Reclaiming our time

The viral tweet about gay culture that has everyone talking

Man tweets on smart phone.

It all started with an 18 word tweet:

Since then it has received over 13,000 retweets and 60,000 likes. And, of course, a whole host of comments that range from hilarious to heartbreaking…

What do you think? Did being LGBTQ cause you to miss out on your teen years? Are you now making up for lost time? Sound off in the comments…

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22 Comments

  • Kieru

    The whole “gay culture is…” meme didn’t start with this tweet; this person is merely (re)posting a fairly good one.

    My favorite goes along the lines of: “Gay culture is being touch-starved and touch-averse”

    • Danny595

      Touch-starved and touch-averse? What is that based on? Is this meme some sort of anti-gay game where people make up negative generalizations about gay people and then tweet it out?

    • Goddess24

      My favorite goes along the lines of: “Gay culture is being touch-starved and touch-averse”

      It makes perfect sense with a culture who is starved for affection, but has been so very abused. Poignant!

    • Kieru

      @Danny595 – I guess you could frame it that way though it seems oversimplified. It’s about making observations (usually conflicting ones) about LGBTQ+ culture.

      Touch-starved and touch-averse is simply an observation on a byproduct of being closeted for so long. You spent so long WANTING it but keeping that desire hidden that you deeply desire touch, but you’re also terrified of that want being out in the open.

      I don’t see that as ‘negative’ so much as an honest admission of some of the shit LGBTQ+ people endure in their path to coming out. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows and “Mom guess what I’m gay!” and she screams with joy and immediately sets you up with her best friends son Trevor.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      “Touch-starved and touch-averse”? Why?

      Do you have trouble finding gay male, NON-sexual friends? Most gay men don’t have a particular problem with that, I think. My friends are generally very hug-friendly (and I’ve never had sex with any of them!).

      LOL, I’m in rare agreement with Danny595 here.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      @Kieru: On reflection… is this maybe a recent thing? I’ve noticed a lot of vague complaints recently from young guys, along the lines of what you say.

      When I came out (’80s, admittedly a long time ago!), I almost immediately found a warm, accepting circle of gay male NON-sexual friends. They had their quirks & issues, of course, but I felt accepted. They hugged a lot and I liked that. (My family were not the huggy type.) Sex/dating was much more complicated – sex being so dangerous then – but I really don’t recall much anguish about “not having a place in gay culture” or any of that silly stuff we hear so much about now.

      Now, it seems that a lot of young gay men are totally 100% focused like a laser beam on Finding a Boyfriend and if they can’t find a boyfriend within, like, a year, they feel like a failure. Or worse, they make the ridiculous logical leap to thinking it must be the fault of “the gay community” for… well, something. (I always find this kind of pitiful whining very hard to follow. See our occasional Queerty poster named “Windsor, Ontario” for a good example.) This is a totally unrealistic attitude.

      Not every 22 year old is going to find a relationship in a year, it just doesn’t work that way, and it doesn’t help either when they have no gay support system or practical advice from accepting, non-sexual friends.

      Maybe it IS more difficult now with the decline of gay bar culture, bingo, etc., but there are ways to find gay friends: Meetup.com for instance is a great resource.

    • Kieru

      @ Heywood Jablowme … I cannot relate to anything you just said.

      When you were coming out, I was just being born… so we’re certainly a different generation of gay men. I have no trouble having non-sexual friendships with other gay men nor is that an issue I’ve observed with gay men of my generation. Nor have I observed any trend of “I need a boyfriend NOW!” that is different from any other group (some people want to date, some people just want sex, some people want nothing).

      But I think too that you’re assuming ‘touch’ to just be any sort of physical contact, and that was not the intention.

      It’s more… closeted gay men who were afraid of being open about their sexual orientation repressed their desires. Once they come out, it can be difficult to express yourself. My husband still has trouble holding my hand in public, because he’s afraid someone might lash out at seeing a same-sex couple expressing even the most benign PDA. So there is an aversion to expressing any sort of attraction or affection through touch (particularly in public). But because society indoctrinates us to the concept that this display of affection is Normal and Expected there is a desire to have that expression – which conflicts with everything else.

      I’m not sure how much of a problem this is for your Millenial and younger generations as they’ve grown up in a society that is at least MORE accepting than the 80s/90s. There is of course also the HIV/AIDS crisis of those decades adding a whole other component of fear to sexual intimacy.

