Saturday, October 18, 2003

Culture shock and adjustment

Always is it thus when returning from an extended time in the US. At first, the euphoria, the joy of being reunited with friends and colleagues - and with the deliciously amenable lifestyle. Then there is the slump as one depressingly confronts the missing things. Oh, how I miss the Boston Globe.

I have been feeling decidedly ploppy most of this week. But last night, rather unexpectedly, came the tonic - the Blaze Gala Awards night. This is Adelaide's gay and lesbian community (transgender, bi etc etc etc) and their version of an academy awards for outstanding givers and achievers. I am working on a feature entitled "Gay Adelaide - then and now", which is scheduled to run in the Saturday magazine to co-ordinate with the opening of the Feast Festival of Gay and Lesbian arts. The old gay Adelaide, the days of illegality, secrecy and brave activists is not a problem. It is history. The "now" has been puzzling me and I have been seeking out the young movers and shakers and not really finding them. I thought the Gala Awards would showcase them and I could then pick them off for the feature. I was in for a surprise.
Arriving at the National Wine Centre, I thought that I must be in the wrong place. It was all men in suits. I proceeded in to find Scott, the Blaze editor and his team standing in the most elegantly prepared banquet room. And as the throng assembled, it continued to be handsome men in expensive suits with women in sleek cocktail gowns or designer ensembles. Had it not been for the towering drag queens, also very elegantly dressed, one would never have known it was a gay event.
And thus did I realise that the "now" of the gay scene is mainstream. The gay world is a comfortable, confident, established community. It does not need to be outrageous. Instead, it is just plain elegant.

It leaves the straights for dead.
The queer eye for the queer guy is five star.

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