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DemsUnite Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:24 AM
Original message
Freaky Gays
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 11:58 AM by DemsUnite
It is very difficult to understand a culture or lifestyle in which one does not belong. One can be understanding up to a point, but, unless you are a part of said group, it is really difficult to be a part of the group. Therefore, I thought I would help people understand what it is like to be gay.

The Discovery.

At some point, we all know who we are, even if we cant put a name to it. I knew I was different early on in life. I didnt have a name for it, I only knew it was different. I had crushes on girls, because I was supposed to have them. However, secretly, I thought about holding hands (going all the way for a 4th grader in my day) with boys. It wasnt about doin it, but rather about being like others, meaning having a girlfriend. Sometimes, I would have a girlfriend who was liked by a boy I liked; it was the next best thing. When my girlfriend and I broke up, I would pretend to be upset, but really liked that she was dating the boy I liked; again, the next best thing to holding his hand.

Here comes the sissy.

I entered middle school and I became the sissy. I was really confused because in my family, sissy was a term of endearment. I then discovered that sissy was only an endearing term for girls. I was very sensitive. I cried easily. I didnt like rough and tumble things. I sang in the chorus and was an AV (audio-visual) nerd. I made good grades and was a teachers pet. I still didnt know what gay was, but I did know I liked looking at guys at the pool and playing sports. I thought this was normal. I thought it was just my wanting to be like them, not be with them. I never was a sports-aholic, but I was athletic. I was also very competitive. Isnt this what boys are supposed to be like?...


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Beaver Tail Donating Member (903 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well I am not gay
but I do understand your I to know how it feels to be segerated because you are different from everyone else
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Being transgender
Bi,disabled , being on my own religious path,and a furry feline soul I really don't "fit in" with the gays,the straights or anybody else it seems.I guess offend because I exist so far outside.

I'm used to it..

A natural freak I guess. I get my share of fascinated people looking for novelties(the ok side) and rude threatened butt-holes screaming for my head painting me into some kind of monster that will tear the foundations of western civilization down(the bad side) And a few Friends who truly understand that are precious to me beyond words..(the only side worth staying in this stinkin' world another day for).., I guess I am just sick of this world and it's limits that make no sense it's labels that have no meaning,(even the ones I use as self descriptors) sick of humanity,sick of everyones precious little categories and stick on identities that make them feel"safe" and in control over their limited realities..I dunno.Bad mood today???
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bluedawg12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-05 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. Not sure where you are in your life experiences and age
and stuff.

But, I figured out early that I am not here to please the *ss holes of this world.

And life is worth living because it's mine, and up to me to make it interesting and exciting and fun and challenging--can't depend on others---besides, when I look at the Ozzie and Harriet families and the goody two shoes kids, it turns out under the surfqace they ALL have their problems too.

Keep in mind no other human being is better than you- different yes, but you can forgive them for being banal, no?

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greekspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. Good stuff...the MSM, may TV shows want gay men and women to be freaks
Somehow, it has gotten into American's heads that gay people are those nutcases they see on TV. The men dressed up like Carmen Miranda. The effeminate little fellow in the lace-up football pants on the parade float. The effiminate, superficial "make over" specialist. The softball playing, mullet wearing lesbian. The man-hating feminazi who wants to emasculate every man who whom she comes in contact. The self hating young lesbian who dresses like a man and has a buzzcut. These are all stereotypes. Sure, those people are out there. But they are not the rule. Most gay people I know are as boring as any boring straight person. We do not all go to clubs and have elicit sex in dark hallways. We are not all AIDS-ridden. We are not all wolves who want to steal away fundie children and turn em in to sissies. We don't want every mother and grandmother to shave her head and rebel against men. The MSM wants this to be the case, as these are the images they show. No wonder so many Americans think LGBT folk are side show freaks.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I gotta ask
Why fear being"freak"..some of us(namely me ARE a freak)

Sometimes you gotta take what they throw at you and say SO?????

