 'regretting' it, because u actually know lots of asians adore being caucasians. consider urself lucky man, i am straight, but i'm sure those gay ugandan, gay iraqis, gay iranians that have to cut their pee-pee just to claim they r gay, be grateful ur in this club, albeit no one looking at u, despite what u said and i'm sure u think u r so exotic most of the times, hence u r hard on yourself. u know what, u should be gay in the old meaning of the word.''

maybe i am post-gay, but if gay means loving another man, post-gay means i am actually straight and my friend is gay? or he just claim himself post straight, just because no girls feel attracted to him anymore and he feels slightly bitter abt it? what if post-gay? the way u dress? the society u join? or not joining? am i mental ?

my post-straight said it is what it is simply because i just cant pull at that specific moment and i want justify my sad being in the gaybar.

oh, life is sooo hard.
73. 2009-10-26 08:49  
it was rather challenging to feel the actual intent of this article, but a fun read nonetheless. with the comments page set abuzz, it certainly has elicited lively discussion.

1) it's always great to have choices/options, for whichever phase one might be in.

2) to answer the author's final question, i feel that it is up to the individual to define who he/she is. gay is just another label one needs not confine him/herself to.

some cliches have endured for a reason. - the truth will set you free
74. 2009-10-26 08:58  
Lokies, apparently you are admitting this is just another 1000 word piece of "full self-centred rationalisation" and you belong there within! Thank you.
75. 2009-10-26 09:38  
Well done! Bit long article. And your absolutely right. The gay community has to integrate into the main stream. However, as long as there are still a majority of closet gays, this will never happen.
76. 2009-10-26 10:19  
i wear my own label, period.
77. 2009-10-26 11:08  
Your article is very enlightening. I was a late bloomer in all things gay. As we speak, i am still very confused about what being gay means, to the point of disliking it sometimes. My question exactly is what's the point of all these, if i can't find meaning in what i do? IS being gay a part of a whole or the whole itself? Is being gay means isolation from the "mainstream"? In Asia, i think it's more of like that, because we tend to be more defining of what's accepted and what's not. If we don't understand and grasp a concept we fear it and take flight, especially in more conservative societies. That's the reason why we put labels on ourselves and shun the status quo.

I didn't realize that being gay is just sexuality and not my entire being, until i read and digested all your comments.

Thanks to all your inputs, they are really very helpful.
78. 2009-10-26 11:15  
The gay community (at least in HK) is very much into appearance and often forget they have a brain. I always went out with a simple tee shirt and jeans. But seeing and being seen is all that counts. Call me post-gay, poor old sod, bitter granny, or whatever … who cares, I don't need to prove anything to anyone, and never had to by the way. I enjoy myself in other activities than going out to GAY bars,listening to the same loud beat of music and see the same sad people hidden behind their smile. Glad to see I'm not so weird after all, or Nicholas and I as well as very few others are. What counts is that we are not alone!
79. 2009-10-26 12:28  
Yup, everyone has to grow up, eventually. Unless perhaps you're an incurable sex addict - straight, bi or gay - that doesn't equate passion with real relationship, and so need to rationalise your choices till the narcissistic end...?
Well done, maturing young author - such an overwhelming response! The favourable responses (perhaps about 85 per cent, some very insightful) to your article make me realise that the majority here are real, that we desire width and depth in our lives, that we are not just a demographic - whatever tribe we belong to, or whatever tags we choose (or not) to pin on our human selves. Where do we find that width and depth, and where do we find "meaning"? I guess each soul has to do its own searching. What is Life? Where is Truth? Who is Love? You decide... cheers! :-)
80. 2009-10-26 12:40  
PS: actually, it might be more like 90 per cent.. :)
81. 2009-10-26 15:50  
i am so culturally not gay, fell head over heels for a guy, but I never liked the scene from the start....its still tacky in my play book, the whole scene is like visiting a foreign country and I still make fun of it and can't identify with it, I am in it but thank God not of it and it is not what ever define me, I whole new generation of Gay wholesome men are taking over and feel disillusioned by our so called advocates who advocated nothing but hedonism, thank God my older gay brother saved me from this crap
82. 2009-10-26 16:53  
It's hard to say that one is post-Anything that is not tailored for you, that doesn't appeal to you, and which you don't feel is relevant to how you life your life, or how you define yourself as a person. So, as to Most gay people Here (at least), as I don't fit The Rules of how I 'should' act or where I 'should' go out etc, I can't say that I'm 'post-gay', as I've Never been particularly 'gay' to begin with! (I should also declare that I am equally NOT Post Nun Slapping, Post Dwarf Throwing, Post Lift Groping, Post Yellow Snowball Throwing, Post Post Posting, or any one of a million other Post Whatevers that I've never been particularly involved with or interested in to begin with...) I guess that, ultimately, you make your own 'scene', with the help of your friends. Frankly, just ganging out with one of them, Anywhere, means more to me than dutifully herding ourselves into some neatly defined - and socially Very rigid - Scene...
83. 2009-10-26 16:55  
Oops. I mean hanging out. I think 'ganging out' has moreeanings than I intend... :-p
84. 2009-10-26 17:48  
I really have my doubts about how representative the gay scene is. As a Parisien, I have the privilege of living in a very liberated city with a probable gay population of up to 500,000, a very lively gay ghetto, maybe 50 gay bars, 30 or 40 gay restaurants, 12 gay saunas, and half a dozen dance clubs. Yet, even if all the gay bars and clubs were full to capacity every night, that would still leave 480,000 of us sitting at home watching TV or going to the opera or eating out with friends or doing the laundry or clipping our toenails.

