too gay

The Daily Show Pits “New Gay” Versus “Old Gay” — are Gays Abandoning their Own Culture?


The Daily Show – Minneapolis Is the New Gay

You will, no doubt, recall the OUTRAGE two months ago when The Advocate named Minneapolis as the gayest city in America. Oh no she didn’t.

Now The Daily Show has sat up and taken notice, dispatching a hangdog Jason Jones to compare “old gay” San Francisco and “new gay” Minneapolis.

What’s the difference? Well, “old gay” is San Francisco and rainbow boas and dildos and parades. Lots of parades! If we’re not having a parade of our own, we’re trying to bust our way into someone else’s.

“New gay” is Minneapolis and riding your bike and running some errands and eating bread. In other words, “the new gay” is the same as “straight.”

So, sure, these Minneapolans may be gay — in that they are two dudes in love with each other — but take away our centuries of LGBT culture, from Sappho to Walt Whitman to Billie Jean King to Ru Paul, and what are you left with? How gay can you possibly be without all that stuff?

“New gay” is also, according to The Daily Show segment, shopping at Target — which as luck would have it is headquartered in Minneapolis. You know, Target, the retailer that funneled money to Republican Representatives Doug Magnus and Kurt Zellers? Who are both likely to support a double-ban on gay Minnesotans getting married?

Apparently “new gay” is giving your money to anti-gay politicians. Or at least, not being familiar enough with your own community to know any better.

So, which gay lifestyle do you prefer? Queerty’s Daniel Villareal weighs in:

I hate to sound all boring and hipstery but going entirely by The Daily Show‘s coverage, I’d much prefer the banana-bread gayness of Minneapolis (sans Target) to the non-stop leather fist-fest that is San Francisco. Of course, I’ve only been in each city for about ten minutes. So while we may disagree over which city best represents modern gay culture, we can all agree that a gay chorale director fucking Jason Jones would have made good television.

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  • ggreen

    Young gays are no different than other young people of today. To them history is just a bunch of words with dates. The world began on the day they were born.

  • Japhet

    “Apparently “new gay” is giving your money to anti-gay politicians. Or at least, not being familiar enough with your own community to know any better.”

    That just sounds like old gay with colder winters. Most of the gays I’ve known in my 25 years prefer boas, dildos, and bad techno (or bikes, bread, and errands) to education, social justice, and community participation.

  • Roger Rabbit

    Hmmm, right now I live in #3 Las Vegas.
    Sure it has clubs, but it is SOOO conservative off the strip that EVERYONE here is on the DL.

    Nothing gay about that. Just old and closeted. I’m sure it’s the same in Minneapolis.

  • Cam


    Yes, but most of us self select our own crowd. So have you gone around interviewing and making an effort to travel around and meet people from all over, or are you just surveying your friends and the people you hang out with?

  • Rainy Days

    The clip is funny, but the argument is stupid. Unless your measurement for “gayest” is “the percentage of people who are gay” or “frequency of gay sex acts,” we’re not talking about an objective, measurable quality. A boa isn’t “gayer” than a bicycle. A leather club isn’t “gayer” than a hipster-homo love nest. … And lots of people enjoy going dancing *and* fighting for social justice.

    There are as many different ways to be gay as there are gay people.

    “The Daily Show” is comedy. “The Advocate” is a glossy lifestyle rag. I wouldn’t take either too seriously or let them define “gay” for me.

  • Lamb Cannon

    Not a question of who’s gayest… the housing idiocy turned S.F. into playground for the young urban parasites, no different from any other city that’s miserable and damp and overpriced… Minneapolis: full of dreary know-it-all midwestern bores.

    Include me out of both of them. Haven’t read the ‘Advocate’ in years.

  • disco lives

    I have an idea for gays with an identiy problem.

    How about just enjoying your right to be who you are, not be what others tell you you’re supposed to be?

  • scott ny'er

    funny skit.

    what would be great is if Queerty posted a related thread on this. Listed the Advocate’s list and then asked it’s readers what cities they think is the gayest ones and why.

