HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Gender & Orientation » Men's Group (Group) » (x)This is NOT about the ...

Thu Feb 20, 2014, 11:20 PM

(x)This is NOT about the evils of straight, white, men, BUT, it is about the reality of one gay man.

There have been threads in which SWM are feeling "under attack." In some cases, I can understand why, in others, not so much. I hated diversity programs that focused solely on the 'faults' of straight, white, Christian, able-bodied men. When I started doing presentations, I focused on the issues that faced minority cultures and their accomplishments, often in the face of discrimination. I guess one can call it a "tone" issue. So, I hope this post comes across in a positive way or at least let's others see how a minority person sees his place in this country.

This Saturday is my 12th anniversary with my partner. If interested, the traditional gift is silk or linen, and yes, we are accepting gifts. The modern gift is pearl. Yeah. Stick with sending gifts of silk or linen. So, anywho, I went to the Hallmark store today in a mid-sized Oklahoma town (<40K) to get an anniversary card (well, actually I get three or four). To my chagrin, there wasn't a single one oriented toward gay men. Ok, I didn't lose my chagrin, I know I have to look for cards that don't say "wife," or have female pronouns. It is difficult to find cards which are appropriate. Some years, I just buy cards with men and women couples, then pull the picture off or cover it with a picture I find on the internet of two men. This is my reality. Yes, I could drive an hour to Tulsa and find a few cards, but should I have to? Sure, bigger cities are going to have things for GLBT people, but it reminds me, as a gay man, that I have to be in a major city to exist.

This is my reality. This is what it is to be gay in this country. It seems like a little thing, but sometimes, it is the little things that can be the most prominent. Can you imagine going into a card store and not finding a card for your wife (if you are a man), or your husband (if you are a woman)? Can you imagine looking for a gift and the salesperson looks at you funny when you say who your 'spouse' is? Yeah, I can't get married in OK, and something this mundane reminds me once again, I am not a "real" person, a valuable citizen, to a number of people.

Thanks!

(PS. If you are white, have you ever noticed how "white" cards are, unless you are in the "Mahogany" section?" When you look around and you don't see yourself in the merchandise or see yourself in a "reserved" section, it can be a bit sad.)

(I have this as a thread in GD, but I thought I would share with you all as well, because, quite frankly, I feel I can share this here without being harangued.)

33 replies, 6030 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply (x)This is NOT about the evils of straight, white, men, BUT, it is about the reality of one gay man. (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 OP
mokawanis Feb 2014 #1
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #6
TreasonousBastard Feb 2014 #2
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #7
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #28
hfojvt Feb 2014 #29
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #30
Major Nikon Feb 2014 #3
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #8
hfojvt Feb 2014 #31
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #33
Warren DeMontague Feb 2014 #4
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #9
Warren DeMontague Feb 2014 #10
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #11
Warren DeMontague Feb 2014 #5
In_The_Wind Feb 2014 #12
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #13
In_The_Wind Feb 2014 #15
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #16
In_The_Wind Feb 2014 #17
Major Nikon Feb 2014 #23
opiate69 Feb 2014 #14
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #18
opiate69 Feb 2014 #19
Warren DeMontague Feb 2014 #20
Warren DeMontague Feb 2014 #21
westerebus Feb 2014 #22
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #25
westerebus Feb 2014 #27
kwassa Feb 2014 #24
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #26
Eleanors38 Feb 2014 #32

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 12:02 AM

1. You provide a good example

of what it's like to be excluded/disregarded. Some would say that not providing the appropriate anniversary card for gay couples isn't a big deal, but when that exclusion is encountered in all kinds of situations day after day it becomes downright oppressive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mokawanis (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:04 AM

6. Thank you very much.

I don't recall ever running across your username, so !

In the grand scheme of life, it isn't really a big deal, but it is just a reminder. As I mentioned, I am in Oklahoma and we just saw the anti-same-sex marriage ban struck down, but it had a stay attached to it, so no marriage just yet. That, of course, is a much bigger thing. I was trying to point out how some take things for granted, and even the smallest things, can be important.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 12:27 AM

2. You make a good point...

and there are large groups of people who are just in between the pages where the rest of us live.

Granted that finding appropriate greeting cards isn't the biggest problem in your life, but until someone finds profit in selling them in your area, could you get some blank greeting cards from Staples and design your own from scratch? From such problems interesting, and far more personal, things can arise.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:07 AM

7. I apprecaite your comment.

"there are large groups of people who are just in between the pages where the rest of us live."

