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Author Topic: Assimilation and Integration  (Read 3338 times)

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Mogul

  • Viktor Zimmermann
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Re: Assimilation and Integration
« Reply #7 on: Wed, May 30, 2007, 12:30 »

Philip Hensher from Guardian has written this piece, where he describes the effects of assimilation of Gays in UK.

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If, in my view, the police are still learning how to police gay behaviour in an appropriate way - and the gay drug culture and public indecency are, obviously, things which need to be policed and controlled in some degree - there is nevertheless a higher level of understanding on both sides than existed even 10 years ago.

What he considers to be "a higher level of understanding on both sides" is an euphemismus for Gays partially assuming sraight values as their own and becoming invisible, while society is on the other side tolerating Gays as long as they behave straight in public. There is a certain understanding that it's not governments business to ask what people do in bed with eachother, but is there much progress in appreciation of Gay people? I doubt this heavily. Bargaining for tolerance (more accurately: the right not to be beaten up and fired from jobs) by abandoning one's culture is hardly the appropriate way for the Gay people to go.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Mogul

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Re: Assimilation and Integration
« Reply #6 on: Fri, Feb 09, 2007, 03:01 »

Brad Ruting has contributed a noteworthy article about the decline of the gay neighbourhoods in Sydney.

An interesting statement is:

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"Perhaps the biggest existential concern of gay territories has changed from repression to assimilation. In post-industrial cities worldwide, visibly gay communities are fragmenting. It must be asked: Have diversity and acceptance lead to decline?"

Most certainly it is this way. Somehow many gays did misunderstood "Integration" for "Assimilation", which is actually not the same thing. Integration means the minority and the majority add their respective cultures into a new one; assimilation means that minority gives up its own culture, and accepts the culture of the majority. Did we achieve any true integration anywhere? In my view, the answer is "No", for all industrial and post-industrial societies.

Equal rights do not automatically lead to substantial progresses in cultural live of a diasporic people. To improve the quality of gay public life, gays must make some use of these equal rights.

The straigh majority is not really interested in gay culture, nor is the gay culture adequately supported from the common budget. Of course I know of several examples of this or that metropole funding some gay project, but these examples remain singular and in no way are they related to our share in the entire population. Also, the rare successfull productions like "Brokeback Mountain" should not deceive us of the real state of affairs of gay culture. There are hundreds of heterosexual love-stories produced each year worldwide, and with just how many gay love stories can we show up?

We need our own institutions, and this can only function if a majour change in consciousness of gay folks will take place. The internet offers greate possibilities for interconnection, but this is only a technical means. It can not replace face-to-face communication, and it can not replace places of common socialization. The decline of local gay communities is hopefully a temporary phenomenon, founded in the first euphory over the newly won "equality". Soon gays shalll recognize the negative effects of assimilation, and seek to re-gain lost infrastructure.

The one thing which we shall keep in mind is, however: Social developements are not some "inevitable" stikes of fate, they are made by people. If gay people are unhappy with the unfortunate decline of gay territories, they should reclaim them.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

K6

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Re: Assimilation and Integration
« Reply #5 on: Thu, May 11, 2006, 13:06 »

Recently I had the pleasure to discuss with an old (gay) friend from Poland - he was very angry about gay people there, and suggested that gays are mostly really vicious and irresponsible fellows, thinking only of casual sex and striving to destroy relationships of their close friends. He also added, that gays are uncapable of nurturing children due to their own immaturity - "children are not toys, you know?" It was an amazing discussion - being gay by himself, he has assumed all the evil predjudices of his homophobic environment!

I have spent once one month in Poland.The very evening I arrived in Krakow,the elder son of the family where I was to reside made passes at me.We were then of the same age,23 years old.He was not gay.He was what we often call improperly a bisexual,a category widespread in Poland and in a certain number of other countries like for example the United States.If you pick your samples and opinions about gays among such a crowd,you will hear many negative things.The most interesting are the ones they utter when they do not know that you are gay yourself,and mistake you for one of them.I have known,in Canada,a stereotypical homophobic individual whose phantasm was to sleep with guys,and then assassinate them.He actually never assassinated anyone.But after he had told me of what lied in his imagination,I never turned my back on him.He was a guy with whom I went hunting.We will have to disentangle the components of the LGBT constellation,and learn to differenciate the various and at times incompatible interests they embody.In Germany,you may without much risk mistake an improperly called bisexual for a gay.
In certain other parts of the world,where homosexuality is very common like muslim countries or latin America,this could cost you your life.

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K6

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Re: Assimilation and Integration
« Reply #4 on: Thu, May 11, 2006, 12:46 »

When I tried to explain to him that his views are derived from knowing only a tiny part of our kind, he didn't see the point why public coming out is important. When all the "virtuous" and "positive-role-models" gay men remain in the closet, it is no wonder that a youth like him could come to such weird conclusions.

