Street Knowledge News
Is Being Gay A New Trend
June 27 1998

Last Sunday celebrated one of the most talked about issues in the country - gay pride. Just hours prior to San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade, last Sunday's [6/27/98] edition of Street Knowledge featured host Davey D leaving the mic open for discussion for anyone in the Bay Area who had something to say about the issue.

"Over 1,000,000 people will be conveying The City," said Davey D. "Over the past year, there's been a lot of exposure from the media on the gay community. From Ellen's (Degeneres) 'coming out' episode to just generally having gay lead characters in more movies and tv programs. It's getting more accepted now. At the same time, there are some people who say that gayness is something that can be cured. So you still have people that feel this way." One question the Street Knowledge host brought among listeners is if the growth of bi and homosexuals is just an ongoing trend, such as the latest clothing. "That seems to be what people are talking about," Davey said. "I don't know if this is a trend, if people are just more open to come out the closet or if society is just generally becoming more open. I'm seeing things that I wouldn't have seen a year ago.

"If I saw women dancing with women, people would start clowning." Activist William Walker of Coleman Advocates was on the panel to help Davey discuss the issue. "I think people are starting to open their eyes to the gay community," Walker said. "There's some good and bad to that."

After the short discussion, all phone lines were lit up from callers throughout the Bay Area. "I usd to have problems with gays," said caller Shiree from Richmond. "But now it's like a lifestyle. It's a good thing you guys have (KMEL deejay) Foxee Brown. She ... or he is the one that opened me up to the gay community." Brown, a gay male, can be heard along with Sway and Fly Girl E every weekday mornings KMEL's The Breakfast Club.

Davey has also noticed that there is a "more balanced perspective" in show business. Actors Degeneres, Anne Heche (Six Days/Seven Nights) were among examples who are out and open with their sexuality. Caller Tatiana blames the media for the way it's been treating the gay community. "I see the whole gay and lesbian thing being exploited," Tatiana said. "It gives a bad name for the gay and lesbian community. I have a friend who's bi and I see people who says it's cool. I also see people saying this is their lifestyle."

"There's a thin line between 'this is gay pride' and 'it's being exploited'," added Walker. Caller Valerie of Alameda, who announced she was bisexual on the radio, says 'coming out' hasn't been a problem for her as of late. "It's easier to tell people without anyone asking," said Valerie, who agrees with the idea of gayness being a trend.

"There's pretenders who will say they're gay just to fit in." Caller Desmond embraces the 'trend' of gay pride. "I think it's trendy," Desmond said.

"I think it's like (Calvin Klein) Jeans. People want to look at that stuff. You see a girl with another girl and guys wanna see that." "This is NOT a trend," disagreed caller Barbara. "It's not like tennis shoes. You could get killed for this kind of 'trend'."

Caller Dan from Santa Clara urges all perpetrators not to try and fit in with the gay crowds. "All they have to do is do what they gotta do," Dan said. "Just be yourself because you know what? Everybody knows yourself."

Walker, who works with the youth, is often apporached by teens who question their sexuality. "There's a lot of young people out there," Walker said. "But there's still a lot of people that still have a hard time coming out."

Caller Veronica said some people are often pushed to being homosexual. "Some people are just looking for someone to take care of them," Veronica said. "(Women) like men for the most part, but they'll be with whoever will take care of them." Whatever reason people choose to be gay, it all goes back to their freedom of choice. They should not be penalized for their choice of religion, organization, and definietly sexual preference. At the same time, the gay community IS being exploited. It should not be considered a trend. Because if that were the case, like a trend, it will eventually be spit out and society will move on to the next trend. Is that how we really want to look at the gay community? As a trend? If you would like information regarding Coleman Advocatess, call (415) 777-3399 or (888) 977-3399.

written by
Chris Navalta of
The Vallejo Times Herald

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