Thursday, January 10, 2013
Gays And PDAs
Public demonstrations/displays of affection (PDA) can and do range from the innocent and simple, such as walking arm-in-arm or holding hands, to the more intimate and physical, such as kissing, fondling, groping or more. In our everyday lives, we see them so often that for most of us, we think nothing of it. Usually, they don't even warrant a second glance or a second thought. That's how commonplace and routine they have become. A most, our reaction is a smile.
The overwhelming majority of acts of PDAs are by heterosexual (female/male) couples. Even in the depths of the "gay ghettos" of large metropolitan areas, it's mostly the hetero gender mix engaging in this behavior. It isn't often that we are exposed to a same sex couple publicly showing their love towards each other (unless, of course, it's at a primarily gay event such as Pride or inside a GLBT oriented club). It's almost as though there is some secret, unwritten law prohibiting such actions.
So, where are all the same gender loving couples who are in love? Did I miss the fine print on the queer contract where we can't engage in PDAs? If we are between five and ten percent of the total population, then there should be some examples of at least subtle affection visible on our busy city streets. I know many wish that we'd all disappear off the face of the earth or at least slither back "into the closet" but I don't think this actually happened. So where are we?
I totally understand the history of the closet and the urgent need for discretion and secrecy in the past. I even appreciate the necessity for this today in some areas of this country and throughout other places in the world. Physical threats and worse are an indecent, regrettable and unfortunate reality for many of our queer brothers, sisters and others. We all do what we need to do in order to survive. All that's necessary is to pay attention to what's happening around us today and we know this.
My curiosity is aroused by the lack of even the innocuous sightings of PDAs by same sex couples living in non-threatening communities. Not that I'm advocating or encouraging public fornication, mind you. Just those fleeting instances of affection between two people who deeply care about and love each other. The same type of interaction between partners that I frequently observe among those of the other persuasion.
My boyfriend and I do hold hands together in public. We'll even walk around with our arms across each other or just arm-in-arm. For us, it's simply a natural reflex, it's what two men in a relationship normally do. It isn't an intentional political statement. Well, there was that time at a local supermarket when the couple in front of us kept french-kissing and grabbing each others asses (and other anatomical areas). That got so old that we relented and did a deep-throated number of our own. That distracted them and put an end to their public foreplay.
I am wondering if the legacy of the closet and invisibility is so ingrained in our minds that we are denying ourselves the freedom to be ourselves. We forbid us from experiencing life to its fullest by pretending to be something that we're not. Are we burying our emotions just for the sake of trying to blend in? And blend in with what? A sanitized version of what basically isn't anything except abnormal?
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!