Today’s gay culture exists in some sort of shocked stasis, mysteriously divorced from previous generations of gays. I say “mysteriously” because the internet provides a treasure trove of readily-available information about any subject or time period, yet the newer generations of gays seem to have little interest in learning.
That’s sad, because we can learn so much about where we are by looking at where we’ve been.
One of these informational gems has recently been uncovered and put on YouTube. It’s an episode of a 1980s British docuseries called “The Gay Life.” In this episode, the show discusses the rise of the gay scene in the 1930s, and how that time period acted as a flashpoint for many of the terms and concepts we are familiar with today.
It’s fortunate that the show was made when it was, because many of the people of that critical era were still alive and able to illuminate much of what was happening in the clubs of that decade.