Neither you nor I had any positive gay role models either.You were yourself worst off than me,for you grew up in a totalitarian hethro society.Yet,we both evolved into full blown gay independentists.Millions of gays are besides capable of the same reflexion effort which insulates us against hethro propaganda.Your friend,sorry to say,sounds a bit lazy intellectually.This,a gay cannot afford.Struggle and effort are part of the stuff of what makes
us.Including an intellectual effort to study and decipher hethro societies,and by analogy reach conclusions similar to yours or mine,or those of other
gays focussed on the idea of freedom for us.

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Mogul

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Re: Assimilation and Integration
« Reply #3 on: Thu, May 11, 2006, 07:09 »

Recently I had the pleasure to discuss with an old (gay) friend from Poland - he was very angry about gay people there, and suggested that gays are mostly really vicious and irresponsible fellows, thinking only of casual sex and striving to destroy relationships of their close friends. He also added, that gays are uncapable of nurturing children due to their own immaturity - "children are not toys, you know?" It was an amazing discussion - being gay by himself, he has assumed all the evil predjudices of his homophobic environment!

When I tried to explain to him that his views are derived from knowing only a tiny part of our kind, he didn't see the point why public coming out is important. When all the "virtuous" and "positive-role-models" gay men remain in the closet, it is no wonder that a youth like him could come to such weird conclusions.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

K6

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Re: Assimilation and Integration
« Reply #2 on: Thu, May 11, 2006, 00:27 »


In the city I live (Sherbrooke,Quebec,Canada),the first official gay bar appeared in or around 1976.An unofficial one already existed in the early 70s.
At first,it was an exclusively gay place,as were some other places I went to in Montreal and in the late 70s.I remember the first time I went to the gay disco in my place,on the evening of may 18,1978.Its staff intented to keep heterosexuals and heterosexuality out.For a while,it worked fine.Towards the mid 80s,however,the place became more mixed sex and more imprecise from the standpoint of sexual orientation.From then on,the gay commercial scene embodied in discos and bars completely ceased to interest me.It had besides only exacerbated my thirst for gay space,
not soothed it.Gays are completely different from heterosexuals.Including from opportunist heterosexuals with peripheral homosexual interests.

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Mogul

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Assimilation and Integration
« Reply #1 on: Fri, Jan 20, 2006, 02:30 »

Vicky's first proposition:

"Assimilation and integration are not the same thing. Integration means the minority and the majority add their respective cultures into a new one; assimilation means that minority gives up its own culture, and accepts the culture of the majority. If any true integration is not possible, the minority should by all means resist the assimilation."

In case of integration, gays like the heterosexual films, books and art to the same extent as they appreciate homosexual films, books and art. Straights and gays go to the same bars and discothecues and thanks to some novell social mechanisms have equal chances to find an adequate partner, despite the 10:1 ratio. Straights and gays are able to listen to each other's problems with true interest; straight men are wholly understanding why Dany is so much sweeter than Joachim and they even intersperse expert remarks on this particular subject at appropriate moments. This world wouldn't have lost the gay culture, it would absorb it.

The resul of the integration is, indeed, a new mixed culture would evolve - with both homo- and heterosexual cultures contributing to it. Now, is such a result of true unification of cultures a bad thing? - Probably not, as the gay culture would still be preserved, being a part of a whole.

Knowing the human nature, such scenario is, however, not very likely to happen. Having equal rights doesn't mean be or become equal, and there is indeed no need to give up our identity just becouse we become "emancipated". The straight might, however, try to persuate us that now everything is settled and we should reduce our visibility again: "My god, now you can even marry and adopt children, so why are you still flaunting about your homosexuality? You are going to bore me!" Giving into this social pressure for unification with heterosexuals in any respect would, of course, be an assimilationist process leading to the extinction of gay culture. We would e.g. "be wholly accepted" with our same-sex partners in circle of our friends and would usually go out with them and watch some heterosexual films, heterosexual cabarett etc., as, of course, it will be a matter of democratic decision. Such an assimilationist way is for sure not the right one for us, and we must be aware of our own interests in the newly just, bust still unequal world.

What exactly would we conceive than as a decay of the gay culture in the assimilationist scenario? It could be:
  • Gays are accepted by their heterosexual friends and the family and begin to spend their free time mostly among heterosexuals, listening to their heterosexual stories and problems; their own problems being, however, of little interest to the others. As the result these gays cease to stick around with their likes and stiffle cultural exchange with other gays;
  • Gays are no longer in danger of being beaten up in a heterosexual discothec, bar or gyms - therefore they go there instead of the gay premises, as a result they might have spent a nice, healthy evening, but having seen no other homosexuals at all, with straights being friendly, but desinterested;
  • Gays regain their interest to the "great art works of civilization", being simply the usual heterosexual art, whereas straights still do not care and do not know much about homosexual art.

It is important that gays fight the assimilation, wherever possible. They should make clear to themselves and to the friendly straights around them, what the assimilation is about. As long as straights themselves are not ready for truly integration (who can be blamed for his nature, anyway?) - we must fight all these snaky and well-meant attempted assimilation and preserve our own culture by all means.
 :=SU
« Last Edit: Fri, Jan 20, 2006, 02:39 by Mogul »
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin
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