Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thought for the Day, #24

'What always fascinates me is that once a gay man...[is no longer motivated by avoiding or overcompensating for shame], his visibility in the gay community often diminishes. He is no longer a regular at the gay clubs, nor is he an active player in high gay society.  He may, in fact, no longer feel the need to visit the gay ghetto.  You may see him on occasion at the gym or at a political fund raiser, but he is not a regular on the gay scene.  This is unfortunate for young men, for they are unable to see the healthy progression from shame to freedom. Many younger gay men just assume that once you get older, you hide out in your house or move away out of embarrassment from having aged.  It isn't conceivable to them that many of the gay men who "disappear" do so because they have outgrown the need for the avoidance of shame and acquisition of validation that is at the core of so much mainstream gay culture.'

--Alan Downs, Ph.D., The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World, pp. 110-1.

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