Earlier this week Rich Hawkins who describes himself as a twenty something chap living in London wrote an article published on HuffingPost’s Gay Voices entitled, It’s Okay to Be Gay, Just Don’t Touch Each Other.
In the article he writes, “I have a long-term boyfriend who I live with and share my life with, yet I don’t hold his hand. We are consciously and subconsciously not tactile in public, and yet in private very loving and affectionate…” His article talks about the incredible changes in the general public’s attitude towards homosexuality over the past 20+ years and how this has allowed many of us to live a more authentic life. However, the title and his assertion that gay is fine provided it remains a hypothetical and doesn’t exist in the form of PDA (public displays of affection) is a surprise to me. I think nothing of holding Sergio’s hand when we are in public, but I know I wouldn’t do that just anywhere and am always conscious of my surroundings when we are in public and holding hands.
I’m sure we all edit our behavior but to what end? Much of this is probably determined by where you live and how “out” you are. For example, I don’t think anyone would feel uncomfortable holding hands in San Francisco’s Castro, Los Angeles West Hollywood or NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen, but how might you feel about embracing your significant other or holding hands in Peoria, IL? What are your thoughts?