by KLINTON PORTER

Since the dawn of time a secret battle has been raging in the gay world. Like apples against bananas and flannel against sparkle, this fight has been going on for years and continues to this very day.

I am speaking of that unseemly, unspoken battle that seems to be occurring between gay men and lesbians.

We all know about it … we all talk about it. But what is it and why does it exist?

We have separate bars, separate clubs, and give off strange looks when we are confronted with one another at the same party.

Very rarely do we dine together and when two from opposing corners become friends they are looked on in puzzlement by their brothers and sister.

It strikes me as strange. Aren’t we both battling for the same cause? Aren’t we both flyers of the rainbow flag?

Perhaps it’s time to put our differences aside and find some common ground.

Recently I went to the lesbian karaoke bar. True, I had to listen to the non-stop murder of Melissa Etheridge, Pink and AC/DC songs, but I had a great time and it made a nice change from the murder of Kylie, Madonna and Britney songs.

But I did overhear one group of girls talking about gay guys and how they get on their nerves. It was a similar conversation to one I heard the night before when mixing with a group of gay boys.

So, why? Is it because each doesn’t agree that you should sleep with your own sex unless it applies to them? Or is it because you won’t be as individual as you want to be if there is a similar group doing the same thing as you? Or like most battles, is it because we just don’t understand one another?

Why dress in baggy pants when you can dress in perfectly fitted jean that pushes up your butt? Why not order a beer instead of a cruiser? Why kiss a woman instead of a man?

The whole line between the straight and gay worlds is seriously altered and, at the risk of sounding like a Disney movie, why can’t we all just get along?

I think it is because we hang in groups where we feel comfortable and sometimes that means the boys and the girls don’t play together.

But fear not, there is a time when we all seem to come together in a celebration of commonality -“ Mardi Gras.

The unity we show at this one time of year is beautiful and amazing. Perhaps we need to enhance that further for the rest of the year, after all, there is strength in numbers.

Sure, there may always be a small battle simmering under the surface which means we won’t be strutting up and down Oxford St holding hands anytime soon, but at least if we start appreciating and celebrating the differences between us the we we do the differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals we can forge forward with a true sense of community.

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