Monday, August 31, 2009

Adult Education


I am writing this about Gay Men.
I am NOT writing about lesbians - frankly I know too little. And I am NOT writing this about straight folks. they are a whole different ball of wax.
This blog post is ONLY about Gay Men.
My question is "How can I (or anyone) increase the average gay man's knowledge of what is going on in the world of the LGBT Community?"
There are a few guys like me who enjoy keeping up on the news and views of gays and lesbians and their organizations around the world. I am coming to discover that I am in a real minority among gay men.
I admit that recently I have been hanging out at some Internet gay men "dating" sites. On these sites, you make a profile about how fabulous you are, you post some very flattering pictures of yourself, and you exchange messages with other guys who have done the same. Sometimes you and another guy "click" and you arrange to meet face-to-face.
The Internet has in many ways taken over from the Gay Bar for gay men. The Internet is the way we meet one another, socialize, and make friends and lovers. I met Steve on the Internet. I met Lee, the man I am dating, on the Internet.
However, on these gay men sites, there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, about what is happening in the lgbt world. No news, no politics. And that is pretty normal. Even in the straight world, there are very few parties where news and politics are welcome. Or so it seems to me.
Of course we gay men retain our oldest and dearest institution, the Gay Bar. I was speaking with a bartender this weekend. He tells me that lgbt news and politics never comes up among his patrons. Never. And this is in the oldest gay bar in Reno, Nevada - a veritable institution.
When Steve and I lived in San Francisco, there were times and especially places at the bar (the smoking patio for example) where guys discussed lgbt news and views. However, with the Internet becoming the primary social scene for guys, very few guys are affected by these conversations.
Of course, the Internet itself makes the spreading of lgbt news and views possible today like never before. More lgbt blogs and news sites exist than ever before. But with ANY blog and ANY news site, no matter how wonderful it is, the guy has to decide to go there. It takes an act of will to seek out lgbt news.
It is 8:00 PM, you have had a long day at the office and are finally home and relaxing. You sit at your computer. You can decide to spend an hour or so catching up on the blogs and news sites OR you can seek out partners and otherwise socialize with guys and oogle naughty pictures. Which do you think most men would decide? Yeah right!
My issue is how to insert the most important lgbt news items into the Internet social sites in a manner that spoon feeds the masses. Take for example the recent release of the report proving the organized murder of gay men and lesbians in Iraq - by the militias and even the police that we pay for. I believe this was a very important story for all lgbt folks. Yet, to take a wild guess, I imagine that only 1/3 or maybe 40 percent of gay men and women are even aware of it.
Hmmmm, I may have to run a poll on a social site and see. But I know in my heart the number is less than 50 percent. And that is just wrong. And needs to be fixed.
But how? In the noise of healthcare, recession, Afghanistan, trying to make a living and have a social life ... how to get a guy to take 5 minutes and hear about the plight of our brothers in Iraq?
The answer has to be EASY for the guys, really spoon fed. The answer has to be "no decision" - the answer has to be tied into the websites he is already going to visit or at the bars where he is.
I am still thinking, but the answer will come to me.
Any ideas out there?

1 comment:

  1. Politics, gay or straight, is discussed online by people who are interested in politics. Dating is discussed on dating sites. Maybe you should look for a gay political dating site?

    £eslie

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