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Is there such a thing as heterophobia?

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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:14 AM
Original message
Is there such a thing as heterophobia?
Edited on Mon Mar-07-05 10:22 AM by ladeuxiemevoiture
Sometimes I wonder if I am. I am suspicious that they have my best interests in mind. It's a kind of prejudice that comes from who knows where - do I spend too much time in the gay ghetto? Do I have "too many" gay friends? Do I watch "too many" gay films?

I do find myself as I get older really getting irritated at them. Is that unreasonable or bad of me?

EDIT: Perfect example is Bloomberg. He says that he wants to appeal Judge Ling-Cohen's decision in order to prevent chaos. Well, Mr. Mayor, with all due respect, some gay people who live in New York are perfectly fine with the decision just as it is. I feel he did this appeal just as a political move, with his own interests in mind.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. they're okay, just don't feed them
Edited on Mon Mar-07-05 10:20 AM by sui generis
and whatever you do, they don't make good pets! /humor
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. You know, being straight, I wouldn't blame you.
But that wouldn't make you much better than what you hate, would it?
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. nobody said anything about hate
but people can get in a rut in gay neighborhoods - you have everything you need right there; good shopping, entertainment, great restaurants and your circle of friends. After a while anything else can make you feel agoraphobic.

Well, I suppose the same could be said of any insular neighborhood or community though.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. short answer is YES
you're spending too much time in homo heights. It's our version of small town mentality. How can we expect people to appreciate diversity if we don't appreciate it ourselves?
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Every now and then,
I try to branch out to hetero places, but I often find it difficult to communicate with either the men or the women. The hetero/closeted men have an image to maintain, and the women are shopping for husbands, and have no interest in talking with a gay man. So what's the point?
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. people just seem to gravitate towards like minded people
but there I know that there are or were separatist movements among some, most lesbians

the few that I knew really didn't like straight people--hell, they didn't like gay men either

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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. It's not really separatism, per se,
but rather, just a failure (on somebody's part) to make a connection. I know there are gay men who hang out in "straight" bars looking to bag a drunk "straight" guy at the end of the night, but I'm not sure that advances cross-cultural understanding.

I guess a lifetime of being abused by heteros and closeted gays enforcing the mandatory heterosexual lifestyle has made me bitter?? I never used to think in those terms, but as I'm getting older, I find that I really am seeing why people become separatist.
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. "Most lesbians" in separatist movements, not liking straights or gay men??
Wow... a different world that. I know of only a few communities that
are more or less safe havens, and they are hardly separatist...
Provincetown, San Francisco, Taos to a certain extent. What
separatist movements are you referring to?

I also don't know ANY lesbians who don't like straight people or gay
men, as you put it... perhaps some straight people, and some gay men,
taken as individuals, but ... blanket not liking straight people or
gay men... That's just odd.
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Senior citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-05 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
23. I thought those sterotypes were dead.

You know, gay males don't hate women, they just prefer other males, but lesbians hate men?

Think for a minute. As a male, how would you feel if you lived in a country where the average male college graduate only earned as much as the average female high school graduate, where there had never been a male president, where you constantly referred to males in terms that females considered insulting, and where schoolchildren, when asked what they'd do if they were the opposite sex, overwhelmingly said that if they became female they'd accomplish great things but if they became male they'd commit suicide?

How would you feel if you, as a gay male, went to a PRIDE parade and a lesbian in a VERY expensive car deliberately ran over your foot and you limped the rest of your life?

Do you think that, as a gay male, if you grew up in a country like that, and suddenly a terrible disease became prevalent among lesbians, you'd do everything in your power to help them?

Now, for a change, suppose you were a lesbian and, needing counseling, you went to a GLBT center. Suppose it became obvious that the councelor, a gay male, had erroneously assumed that you were male. Assume that while you were talking, he asked how you felt about women. Assume that, sensing that he did not like women, and wanting to say the most outrageous thing you could think of, you said that women were like urinals--you had to use them occasionally, but you wouldn't want to walk down the street with one, and he just chuckled agreeably and went on to another question. How would you feel?

These are not hypotheticals. These are facts of life and real situations that happened to real people.

Do you know how GLBT happened? Gay males with AIDS, on their death beds, reluctantly accepted care from the only people willing to help them: lesbians. The gay male community had little choice but to accept (or at least pretend to accept) lesbians as part of the gay community. Lesbians then had the power to open the community to bisexuals and transpeople. Just because you live in a patriarchal society where everything that happens from the moment that you're born tells you that you're superior, doesn't mean you have the right to be smug about it. In a patriarchal society, straight males prefer other males for everything except sex, and gay males prefer other males for everything including sex--male is the epitomy of patriarchal superiority. Take a look at the male gay bars in your town and then look at the lesbian bars. Unless you live in a predominantly lesbian community, what you'll see will convince you that lesbians are second class citizens in the gay community.

So who hates whom? Before you shout reverse discrimination, it might be a good idea to distinguish between the oppressed and the oppressors, because there is not yet an equal playing field.

And before you make assumptions about me, let me explain that I consider most people, both male and female, straight, gay, and lesbian, to be scabs. They are acting out gender roles but they do not belong to any actors' union or guild and they're not getting union scale--most don't even know that they're acting. They think their gender role IS their primary identity.

In my city there are a great many more gay males than lesbians. Yet in most progressive activist groups I've seen, lesbians vastly outnumber gay males. DU seems to be an exception, probably because it isn't as much effort to post as it is to organize.

If the lesbians you met hated men, it was probably for a darned good reason. I know countless stories of lesbians (including my daughter) who experienced discrimination from gay males, but I don't know of any gay males who were discriminated against by lesbians--do you?




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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-05 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Excellent post!
:hi:
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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'd probably be mildly homophobic if I didn't live near the "Happy Valley"
There's something to be said for exposure, it keeps tolerance in practice. If I didn't get hit on by a gay guy once or twice a year, then if/when it did happen I'd probably be much more irked and more likely to react badly.

Isolating yourself in the center of the gay community is good for your self-confidence and assertiveness. However, it also is shirking your fair share of the "community outreach" all minorities need to perform to tamp back the worst natures of the majority. (That applies to the majority too, of course -- avoiding exposure to people that are unlike you is inviting a seed of hatred to be planted.)



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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Interesting.
So like, maybe I should resolve to, like, have one beer each weekend at a hetero place. Something like that. Or go to a live concert at Lincoln Center. Just do something cultural where I'll be surrounded by heteros.
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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. My personal advice...

...is find one hetero friend you can deal with. That will expose you to his/her friends occasionally. Random man-on-the-street contact is probably something you'd want to be in practice for -- you're more likely to run into the occasional outright bigot that way.

Another option would be involvement in a community activity -- if you can find one that isn't entirely centered around "the kids" and would probably be awkward as a result. Something with a mildly liberal bent would be best (volunteer reforestation projects, historical building committees, art appreciation, free personal development classes ike yoga etc) because if there is a bigot there, there will be others in the group that are not and will work to calm things down.

Don't go looking for trouble... just for healthy bridges into other communities.

Also don't hide your sexuality but don't thrust it at people either. The important thing is for them to get the impression that you are "otherwise normal" (not to imply you are abnormal really, but to the unexposed person you are) which is much easier if they think you are "completely normal" for a short time (even just a few minutes) before figuring out you are gay.

Anyway if you do "go for it" I wish you a positive first experience. It's good that you are introspective enough to ask these questions about yourself, but a bad first go might sour your perspective even so, so good luck!

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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Thanks!
:hi: It's weird - when I lived in smaller towns (first half of my life), I never felt this way - only when I moved to New York and to a lesser extent, Chicago. In fact, in my little college town, the gays and lesbians mixed fairly easily - still do, I think. And there were popular places which were mixed gay/straight. I guess I've become hardcore. LOL
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tjwmason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
10. Most of my friends are straight
I can't abide the vast majority of the British gay-scene; just as long as the other person isn't some freeper homophobe I couldn't care less if he/she is gay or straight.
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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Same story here
I have limited patience with people who center their lives on being gay. Yes, being a lesbian is an essential part of my character and personal history, but that fact does not frame my daily life, which is filled to bursting with any number of issues and interests not tied to my sexual orientation.

There are gay people in my semi-rural area, but not enough to provide the "critical mass" that would lead to shared interests. As a result, my partner and I socialize almost exclusively with heterosexual friends who DO share our interests. It wasn't a deliberate decision, just the result of doing our own thing and making the obvious connections to those around us.
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I know what you mean,
but it's just the way I am - my whole life (more or less) centers on my gayness because it's essentially who I am and what is important to me. I understand that others have richer inner lives, and I do try to develop myself, but I really enjoy being gay and being surrounded by other gay men. While mixing with heteros can be healthy for purposes of public relations as well as giving gays a wider repertoire of experiences from which to draw, I often simply get a headache within the first ten minutes of entering a non-gay place. I just don't closet myself and my interests at all - not even a tiny little bit. Which doesn't mean I'm a screaming queen, but I just do what comes naturally to me, without masking it - like if I see a man I like, I enjoy admiring his body. This often leads to long, hostile stares and glares in return.
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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. Different situations, really
For one thing, it sounds like you live in an area with a lot of gay people, so it's easier for you to find kindred spirits in those groups, even if everyone is queer. I know of barely a dozen gay women within 50 miles of here, and only a few gay men. That's simply not a deep enough pool of individuals to find any common ground.

Secondly, I suspect it's harder for an openly gay man to feel comfortable in a straight environment; the hostility level is simply too great. My partner and I, on the other hand, are two women in our 50s, so let's face it, we're not exactly painting the town lavendar these days. We act pretty much ourselves, even in this very conservative area, but two dumpy middle-aged women buying bird seed and cow manure at the local hardware store just doesn't seem to raise any hackles.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
16. I can't say that I blame you
for feeling that way. It is never fun to go out and purposefully deal with people who you feel uncomfortable with. I have found that the more gay people that isolated heteros know or deal with on a regular basis the more the fear, worry and homophobia disappear. I say this because that is perhaps one of the best ways for this country to get over whatever it is (homophobia) that is keeping GLBT people from having equal rights without question. Still I can't say that I blame you.
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I appreciate that
I should make an effort to break out of my routine - would be good for me mentally.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Think of all of us
heteros who are deprived of your company. That is unfortunate for us! Seriously.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. you're not , I consider it 'selective'
I am out all the time , I live in a gay/puke area. I use straight services, if I can't buy first from the gay yellow pages. Chances of hiring a freeper are lower(not impossible).I talk to my straight neighbors, What more can you ask? I go to mainstream social events.
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jonolover Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
20. I think so.
I had straight friends when I was younger, but now that I am out and proud, I would say it is a bit difficult for me to be friends with people who are straight, especially guys - unless they are "queer". I would not quite say I am heterophobic, but I do tend to view the world with a gay lens, if you will. Gay(not just the sexual aspect) is a big part of my life.
Just putting my two cents in.
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Nimrod Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
21. I have Baptiphobia
The fear of Southern Baptists. Heterophobia sounds plausible to me.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-05 06:06 AM
Response to Original message
25. lets say i'm suspicious -- to say the least.
while my company of friends is diverse -- i would never feel comfortable with a really close straight friend.

i've found the differences in experiences and expectations more work to bridge than i care to put into it.
and why do i have to understand them more than they understand me?

i don't know, bitter? maybe -- but give me the company of gay folk any day.

the gay community can only be but so closed off -- i mean the majority of us will always have straight family members.
so it's not exactly an island -- i just remember to keep a salt shaker handy.
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