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IDEAS, Gays' late adolescence
Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: Pellegrino, Vincent P
Date: Sep 24, 2006
Start Page: A.65
Section: OPINION
Abstract (Document Summary)

The media and general public have become fascinated with gay culture. It delights me to see the influx of gay-themed films and television shows like "Brokeback Mountain," "Queer as Folk," "Will and Grace" and several films about the life of Truman Capote.

We play these adolescent-type games, I think, because until recently gay men rarely had the chance to communicate honestly with other gay men as we were growing up. Until we chose to come out of the closet - often well past our teenage years - we lacked role models. Feelings of shame for having sexual and romantic feelings toward men dominated the important teenage developmental years.

One manifestation of this phenomenon is that frequently we find ourselves obeying the straight world's stereotypes for gay behavior. An example is the gay community's obsession with bodybuilding and social climbing. We do these things, even if we are not inclined to, hoping to regain some of the self-esteem that was compromised as children. But it's not coming from something inside.

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