Gay is NOT just about an identity built solely around(same ) sex sexual activity(as early, pre-AIDS gay liberationists propounded for very understandable anti-oppressive purposes/identities; and as homophobes/heterosexists would have us believe we can be reduced to:just what we do in bed!; or, sadly, as some lgbt people themselves, with internalised homophobia issues, would aver).
Rather, Gay IS:
1.Having a group of friends(of ALL sexual orientations/gender identifications/races/ classes/ abilities) who “get” it, ie that lgbt people experience the pressure of heteronormativities, heterosexism and (sometimes) direct homophobia, whilst, simultaneously NOT “clinging” to “victim-like” identarian politics(the two positions are not incommensurate). Viz. people who understand that gay people are obviously WHOLE people but sometimes need seperate space from an often heteronormative world. These other lgbt people, and our non- lgbt allies are our FAMILY,and they exist ALONGSIDE(not instead of) our biological families, alive and dead.
2.These lgbt people and other allies in our self-made conglomerate family(re-appropriating the word from its purely reproductive, man/woman/kids definition)offer mutual support, friendship, fighting together for equal rights in the law and for better social attitudes. This is already MUCH more than sex!
3. Gay is about being QUEER in attitude/thinking/practise(though I don’t like the word queer,with its historical baggage, I LOVE the ideas!): that is, allowing yourself and others to have a true, whole equal selfhood; AND therefore a dialogical relationship with each other(equal listening and talking). Humanism, if you like!
4. Gay is about being queer in the sense of allowing for difference within and alongside equality; ok, sometimes this will involve negotiating of the intra-dynamic relationship between two or groups of people,but it is a standard to AIM towards, at least.
5.Gay is about managing/negotiating emotional/psychological and therefore , because we meet/exist in physical space, GEOGRAPHICAL spaces/places.
6.Gay is about inhabiting these safe(r) spaces creatively and joyfully(be it a gay men’s week, or an lgbt group/book group, or writing about gay/queer texts, or one’s own stab at writing gay-affirmative theory/writing.https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/laurieston-hall/.
It could be a gay pub/club or a gay-FRIENDLY cafe, where you feel at ease, unlikely to be challenged, for example,if you cuddle your same sex lover. So its geographical/physical and therefore emotional safe(r) space again, self-evidently.
BUT 7. Gay is also- SOMEHOW-(and this is the most difficult one)about straddling/bridging/walking the tightrope: the heternormatively mediated area where we are not fully(possibly) UNsafe but not totally(usually emotionally) safe either; and managing to do this sans resort to nomadic subjectivity(Braidotti’s concept-useful in an emergency), without (too much)damage to the sense of (whole) selfhood.This I have not achieved yet; Abdellah Taia, in his wonderfully poetic and moving acting-out, via writing(an oxymoron, therefore?), “An Arab Melanchiolia”(2008), goes on this journey,poignantly
So all those things are gay(incorporating, at times, queer); it is NOT just about sexual activities , nor will it ever be-until we have a level playing field: of 100% equality in law and social attitudes, in EVERY country.
and p.s we only want equality, not to take over the world/your neighbourhood:P