I first came across the concept of Gay Shame around the time that I made the decision to resign from York Gay Pride following ideological disagreements.
Essentially, I was asked to stand down as co-resident DJ from a Pride fundraising night following observations that the music I was playing was too loud, too camp + too stereotypically gay.
Apparently, my selection of music (which I call MoQuo - or music of queer origin - that is music written, performed, produced, championed + celebrated by queer people) was at risk of alienating heterosexual couples -who appeared to have scant regard for queer identity, a lack of respect for queer cultural history and little understanding of queer popular culture- along with a cohort of younger gay men who are regarded as the 'cash queers' of the Pride movement.
The belief was that as these two demographic groups represented a sizeable proportion of the fundraising income stream, watering down the content of the night, so that it was no longer at risk of appearing too camp or too stereotypically gay, would increase trade + put more £ in the Pride coffers. The music became fixated upon contemporary r'n'b (or repetitive 'n' bland as I prefer to describe it), the queer identity of the night became diluted + queer friends of mine of a similar age stopped attending.
After several months of running the night on this basis, the then resident DJ (for whom I have great respect + high regard) began camping it up (the music, that is) + asking potential punters for nominations for the new camper playlist.
At the time, I was running an alternative night called Poppycock (taglines 'Loud + Proud + stereotypically Gay since 2009' / "It's poppy. It's cocky. And a bit gay.") Some of the proceeds of this night went to the York LGBT Forum + North Yorkshire Aids Action.
My argument at the time was that the concept of 'Gay Pride' was not simply about being proud to suck cock or fuck men -although we clearly shouldn't be ashamed of these activities- but that we should be proud to exhibit, display and celebrate our queer cultural identity + history.
OUTrageous + Poppycock both closed in July 2013.