By Mark Harris
Forty years after Stonewall, the gay movement has never been more united. So why do older gay men and younger ones often seem so far apart?
“In April, a 25-year-old right-of-center gay journalist argued in a Washington Post op-ed that many gay-rights groups are starting to outlive their purpose, and chided older activists for being stuck in a mind-set that sees the plight of gay people as one of perpetual struggle … their life’s work depends on the notion that we are always and everywhere oppressed.”
Here’s the awful stuff, the deeply unfair (but maybe a little true) things that many middle-aged gay men say about their younger counterparts: They’re shallow. They’re silly. They reek of entitlement. They haven’t had to work for anything and therefore aren’t interested in anything that takes work. They’re profoundly ungrateful for the political and social gains we spent our own youth striving to obtain for them. They’re so sexually careless that you’d think a deadly worldwide epidemic was just an abstraction. They think old-fashioned What do we want! When do we want it! activism is icky and noisy. They toss around terms like “post-gay” without caring how hard we fought just to get all the way to “gay.”