Editorials

June 10, 2011

Why I Am Ashamed To Be On The Cover Of The Grid

GRID-TOM-FEILER

Some may call it back-peddling, some may call it damage control; but denouncing my involvement in The Grid’s recent cover story ‘Dawn Of A New Gay’by Paul Aguirre-Livingston is incredibly important to me regardless of how it may be perceived.

Aguirre-Livingston’s article has drawn criticism from just about every queer individual in this city, and rightfully so. A personal essay disguised as the new gay manifesto, the piece went to great lengths to describe a life of privilege where the comforts afforded to him are not only taken for granted, but also misguidedly portrayed as universal to the gay community.

I grew up in Dubai, U.A.E where homosexuality is punishable by death. I sought refuge in Canada, and have only recently, finally been granted permanent resident status. The fear of having to go back home should I not have been approved haunted me every single day that I lived here. The Grid’s article was a major slap in the face to those not as privileged as Aguirre-Livingston, and to many others in rural areas of this country and in countries around the world.

As happy as I am to hear that there are queer folk out there who have loving homes and accepting parents, the last time my parent’s addressed my possible gayness was at an intervention when I was 13. Where Aguirre-Livingston got cottage privileges from his parents, I had a three hour beating. My mom’s last words that night were “being gay starts with AIDS and ends with AIDS”. She said she would have no problem forgetting that she had a son named Elie should I choose to be gay. As happy as I am to hear that according to the writer, gay youth can come out without facing much prejudice, I know that I was bullied and harassed every single day until I stepped on a plane to leave the Middle East…a far cry from the ideal world Aguirre-Livingston arrogantly assumes we all live in. It is now also a world for which I am a cover model and ambassador on every newsstand in the city. I, unlike Aguirre-Livingston don’t take my safety  in Canada lightly; my brothers and sisters all over the world are persecuted on a daily basis and would find his as disturbing and offensive as I do.

Beyond the embarrassment of foolishly agreeing to have my face and name used for something that I wasn’t diligent enough to have read or researched prior to my involvement (I wasn’t interviewed for the piece nor do I know the extent of the writer’s research), I’m saddened at the squandered potential a Grid cover story could have afforded. With gay bullying being as rampant as it is, the recent ‘Kill The Gays’ crisis in Uganda, and the fact that transgendered individuals still haven’t been awarded equal rights in Canada, it shocks me that Aguirre-Livingston chose to claim that our struggle for equality and justice (’cause according to him, everything’s fine!) as LGBT individuals is accomplished. He argues that gay rights have taken a backseat thanks to the birth of Girl Power, the sexual prowess of Britney Spears, the relative normalcy of Will from Will & Grace, and then somehow makes the absurd interjection – quite proudly –  that he, the new po-mo gay need not freak out should he occasionally or carelessly have unprotected sex.

Initially pitched as a piece that highlights “the new generation of gays who feel they shouldn’t be so radically defined by their sexual orientation” and why we “want more than just to be “the gay guy” – because that doesn’t inform our place in society or what we do, only who we sleep with – I naively assumed this would discuss the evolution of the modern gay identity within the context of a metropolitan city such as Toronto. This is something that I struggle with, as do many others. I do think Aguirre-Livingston does attempt to tackle the issue, albeit from a very narrow perspective.

In a time when we have more civil rights than ever before, there will come a day when the fight will be over and we’ll be left wondering what to do with ourselves. But we’re not even close to getting there yet.

As a contributor to The Gaily, I was personally attracted to the notion that the article would start a dialogue on how  the ‘new gay identity’ would exist in a world that was pro-women and pro-trans, while being anti-racist and anti-classist. Unfortunately, the evident elitism prevalent throughout ‘Dawn of the New Gay’ seems not to be a step forward toward a truly progressive future but a step to the ‘right’ where rich gay men with “fabulously rustic country homes” apparently only sleep with ‘straight acting’ guys. Had The Grid actually published my answer to one of the five questions the 9 cover boys were emailed regarding what ‘straight acting’ means to me, Torontonians would have been treated to the following response:

“Straight looking” and anything that sounds like that is as much of an insult to me as being called a fag or any other derogatory term. Having your sexual preferences is one thing but marginilizing people if they happen to be effiniminate is hypocritical and dangerous. I’m me. Sometimes I’m flamboyant, sometimes I’m not and being asked to express myself any other way is just as bad as being asked to make my way back into that dusty old closet.”