Of course the gay scene IS shallow, superficial and very brutal. But most of us don't hang out at a gay bar or club to discuss the mysteries of the universe or to bond with strangers over a mutual love of bird-watching in Madagascar. We go to get laid. We go to celebrate our sexuality and physicality. We go to desire and be desired. If we come away feeling desired by some hot guy, we don't give rat's ass how shallow or superficial it is. If we come away undesired, all we can see is the shallowness and superficiality of it all. This is, however, not a uniquely gay phenomenon. Deroose's article could quite easily apply to the New York straight singles scene which is even more superficial and brutal in its competitiveness than the gay one.

As many of the posters have already pointed out, we are what we are and what we are changes with time and circumstance. There is no best way, just possibilities that suit us until experience and environment offer us something better. As Nicholas is now discovering, the trick is to avoid routines and ruts that mire us in fixed positions and make change impossible. The total rejection of the gay scene is probably just as paralyzing and warping as constant and repetitive devotion to it.
85. 2009-10-26 18:47  
Post # 84 'pheramones' ....... you summed it up perfectly.
86. 2009-10-26 18:52  
Thanks Nicholas for a very thoughtful post. It might be that a combination of your past experiences and growing maturity has allowed you to reach the conclusions that you have stated above. I remember when I first moved to SF and met guys who were very excited about finally arriving in the Castro. Many acted as if they had reached the New Promised Land. I often envied those who felt so connected to the community there and centered almost everything they did within a gay context and the many who did very little outside of their jobs, outside of Castro. This was strange for me because the first thing that I noticed after arriving there was the racism that I saw. At first I thought it was my imagination but later came to see that it was reality. The designated Asian dive was on Polk Street, the Black dive was on 18th in Castro, the Latin dive was in the Mission. The other bars were basically white and seldom did you see men of color working there at that time. There would be sprinklings of minorities there trying to find their place in all of this. For some, they managed to find a connection with the right people and worked hard to have the right look in order to be accepted within that group. For them, this was heaven and they were very protective of this new found association.
There were also men who came and after a few years had had enough of this scene and chose to move to other parts of the country or other parts of the bay area wanting to have a more balanced lifestyle that was not so fag centered and allowed for more diversity. That not only included gay and straights, but also cultural and age differences. Many of these men often reported being better able to establish and to better maintain relationships. I found that I enjoyed going to straight bars more because the people were freindly and it was easier to meet new people and feel relaxed. To be honest, the gay scene is often based on looks. If you look like someone I want to have or can imagine myself having sex with , then I will spend time to get to know you or even be civil with. If not, I have no reason to even look at you. Straight bars were a welcomed relief for me. I have been living in Asia for some time and when I go back to SF, it is interesting to see that the bars are not filled with people as they had a few years ago. This is a good thing. Perhaps it is the progress the younger generation has inherited from an older group who fought and made many sacrifices in the past. For whatever reason, I think the younger generation has inherited more healthy options than being filled with cocktails evry night supporting the local gay bar.
The next point I want to make is a very sensitive point and I am sure it will raise the hormone levels of many guys who fit this mold. Many Asians complain about how they are precieved in the "White Mans World" but at the same time many live up to the very stereotypes they are complianing about. How many ads are posted by Asians looking for that hairy GWM? How many guys avoid romantic considerations with other asians or other people of color under the heading of "its just sexual preference", as if we are borned to have a prescribed organ that we must have with a pre set color to it. I have come to see that many of these men have low self esteem of themselves as Asians, and for many grow older and still alone simply because they feel it has to be White.
Now, I have no problem with good people meeting other good people and falling in love or establishing relationships that happen to be of different races. What is I am speaking of here is the crowd that complains about how they are treated and precieved but at the same time from the post they have on gay chat sites and from their dating history exclude anyone but the GWM for consideration of a relationship. The next point is that most of the time on gay chats wheather in magazines, movies, or public comments, the focus is usually on the "Asian Boy" and the Gay White Man". Some latins can be considered if they have a certain look that makes them have a pseudo GWM appearance. Black and other dark skinned men are fairly invisible unless they have some type of super star quality about them. Most Asian men become pretty defensive about this type of discussion. Especially when it hits homes to the patterns that they have maintained.
When most of us read a profile it is usually filled with things that have nothing to do with finding a kind, honest, sincere, and loving available good man. The color,, penis size, cut or uncut, hair length, drugs, hairy legs, specific positions. No wonder so many of us are unhappy and so many are alone. Nicholas provides a moment for thought and while some may chose to be defensive or worst still, dismissive, he should certainly be appplauded for providing us with something to think about. There are many men who are now middle aged and have still not figured it out.
Comment #87 was deleted by its author on 2009-10-26 19:24
88. 2009-10-26 19:27  
oh pSBlue, I can't be bothered with people like you who has a problem with judging quotations contextually.
89. 2009-10-26 22:41  
I have not read every comment on this article, so what I share here might already have been said. I think that the "post gay" label might be a stumbling block for some people, maybe "post gay clubbing life" is more accurate!

