Wednesday, October 30

Making Hay - The Voice's Richard Goldstein uses the passing of Harry Hay to lament society's failure to offer institutionalized education on gay identity, in today's NY Times. Okay, history not identity, but it's the same thing. I guess what he wants is a gay version of the "Black History Month" awareness campaigns at secondary schools across the nation. (As a communist and Radical Faerie, Hay must surely be one of Goldstein's idols.)

Undoubtedly Hay served the cause of gay equality well back in the day when it took a true revolutionary to begin the process for change, but one wonders if he can be held up as a model to today's youth. Moreover, the whole subject of one's gay identity is so tied up in personal emotional maturation that knowledge about the history of the gay movement seems almost irrelevant to the development of a young gay person. (I can remember feeling little connection myself to the activists who made the papers in the Reagan-AIDS years.) While gay history lessons might teach that there have always have been likeminded individuals, it seems more relevant for teens (both gay and straight) to see gay people around them now. Gay people they can relate to. GSA's help accomplish this task, but probably not as effectively as pop culture and out family members and friends. Let the universities keep offering their queer history electives -- I'll throw my support to MTV. Does Goldstein even have cable?