Clearly that answer didn’t correspond with the direction the article was taking but I’m quite confident in my assumption that many gay men, unlike the author, would’ve agreed with me on this matter.

Another major issue community members have with the article is Aguirre-Livingston’s choice to regard the Toronto gay village as an empty, tired shell of it’s former self, mostly because of his personal preference of not wanting to party there. As someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy partying in the village, mostly because I don’t often feel like I belong there, I guess I can kind of see his point. But not wanting to party there is one thing, and completely glossing over the essential services that millions of queers utilize everyday to aid them though a multitude of issues such as HIV treatment, coming out, or homelessness is just irresponsible and ignorant. Though I don’t personally frequent the village often, I never for one second claim that it isn’t an integral part of the gay community. Furthermore, while attending Pride may seem like a chore for the writer, I’ll be attending in solidarity with the millions of people who made it okay for me to kiss my boyfriend on Queen West and in support of the millions out there who aren’t as lucky as I am to immigrate to Canada and escape the horrific injustices inflicted on them in their countries and in their homes. Yes, I will be there. I just won’t be wearing ass-less chaps.

What was set up to be a progressive look at life as a gay individual – with the ‘I’m here, I’m queer’ fight not being as prevalent as it used to be – ended up being a severely nearsighted diary entry by a writer arrogantly looking down on the blood, sweat, and tears of the millions of LGBT individuals who fought tooth and nail to afford him the freedoms he has today. Call it backpedaling, but I’m ashamed to be have been a part of it and deeply regret not asking more questions before I slapped on that crooked bow-tie and gave my best Pee-Wee Herman smile for the camera.

I’m not a victim here and I made a conscious choice to be a part of the cover shoot but I never in a million years imagined the article would be as repulsive as it is. In saying that, the beauty of such a debacle is that in a few short hours, an angry fire in the belly of every queer individual in this city was lit, in turn re-igniting a passion often dormant among many casual members of the gay community.

Read the response from The Gaily’s Executive Editor here.



About the Author

Elie
Elie
|Toronto Contributor| Laptop hugger, metaphor enthusiast, lover of sandwiches, and writer of greeting cards.




 
 

 
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58 Comments


  1. lou

    You little wimp. Man up and admit you’re flip-flopping because you’re scared. Fucking pathetic little coward!


    • Elie

      Call me a wimp, call me a coward…just don’t call me ‘post-mo’.


      • Elie, you did the right thing. And i think the Grid really needs to take a step back and actually read what they’re publishing. I myself, am not gay, but i’m born and raised Torontonian and have been going to pride marches and feminist rallies since i was 7 years old. Last year, i was assaulted in broad daylight in front of a large group of people near trinity-bellwoods because this SUV-driving-road-raging guy thought i was a lesbian! Even though i am infact not gay and live with my boyfriend, i got thrown to the ground, spat in my face and called a “dumb dyke”. Paul Livingston’s perspective is obviously sheltered and privileged, even to someone like me who is not gay but lives in Toronto and knows it’s not always sunshine and lollypops… life is not easy for everyone! In the same note, i’ve gotten into arguments with other women who deem feminism a thing of the past, and say that there’s “no point” to it. Can you imagine being in university with women saying this kinda thing?! When women all over the world have to fight for their rights to education, and here in Toronto women think they’ve won the war and can go back to wearing high heels and shaving their armpits (as if that’s what it was all about in the first place). This “Post-mo whatever” is bullshit and we have to fight against apathy and society’s stereotypes and counter-subversiveness that tries to demean important things like gay-rights and feminism.. it’s these very attitudes that pit us against ourselves when we should be working together towards the progression of human rights everywhere. So very frustrating, and i’m happy you stepped up to say otherwise! GRATS!


