In a recent e-mail, a loyal reader noted the absence of comments to my post on the image of domestic bliss I had witnessed in the San Fernando Valley. He understood how disappointed I must have been that no readers took note of that post, at least not enough interest to comment on it.
In my mind, that was one of the most important pieces I have written since I started blogging for it gets to the essence of what it means to be gay. This is particularly important as the question of gay marriage surfaces again and again in our public discourse. We need to realize that an ordinary gay couple is not only a most beautiful image, it is quite powerful one as well, an image which may well make a stronger case for state recognition of gay unions than an argument put forward by the best debater.
In the coming days, I hope to blog more on this and other important social issues — focusing on why such images of ordinary gay couples matter so much to us. They remind us that those quick and casual sexual encounters all too readily available in our communities, while perhaps providing release, do not provide the sustenance we need to live truly human lives. That instead of focusing so much on our bodies and our beauty, we need also consider our hearts and our hopes, to look deeper into ourselves, rather than focusing continually on how “out” we should be.
That is, each of us needs to develop a gay identity based on more that outward appearances, that is more complex than a register of the places where we have come out to our family, to our peers — and to strangers. It’s time for us to look within, to ask questions of ourselves which cannot be answered in gay bars or computer chat rooms.
Many of us have already done that. And others are just beginning the process. We need to talk more openly about this. Because once we start communicating what we have learned, we might all better understand why an ordinary-looking gay couple much better represents what is best about gay people than the buff bodies so prominently displayed in posters in our neighborhoods and in the magazines and catalogues produced for people like us.
– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)