Yup. As someone who is able-bodied (for the most part), I don't often think about what it would be like to get around this city, which is not very handicap-friendly. Sure, there are shitloads of parking spaces, but actual accessibility issues would be a real concern.

Like I have said to others, the card thing is really minor, but it is just an annoying reminder I remaing on the "outside." I get like this every February, usually brought on by having to do our taxes and my filing status as a "Dependent: Other."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 12:58 PM

28. I think very few of us are the actual pages. Most everyone lives somewhere in between.

 

Being straight and white are advantages that I try to be cognizant of.

But that's not the whole picture. If being like me was an advantage, such a ticket to the good life, you'd think that we wouldn't be turned away at the door of the sperm bank.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #28)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 12:14 PM

29. aw hell, there it is

now I've got "brunette privilege" too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hfojvt (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 12:16 PM

30. Heh. +1 n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 12:41 AM

3. The answer to your first question is, no I can't imagine it

I can imagine some things, but I can't imagine all the impacts that you no doubt face on a daily basis. However, I know they are there along with countless other ones, some intentional on the basis of hate and some just garden variety thoughtlessness.

The main point that people should understand about privilege is that the value of the concept is not about who has it the easiest. The value of the concept is about who has it the hardest and what can be done to bring them up to everyone else. Those that simply want to bring everyone else down are accomplishing nothing productive. Recognizing what privileges you have is not nearly as valuable as recognizing what others don't have.

Thanks for sharing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:11 AM

8. Thanks for your comments.

I was in Hobby Lobby (shhh...don't tells no one!) this past holiday season, and I saw this Indian woman and her child buying products for what I clearly understood was for Diwali. The cashier asked if the little girl was ready for Santa. I grinned and she looked at me. As they were leaving, I wished them a happy Diwali. The mother got a huge smile on her face and thanked me, the little girl just looked at me like, "You know what that is?!" LOL! Sometimes, it is the little things, because they remind us, those big things still are staring us down.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 12:43 PM

31. does that work both ways though

"what others don't have".

And I always get in trouble for that.

Here, from the examples given, are what GLBT do not have.

1. they cannot legally get married in Oklahoma (or most other states)
2. some salespeople wrinkle their nose upon hearing you are gay
3. you cannot find proper greeting cards

To me that looks like the glass is more than half full, because here's what this person HAS (and just incidentally I, and perhaps others, do not)

1. they have somebody who wants to marry them
2. they have somebody who (presumably) supports them
3. they have somebody who shares expenses and resources with them

See, people look UP and they say "I want equality" or "I don't have it THAT good" instead of noticing that there may actually be people below them. That while they are looking up and saying "I want what THEY have up there". And often I look at them and say "I'd like to have what YOU have".

And, of course, I will only be told what a terrible person I am for comparing my own personal problems to actual discrimination.

And, hell, how can I even have REAL personal problems when I am playing the game of life on the easiest of all possible settings?

Although when I was younger, I used to rage at God about life, or more specifically my life. And more than once I imagined God looking at me and saying "I cannot believe how much you complain. If you could see what I see. There are people on this planet who are REALLY suffering. YOU are not one of them."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hfojvt (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 02:07 PM

33. Rail at God for what he has done.

 

Rail at congress for what they do.

It's unmanly to meekly accept everything, without working to change that which can be changed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 12:47 AM

4. In all honesty, I'm more like a sort of light olive.

It's nice. It ages well.

But seriously, I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't feel "under attack". I just don't take DU seriously enough; certainly not the never-ending 'gendercratic underwar' part of it, anymore- to honestly give it that much mental energy.

My main takeaway from all that has gone down in GD is to step back and say "um, at the end of the day, remember, you are talking about a picture of 3 smiling young women in bathing suits on a sun-dappled beach. THAT is the source, the casus belli, of your week-long torrent of white-hot outrage."

And yes, it is. Whatever people want to read into it, or spin it up into additional layers of meaning, that's what the kerfluffle is at its core, about- women in bikinis on a beach.

I'm sorry, there's an upper limit to how serious I can take that shizzz. I don't pass the true progressive test, or the really-serious-about-doing-something-about-the-bikinification-of-society test, or whatever. So sue me.

But, crap --- I would never in a million years compare any of the shit I've dealt with (and I've dealt with some, but I fully admit I've been very fortunate in many areas) to the struggles of growing up Gay in the US--- or living in a particularly red area of it. You know me, I've been a consistent voice for LGBT rights my whole time on DU... I support you guys and stand with you 100%.