        • Elie

          Thank you so much for your comment and your perspective. I agree with you wholeheartedly that apathy and a lack of proper insight into where the modern, urban North American perspective is in the grand scheme of things is at fault here. When we’re still being assaulted and bashed in places like Toronto, let alone other less progressive areas of the world, then I think it’s certainly premature to claim that we’re over any kind of fight.


    • Kristi

      I would tend to believe it’s quite brave to speak out about works that one is involved with that violate their ethical and personal values. And it doesn’t hurt when they are intimately acquainted with the vile extremes of the very undercurrent of homophobia permeating our culture that The Grid denies.


    • Derek Pearce

      Er, that’s harsh, unless your being tongue in cheek. He wrote a well-though out response. Did you actually read it?


  2. So what’s with the incredibly divisive pull-quote attributed to you? How’d they trick you into that?


    • MR

      Hey Blaaaaaaargh and Sammy, if you found Elie’a pull quotes “incredibly divisive,” you really do need to get out more. Lots of people feel that way about the Pride parade itself. You don’t have to enjoy the Pride parade in order to appreciate either the sacrifices of the generations that have gone before, the community contained within the borders of the Village, our history, our culture, our literature, or other LGBT people.


    • Roto13

      While almost everything in that article was laughably naive, I don’t think Elie’s quote is particularly unreasonable. Pride could do a lot more to make an important statement about the way things are for gays in a lot of the world. (I always thought “Pride” was supposed to be the antithesis of the “shame” gays have been told to feel about their sexuality.)


  3. Kudos to this, Elie. Thank you very much for joining the utterly-justified masses who read Aguirre-Livingston’s piece with disgust and anger.

    He’s an Uncle Tom, and his piece was a self-serving dose of delusion and arrogance.

    This piece, however, was insightful and honest.

    So thank you for that.


  4. Rick Innis

    Right. Fucking. On.


  5. Kyle

    ‘Dawn of the New Gay’ seems not to be a step forward toward a truly progressive future but a step to the ‘right’ where rich gay men with “fabulously rustic country homes” apparently only sleep with ‘straight acting’ guys.

    - So powerful.

    Elie, I am so proud of your well thought out, informed and written response to the GridTO-gate. Great work!


  6. Fraser Rosebrugh

    Hi, Elie!

    Something you would know if you spent more time in the village is that saying “assless chaps” is like saying “sleeveless tank top”. So come hang out on Church Street and learn a thing or two about old-school gay culture!

    …but in all seriousness, I commend you for so eloquently setting things straight. I wish The Grid had assigned you to do their article on the “new gay”!

    Keep real! Cheers!


    • Shants

      Agreed
      good response to a very troubling piece of writing.

      I would add that in my opinion, there is something political (as dubious as it may seem) to demonstrating *pride* in assless chaps and glitter.
      My dream for queers is that we all stop marginalizing one another for being ourselves, whether that’s radical or simple difference.


  7. Balan

    not to worry…
    I picked up a copy of Grid for the first time yesterday, with no preconceived opinions about the paper… I had not been exposed to any hype about the paper or the article itself.
    All I can say, is that the paper was a very difficult read from start to finish… the layout and concept of the paper relies so heavily on the nature of website navigation and the distracting qwikies of sushi-esque items that the entire rag was disappointingly unreadable and ultimately something I will not be ever dirtying my hands with again.
    So as much as that unfortunate article came from a entitled and queerer-than-thou stance, and as much as I understand your horror of inclusion in such a Toronto Life deathly brand of misinformed wannabe-ism… the article itself has no legs to go very far, and will certainly be replaced by another unreadable issue faster than no time flat.
    The Grid is squarely a sad waste of potential and space… and I see that it’s making Eye look even better every day.


  8. Lenore

    Wonderful piece. Bravo! :)


  9. Martin

    Thank you elie for such a passionate response to the article. I hope paul and the grid make a public response. This whole situation truly has thought me not to be so naive in trusting a so called professional publication and the writer of their cover feature. I will also be there at pride attending in solidarity with the rest of the community.


