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The gay community in 2025

I’ve been thinking lately about where the gay community is going, how it is changing, and what it will look like in, say, 15 years. I offer 10 predictions of how things will be for us then.

Gay enclaves will still exist, but they will be a little more diffuse than they are now. Young people will continue to move in because of the sexual opportunities, but older people, often couples, will move to other areas.

The gay press will survive, but it will consist of five to eight regional papers with locally specific entertainment guides as inserts.

Same-sex marriage will be legal in 24 states, sometimes by legislative enactment but more often by court order The U.S. Supreme Court will continue to avoid cases that would allow that court to rule on the constitutionality of denying same-sex marriage.

AIDS will still be with us. After years of trying, scientists have not yet found a vaccine or a cure, and I do not expect them to make any breakthroughs in the next 15 years. Of no prediction am I less happy. The thought that I will live the rest of my life constantly trying to beat the virus inside me down with drugs is at best dismaying.

There will be another gay March on Washington in 2017 or 2018. Like the last one, it will draw 75,000 to 100,000 people, mostly from the eastern states. It won’t accomplish anything, any more than the last one did. But young people seem to like the idea of marching on Washington, and this next one will be organized via whatever Web communication device is the latest fad.

Burying long-standing political and cultural differences, NGLTF and HRC will finally merge. The combined organization will be about as effective as the two are separately. Lambda Legal will decline an invitation to join in the merger.

Gays and lesbians will be allowed to serve openly in the Armed Forces. That will happen sooner rather than later. There will be virtually no problems, just as there were none in Britain and Canada when they allowed gays to serve in their militaries. Calls for repeated studies on the potential impact will stand revealed for what they are – delaying tactics. The existence of openly gay men and women in military uniforms will powerfully impress the public and hasten the general acceptance of gay equality.

A Miss America will come out and announce that she is a lesbian, but only in the last days of her reign. Contest promoters will be upset, but it will too late to do anything about it.

Anti-gay violence will still be with us, mostly perpetrated by young men in  their teens and early 20s seeking ways to bond with their peers and assert  their masculinity. Schools could do a good deal to inhibit this, but schools can’t even prevent bullying of gay and “different” kids, so they are unable to deal with a larger social problem.

Exclusively gay bookstores will not survive. What will survive are general interest bookstores with a large gay section. My model here is Chicago’s Unabridged Books. Mainstream publishers seem to be issuing fewer and fewer gay books, but the stream will never dwindle to a trickle. There is too strong a market for gay writing for that to happen.

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