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Room for Squares

There was a time in the nineties when gays were everywhere. They were at your best friendís weddings, they were your college boyfriends-turned-best friends and they were the wives who divorced you for their lesbian lovers. Heck, they were even cutesy purple monsters with triangles on their heads who carried around little purses. I mean, gay was in, big time. And then, seemingly overnight, it became passť.

I can remember in high school people started to experiment with the same sex because it was cool to be gay. Alright, maybe not cool, but it was definitely one of the things to do. It lent you an air of mystery, of rebellion. It made you one of the fun kids to hang out with. If you brought a same sex partner to the prom, not only were you assured top dog seating at the courtyard the next day, but you were also guaranteed to be the topic of all study hall gossip, the talk of everyoneís graduation party.

You see, our popularity had reached saturating point until a foolish few expressed some silly desire to get married and we were promptly dropped off the popular landscape. It was presumptuous of us to expect that popular affection would translate into widespread acceptance. Apparently, as it goes with all trends and fads, there was an expiry date unbeknownst even to us.

But then I thought, ďIsnít it silly how silly theyíre treating homosexuality like a sorry pair of last seasonís Uggs?Ē Like, somehow, everyone is going to be searching for the next big thing, the next incarnation of gay cool very soon just to replace us. I realized that on any given night out, I began questioning peopleís sexualities less than their sexes or their genders. And then, it hit me. What weíre experiencing isnít the backlash of gay overexposureÖitís the result.

Gay isnít so much out as it is just nondescript or commonplace. Nowadays, you have to be really punk, even more dissident and even more subversive. Queer is the new gay. Itís in, itís exciting, itís all inclusive, it keeps people guessing; itís the craze thatís sweeping the nation, like the Soulja Boy dance. The landscape has changed folks. Just when you thought it was okay to start seeing gay couples walking down the street, think again. Two men holding hands? Thatís so last millennium, so turn of the century, soÖY2Gay.

The sight of a man who used to be a woman making out with a woman who used to be a manÖnow thatís more like it. Yep, ladies and gentlemen (or gentlemanly ladies or what have you), the shift in the cultural landscape of homosexuality has gone from the gender squares of yesteryear to the gender queers of today. The new age is here and itís queer, and youíd better get used to it. Just as how ape turned to man, so have skirts gone from ankle length to mini and still to micro-mini. Hopefully, so will the public threshold for acceptance of our many ďalternativeĒ lifestyles. After all, isnít that what progress is about?

The trouble is that itís easy to get caught up in the idea of progress for the sake of progress. Too much too soon means people will begin to question both your sincerity and validity as a lifestyle, you know, the inevitable backlash. For my part, there isnít an eye-roll you can invent that I havenít already tried out on some proselytizing pre-op tranny or FTM, who on the one hand wants to cross sexes and still remain attracted to the opposite sex on the other. I find myself longing for the days of the good old fashioned fag, when a boy could like another boy without having to worry about him being a girl.