“We’ve reached an exciting turning point in LGBTQ history,” Dylan Jones writes in a new think-piece published by Attitude. “For the first time in living memory, many queer kids are being treated in much the same way as other kids.”
Jones writes that more and more young people are being themselves in school and looking up to LGBTQ characters on TV and in movies, which he thinks is great.
“Shame is largely a thing of the past,” he declares, “and homophobia is, like, SO 2008.”
Is it? Is it really, though?
Jones acknowledges that “things aren’t perfect.” For instance, he says, “discrimination–particularly transphobia–is still rife in many schools.”
Plus, you know, all those antigay hate crimes you still hear about, antigay politicians being elected into high office, mass shootings inside gay clubs, the shockingly high number of LGBTQ teen suicides, artists who still think it’s OK to sing about bashing queers, et cetera, et cetera.
“But it’s way better than it used to be,” Jones says. “For the first time, many LGBTQ kids are making it through unscathed.”
If merely making it through life “unscathed” is all we’re striving for then, OK, maybe. But that’s not even the most shocking part of his argument.
There seems to be an attitude among older generations of LGBTQ people, particularly older gay men, that their younger counterparts are “losing sight of the issues.” Many seem concerned that kids these days don’t appreciate what they’ve got, saying they prioritize superficiality and fun over activism and action.
Well, Jones says, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. After all, who needs history? The past is, like, SO boring!
But it gets worse.
It must be hard to swallow, after going through such struggles, to see young, chatty, confident gay men swanning about like they own the place. Unfortunately, this is when poison and jealousy can rear their ugly heads. It’s understandable really, but this doesn’t make it reasonable or right.
Did you hear that, you old queens? You’re just mad at these other generations of LGBTQ people because they’re younger and more confident than you!
“There is also a tendency, perhaps, for older gay men to think they know all there is to know about being gay, and what that means for your place in society,” Jone continues. “But the fact is, they don’t.”
“SHOULD young LGBTQ people care about their history?” he asks. “They’re certainly not obliged to. Why should they? This is just their lives. They’re existing as they should always have been allowed to exist–happily and freely. They shouldn’t be made to feel guilty, or even grateful for that.”
Plus, he adds, “they’ve also got shit to do.”