still cruisin’

we took a cab to the tearoom, we went to cruise the streets and now it’s time for some action in the park.

in 2006, gay outdoor cruising made headlines, mostly because george michael (yes, him again) has been photographed by paparazzi leaving hampstead heath. instead of apologizing he stated that anonymus no-string sex was just part of the gay lifestyle. this generated some interesting reactions: it went to the point that tony grew in an opinion piece called time for a gay schism? on voted for a schism of the gay community: sleaze or non-sleaze.

it’s actually a nice example of one part of the discussion concerning outdoor sex in the gay community. the main point is that these men looking for sex in toilets and parks are misrepresenting gay people. some arguments for this claim are as follows:

it’s illegal. actually in the u.k. it’s not. if there is no (uninvolved) witness, it is no offence. in other countries it might be. to play devil’s advocate: why should criminals not be part of the gay community? society at large consists also partly of criminals – why not the gay community? and what about the countries criminalizing homosexuals acts? can they have a gay community? and then i think that outdoor sex is in no way harming society at large – so i do not see much reason to have laws against outdoor sex.

“public toilets and parks are not the property of a certain type of socially deviant homosexual man..(grew)” first i would like to point out that all homosexuals are socially deviant. period. but the topic here is who owns public places? not that easy to answer, huh? the ones it is made for? the ones who are there? but shouldn’t public places be for everybody? they are obviously not as every bum will tell you. public places are also always places where one can see the policing of space very well – or do you feel in every part of your city at home and safe? so occupying and claiming a public space by groups happens all the time. so to grew’s question “why is it ok for gay men to take over a public amenity and then intimidate straight people into not going there?” i would say it is o.k. because every group uses public space – why should deviant homosexuals not use it? to the second part, intimidation: well, who is afraid of fags? disgusted maybe, but intimidated? i do not think so. and then there is the question of who else is going to hang out at night in hampstead heath.

then there is the point of anonymus sex being “…very anti-social, very lonely and ultimately deeply unfulfilling.(grew)” true. its being anti-social and lonely are actually reasons for searching this kind of sex. deeply unfullfilling? not up to me to decide. but i always find it somewhat irritating that within the gay community there is so much critizising of certain ways to have sex. hey, we are seen as a minority, as deviant because of a certain form of sex – do we really need to repeat that within our community? moralizing about the sexual preferences of others?

there are a couple of more arguments like outdoor cruising being too risky and being outdated. but to finish off i would like to cite some sentences from the end of the article:

“is this the image of gay men you want? that we are all sex-mad and slightly simple-minded? for years sensible gay and lesbian people have argued that we are just the same as everyone else. we just wanted to be able to settle down and get married and live in peace. then the dirty mac brigade hijack the airwaves, showing their inability or unwillingness to adapt to the new social reality. (grew)”

yep, heavy stuff. i thought we fought for equal rights and marriage so we have the same options a heterosexuals – options. looks like these options have changed into binding laws. but then maybe this whole opinion piece was just a satire? read it for yourself and tell me what you think…

3 Responses to “still cruisin’”

  1. norman Says:

    Law.= a public space is a place where anyone has the right to come without being excluded because of economic or social condition.
    here the law extends itself to protect those using public spaces…i.e. behaviour
    and should we all behave badly in these spaces then we find ourselves in fear and danger of the law and those who think that our behaviour has breeched their sense of freedom.
    it is really what we do in the spaces,whether it be late at night or early morning, as each country has its laws on public behaviour.Look at the nordic counties where public spaces are free and open to all without restrictions.
    so the law says…”not that you have commited a crime, but does the person constitute a risk””
    so gay or straight sex in public spaces..diverge from” legitimate” uses of public spaces.

  2. sunbathinglizard Says:

    constitute a risk? rarely the law(enforcers) then can already act – the exceptions are mentally disturbed people (if they might constitute a danger for the public and themselves), child molesters, and murderers and rapists (that can be kept in prison even after they served their sentence), and of course terrorists. but usually you first have to commit a crime. second i am still wondering about the risk of public sex (be it straight or gay) to the public?

  3. norman Says:

    the risk being thus…should two guys kiss in public we know that the straights go gugu…and thus the two guys are ,firstly, putting themselves at risk,from being beaten,secondly,the beaters being beaten back.(they havent had sex yet)
    theres always a risk….two guys beaten badly in zurich park as they answered back to a hetro bully who then called in his troops which laid into the(gay) guy and his friend.
    when does the law act on these so called “a possible risk” at the time the public call them and report the happenings.
    sadly this is the world we live in….little true freedom…and yes sex in public places can be hot and sleazy!

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