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Author Topic: Ask a Homosexual  (Read 44038 times)

Miss P

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #130 on: May 19, 2006, 02:28:57 PM »
Geeze, I step away from LSD for a few hours, and people are making it out like I said pride parades are OVERWHELMINGLY about people being exhibitionist.  Hey folks, I work and play in the Midtown and Decatur neighborhoods of Atlanta... I'm pretty familiar with gay pride events.  Of course, I'm only referring to 1% of participants (if that).

At the same time, I still call major B.S. on the apologists who chalk that behavior up to "desensitizing people out of their prejudice".  Give me a break, it only reinforces people's prejudice.  When the African American community organized the Million Man March, were they accepting and supportive of participants "thugging out" in gang colors and firing guns at the sky?  In the immigrant rights protests earlier this month, would organizers have tolerated participants dancing around piņatas and eating tacos while wearing novelty-sized sombreros? 

OF COURSE NOT.  In those scenerios, you could make the same argument that participants are "expressing their identity" through shock value to desensitize people.  Oh, what's that you say?  Those behaviors aren't truly representative of their group's identity, and it's bigotry for me to suggest otherwise?  EXACTLY.  Most gay people are decent, well-adjusted people who practice sexual expression through monogamous loving relationships (well, at least in the same ratios as do straight people, anyway).  A small number of people dancing around and waving their d*cks in the middle of a public street is not "expressing the identity" of America's gay community.  They're expressing an exaggerated perversion of that identity that is used to fuel bigotry and hatred.  With friends like those, homosexuals don't need enemies.

(By the way, the comparisons to Mardi Gras and people making out on subways are spot-on.  How many straight people appreciate that kind of behavior representing THEIR sexuality?   I think there are common standards of "decency" that transcend the gender of your partners, and it represents true acceptance of homosexuals when they are included under that umbrella.)

AtlantaSteve, I don't think you said anything homophobic or offensive.  Indeed, you made it clear that this was an issue that you thought queers should talk about among themselves and resolve as they see fit.  That seems entirely reasonable to me.  I don't think anyone's jumping on you so much.

But in response to the bolded part of your post:
Straight people don't generally worry about that kind of crap representing them.  Because heterosexuality as a category goes unnamed, people (especially if they're not queer) are unlikely to take the overwhelming perversion and frequent grossness of straight society to say anything significant about heterosexuals as people or their "rights" or anything else. And I just don't see any problem with placing the same burden of discernment on homophobes and straight people more generally, expecting them to be able to tell the difference between one Radical Faerie streaking though the parade or two guys handing out explicit flyers for a porn website and the entire contingent of gay firefighters and the twelve different PFLAG groups.  After all, I know the difference between Craigslist casual encounters and eHarmony.com; between teenagers making out on the subway and a married couple in matching wedding rings; between Coyote Ugly and the corner straight bar.  I may join the witch hunters in looking for the dirtiest sections of the parade, but I think the overwhelming message for most people is that homosexuality has become incredibly mundane.  Yawn.

Also, Pride in most cities is not an activist march; it's a parade, a cultural celebration, play time.  As such, it's much more for our enjoyment than for straight people's enlightenment or for the promotion of any political agenda.  (Indeed, there are Greens and Log Cabin Republicans and old people and dykes on bikes and police officers and NLG lawyers -- we can't agree on anything.)  The only point Pride overall is supposed to make about LGBT people is that we exist and we are diverse. 

Third, I agree with trogdor about the self-expression/shock/autonomy bit, but I also think there are other reasons for the sexually explicit imagery at Pride.  For one, it's often the biggest place to reach audiences of men who have sex with men who are NOT well integrated into gay communities with information about safe sex, HIV testing, help overcoming your crystal meth addiction, etc. A pamphlet about how much fun blowjobs with condoms are is pretty unconvincing without some hot guys enjoying them.  Actually, it's unconvincing anyway, but there you go.

Finally, it seems as if every time queer communities try to police out perversion, they end up marginalizing people who are perhaps in the most need of the communities' resources.  Continually re-centering LGBT agendas around long-term monogamy, and the related campaigns for marriage equality and such, hasn't done most of us any good. I, for one, definitely want the healthy S/M guide in the bookstore where young practitioners can find it.  I want STD testing information and trans surgical information out there.  I think we need to support queer sex workers and homeless queer youth, for whom marriage is the last thing on their minds.  I want to see condoms distributed anywhere men have sex, whether it's the gym or the porn store or a DL bar uptown or wherever.  I worry that if we try to control people's behavior in Pride parades, we're just pushing them out into the cold, and I don't want to be part of a community that would do that.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #131 on: May 19, 2006, 02:49:45 PM »
did you try girls, and just not like em?

