Superstar extraordinaire and gay icon Bette Midler started from the ground-floor and worked herself up. Well actually beneath ground-floor singing in the pool area of one of the most opulent gay bathouses New Your City had ever seen The Continental Baths in the 1970’s singing her ever-loving lungs out. So after almost 45 years of being every gay man’s best friend. Ms. Midler does know or two about the good ol’ days of being gay in New York City, don’t cha’ know.
In a recent issues of the once great and now mediocre Advocate the Divine Miss M talked about the good ole’ gays and what she misses about the gays gone bye.
“[I miss] the extreme characters you used to see in the Village in the old days,” she said. “You just don’t see them anymore.”
“I really do miss them because there was a feeling I used to get that people were expressing themselves in the most elaborate of ways. Now the [gay community] has kind of gone mainstream. It’s sort of ordinary now, and a little bit of the specialness has rubbed away.
“It used to be the love that dare not speak its name and now it’s the love that won’t shut the fuck up…but seriously, the great thing about the gay revolution is that it has become ordinary and I’m happy to see how far it’s come and to see the community be more at peace with itself and, I want to say, more homogenized. Even being considered a gay icon — which was something that used to be whispered and bandied about — has become sort of mainstream, and that’s a good thing.”
But really is it a good thing? The loss of our culture and our history? The march into the suburbs and the PTA meetings and the censored “family friendly” Pride Parades. Is that what we really want? Is this the way it has to be?