  10. Sarah

    This is probably the best response I’ve read to the Grid article. Many resort to petty insults and calling Aguirre-Livingston names, I really appreciate your honest, and well-balanced, opinion on the article’s flaws. Though I am not a member of the LGBTQ community, I can understand oppression from a racial perspective and am always frustrated with the priviledged, predominantly white viewpoint that everything is fine. There are definitely still many that struggle with being marginalized, whether it is due to their sexuality, ethnicity, religion and I think that it’s terribly naive to presume that because you are not experiencing it, it no longer exists.

    Another problem with the article that I did not see addressed was the fact that only homosexual males were featured, there was really no mention of other members of the LGBTQ community. It was such a homogeneous sampling of the community, it’s no wonder that the claims the article makes have little weight. If I were to ask a friend of mine, who is a lesbian, she would probably have far more insight and depth to offer, including her current decision to not attempt to find rural placements with her partner for fear of not being accepted, and worse, being attacked for her lifestyle. She grew up middle class, white and with very accepting and loving parents. She did not struggle directly with persecution the way you did, Elie, yet even she still expresses discomfort or worry at how people perceive her on a day-to-day basis and this affects her life decisions. As such, I would definitely disagree with the point that the gay struggle has miraculously ended in victory. It remains a struggle, and not just for the homeless youth, those living with AIDS etc. For the people that are supposed to be “post-mo” as well.


  11. JM

    Well done. Great response


  12. Aaron Hewitt

    Good for you man! At least your response attempts to clarify your viewpoint.


  13. What you don’t understand, Elie, is that ALL chaps are assless ;-)


  14. Last time I checked, the writer wasn’t writing your dialoge and direct quotes.


  15. Elie

    Thanks guys. I hope this isn’t read as me jumping on the ‘Hate on Paul Aguirre-Livingston’ bandwagon. He’ll have the opportunity to defend himself and I’m sure he’ll have something to say about this piece as well. Even if this was him recounting his own unique experience, I don’t want anyone to think that that I endorse it and I definitely want everyone to know how much it personally offended me.


    • H

      you should be ashamed of yourself. you’ve basically hung your friend out to dry and claimed you were misinformed. worse, the point paul makes in the story supports your own experience abroad–yes, gay men are lucky to live here. was that not the entire point of his article?

      i really hope your deception is punished because there’s no way a respected media brand would have recruited you for a photo shoot under false pretences. i can’t wait until the paper responds.


      • Carly

        “There’s no way a respected media brand would have recruited you for a photo shoot under false pretences.”

        This is an absolutely stunning level of naivety.


      • Elie

        Paul Aguirre-Livingston is someone I follow on Twitter and was introduced to at the day of the shoot by mutual a acquaintance who recruited me for the piece. I did not throw him under any metaphorical bus because his words did that for him. My involvement in this piece prior to it being published was superficial but it’s impact on the guys photographed and the community as a whole goes deep. I’m not proud of myself for not having done my due diligence nor are several other guys featured.

        I fully expected certain individuals to read this piece as a cowardly plea for forgiveness aimed at the thousands of people it enraged but that’s something I came to terms with prior to writing it. That being said, I fully reject the notion that I am to silence myself for my stance on something I’m involved in simply because some people may call me a coward. THAT to me would’ve been the more cowardly thing to do.


  16. The Grid article was a great example to me of a bunch of a historical creatures who have no appreciation of what came before them and no sense of responsibility for what may come after. Post modernism; stand for nothing and fall for everything!


  17. The Grid article was a great example to me of a bunch of ahistorical creatures who have no appreciation of what came before them and no sense of responsibility for what may come after. Post modernism; stand for nothing and fall for everything!


  18. Alex

    Thank you very much for this incredible response. I also saw your comment on the article yesterday and think you have done an amazing job of articulating a number of issues that a lot of us have with the piece. Next time you are in the village hit me up and lets work on making sure everyone feels welcome there and I will do the same next time I am in Queer West. :)


  19. Nancy

    Apologies if this is off point, but does anyone know why females are not featured in the article? (Or is the Grid a male only mag?)


    • Spike

      Excellent point. Too many people forget that being gay doesn’t mean being enlightened. That takes a lot of conscious effort and hard work. It’s way too easy to forget about the struggles of everyone you aren’t particularly attracted to…


  20. Matt J. R.

    Elle,

    First off, let me say thank you for being will to take a stand and explain your feelings about the article and your involvement in it. Secondly, I wanted to thank you for being willing to understand the need for anyone involved in a given piece of “journalism” to do research and really understand what they are affixing their name and face to.