And women face issues and discrimination in our society too. The war on women is real. However, bikinis and models who choose to pose for beach pictures are NOT, IMNSHO, part of it. The people who want to outlaw birth control and abortion are the SAME people who would scrub the bikini pictures from the magazine covers. It's not a question of the two things surreptitiously working together- the sexual revolution, as despised as it apparently still is in some corners, is AT ODDS with the war on women, not part of it. The freedom for men and women to pose scantily clad for pictures is the SAME freedom that is gradually bringing this country up to speed on matters of LGBT equality.

The disconnect, the REFUSAL to grok that, is what gets me, at times.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:22 AM

9. It is interesting some are seeing this as a "gender" issue.

I really wrote what I did (about the SWM) because of three recent threads about gays (by one_voice) and one thread about African-Americans (by sheshe2), and reading the thread by the "other" Warren. The first two threads were really about the experience of those two groups, yet some saw it as an attack, one even called it "white bashing." I didn't want it to seem as if I were bashing anyone, simply asking people to look outside themselves for a minute and picture what it might be if they weren't the majority, and, in this case, majority refers to heterosexuals, not men, not whites, not the able-bodied.

I don't devalue the experiences of others, or I try not to do so. I also am quite guilty of being in my own little world when it comes to some issues. This, to me, seemed to be a gentle, non-threatening way to introduce it. So far, it seems only one person is accusing me of nefarious, backhanded intentions. Trust me, it wasn't even remotely a nod to the recent so-called "gender wars."

I know you are supportive of GLBT people, and many, hell most, of the posters here have been as well, which is why I chose to post it here too. I felt it would be received in the spirit in which it was offered.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes. Funny story, he came home and we were talking about our days and I made mentioned I was driving all around trying to get his gift. He said, "Oh shit! I forgot!" I can forgive him though, he has been crazy busy, and honestly, it is more about me giving him things, then getting gifts....though I do love me some gifts...hint, hint!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:40 AM

10. Gotcha.


Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:42 AM

11. Oh you were, I just wanted to be more clear too.

Just like the cards, I shouldn't obsess on (now two) people who don't get it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 01:52 AM

5. Oh yeah, one more thing.

Congratulations.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 06:08 AM

12. Congratulations on twelve years of happiness.

Silk is always a lovely gift.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:31 PM

13. Thanks so much.

Like the anniversary card, I am having a had time finding silk here!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:47 PM

15. Darn. Well is at least peaceful there?

Linen is also one of the traditional gifts on the twelfth anniversary. I don't care for linen myself, too much work if you like a crisp look.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 03:02 PM

16. For the most part, it is quite peaceful and low crime.

The weather is hell, but it is Oklahoma.

I looked at a few linen shirts, but they were so expensive. I like linen, but it is funny the comment you made because that is the conversation I had with the salesperson (about the wrinkles).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 03:16 PM

17. I always got stuck doing the ironing when I lived with my aunt and uncle.

My cousins were 4 and 8 years younger than me. So I've avoided doing anything more than touch ups for over 50 years. Wow. Talk about walking away from everything that reminded me of home. Little truths fall out of my brain on DU. It's a good thing (I think).

Everything nice has gotten dear in price.

I had a silk shirt fall apart from age recently.

I'm sure you'll find the perfect gift, make the perfect card, enjoy your time together.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 09:39 PM

23. The thing about linen is that like silk, it lasts forever

When I went to China we visited a silk factory. It's pretty amazing how they make the stuff all the way from cocoons to finished products right there at the same factory. It was expensive even there, although I'm sure there are places that are cheaper that we weren't shown.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 02:44 PM

14. First, congratulations on 12 years. Here's to many, many more...

 



Second, your "larger" point speaks, if I'm not mistaken, to heterocentrism. I first had my eyes opened to this many years ago, by a good friend on another site I used to hang out on. It is definitely something I try to always be aware of now, and when confronted with it, I do my best to combat it. I recently had the honor of attending my first ever same sex wedding, and while that option is sadly, probably still a very long way off in your neck of the woods, I can't wait until the day everyone in this country is able to enjoy full marriage equality, and this heterocentrism is relegated to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to opiate69 (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 05:07 PM

18. Thanks, and yes, that was my larger point.

Heterosexism (heterocentrism) is what I was addressing. As I have said in other posts, the card itself is a minor annoyance, but a reminder things aren't where they should be. The anti-gay marriage law here just got struck down, but there is still a stay on it, so no marriage just yet. Maybe before 13 rolls around we will be able to marry.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 05:13 PM

19. I'll be looking for an invitation, then!

 

Well, ok.. Maybe not, but, we'll celebrate with you here when it happens. (And dammit, it will. I have to believe we're almost day the tipping point.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to opiate69 (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 05:31 PM

20. Hell yeah. The dam is bursting, thankfully.

Hard to believe 10 years ago running against marriage equality was blamed/"credited" for Dubya's 2004 election results.

