Sunday, 9 June 2013

Welcome to Gay Shame

What is Gay Shame?

Gay Shame is about recognising that the socialisation of LGBT people and the assimilation of queer culture into the mainstream has a price.  It is also a recognition that "gay pride" as we now know it is more about the pink pound, spending power and consumer unity than it is about queer mutiny and fighting for those who are marginalised by society. 

During the course of this blog I shall be talking about what we have lost socially and culturally in our quest for acceptance and respectability. 

Join me as I explore the dissonance between acceptability and unique cultural identity.

Along the way I hope to make you laugh, cry and shout out with anger.

I welcome feedback, and I can be contact via the contact me page of this blog.

Who Am I?

I am David Lewis -aka Deejay Bootsy- a 49 year old non-conforming queer man who openly challenges convention, orthodoxy + mainstream opinion.

I went on my first Gay Pride march in 1984 at age 19. The age of consent for gay men at the time was 21 and the march  itself was no parade, carnival or Mardi gras. The tone of the march was angry + the model one of civil disobedience + non-violent direct action. As a demonstration of anger at unfair treatment + protest against inequality of opportunity, it displayed strength through solidarity.

In the same year, I became a member of the management committee of the London Gay Teenage Group, a member of the working group of the Lesbian + Gay Youth Movement and co-editor of the Lesbian + Gay Youth Magazine.

Over the following years + decades, I saw the commercial gay scene -never shy of an opportunity to make money- gradually take over London Gay Pride and transform it from a march into a parade, and from a protest into a party. The inevitable imposition of an entrance fee marked the point at which I lost interest in these commercially sponsored corporate shindigs which have essentially become a celebration of the strength of the so-called Pink Pound.

On arriving in York in 2008, I joined the York LGBT Forum and discovered that York's LGBT communities -through the Forum- still organised a community focused event which was free and celebrated local talent, rather than the Z list celebrities + runners up from prime time TV talent(less) competitions.

It was the first of three York Pride events I helped organised, before resigning from the committee in early 2012.

I have been a queer deejay since 1985, when I helped launch the Creche Club in the London Lesbian + Gay Centre, as a fundraiser for the national Lesbian + Gay Youth Movement. In 1987, I won the Clash of the Titans DJ mixing competition ('a night of rivalry on the wheels of steel') at the Limelight club in London and secured a residency there at L'homme - a weekly gay club night run by queer club promoters Steve Swindells + Kevin Millens. I went on to take up residency at  Millionaires (aka Millies) in Edinburgh - t
he infamous Edinburgh late night speakeasy - and have played in some of the queerest bars + clubs in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and York.

I was vice chair of the York LGBT Forum 2010 -2012 and I am currently the Forum's fundraising + publicity officer  and a member of the LGBTQ Communities of  Identity + Wellbeing sub-group.

You can also follow me on twitter at: @swallowourpride.

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