    As someone who is clearly NOT of the kind of demographic the Aguirre-Livingston seems to validate in his essay, you have pointed out a number of the different kinds of members in the gay community and exactly how much of a struggle still exists for gay men and women.

    I, myself, was so deeply offended and hurt by what I read in that article – I do not identity as hipster, I do not identity as post-mo, I am not the kind of body type that Aguirre-Livingston seems to view and good, I still enjoy the village – my boy friend and i live there – and I volunteer at a number of gay rights and health and historical organizations that are centered in the village. I do not see it as a empty shell – it is still alive and strong.

    So, thank you for being willing to step up and have you voice actually be heard from outside the confines of that atrocious article.


  21. janet

    Thanks for coming out and outing them. I hated the article – for so many reasons – other than your self – it wasn’t very diverse panel – the quotes all seemed the same and I guess there were no women or transgendered people they could find a way to include either. I really enjoyed reading your take on it and I am glad to hear the other side – thanks for this.


  22. Jon

    Awesome piece – unlike the trash that was produced for the cover of the Grid.


  23. MW

    Question of the day: why didn’t this guy write the article?


  24. Seb Savan'Ito Whorhag

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo Elie! Thanks you!


  25. W.T.

    A terrific response to a dreadful article. Well spoken, Elie!


  26. Kate

    Let’s present all the facts. These are all your words. Are they not? I’d be ashamed if I were you.

    How do you feel about marriage? Do you hope to get married someday? Would you say that many of your gay male friends aspire to marriage?

    Though a lot of members of the gay community feel that marriage is an exclusively straight, religious institution and that we shouldn’t even be aspiring to achieve equality in that department, I personally look forward getting married and having that family structure. On that note, I think more and more gay men are veering away from that goal and considering their commitment to each other as enough to keep them together. Regardless, the benefits of having your relationship recognized by the government are incredibly significant.

    Among your generation, do you feel that there is increasing pressure in the community to be “straight-looking” and “straight-acting”? What does that mean to you?

    “Straight looking” and anything that sounds like that is as much of an insult to me as being called a fag or any other derogatory term. Having your sexual preferences is one thing but marginalizing people if they happen to be effeminate is hypocritical and dangerous. I’m me. Sometimes I’m flamboyant, sometimes I’m not, and being asked to express myself any other way is just as bad as being asked to make my way back into that dusty old closet.

    What do you think of Toronto’s Pride festivities (the floats, costumes and rainbow iconography)? Would you say your generation relates to this notion of gay culture?

    I think it’s become one massive, glitter-encrusted booty call. As fun as it is to have a big celebration, prancing around in our underwear while LGBT individuals all over the world are being murdered for their sexual orientation is a slap in the face to the progress that remains to be done.

    How do you feel about the Church-Wellesley Village? Do you and/or young people you know hang out there? Do you think the Village is still relevant to your generation?

    I think it’s a little tacky and generic. I don’t feel like I can identify with many people there and a lot of my social circle feel the same way. It’s nice to have a place where you know you’re not going to be the one gay guy in the room but my interests far supersede what the village has to offer. It is what it is and it’s a hub for a large group of people, just not me. It’s almost like a starting point for people’s life as gay individuals until they veer off into different areas of the city.


    • Scott

      I’m assuming that these are the questions he mentions were sent to him before the photo shoot along with his responses. I’m not really sure what he needs to be ashamed about here, Kate. I don’t necessarily share his stance on Pride and the nature of the Village, but I don’t find it offensive or invalid.


    • Calvin

      Yea I really don’t see how the answers are shameful. If anything, this kind of answers are probably what the original article should be — providing alternative views without pretending to be all knowing and patronizing, which is what ticked many people off in the Grid article.

      Did you noticed the opening 2 words “I think” in his answers, and “to me”, “I personally”, etc. He never spoke for others in his answer, in every way he is very aware that he only speaks for himself. It’s not the answer, but the tone and attitude that it is delivered which is more important in this case.


