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Gay Assimilation: Some Question the Goal of Mainstream Integration

As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender San Diegans focus on their city's annual Pride celebration, members of the community debate the question of assimilation both within the community and in the

Gay Assimilation: Some Question the Goal of Mainstream Integration

Tom Fudge: When you think of popular gay images from two or three decades ago, what comes to mind? I often think of the Village People. They were performers. They were flamboyant. And they had a lot of fun playing with the gay image and presenting some clearly ironic masculine characters. Above all, they were quite clearly a gay group with a gay personality.

Today, one wonders whether that kind of community spirit is still around. These days, with the exception of gay pride week, you don't hear much about dikes on bikes, leather guys and drag queens. It's as if all of the flamboyant expressions of the gay character have been abandoned. When we think of the community today, issues like gay marriage come to mind. Of gays in the military, it seems to be more about assimilating with the majority culture. 

There is a faction of the gay community that questions whether assimilation should be the ultimate goal. Today we're going to look forward to gay pride weekend by talking about assimilation, and what it means to be gay today.

San Diego's 33rd annual Gay Pride Parade and Festival are this weekend, July 21 & 22. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. Saturday in Hillcrest.


  • Judy Lane, mother of two children, a writer, and a university administrator.
  • Nicole Murray-Ramirez, longtime San Diego LGBT and Latino activist and city commissioner.
  • Graylin Thornton, columnist for Rocket Magazine in San Diego and a former International Mr. Drummer titleholder.