Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gay Pride?

I met a delightful gentleman this afternoon while strolling the beach in Provincetown. I'll call him Luke.

We got to talking. The usual stuff: the tide, our dogs, what has changed since last season, our dogs, the piping plovers nesting on the beach, our dogs, stuff like that.

Luke told me that he bought a condo in town and moved here from New York.

"Culture shock," I said. "Especially in winter I should think."

"Nothing here in the winter. You're just left with the natives," he said.

"The townies," I said.

"Yes, and they're not very friendly, to any outsiders," he said.

"Especially since you haven't been here long. Two years. You're the new kid on the block. Even among the wash-a-shores," I said.

"I'm definitely a newbie," Luke said.

Did I mention that Luke is in his seventies? Somewhere in between talking about our dogs and the plovers and the early bird specials, he mentioned that he was seventy-something.

And that he remembers Stonewall and lots of the gay lib stuff that took place in New York back in the 60s and 70s and more recently. And being involved in gay rights, politics, marching bands, Gay Pride parades, Act-Up and all.

"I moved here hoping to be in a lively, artsy community. It's not," Luke said. "It's not as friendly as I'd hoped it would be."

Luke told me that his neighbor, a young gay man in an adjoining condo has been difficult to get along with. He didn't go into details. No specifics. Except that it had to do with the fact that he is older and his neighbor has no use for old people, gay or otherwise.

Then Luke told me something that nearly made me cry. Not the fact that his partner of many years passed away. No, not that. That is just ordinary sorrow.

Luke said that his neighbor's boyfriend, who he'd never met until this week had come to the condo for a few days. They crossed paths at some point during which the boyfriend, pointing to Luke, asked his  young friend, "Is this the guy you've been telling me about?"

The young man replied that it was. The boyfriend turned to Luke, stuck out his tongue and made a noise like "Yugk!"

Luke said he was so stunned he couldn't think of a response or a come-back. And for a New Yorker, that is pretty unusual.

I can't imagine a person treating another person like that. I can't imagine one gay person treating another gay person like that. I can't imagine a young gay person having so little respect for an older gay person, without whom he might not enjoy the freedom and privileges he takes for granted.

I can't imagine how Luke felt. But I know I felt for him. Not so much angry or humiliated, but sad. It nearly made me cry.

Gay. Pride. Not so much.

[So that is the caption for the tattered rainbow flag in a previous post a bit down the page.]
Gay. Pride. Not so much.

1 comment:

Russ Manley said...

There's an important point in this post. Being gay - or black or Hispanic or female or anything else - doesn't mean you can do no wrong. We are still members of the flawed and fallible human race. Along with Pride, we all need to hang on to Humility.


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