“I mean, obviously I’m still attracted to men,” I said as I saw her face drop. “But I’ve never felt so disconnected from the gay world.” The reason? It’s sad, boring but true: Corona. With every part of gay socialising shut down, I’m feeling increasingly untethered from other gays.
There are no parties, no Falk Richter plays or film festival nights at Moviemento. It’s just me and a thousand other queers living quietly separate lives in our lockdown realms.
Who even are we if we can’t get a little dark room love in Neukölln’s Ficken 3000 or Friedrichshain’s Grosse Freiheit? There’s nowhere to go to even get high. How am I supposed to make friends?
I’m partially joking, but if I’m not out in the middle of the scene, I’m totally out of it. And being gay is more than a dick down the throat and a straw up the nose, if that’s what you think I’m saying, It’s cumulative experiences to share and gossip over. The chance to bitch, complain and throw shade. And to celebrate.
Gay culture feels threadbare. At least we have social media, but without a real world to mirror and dissect, everything there leaves me disinterested. Perhaps I can take comfort in that I’m part of a collective exile identity. I’m not alone. And not just as a gay man. A lesbian friend of mine, well known for her rock nights in a sex club, also expressed this disconnect with her identity
“Are we less gay now?” a couple of homosexuals asked each other over beers. It seems absurd, but we were united in this feeling. We were grabbing moments to feel gay anywhere we could.
In the meantime, I guess I’ve developed sympathy for the straight – at least in the way that I casually chit-chat more often with my local Lidl ladies about Corona fatigue than I do with LGBTI* peeps about who’s sleeping with who about town. Maybe sympathy for straights isn’t exactly correct – it’s just that the lines between these worlds don’t really exist as much at the moment. And who’s paying attention anyway?
So, 2021, I’ll make you a deal. If you find a way to give us our identities back by summer – hell, before the end of the year – we criminal queers will behave ourselves and pull our shit together for the good of everyone during this cursed pandemic. Open up Möbel Olfe and Südblock, at least. We’ll brighten you up with a bit of lipstick, glitter and sticky substances, for free, while we’re at it. Deal?
Signed, The (Hopefully Still) Gay Berliner