  • missanthrope


    That’s pretty dismissive of the experiences and lives of us, isn’t it? Sorry, but history didn’t stop in 1990 and we’re making our own. Gay culture, queer culture or whatever you want to call it, isn’t dying, it’s just changing to fit our own needs.

    I’m sure that in the 1970s or 80s there were plenty Mattachine types around telling you that you whipper-snappers where doing it wrong. Remember how condescending and ridiculous that felt, well, you’re doing the the same thing right now.

  • Sparky

    Oh great more freaking identity policing

    Can’t we just LIVE without people telling us how we should be? “Too gay” “not gay enough.” How about we just be – with feather boas, parades, children, picket fences, dildos or any combination that suits you

    Don’t we have enough stereotypes thrown at us by straight folks without us playing this conformist crap amongst ourselves?

  • tsukasabuddha

    I think this is jus millennial hubris speaking. There has been “the camp” versus “straight-acting” for the past one hundred years for certain, and probably longer. Often one is telling the other that if they just acted their way, the gay movement would move forward. Normally I see this against the camp people, but in this example it was the reverse.

    If I don’t like “gay culture” does that make me less gay?

  • Zack

    I prefer the old gay myslef.

  • Alan

    Hold on. When – documented and verifiable – gays actually had culture? Fashion, maybe. Attitude? Sure. Culture? Er….

  • injection

    I’m 23 and I prefer the “old gay”. Mmmm leather.

  • alan brickman

    Do new gays ever hit the gym?..or do they still mistake being gay for a talent? just wondering…too much real on here…

  • alan brickman

    no one on the daily show is that hawt…..

  • New-ish? Gay Guy

    Isn’t being queer about demanding the right to be who you truly are and busting down barriers?

    I work in science, and I’m proud to say the queer community’s presence in the sciences has been growing. There’s a national organization and some universities even have local queer groups for science students and professors.

    Does that make me less active or important in the movement than someone who’d prefer to be in a gay men’s choir? I’m sorry, but while I do love to sing, I wasn’t blessed with a great voice. :) You don’t want to hear me.

    Whether I’m dressing up like a sexy (female) witch for Halloween or reading up on a new biochemical pathway, I’m still gay. I am who I am, and nobody’s going to tell me otherwise.

    We all have our role to play in embracing ourselves, educating people, and breaking down the barriers. Let’s not build new barriers between us.

    (But on a sidenote… seriously… they shouldn’t have gone to Target)

  • jeff4justice

    How about we’re all just people? LGBT people already have enough divisive labels as a minority group.

    Let’s not forget that even in CA, there are still many anti-gay areas that condition gays to live in conformist fear and apathy.

  • Storm

    Who says you can’t have banana bread -and- a nonstop fist-fest? Why choose? Half the fun of being gay lies in non-conformity. Okay, okay, the other half lies in a sling with its legs in the air. But it’s all good. Just don’t make me pretend to act straight for the sake of some nebulous acceptance by the mainstream. Banana bread is one thing — white bread is another thing entirely.

  • declanto

    OMG the pearl-clutching never seems to stop. If anything is “gay” it’s this thread and comments. Diversity is a survival trait, dahlings! I’ve never seen the value of closing off the gay community from the general population. Aren’t we struggling to be accepted as equal? Me be me, You be you.

  • mark snyder

    Berlin Germany is the gayest. Especially in the 1920s. Seriously.

  • Joseph

    The drag queen in the beginning of this clip, every-so-briefly, is Erickatoure Aviance, of New York!

    How/where/why did they use that clip? She should be on the Daily Show right now!


  • Obfuscation station...

    “old gay” is the result of living on the fringe or underbelly society that’s why it’s so reactionary, and sometimes exhausting and garish. “New gay” comes from living openly as you are, and so as social acceptance builds, gays are doomed to become just as boring as straight couples. It is “old” that made “new” possible, they both have value, but all things change.

    Regardless, people from Minneapolis are “Minneapolitans”, NOT “Minneapolans”

  • Owen

    @Rainy Days: You go, girl!

  • Bob

    Shopping at Target????? WTF??? Do they have a clue about gay causes in Minneapolis???