The tide is turning, to be sure. Still, I feel bad for BTA, geographics-wise. I think those two would have a vastly different experience in this neck of the woods. There are still backwards-ass idiots, but I think overall this place is blissfully sane in comparison to some others.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 09:35 PM

22. First I'm rec'ing this OP.

Second I'm sending you and your future spouse my very best wishes.

Third this SWM is glad to know you and to hear your voice.

My Irish grandmother on my father's side, Betty worked as a switchboard operator for a hotel. My paternal grandfather died at age 40. Betty worked two jobs to raise her two sons.

The man she called her best friend was Bob, a gay man.

My high school was not that far from the hotel. Once a week I'd stop by to see Nana.

Bob would always order me a drink from the bar, a coke in a rocks glass with ice. It's what as the concierge, he did for the hotel guests.

That's the kind of man he was.

I never got to met my maternal grandmother or grandfather. Her maiden name on my mother's birth certificate is marked unknown. She died when my mother was eight.

Her father adopted out her and her sister to different families. It was the depression and he was a poor Jew. The family she grew up in were German Lutheran. Her maiden name is theirs on all official records.

Her grandparents left Russia via Poland where they were baptized in order to get passports into this country. The pogroms were the reason they left Russia.

My mother and her sister were reunited when I was fourteen. I had an aunt and cousins I'd never seen.

I can not see what the world looks like through your eyes.

My wish for you and yours is that it be a better one.








Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to westerebus (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 03:19 AM

25. Thank you and seems we have something in common.

I appreciate the well wishes and your sharing your story. We have something in common; we have family who fled Russia. My father's entire grand-family (both sides) were Russian Jews. A few fled the pogroms. Those that did went to Poland or the States. The ones who stayed in Russia...we don't know what happened, we are still looking into it. Those who stayed in Poland, well, we know what happened to them, though we are still finding records.

Thank you for sharing!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 10:22 AM

27. Returning a gesture (of kindness) brings understanding.

That's the reason I shared the story of my mother's people. I was raised as as a Irish Catholic. It wasn't until I was fourteen that I had any idea I was anything else but. I was eighteen when my mother told me the rest of the story of her life before marrying.

She was orphaned thought she knew both her parents. She knew she was Jewish as a child.
She was essentially an indentured servant of the family who adopted her.

The kindness Bob showed me set an example for me in how to make a connection with people.

He wasn't kind because he was gay, he was kind because he was a good man. Just like you.

When Ops come out with SWM as the lowest setting in the game of life or how white people or straight people don't get what it means to be discriminated against or what poverty is and that pointing out they do get it, gets calls of covert racism, overt bigotry, homophobia, trolling, and a need for self examination...what does that say about us?

I might be wrong, but given the history of the wars on DU, there will be those who will claim this post is a whine about the poor menz feh-fehs.

Yet, you managed to share your perceptions of life as a gay man here ( of all places the dreaded Men's Group ) without any one bashing you or questioning your integrity, self worth or motives.

I appreciate that kindness. Of you and every one who responded to you here.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 11:23 PM

24. I am in a similar situation to you ...

I am a white man married to a black woman.

There are no cards in that category. In fact, I've never seen one, and I live in a big urban area.

On the other hand, most cards don't fit our perceptions, anyways. They are either seriously sappy and sentimental, which is not us, or of the insult humor variety. It is hard to find a card that is intelligent and meaningful, or funny without being insulting.

I tried to find interracial cake toppers for our wedding cake when we got married 15 years ago. They didn't exist, either, and still don't, as far as I know, unless one is willing to pay for someone to create a custom topper.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kwassa (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 03:26 AM

26. Your situation is also an issue.

I had a friend who was married to a black man (this was in NC), it was a joke trying to find a card which reflected the couple. This was before the internet was a place to shop. In the "Mahogany" section at our Hallmark store, they had ONE, that's right, ONE card which had an interracial couple (African-American husband, white wife). Something I didn't share anywhere else was that in a state with a HUGE Native American population (the head of the Cherokee Nation is an hour from my house), I didn't see any cards which represented them, either.

The world is changing, but there seems to be those who are unwilling to accept those changes, or at even acknowledge them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 09:10 AM

32. Not to make light or divert, but there is a business, here.

 

Gifts, greeting cards -- such specific, un-met needs and demand going unfulfilled and un- supplied.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread