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Friday, May 29, 2015

Gay or straight, the rich are still different from you and me. And Hemingway's answer is the same.

"A-gays," a phrase coined by Armistead Maupin to describe "an A-list gay; an affluent, well-connected, upwardly mobile gay man or woman," has been in the news lately.

There was the gay resort that started charging men over 40 to attend a pool event free to younger ones. Lately, it has come from Maupin himself, on news that the notoriously privileged gay couple who hosted a non-fundraiser for Senator Ted Cruz turn out to have cut a big check to the homophobic senator's campaign fund after weeks of denials.

When I coined the term "A-gay" forty years ago, these were just the sort of creeps I had in mind. It was never intended as something to aspire to.

Today, I was reminded by The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, a very bright man and very talented writer, always seems to grate a bit, whether on TV or in print.

It's his name-dropping A-gayness.

In the middle of a well-written article on the importance of collecting accurate data on the US gay population, Capehart ground the article to a halt to add this:

This comes up in a 2009 Williams report on the “Best Practices for Asking Questions about Sexual Orientation on Surveys” that Herman suggested I look at. “Some heterosexuals do not believe they have a sexual orientation or have not thought about the issue (Katz, 1995),” the study points out. The Katz referenced is Jonathan Ned Katz, a gay historian who has authored four books on sexual history and was my very first neighbor in New York City. I rented the basement apartment in his townhouse on a painfully chic street in the West Village. But I digress. …

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