V and I rented 'Gay Sex in the 70s' from Blockbuster last night - about the dawning of gay liberation in NYC. It's an amazing movie. It interviews some "survivors" of the period, who describe the freedom of the scene back then, the piers, the trucks, the clubs, the back rooms, the parties, the FREE love as only gay men can give it. When these guys, all in their 50's and 60's now, describe their youth, it's overlaid with a profound melancholy (thanks to AIDS) - and at the same time, a secret joy, like they were reliving a wonderful dream. None of the men interviewed renounced their activities, or "recanted". It was like they were living in a magical moment, and they knew it, and treasured it, even WITH all the suffering that followed.
I came out in 1981 - the dawning of the AIDS crisis. I remember furtively reading the 'Advocate' in the school library, and the first press given to the growing "gay cancer". The shadow of death has always haunted my sex life. My life.The movie interviewed a few modern young gay men - this stood out:
"I can't even smoke a cigarette in a bar, let alone have sex in a park".
Art: St. Mark's Baths poster by Boris Vallejo. Coincidentally, The Secret Gospel of Mark, yep, St. Mark, allegedly included a story about Jesus having gay sex.