This is a great article filled with maturity. Should we be amazed with this maturity is coming from a man of only 24 years? The answer would have been yes if we were living in the 1970's, 80's and maybe 90's. But as we enter the year 2010, life for many gay people has become more mainstream. In the early days when the gay community was developing there was no other place to go and be yourself and feel part of the community other than the club scene. It really was all that existed for most gay men and women. Many were living straight lives and then playing in the gay clubs on the weekends. While there are still difficulties "coming out" in today's world, for many it is not nearly as difficult as used to be. As young people, we stand on the shoulders of gay men that stood for what was fair and equal in the world in their generation. We are grateful for them, because our world today is so much better than theirs.

I think that the bar and club scene will always be a part of our gay culture because we are all so diverse and have different needs, but I think that our generation and the generations of gay people to come will become more and more mainstream especially in major cities. Gay life is more than "club life". I personally still love going to clubs and dancing the night away, but gay life is so much more that just that scene.

Nicholas did a great job in this article. He is sharing with all of us that he is gay and wants a gay life that is not defining him, but a life in which he gets to define what gay is for him. I think that this article came from a man that is comfortable with his sexuality and the life he is living. Good luck Nicholas....I am cheering for you.
90. 2009-10-26 23:36  
Why don't you go to church and preach then to relax and de-stress your troubling mind.
91. 2009-10-27 00:31  
gee, what's with the comment, #90? *shrugs*
92. 2009-10-27 08:39  
Sanity returns! I have seen only a few writers who say to Nicholas “…he had just grown old before his time, “…might be a self comment on his life stage, or .. very “gay” thing he hadn't given up was narcissism...” Nice to know we live in a world where anybody can deposit a dollar in a vending machine and get a PhD in psychology. I don’t know what we would do without all these so-called “shrinks” who have yet to even look at, much less speak with, “the patient”. So I will be the “shrink-for-a-minute” and say, “You guys are hanging on to the 1970’s!

Some want the free sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll!” Fact is that a lot of us, including the late teen and early 20-somethings that had “just grown old before their time”, have had a belly full of the idiotic "pride parades", drag queens and musclemen and all the rest of that CRAP. Where is the pride in THAT? We are human beings so let us quit trying to set ourselves apart from other human beings who are NOT gay, but would love us anyway. All the pumped-up-volume club mix “music” (nothing more than machine generated sound), coke, porn "stars", etc., will defeat our enemies, nor win us friends.

As for "Why don't you go to church and preach then to relax and de-stress your troubling mind..." what in the blue Pacific are you talking about?

Anyway, let us get into the 21st century, start really loving each other for who we are, and stop looking back at the past, lest we become pillars of salt.

Thanks Nicholas! Great commentary...and I appreciate it, though not in total agreement. :)
Comment edited on 2009-10-27 08:41:18
93. 2009-10-27 16:24  
Sweeties, pumpkins, darlings, stop looking at your surroundings for affirmation of who you are.

There's no sign up preventing us from chatting quietly in a nook in a so-called 'straight' cafe - millions of other MSM and WSW choose this very path. Nicholas, from one young gay man to another, there's no reason we can't 'fit in' with society as a whole. The 'gay community' does not exist in any more tangible a form than the 'black community' or the 'Asian community'. When was the last time you attended the Congress of Singaporean Mixed-Race Expat Scholars? As gay men we often develop a persecution complex and shun ordinary workplace or college friendships in specific pursuit of gay friends who will 'understand' us. We struggle to conform to what is expected of our sexuality as soon as we exit the closet - buying expensive shoes, listening to funkyhouse and choosing cosmopolitans over Carlsberg. However, we quickly discover that difference in personality is as rich between gay men as between any human beings - a common interest in a certain sexual act hardly constitutes a common hobby. You may as well befriend people who like the same flavour ice cream as you.

After winning a modicum of social freedom, we must now fight the perception of difference itself - a far harder battle to win. The flawed notion of externality, epitomised by gay bars and gay pride parades, has done nothing to break down barriers, reinforcing the notion of gay people as broadly different - resulting in prejudice on both sides. To paraphrase Harvey Milk, if they know one of us, it's harder to demonise us.

I'm not saying let's close down Q bar. I'm just saying when I go somewhere for a quiet chat with a friend, be they gay or straight, I choose the venue based on whether or not I like it, and not whether or not it will allow me, should I choose, to remove my shirt and snog a same-sexed stranger.

Some gay men enjoy the scene, and they're welcome to it. However, others prefer a quiet life. Sexuality has no impact on these choices - personal preference does. This is the reason my grandmother plays bridge and isn't pole dancing every Friday night. Nicholas, should you ever be in Beijing, you're more than welcome to hang out with myself, my boyfriend and a select group of straight and gay friends when we next have a tea and toast roundtable. Gays exist in every culture, ergo gay culture is human culture, and let's keep it as rich as it is!
94. 2009-10-27 17:55  
OMG I have been post gay all my life!!!
I must have PGS (post-gay-syndrome)...
95. 2009-10-27 18:24  
" If I did not tell people I am Asian, I could probably pass off as Latino because of my tanned skin and slightly Caucasian features" LOL sorry i just love the little disclaimer like comment. Oh yeah I am Asian and I don't look Asian but i totally relate to you guys and I'm over my narcissism because I'm post-gay.

I'm sure your a nice guy and you have the best of intentions, but seriously i don't see how it related to the rest of the article and it just reinforced the fact that many Asians prefer being and looking more Caucasian. You also highlight the fact that you do not have an accent, and therefore you could assimilate into American culture without little difficulty; I don't know but I can't help feel paranoid at the fact you might actually be quite pleased with yourself.

Apologies, but that is my $1.00 worth AUD.

96. 2009-10-27 21:36  
Don't worry Nick. Next time you come to my apartment again, I'll fix u up and make u gay again - good as new :-) hahaha....
97. 2009-10-27 21:48  
My point is, there are million of places you can go rather than a night club to relax and de-stress. Actually, I think when you were in that club and nobody talked to you then you feel really depressed even you think you have a good look but I think you are too proud of yourself and felt disoriented in the club that you are not fit.
98. 2009-10-28 11:34  
Just because you're gay, like 10 percent of the world's population, just what exactly does it mean when you mention the need to 'fit in'?

Maybe I'm just not getting it. I mean, fine, you're disinterested in reading NEXT magazine, I'm interested more in TIME, and some of us continuously preach from Applied Science, In Design, or even Anjung Seri for all I care.

It's diversity.

Being gay is bigger than just clubbing, saunas and fawning over porn stars or bodies in health magazines.

Personally, I don't see the need to call it 'gay culture' since the straight population does the same thing.
99. 2009-10-28 15:36  
Maybe it was the "sweat pants" .
100. 2009-10-28 20:39  
When ever a person gets drunk, he speaks the pain. You 2. Support ya. hope people like u n me really over come this post-gay issue. thumbs up for your wine n for ur article.
101. 2009-10-29 11:48  
Wake up call *Ding Dong* (and my last reply)...to you Lokies, you should have realised neither I bother what YOU have to say here as far as I stated it first of all my comments is for Fridae to note. So just in case you're going to hit down your keyboard for some clever self defensive notion, think twice 'coz that might as well being critically self centred. Oh, NVM. Cheers
102. 2009-10-29 13:06  
Very interesting article. We all (straight AND gay) go through many stages of development and awareness. I ALWAYS knew what my orientation was....as far back as I can remember....yet NEVER felt part of the gay scene in any way. Being gay didn't make me different, even though I lived through a period when being gay was punishable by prison in the U.S. in many states. I never considered it wrong to love a man....and that was all that I wanted in my personal life. Sleeping around had no interest for me and I didn't do it. I just lived a very ordinary life like anyone else. I was even "out" to my friends at UNC-Chapel Hill in the 1950s and never met any discrimination from them. I met my lover in 1960 and we lived a very, VERY passionate life together for the next 17 years. I never touched another man. Why? I had the best. We made love at least once a day every day for most of those 17 years. I lost him to Hodgkin's Disease, a cancer of the lymph system. But I always felt I was ahead of the game. I had a WONDERFUL loving, highly passionate 17 years. I didn't need bars or meat racks or any of the superficial areas of gay life in those days. Today....it IS different in many cases and I think he is just growing up. I live in the state of Connecticut where gay marriage is legal. Many of the gays here are like me....just ordinary guys who don't define (or limit) their lives by their sexuality. Even at my age....I'm STILL hoping to find one wonderful guy to just share my life with. But hopefully, he won't have ANY interest in "the scene." There will ALWAYS be those who will want it....just as there are many straight men who never grow out of bars and hangouts and wanting to be single when they are, in fact, married. But there are always going to be just as many who just want to LIVE their lives and don't need tinsel to make it sparkle. Lots of us just want the sparkle with our mates. Nick, the latest research shows that our brains don't stop maturing until we are in our mid-twenties. The chemicals that teens to mid-twenties have floating around cause them to act irrationally and not see things as they are. Parents don't understand them...and they don't understand their parents. I think...your brain may just be settling into adulthood. Welcome to the wonder of maturity.
Comment #103 was deleted by its author on 2009-10-31 02:13
104. 2009-10-31 18:55  
oh, god if only u spent more writing about what it really means about post-gaydom instead of spending huge chunks - almost 1st half - on the intro and much ado about nothing. yawn
105. 2009-11-02 08:18  
Hmmm.. like the term post-gay... can relate to it too, normally after experiencing some pre-gay moments
106. 2009-11-02 19:59  
I've often noticed that 'gay ghetto' exists only in mainly conservative societies....yes, including the USA, 'land of the (pseudo) free".
It was, after all, a nation founded on evangelical Christian principles with strongly Puritan roots, so is it any surprise? I myself could not-and would not- identify with US-style trashy 'queer culture ghetto' (sorry Americans) which I personally find to be very patronising & at times offensve to gay people...to say the very least.
But the writer seems to have missed a few points:

1) America is not the world.
2) The world is not America.
3) As #93 mentioned, if we want complete equality & respect then we've got to first fight our own inadequecies & stop measuring ourselves by the conventions of what 'society' expects us to be...
it seems poor Mr Decosse himself is guilty of this, from a psychological point-of-view.

"If I don't tell people I'm Asian I could probably pass off as a Latino, with my tan skin & slight Caucasian features.."

Hmmm...isn't it very similar to:

"If i don't tell people I'm gay, I might get mistaken for straight cause I'm very masculine & handsome & many girls think I'm so attractive(winkwink)..'"

How do most people feel after reading these comments?
Is it any wonder why the gay community always get labelled "tasteless', 'tacky', 'narcissist'...and sometimes, 'racist'?
107. 2009-11-05 18:13  
POST _________________________ fill in the blank.

It's very easy to define oneself or one's literature, art, fashion, music, cuisine etc. by saying what you are NOT. But this article still hasn't really clarified what you ARE.

Please log in to use this feature.


This article was recently read by

Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia