The Fifties and now

I’m reading Billy Hayes’ brilliant ‘insomniac city’ and he talks about the 60s and 70s as his era, so when I watched a PBS program of pop music from the 50s it took me back to my era. Patty Page is dressed in a flowing floor lengthen sparkly powder blue gown and a jacket with sequined lapels and feathered wrists and men’s groups like the Crew Cuts and the Four Aces wear dark suits and ties. Their songs are songs of love as a “many splendored thing” and “watching all the girls go by.” If they were worried about the Soviet Union, it didn’t show. I channel surfed and got an ad of four well-groomed middle aged men and women talking about the softness of a certain toilet paper on their “bums” which says something about how far we’ve come from the Fifties.

But when I thought about me in those years as scared gay kid, they weren’t many splendored. While I was making do with a jar of Vaseline and my hand, I want to think two men very much in love were at the end of Cape Cod, Long Island, or Florida escaping for a week of bliss. Most of my contemporaries, like me, were likely in a dark place blowing a high school friend or living lives of quiet desperation.

Today we are faced with the most threatening federal government in years but what gives me hope is the determination of my queer brother and sisters who aren’t taking it and are gearing up for the fight. We are part of the growing number of resisters who are giving GOP lawmakers the same grief at town hall meetings that the Tea Party gave Dem lawmakers opposed to Obamacare at their town hall meetings. We have come a long way from the 50s and we are not going back. We are equals as the left comes together to stand up to 45’s idiocy and his unqualified billionaire cabinet. Our love is not three coins in a fountain love, it’s the love men shared in the trenches and behind the barricades and we’re not afraid to say we love it in the ass.


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