We should want out, not in!

One of the founders of the modern British gay movement reminds us that in the first years after Stonewall we wanted to change society, not conform to it.

There would be sexual freedom and human rights for all – gay and straight. Our message was: "innovate, don't assimilate."
That dream has faded, and even the noisiest activists today are more likely to be content to settle for equal rights within the status quo than to question sociey as it is.
However, [equality] isn't the panacea that many claim it to be. Equal rights for lesbians and gay men means parity on straight terms, within a pre-existing framework of institutions and laws. Since these have been devised by, and for, the heterosexual majority, equality within their system involves conformity to their rules. This is a formula for gay incorporation, not liberation.


Oscar Wilde once wrote: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Thirty years after the first Gay Pride march, the gay community needs to rediscover the vision thing. That means daring to imagine what society could be, rather than accepting society as it is.

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Published on July 10, 2002 2:56 PM.

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