Y is for:

Youth Recent efforts to improve services for older gay men and lesbians have an uncomfortable implication. Perhaps even more than mainstream society, our community regularly displays an unhealthy fixation with youth.

Too often on the looks-driven scene, it seems only young is beautiful; reaching a certain age can mean being swiftly sidelined.

The reality for many gay young people is less glamorous -“ despite improving social attitudes, growing up is often just as troubling as growing older in our community. A nationwide gay study last year found about half of respondents aged 14 to 21 had been abused because of their sexuality, and gay youth support services like Twenty10 have no shortage of clients.

It seems the solution might come from queer youth itself. ACON recently launched a new magazine to educate and empower gay and lesbian young people in Sydney suburbs. It has also begun new youth workshops outside the inner city.

The impressive youth turnout at Sleaze about a month later suggested more young community members were finding the confidence to celebrate openly.

Yum cha Go to yum cha for brunch on Saturday morning at just about any Chinese restaurant in Sydney and you’re bound to find yourself surrounded by tables occupied by gaggles of gays.

Like everyone else they go for the neverending array of exotic food on offer and for the fun and often rowdy restaurant atmosphere. It’s an opportunity to spend a few hours with friends or family as you all take turns tasting the amazing flavours and experiencing textures none of you knew existed.

There’s also something undeniably camp about the fact the food is all wheeled to your table on a procession of rattling silver trolleys, and then eaten off the spinning Lazy Susan in the middle of the table.

Sydney gays know to choose a restaurant that’s full of Chinese customers (always a very good sign) and that going with someone who speaks Cantonese or Mandarin will make identifying and selecting food on the trolleys a lot easier. But sometimes having no idea what you’re ordering is half the fun and all part of the adventure.

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