  • Frederick Gotfredson

    Don’t believe the hype about Target. They give money out to all sorts of groups, many more liberal and pro-gay groups than conservative ones. Their corporate policies are some of the most liberal in the nation. Don’t let one sensationalist headline form your opinion, do some research before you decide to be against something.

  • Cam

    The one thing about the survey is…I think they got some stuff wrong. One of the ways they tested how “Gay” a town was, was they got extra points for having more “Cruisy” areas.

    Well Cruisy areas are usually full of closet cases, I would imaging a very gay friendly town with lots of gay bars and other outlets would have less Cruisy areas…wouldn’t they?

  • Cam

    @Frederick Gotfredson: said…

    “”Don’t believe the hype about Target. They give money out to all sorts of groups, many more liberal and pro-gay groups than conservative ones. “”

    They gave money that went to a politician with ties to a group that calls for the death of gays. When confronted with this, not only did they defend their donation, but after saying that they would be more careful and not do it again…they turned around and donated AGAIN.

    I don’t care if they have “Bring your gay spouse to work” day. If they are donating money to politicians that believe we should be dead they will never get my support.

  • Elloreigh

    When it comes to the question of which cities are “gayest”, my gut reaction is a big “who gives a (bleep)?”.

    I look upon “gay culture” the same way I do “American culture”. There are things I find relevant and meaningful, and things that I don’t.

    What gets lost in this conversation is the fact that there are a lot of us who are gay and who:

    1) Never moved to a big city to experience urban gay life.

    2) Don’t live in a “gayborhood”, and have no desire to.

    3) Have never even been to San Francisco, etc. and have no plans to visit.

    It’s not an age thing, either. I’m nearing 50, and while it’s fascinating to study what came before me and to observe how things have changed (or haven’t changed), none of that means I’m not also looking forward.

    Knowing the lessons of our history doesn’t mean I have to don leather or a feather boa. It doesn’t mean I have to immerse myself in “gay culture”, or perpetuate symbols and activities from bygone eras.

    It’s also not a question of choosing between “fabulous femme” vs. “straight acting”. Nor a matter of doing something for our community vs. being a lazy ass carried along by other people’s efforts. It’s a matter of diversity, pure and simple.

    The plain fact is that acceptance of “gayness” by society is inversely proportional to the need gay people feel to cluster and create their own separate “culture”. The waning of interest in “gay culture” amongst gay people is a mere symptom of the former happening. There simply isn’t any need to perpetuate and wallow in our marginalization or the trappings thereof.

    So if you want to spend your time mourning the loss of “gay culture”, knock yourself out. I’m personally more interested in celebrating the cause of that decline – our increasing acceptance in society. We have a long way to go, and some days it feels like we’re moving backward instead of forward, but overall we’ve made considerable progress in the last 40+ years. Those gains are what matters more.

  • jenn

    @Roger Rabbit: nah, it’s gay all over. gay bars in both mpls and st. paul. uptown, downtown, northeast, 50th and france, all gay neighborhoods.

  • Elloreigh

    @Rainy Days:

    “There are as many different ways to be gay as there are gay people.”

    ^ That pretty much sums it up.

  • Coffee&Chicory

    @Elloreigh: wow! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I appreciate this especially, being 21.

  • Kacey

    Yeah, this isn’t a story. This is militant identity doctrine. If you want to criticize our level of political involvement, go for it. But don’t turn it into a “you’re not gay enough” argument. The past doesn’t define what gay is and neither do you.

    The clip shared here was funny, and not meant to be taken seriously. I APPLAUD the fact that the landscape of gay culture is changing. Cruising? “Trade?” Really, I don’t want all that but I respect my fellow gay man’s choice to participate in it. Why can’t you respect my choices if I respect your’s?

    Why can’t the older gay generation accept that things change, and that it’s actually been changing in quite a positive way. I mean, what was wrong with the two Minneapolis characters? Speaking of “culture” I think it’s a great thing if gay people choose to include some Dostoevsky on the occasion as preferred reading material, rather than a porno mag.

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