Why we published “Dawn of a new gay” BY: THE GRID

by Accidental Bear

We Homosexuals and friends of homosexuals are all ears.

About two months ago, Paul Aguirre-Livingston, a 24-year-old writer and blogger, approached The Grid with an idea for a personal essay about what it’s like to be part of the first group of gay men to come of age in Toronto in the era of legalized gay marriage. He had coined a term—the Post-Mo—to describe himself and the extended group of men he socializes with in downtown Toronto. This group of people, he said, has never had to fight its government for equality. Thanks to the internet, they were able to explore their sexuality as young men—ask questions, get answers and meet like-minded youth—from the safety of their bedrooms. They don’t feel the same connection to the city’s annual Pride festivities or the Church-Wellesley Village that previous generations did. In fact, he saw it as a mark of success and progress that young gays in Toronto had spread out into the city, east and west, and rejected the notion that there was a designated strip where the bulk of their socializing should get done. Other writers have expressed similar feelings of disconnection from the Gay Village in the past, but Aguirre-Livingston’s was a point of view we hadn’t heard before, and one we thought would be of interest to our readers. We knew that not everybody would like or agree with what Aguirre-Livingston was saying, but the gay community, like any large group, is not a monolith—it contains multitudes of perspectives and we believed there was room for one more.

Since we had never worked with Aguirre-Livingston before, we asked him to spend some time thinking about exactly what he wanted to say and come back to us with a more detailed proposal. Six weeks later, when he produced his first draft, it was a 3,000-word, unflinchingly honest, articulate essay about his own personal experiences—the pop-culture influences that shaped him, his life as a “sexually ambiguous” high-school student and his struggle to form real connections as a young adult in a digital age. He expressed gratitude to the activists who came before him and who had granted him the freedom to live as a person first-and-foremost, and as a gay man second. It was a brave piece to write and, from our perspective, a fascinating account of the city and a culture as one man sees it.

The weekend before the piece appeared, we shot the accompanying photos at a Royal Canadian Legion. Aguirre-Livingtson invited people he knew to come and be part of the Post-Mo shoot. He asked them via email to “Please read the details about the piece first…If you don’t feel this way, please feel free to decline.” Here’s how he described his piece:

One Comment to “Why we published “Dawn of a new gay” BY: THE GRID”

  1. Look at these f#cking gapsters

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