  • PinkoOfTheGange

    So was this guy in frozen in a glacier and just defrosted?
    This has been said about the community in the last 4 decades that I know of.
    I always thought, for most, it was a rationalization for Peter Pans.

    • Donston

      I mean, it does have some truth. Growing up feeling suppressed, mistreated, confused, abnormal, etc. doesn’t allow you to develop properly and live a life that’s not extremely self-conscious. So, being able to enjoy life and have genuine fun may come later than it does for most.

      But I do believe at some point (earlier than 50) you do need to put aside your victim status and narcissistic instincts and embrace being an adult.

    • Griff_Greymuzzle

      Donston: Nope. I’m 49 and will be a Peter Pan until I die. Both my Husband and my Pup love me for it. Don’t grow old. It’s a sh!tshow. (Although I agree on the Victim Status and Narcissism. Those don’t work at ANY age!). As for the Tweet, I didn’t find it that revolutionary. I came out young and never looked back. I’ve nothing to reclaim because I didn’t spend years under someone else’s regime.

  • radiooutmike

    I’ll be 50 in a few weeks, and this really speaks to me. Not in the “Peter Pan” way some have mentioned, but rather, the “I’m finally getting to live” way.

    Suddenly now that I’m out and my head and body are in the same place as my desires; I’m much more laid back and open to all those things most people experience in their teens and 20s. It’s quite a revelation to finally get it.

  • Jaxton

    This is just an excuse for not wanting to grow up, a common affliction of men regardless of their sexual orientation.

  • JaredMacBride

    It’s amazing what passes for intelligence on Twitter.

  • jkthsnk

    Then kindly explain 40 year old het bros.

  • Rock Star

    Ok not as bad today as 40 years ago but middle and high schoolers still yell “fag” in the hallway 10 times a second during the day so we ain’t there yet. Still have a long way to go. Peter Pan never grew up for a reason. It wasn’t our fault. It was society. Even our parents told us that being queer was worse than being a murderer. Try to imagine that being your realty when you We 13.

  • Jaxton

    If you build your life on a sex act – as many gay-identifying men do – you will end up dissatisfied. It narrows your perceptions down to a point.

    That is why I made a point of avoiding the gay scene. I made sure my socializing was not defined by sexual identity politics.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      Brian: Thank you for avoiding the “gay scene.” We all appreciate not having you there. You probably wouldn’t be much fun at drag bingo.

    • dwes09

      Spoken like a true regressive who cannot understand himself (if in fact you are actually a man and actually gay) or the gay sub-culture. It is about affectional preference nitwit, not “a sex act”. How is that so hard for regressives and the anti-gay set to understand (and i include you in that because you obviously fit). As actual statistics demonstrate, mos gay folks live in stable relationships, often quite long term and did so even before those gay culture folks you dislike fought for marriage equality. We go to gay spaces, and hang with gay people, NOT BECAUSE WE “BUILD OUR LIVES ON A SEX ACT” (the words of an idiot), BUT BECAUSE THE WORLD AT LARGE, AND FOLK LIKE YOU ARE NOT BIG ON RESPECT FOR US, AND SIMPLY ACTING OURSELVES WITH FRIENDS AND SPOUSES STILL CARRIES THE DANGER OF VERBAL ABUSE AND VIOLENCE. How is it that someone can be stupid enough not to see that. You and your ilk clearly build your life on the desire not to exercise what little intellect you have.

      I have always made sure my socializing avoided prigs and low-intellect folks like you, be the hetero, homo or whatever. But when looking either for dates or brief assignations (which are perfect normal and human despite your blue-nosed attitude) I choose places where flirting is not physically dangerous to me (the sites you denigrate as “the gay scene”)!
      Self-protection and sensible choices you regressive ass! NOT “identity politics”.

  • surreal33

    A confirmation that gay culture does not exist.

  • DCguy

    So a tweet that states the same thing pretty much every gay novel has said for ages.

  • DavidIntl

    This certainly speaks to me as well. I believe this will be the story of our generation when our history is written – those of us who lived long enough to see things “get better”, but were left somewhat sadly trying to make up for lost time.

  • startenout

    Dear Lord, I and so many other gays have been saying just this for decades! When a guy first comes out, he’s 13 again because he never got to do it that way the first time around…doesn’t matter if he’s 16 or 60.

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