Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The openly gay, Australian singer Darren Hayes, former frontman for Savage Garden, is currently being investigated for using a racial epithet on a waiter in a Thai restaurant in London. Unlike in America which brands its First Amendment on both ass cheeks, hate speech is a serious crime in most of Europe. Conventional wisdom has it that gay people, as minorities who are still deprived the full legal rights accorded straight people, would be more open-minded and accepting of other minorities. Like people of color. People with HIV. But the longer I live in New York City, the less certain I become of the soundness of that wisdom. Hard as it was for me to come out to straight friends and family, I have grown to find it much harder to "come out" to other gays about my HIV status. Because of HIV, I have been turned down for sex, for dating and even for friendship. Is it foolish of me to think that gay people should naturally be more open-minded and accepting of others deemed "outsiders" by mainstream American society? Or is being gay not quite as fabulous as I originally thought?