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Benoit Denizet-Lewis: Gays, Kids and Sports

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It’s clear that Benoit Denizet-Lewis loves the gays and the kids. We talked for about 40 minutes on Sunday about his book American Voyeur: Dispatches from the Far Reaches of Modern Life, and he notes a recurring theme of fitting in particularly in the gay culture.

“I think many gay people don’t feel like they fit in ‘gay culture’ whatever that means,” he said. “Some of these groups are trying to find a way to both be gay and do it in a different way because they have serious judgments about the limitations of modern gay culture.”

But he soon adds that “modern gay culture” is fast becoming an obsolete term.

“It seems like lumping too much together,” he explained. “There are so many different kinds of gay lifestyles, it just seems a little silly to lump it together.”

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Denizet-Lewis also attributes to kids coming out sooner as another reason for the seeming obsolescence of the term “gay culture”. He documented some cases of middle school kids in middle America coming out as early as 11 years old in The New York Times Magazine article “Coming Out in Middle School”.

“What we’re starting to see are kids who are able to come out at 12, 13, 14, 15, whatever it may be and have a healthy adolescence,” he said. “By that I mean not having to live in shame around their sexuality, not having to be secretive about everything, not learning from an early age how to lie and be secretive and have a ton of shame about their sexuality. All of the normal adolescent developmental things that gay kids were not able to experience, we’re seeing more and more kids who are.

“I think that what’s going to be fascinating is what gay adults are going to look like in 10, 20, 30, 40 years.”