When you run away from the label and try to be"normal" to please a person who is dehumanizing you it becomes a weapon in thier hands to hurt you with. I wrote an article on this very topic..

Gay rights: A threat to the traditional insult
by Underground Panther in the Sky August 5, 2003

What would it mean to "society" if "families" were not just mother-father-kids?

It would destroy a mythos, a lie our entire culture has bought into, that serves the power elite the best, the lie the wage system needs us to believe, that keeps us in separate houses with separate cars that keeps us from coming together to see in real life we are all related. It would spell doom for the idea that a family is a separate entity, a family "makes it on its own two feet," and a home is an island. That a "breadwinner" can be a dominator by default 'cause he's usually male.

Sodomy laws: Sodomy used to be the ultimate sign of a person's vanquished status, of defeat, of humiliation and shame. Sodomy for a long time was the kind of secret you never even admitted to yourself. It was a trauma inflicted by a dominator, to a victim a secret scar ... unspeakable shame and so, it was invested with power from the would-be dominator through shame, of violation, victimization, the conferring of a less than personhood status.

When sodomy is a social/sexual weapon, it is used to break a person's spirit and make them submit and be coercively shamed into self-distrust. When the definition of sodomy is taken away from the controlling, sick people who would use it to shatter the souls of those they would desire to dominate, and the dominated and shamed people re-define it as they see fit and say it, out loud, and speak of it in a way that is empowering ... sodomy loses it's perversity. It loses its power to shame and hurt people. Society's power-lie becomes more visible, the social control game is exposed for the wrong way it has been used by these domination freaks.

Read more.....
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. That's an excellent, insightful piece.
And very true. Even if people aren't aware of what motivates them, it's what motivates them.

I often find many younger gays, more than older ones, want to believe (understandably) that gays are now almost mainstream, accepted as other minorities, such as Hispanics, or blacks or Jews. I find nothing further from the truth. Gays are still the minority it's okay to hate.

Sometimes I think gays have made great strides, but other times I think nothing has changed at all, that people are still being beaten to death because they want to love a member of their own sex, to say nothing of lesser types of harrassment. I guess to some extent, you just have to shake your head and let people learn for themselves, but I have neither the time nor the will to humor Log Cabin Republicans or self-hating prima donnas. Thankfully, most gays are not like that, but we all know plenty who are.
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kweerwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Swimming against the mainstream ...
How very true, ladeuxiemevoiture: I often find many younger gays, more than older ones, want to believe (understandably) that gays are now almost mainstream ...

That reminds me of my favorite quote from Quentin Crisp: "In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who
once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis."

I've come to the conclusion that the LGBT momement made a serious misstep when it adopted a "we're just like you except for what we do in bed" sort of response to the straight world. Personally, I don't want to become so "mainstream" that I'm indistinguishable from straight people. Being gay is about much more that what I do with my "plumbing" and/or the "plumbing" of who I chose to be with. Being gay colors my perception of the world in ways the vast majority of heterosexuals can't even imagine or in ways they take for granted. I've come to cherish my status as an outsider and I hope I never reach the point of assimilation where I describe myself as "just like the majority of society."
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yep.
"Being gay colors my perception of the world in ways the vast majority of heterosexuals can't even imagine or in ways they take for granted. I've come to cherish my status as an outsider and I hope I never reach the point of assimilation where I describe myself as 'just like the majority of society.'"

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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Well said.
Being gay is not only what I do in bed... it is also the way I view things, see things, understand things. And while that has caused me many problems it has also enriched my life immeasurably.

I am not interested in assimilation at all. Because only the people who are "just like everyone else" get included. And I'm not one of them - and I don't want to be.

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greekspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Sorry but I am a boring individual
I can go on for extended periods about the most inane things. I listen to music nobody listens to. I spend most of my time studying the Bible with a fine tooth comb. The main difference between my BF and I and any straight couple is that we are both men. I don't go out on the town. My house is full of dead relative's items left behind.

I think it is great that there are people who dance around in lace up football pants on the parade float. I think it is wonderful that there are men who dress up like Carmen Miranda. About every woman I associate would be called a "feminazi." But most of the gay people I know could not be picked out of a crowd as gay if their lives depended on it. So why does the MSM insist that LGBT folks can all be pigeonholed into a few stereotypical characters and put on token shows?

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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
14. I dunno... I'd like to see more grannies rebel against men...
Edited on Sun Jul-24-05 10:01 AM by Misunderestimator
And those lesbians who dress in masculine clothing and have buzz cuts... how exactly does that make them self-hating? And "AIDS-ridden" ?? Your language is so charged in describing these people... skating on the brink of bigotry. Bigotry of a gay man towards other gay people is no better than a straight person's bigotry of all of us.

I know that your larger point is that the majority of us are not represented by the ones the media highlights, but I know a lot of people like the ones you describe, and I have no desire to exclude them or judge them as "self-hating" just because of the way they express themselves.

Your last sentence implied that all those people you described are side show "freaks" and that really bugs me.
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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-05 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Oh please!
Assimilation, assimilation, assimilation!

I will never be the OK guy. I will never fit in. I'm the guy that wears leather, that dresses like Carmen Miranda, and has illicit sex in alleyways with mullet wearing lesbians.

Is that a cliche? Too bad! It's my life.

Grow up baby,

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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. Beautiful post. Curious about the "what did I do to deserve..."
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 05:33 PM by AuntJen
The whole essay was beautiful. This part I thought particularly interesting, though:

Was I a Nazi in a former life? What could I have done that was so evil that I was cursed as a faggot?!

I am guessing this was an offhanded remark, but maybe it wasn't. Just in case it wasn't... based on what I have observed, it doesn't appear that it works that way for men. For women, the situation seems different.

Goofy, I know :-) Just in case, if you would like to know more, PM me.

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Ayesha Donating Member (587 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
11. A complicated issue
Should gay people try to present ourselves to the world as "just like everyone else?" It's a complicated issue.

The difficulty in society (and American culture in particular) is that we reject what is different. Society assumes that one cannot be different and yet still be an equal, valuable human being. So instead of fighting to be different AND accepted, minority groups (and this is not limited to gays) often try to portray ourselves as being "just like" the mainstream. However, that strategy is not always effective, and it doesn't work for some members of the group who simply can't blend into current societal norms. A very butch lesbian, for example, cannot "pass" as straight, but my partner and I are almost never recognized immediately as a couple because we don't fit the prevailing cultural image of lesbians. We're not trying to be closeted, we're simply more "acceptable" because of how we look. So if we as a community try to portray ourselves as "mainstream", we inevitably end up leaving some people out. And that is not fair or justifiable IMO.

On the other hand, part of the problem with categorizing people by sexual orientation is that the needs and interests of the people within the group are really quite different. For example, my partner and I have a lot more in common culturally with the young married hetero couple down the street than we do with the single leather daddy in West Hollywood. We're thinking about a house and kids; he's thinking about assless chaps and the weekend S&M party. As a liberal, live-and-let-live type of person, I support his right to have those interests, but it really doesn't reflect who I am and it does bother me that people like that are still prominently featured at Pride parades etc., thus promoting negative stereotypes of gay people. It becomes an issue of behavior instead of orientation and civil rights - giving the fundies ammunition. I was born gay, I want to marry my partner and behave in public as any married couple would - holding hands, kissing lightly on the lips, etc. I'm by no means a prude, but there's a line somewhere and right now some people are drawing it in a place that harms others by association.

LGBT people are the "in" subject on TV right now - I watch all the crime shows like Law & Order and practically every other episode is gay-related. Then there are shows like The L Word and Queer as Folk. Are we stereotyped? Yes, but no more than anyone else on TV, I would say. You don't see fat ugly gay people - but you don't see fat ugly straight people either. We're portrayed as mainstream, by TV's fucked up standards that is. Overall I think that is a positive thing - it shows that we've moving towards equality, although we still have a long way to go.
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Great, thought-provoking post! I want to respond in more depth later, but
suffice it for now to say that what eventually happens is these newly uncloseted gays sometimes take a very condescending view of older gays who are more identifiably gay, until - that is - the day they get fired for "it's not that you're gay - you're just too flamboyant" or the day the heteros from the villages visit the Castro or Chelsea and point and laugh (or worse) at them and their gay partners for being ... well, gay.

