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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

gay growth

Read about the history of gay liberation until 1990. During my theories’ first winter period (early sixties) the attitude towards gays quickly changed from ‘sexual predator of young boys’ to ‘fellow human being with psychological problems’. Gays were not to be chased by police anymore, they were a bit sad and lonely and you should feel sorry for them. Quite an improvement. Of course, the sexual liberation of the spring period at the end of the sixties helped any emancipation process, and the Dutch gay organization COC developed from hiding place to ‘gay union’ during the following seventies, claiming some succes when laws were changed in 1971 and the COC got official ‘royal’ acknowledgement from the government in 1973. Soon, all political parties, unions and large institutions had gay groups, and gay groups divided themselves in political and social groups, ‘extremists’ and ‘normals’. The famous Lesbian ‘Paarse (violet) September’ made headlines by claiming sleeping with men was 'sleeping with your oppressor' and that 'the only true feminist is a lesbian'. ‘Fanatical Faggots’ were parading the streets in dresses, without shaving off their beards. Travesty wasn’t about elegance and charm then, mixing male and female aspects was a political choice.. In the middle, the average Dutch gay had to do his personal coming out, being helped by a few ‘out of the closet’ famous Dutch artists like Gerard Reve, Robert Long and Albert Mol..

Unfortunately, in the autumn period between 1977 and 1983 a lot of the space conquered was lost again when Aids roared it’s first ugly head. And the polarization in society during autumn wasn’t lost on gays too: a gay demonstration in 1982 ended in violence when youth groups started shouting and throwing rocks, sending several people to hospital and starting a trend among gays to take courses in self defense (later developing into gay sports clubs). At least it helped to finally turn the police force around: from their focuse on closing down cruising areas they now found themselves protecting gays in the streets.

So also gay liberation follows my timeframe theory. Even the Homomonument was build in Amsterdam during the winter period of 1983-1988, a time of inclusion, looking back and remembrance (in this case all the victims of anti-gay violence).
Of course gay liberation exploded again in the nineties, with the iT, the chanel parade and the 1998 Gay Games as high points. Unfortunately, we’re past another spring and summer period like the nineties, attitudes have worsened again since 1999, when we moved from open to closed season, entering autumn. While I’m typing there is an item on anti-gay violence on television.. That's the seasonality, sometimes intriguing, sometimes sad: two steps forward, one step back. Unless we survive this winter by regrouping, gaining support and 'hitting back'. Should we build another monument during this too closed winter period we’re having now?

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