    • Elie

      I fail to comprehend why I should be ashamed for the answers that I gave. I was asked for my perspective on those issues and gave answers that were truthful to me and me alone. I DO think the village is slightly tacky and plays generic music but I also stated that it’s an important hub and starting point for other people. I choose not to hang out there because my interests take me to other places of the city. Just as I think certain clubs are cheesy, anyone who does regularly hang out in the village can claim that the lifestyle that I lead is a multitude of things. I documented my personal issues with the village in this piece (http://thegaily.ca/?p=1407) and hope you can give it a read.

      The same goes for Pride. Do I think general focus needs be less about oiled up men on floats and more about the activism that’s required of all of us in order to truly achieve the things the LGBT community strive for? Damn straight I do. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think that Pride is an integral part of our community. Instead of dismissing the parade, I choose to try and refocus it.

      As long as I’m not imposing my views or making generalized statements claiming to speak for the entire community then I don’t see what the problem is.


    • Leanne

      You think he should be embarrassed or ashamed at those answers? Why? And I personally have pranced around at Pride in provocative teeny clothes, and you know what? I think this coming year I will focus less on “here, queer, get used to it” and more on the serious life and death issues that queers face around the world. The nice thing about these answers is that they are personal to himself, unlike the article’s writer who takes his personal life (no one I know has these rustic country home weekends) and seeks to turn it into a sort of “boomer generation” “me generation” “generation X” generalization that encompasses not just his friends but his generation. BTW I agree with the “straight-acting”… what that is is some sort of stereotypical idea of what men who aren’t gay act like, which must in essence be the flipside of “faggy-acting”, another stereotype: “straight” would be about 80% of the men worldwide, and from men in India who wear “skirts” and are very touchy feely among each each other, to men in countries like Turkey where they dance ONLY with men as dancing with women is not done… women party separately, to some American christian jock at the super bowl, to men in the Taliban who stone women who have ankles and hair uncovered… that is QUITE the variation: what is “straight acting”?? And I think he is right… it is the “acting” that is offensive. Like “white-acting” or “black-acting”… it is not being oneself, but acting like a dominant group you are not part of, and WHY?

      Again, I have to ask WHY you would think that those honest personal answers of Elie’s are something to be ashamed of.


  27. REader

    So, did they make up the quotes too?


  28. Spike

    Well written; picked up that issue but haven’t read it yet. Enjoyed your article more, I’m sure! Thanks for writing.

    Have you sent The Grid your reply? I’m sure they’d love any hint of controversy. You might want to send them a much condensed version, though; otherwise they’ll edit the best of it out.


  29. Sue

    Great response Elie!!

    Sometimes I’m just so saddened about how not-right the LGBT world is right now. I had tears when I found out that Rainbows were being banned in a Mississauga Catholic school.

    There’s still a lot of room for improvement in the word. As Danielle would say, we must go gaily forward.


  30. Josh

    Elie,

    So glad you posted this! I’m currently in Sydney, Australia and a friend sent me the original article, to which we had discussion over e-mail about its shortsightedness. Happy to hear you don’t support the questionable and weak thesis of the original article, nor identify as a ‘post-mo’.


  31. Brent

    Dear Elie,

    I can’t express how happy I was to read your eloquent response. As a gay Asian guy,
    I’ve always been sensitive to the lack of diversity in gay media–my feelings of dismay are
    only intensified whenever I see gay-related news articles that continue to perpetuate that rotten equation of gay Toronto = white and erase everyone else.

    Dawn of a New Gay was no exception with its fairly homogenous cover photo and its privileged tone. And to be honest, it was hard to not be affected by it. Having not had a lot of money to party with while in university and not much luck with meeting boys so far, the whole Pomo article and photo really alienated and saddened me even despite my own personal achievements.

    That said, I am so, so happy that you and many others chose to speak up. Toronto has a vibrant and intelligent writer of color who we can be proud of.


  32. Chris

    I’m out in Vancouver, and I just saw the original article. I’ve ranted elsewhere, but thanks for distancing yourself from it. It reeked of race/class privilege.

    I think this says a lot on the topic at hand:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_OQeA3GiRw


  33. [...] little I can say about The Grid’s recent “Dawn of the New Gay‘ that will match yesterday’s eloquent, touching, and provocative response from Elie. As a participant to the original piece, he was uniquely positioned to respond, and I felt it was [...]


  34. Jen

    Elie, I’m very glad you have stepped away from this article.

    As soon as I read the article I thought ‘Do those guys know what Aguirre-Livingston’s MO was about here?’. I figured you can’t ALL be like him! Now that would have been a sad indictment of young, gay men.

    The question remains: will the other men featured in the article also explain themselves?


  35. This is a wonderful article. Thanks a ton for bothering to explain all of this out for all of us. It really is a great help!


  36. This really is a superb post. Thank you so much for spending some time to summarize all this out for us. It really is a great guide!


  37. BL Barker

    Cheers to the real man in the group, Elie. It takes conviction to rethink and restate. Bravo!

    To the We’re-not-gay-we-just-like-to-fuck-dudes guys, WTF? Seriously? Did the mom’s you didn’t-even-have-to-come-out-to teach you to be judging homophobes?

    Bringing feminist theory into your privileged discussion is farcical. Judging all the gender queer folks who make up the colours of our community? Suggesting that acting non-masculine is not as evolved or as true and valid a way to express one’s self? Judging your own people? Yes, like it or not, no matter how much your condo on Queen West costs, we still are a fam-il-y.

    If you look straight, you don’t need a condom? Because all that online hooking up and not-holding-a-guy’s-hand-in-almost-three-years guarantees safe sex? Because HIV would never infect the wealthy, educated or pompous? Only the femmey bois who have been beaten to a pulp in their home towns (not their mommy’s posh summer home’s) are infected with HIV? Good safety tip. Perhaps while you’re spreading the good word, we should let the parents, who put the PFLAG advertisement on page 52 of the same Grid issue, that their kids must have fucked up in some other way. it certainly wasn’t their ‘gayness’ that they killed themselves over. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re gay.

    While we’re letting them know how misguided they have been in flying their PFLAG flags, we should let the Middle Eastern community, the Chinese and the Greeks know, that now that they are welcome openly everywhere in the city, their cultural communities, the communities that we flock to experience and eat in, are sad shells of their former selves and unnecessary. For heaven’s sake why don’t they just move on?

    Feminists, unionists, socialists, radicals, the marginalized, and the bullied don’t expect much compassion, empathy or solidarity from the privileged, especially the very young who are privileged. The Grid, young as it is, doesn’t get the same pass. I was at the launch party, I was excited about what the Grid might bring to the Toronto scene. Safe to say, this gross mis-step ends that dream.

    On behalf of the femmey bois, the butchy girls, the freaky, the weird and the wonderful; shame! Po Mos don’t just act straight, go ahead and be straight. Leave us losers to take care of ourselves. We’ve been doing fine all this time, and we’ll continue to do fine without your sharp wit and bright insight in the future as well.


  38. John

    Elie, thanks for the clarification but It’s clear that you have a few things to learn as well. To suggest that it is a slap in the face to LGBT people all over the world who are being murdered,when we dance around in our underwear during Pride, misses the point of the underwear.Do you think we have always danced around in our underwear? Excessive maybe, but I remember a time when beatings and killings was the name of the game in Canada even with our pants on. It is not a slap on the face, it is a demonstration of how far we have come and how things can change even when you believe they can’t. Excess and all.


  39. [...] “The real fight happens in each LGBTQ person’s world every day”, Storey explains, “The fight for safety, the fight for health, for love, for shelter, for survival. We may have legal protections and be allowed to marry here in Canada, but that means nothing when LGBTQ youth are being disowned, kicked out of their homes, bullied at school, or denied access to proper health care and guidance. This is the main reason why we couldn’t have disagreed more with that article in The Grid.” [...]


  40. [...] argued that some in the homosexual community had gone “post-mo”. (You can read our response here and [...]


  41. [...] Toronto queer community has been writing responses and comments left and right, one of the subjects denounced the article, the Torontoist did some finger shaking at the privilege of the “post-mo”, and The [...]



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