I've sometimes heard younger gays say, "oh, well, it's not that they're gay it's that they are too visible and flamboyant" or "oh, so you can't hold hands - it's not the end of the world." And of course, you - as an older gay - can't tell them anything - all you can do is remember when you were like that and know that the day will come (sadly) when they'll wake up.

But I'm going to come back to this later.
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Ayesha Donating Member (587 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. I know what you mean
Edited on Sun Jul-24-05 03:08 AM by Ayesha
however that isn't really what I was talking about. I was more referring to the minority of gay folks that give the rest of us a bad name - bug chasers, men who have sex in parks and bathrooms, and others who make being gay about sex rather than sexual orientation. For me being a lesbian is about who I relate to emotionally, spiritually, AND sexually - and who I partner with for life. As far as public "flamboyance" I think gay and hetero people should hold to the same standards. The only reason I get more angry seeing assless chaps on a gay man than I do on a straight man is because the former makes me guilty by association in a lot of people's eyes. That and I know that the media coverage of the event is going to show him and not the two men with their kids, or the interracial couple, or the lesbian in a wheelchair. Of course this also happens to other minorities, and it's unfair that the actions of a few reflect on the whole group, but at the same time I do think that we have a responsibility to our community to be the best example to the world that we can be.

Looking forward to discussing this more with you. :)
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-05 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. To some extent, it's a chicken-or-egg discussion
Sociological studies over the past 50 years have demonstrated that stigmatized groups are more likely to suffer mental illness, self-destructive behavior, suicide, alcoholism, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and all kinds of other pathologies. To the extent that gays are the lowest of the low among groups which are discriminated against, it makes sense in a sad way that you will find a high- to very high-incidence of such pathologies.

Just this weekend, I was speaking with one of my best friends. He just broke up with his boyfriend, and he complained that it's difficult to find relationship-minded gays, and well, I'm sorry, but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. As we all know, Republicans and the Christian fundamentalist right have made discrimination and homophobia acceptable. What gay (who could pass as straight) would want to be identified as gay and subject themselves to negative repercussions, such as employment termination or verbal harrassment or even physical abuse? How likely is it that people whose relationships are subjected to such overt repression are going to be able to maintain a monogamous love relationship with one other person? NOT likely. (It was interesting to watch Big Brother unfold and Sarah and James, who are boyfriend/girlfriend, both complain how stressful it is for them to be in the house but hiding their relationship from other houseguests. Also, last Saturday, one of the female houseguests revealed suddenly to one other houseguest that she is a lesbian, and in the diary room, she was crying that she couldn't talk about her relationship with her girlfriend, even though everybody else felt free to do so, and then consider how Michael and Janelle and Howie, etc., are openly flirtatious). How likely is it that members of such a minority are going to be mentally healthy or stable? Comme ci, comme ca.

So while the religious fundamentalists enjoy talking about the extremes like "bug chasers" or people who have sex in parks and bathrooms, people should be aware that such behavior is symptomatic of a larger, more insidious problem, that, for example, men who have sex in parks may have few other outlets available personally for finding sex partners. So it's either the park and the risk of arrest or no sex. Some choice.

And another point I'd like to take issue with: While I agree that there should be no discrimination, there certainly is a lower standard applied to heterosexuals than homosexuals. How often do you see heteros smooching and holding hands and cuddling and fondling each other at the laundromat, at the beach, at the grocery store, at films, just right out on the street? I see it all the time, and it sickens me how unfair it is. If I felt that I could be as free with my affections as they can, I would feel differently, I suppose, but even if the laws make no distinctions about PDA's, the fact is that there is an existing discriminatory standard about PDA's and about, for example, who can display photos of their families on their desks at work and who can't, who can talk about their relationships with their families and friends and who can't. Etc.

And while I share your appreciation for self-improvement and personal responsibility, I think you may be blind to the underlying stressors which lead people to snap or take the wrong road or even to simply deviate from the norm, which may be no more than wearing assless chaps. My complaint would always lie with those who are comparing ME to those who are dysfunctional, and I would always put the burden of proof on the complainers, not on the dysfunctional and certainly not on me, to prove that I am somehow not worthy of equality because I'm "just like those filthy gays I see in the parade."

Hope I don't come off as angry, cuz I'm not, certainly not at you, it's just that this injustice makes me see red.
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bluedawg12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. I am getting confused here.
Edited on Sun Oct-23-05 01:50 PM by bluedawg12
We seem to be saying so many things.

Ok, so there is a base line definition of homosexuality- i.e. a sexual attraction to members of the same sex.

With-in that definition is also the idea of more than sex, i.e. falling in love, meaning a deep emotional bond between members of the same sex.

For some the emotional attraction precedes the sexual attraction.

I wonder if that is a difference between gay men and gay women?

Then, there is the matter of gender assignment or what ever they call it. Where you identify with the outer aspects of the opposite sex, and maybe even the inner aspect.

Men who are more effeminate and more emotionally in touch with themselves and unafraid to show their emotional side.

Women, who are more masculine, athletic, and perhaps more inclined toward interests such as sports, or more analytical, repairing things, fixing and building things.

I don't see where society should have a problem with those ideas because those aspects of behavior are represented in straight people-heck, Phyllis Schlafly is one ball busting mama despite her big hair and clown make up.

Many creative hetero-men pass up sports in favor of more intellectual pursuits.

I think where society goes nuts about gays is either flamboyant behavior meaning men in pumps and tube tops and women in heavy duty butch attire.

Also, public sexual expression is seen as aggressive- especially by hetero men- thus the bias against public behaviors such as sex in public toilets, and parks,etc.

I don't think this applies to gay women, for some obvious reasons there are no glory holes in lesbian bars, and public sex in toilets would be--umm...awkward by virtue of access to anatomy. Correct? or am I off on this?

Then, there is the issue of fitting in.

Some gays want jobs, careers, acceptance in corporate and professional settings and don't want to be stereo typed along with the more exhibitionist type of gay behavior.

The Log Cabin repugs fall into this last category, and I would not see them as self loathing-- it's class issue. I think.


Currently, the RW in it's attack of gays, and scape goating of gays, has lumped all of homosexual behavior into one big ugly stereo type--they are the one's who bring out the issues of disease and public toilet sex- and many other stereo types. Those stereo types are used because they are potent and negative and create a gut bias, and sometimes, hate for gays to the point of violence.

The gay community is not that united--not as united as the highly funded right wing groups who are every where- from neo con rags like the Weakly Standard, to that shit hate group in Illinois we posted about yesterday.

the question is how do we deal with them?

are these stereo types or not?

are they behaviors we defend or look at?

are some going to reject the stereo types and try to carve out another identity for themselves and thus we fragment as a group?

do gay men and gay women come at this issue from totally different perspectives?

does anyone give a shit about what I am saying? If not I can save my breath in the future. I have posted about some of these issues here before and they generated little interest.

As sympathetic as I am about someone who posts about their trials and tribulations and the pain of not being accepted, well, no shit.

But, I feel that I am doing the best I can to live a good, healthy, productive life with my partner. I am trying to educate myself about these issues, to sort out the lies from the truths in order to be able to respond to such RW attacks and also in the spirit of sharing this information so others can also have a sense of empowerment and dignity knowing that many of the rightwing lies are just that.

But there are some also some truths in the RW propaganda.

Are we going to look at those?

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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-05 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
17. Great post and even better thread
This is the second time today I have been moved by a reminicance of a gay person's childhood. Again, great post.
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