On the Search for Gay Modern Love: May 3, 2008

03May08

In which The Gay Recluse updates his informal but rather telling quantitative analysis of Modern Love, the weekly Style Section (of The Times) column in which openly gay writers almost never appear, and even less frequently describe a romantic relationship.

This week’s piece: Want To Be My Boyfriend? Please Define
by Marguerite Fields

Subject: In the first winner of the collegiate Modern Love, a somewhat tortured, straight lady/youth has trouble finding a long-term relationship, however you want to define it. Reading it, we were sad to note the writer’s almost perverse desperation to conform to an ideal that — as far as we can tell — has never existed outside of Hollywood. She writes: “I still want to believe that two people can meet and like each other well enough to stay together exclusively, without the introduction of some 1960s rhetoric about free love or other noncommittal slogans.” We’re not disagreeing with her, but — when taken in the context of the rest of the piece — we were struck by the somewhat joyless manner in which she approaches the task, as if finding such a relationship is a question of tediously sifting through the paint chips until you find the perfect color with which you can live happily ever after. But she’s young and earnest, so we’re rooting for her! Anyway, for our gay version of the piece, in which we hope she can enjoy herself a bit more along the way, click here.

Filed under: Straight Woman on “Looking”

The updated tally (or why we feel like animals in the zoo): 7 out of 177 columns by openly gay writers; 2 out of 177 on female gay relationships; 0 out of 177 on male gay relationships. In what is arguably the “gayest” section of The Times, more women have written about gay men than gay men have.

Straight Woman on Relationships iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii ii (42)
Straight Woman on Family iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii (35)
Straight Woman on “Looking for Love” iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii (35)
Straight Woman on Breaking Up iiiii iiiii iiiii iiiii iii (23)
Straight Man on Relationships iiiii iiiii i (11)
Straight Man on Breakup iiiiii (6)
Straight Woman on Gay Men iiiii i (6)
Straight Man on Family iiiii i(6)
Straight Man on “Looking for Love” iiiii (5)
Gay Man on Family ii (2)
Gay Woman on Relationship ii (2)
Gay Woman on Family i (1)
Gay Man on Self-Hatred i (1)
Gay Man on Prom Date i (1)
Ambiguous/Nurse on Drugs i (1)


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3 Responses to “On the Search for Gay Modern Love: May 3, 2008”

  1. 1 Fanzy

    “as if finding such a relationship is a question of tediously sifting through the paint chips until you find the perfect color with which you can live happily ever after.”

    *sigh* you’re my paint chip, TGR.

  2. I can appreciate your plight. I am a writer. And I covert a spot in Modern Love, myself.
    I’m wondering why you wouldn’t simply start a blog called Modern Gay Love and ask for submissions on Craig’s List or in publications like Next.

    It could be all the craze.

    Picture it: Every Sunday a new Modern Gay Love about the struggles and joys of being in gay relationships.

    Do it better, instead of being bitter.

    As my soon-to-be 8-year old son says, “Don’t make me snap my fingers in a z-formation.”

    Respectfully yours,

    Michelle

  3. Hey Michelle, thanks for the depressingly uninformed but somewhat earnest comment. (I guess.) I already wrote a Gay Modern Love and it was published by Gawker. (The link is in the ethos page above.) My point in doing these columns is not because I’m bitter about my own plight but because I think it’s preposterous to have a column about “Modern Love” in the gayest section of The Times that is basically never about gay love. It’s dehumanizing and homophobic on many levels. Your suggestion is pretty much like when people say: “If you don’t like living in the United States, why don’t you move to Canada?” Which is kind of stupid when you think about it. Also, let me blow your mind for a second and tell you that in absolute numbers, way more gay people read The Times than Next or CraigsList, so don’t you think that we/they deserve some representation? How would you like it if the Modern Love column were only written by men and I told you to go start your own by asking for submissions in some lady magazine like Cosmo or Elle? Time to expand those horizons…


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