Date: 2012-06-14 03:05 am (UTC)
lolaraincoat: drawing of wolf (wolf)
From: [personal profile] lolaraincoat
Oh, yeah, jeeze, I was trying to say the opposite of "nothing has changed." Everything has changed! But it didn't start changing last year or last decade or with Stonewall! It has always been changing, is my point! And how individuals experience these changes depends on class, location, race, religion, and all kinds of much less identifiable factors!

And my other point is, it has never changed in a linear or predictable way. In the US, things got much worse for gay people after about 1949, as the Cold War ratcheted up. We think of the Victorian (and Edwardian) years as repressive ones for women, but in fact it was significantly easier to lead a lesbian life for working-class women in the 1850-1900 period than before or immediately after. Etc etc etc... I know you know I know this, it's just ... I keep writing super-long replies to people because I am so interested in the history of sexuality right now anyway, and I get excited. Forgive me!

That's fascinating about your mother and her social circle(s.) I was just the other trying, with some friends of mine here in Mexico, when the phrase "the closet" (usually used in English - you rarely hear anyone use "el armario" in that sense) and whether it ever made any sense at all in a Mexican context - they seem to agree it did not. It may not have made much sense in the US context either, most of the time, except as a deliberate political strategy. It's never been a binary, so the metaphor doesn't work well. Men who had sex with men, and women who had sex with women would always have had some people in their lives who knew perfectly well who they had sex with, and others who understood implicitly, and others who could have understood if they wanted to, and others from whom this knowledge was deliberately hidden. What "coming out of the closet" ended up meaning in the US was that people stopped shielding anyone in their lives from the fact of their sexual identity. But it never has meant that in Mexico - my friends who I'm staying with right now, for instance, know that their neighbors in their apartment building think that they're (straight) spinsters - and that seems to be not changing much.

What was I saying about extremely long and kind of off-target comments made by me?
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