Do you really believe in free speech, or just in speech you agree with?

trogdor

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #132 on: May 19, 2006, 02:50:09 PM »
Finally, it seems as if every time queer communities try to police out perversion, they end up marginalizing people who are perhaps in the most need of the communities' resources.  Continually re-centering LGBT agendas around long-term monogamy, and the related campaigns for marriage equality and such, hasn't done most of us any good. I, for one, definitely want the healthy S/M guide in the bookstore where young practitioners can find it.  I want STD testing information and trans surgical information out there.  I think we need to support queer sex workers and homeless queer youth, for whom marriage is the last thing on their minds.  I want to see condoms distributed anywhere men have sex, whether it's the gym or the porn store or a DL bar uptown or wherever.  I worry that if we try to control people's behavior in Pride parades, we're just pushing them out into the cold, and I don't want to be part of a community that would do that.

exactly... you don't have to agree with their approach, and i don't agree with a lot of the actions of people who are gay, but i think it's very important to reserve the judgement and do what you can to help everyone.  infighting is one of the biggest problems for advancing minority groups.  they're too busy calling each other names rather than focusing on what's more important. 
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AtlantaSteve

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #133 on: May 19, 2006, 02:56:56 PM »
At the same time, I still call major B.S. on the apologists who chalk that behavior up to "desensitizing people out of their prejudice".  Give me a break, it only reinforces people's prejudice.  When the African American community organized the Million Man March, were they accepting and supportive of participants "thugging out" in gang colors and firing guns at the sky?  In the immigrant rights protests earlier this month, would organizers have tolerated participants dancing around piņatas and eating tacos while wearing novelty-sized sombreros?

first off, stop with the bad analogies.  these also aren't applicable.

Those two analogies were were deliberately bad to make a point, Trogdor.  Quote both paragraphs I wrote if you're going to quote at all.


Third, I agree with trogdor about the self-expression/shock/autonomy bit, but I also think there are other reasons for the sexually explicit imagery at Pride.  For one, it's often the biggest place to reach audiences of men who have sex with men who are NOT well integrated into gay communities with information about safe sex, HIV testing, help overcoming your crystal meth addiction, etc. A pamphlet about how much fun blowjobs with condoms are is pretty unconvincing without some hot guys enjoying them.  Actually, it's unconvincing anyway, but there you go.

Finally, it seems as if every time queer communities try to police out perversion, they end up marginalizing people who are perhaps in the most need of the communities' resources.  Continually re-centering LGBT agendas around long-term monogamy, and the related campaigns for marriage equality and such, hasn't done most of us any good. I, for one, definitely want the healthy S/M guide in the bookstore where young practitioners can find it.  I want STD testing information and trans surgical information out there.  I think we need to support queer sex workers and homeless queer youth, for whom marriage is the last thing on their minds.  I want to see condoms distributed anywhere men have sex, whether it's the gym or the porn store or a DL bar uptown or wherever.  I worry that if we try to control people's behavior in Pride parades, we're just pushing them out into the cold, and I don't want to be part of a community that would do that.

Very articulate point, MissP.  I'm not trying to suggest that the wild minority should be shunned, or kicked out, or whatever... those kinds of decisions aren't my business.  I'm just saying that they're not "heros" working subversively for the greater good, and it's silly to make it out otherwise.  That's all.

Phatmal

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #134 on: May 19, 2006, 03:02:32 PM »
I'm having a tough time making a connection here....I don't find the activities of people at pride to represent my sexuality at all and I have a very tough time believing that straight people may equate Mardi Gras behavior as representing their straight sexuality.

If people take pride as a political activist event, I truly think they are in the minority.  I think most folks like pride because it's a time to be around a whole bunch of queer people and for most gays, that's not something they experience in their daily lives and it's fun.  

I think people are making more out of pride than what is really there.

H4CS

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #135 on: May 19, 2006, 03:05:28 PM »
There are a lot of people who aren't heroes in this world AtlantaSteve, you should work on going after them too .  Anyone who has to enter a conversation saying "I'm as tolerant as the next" probably isn't and I think your purposly bad analogies show this. 

My original point, to which you've done a bad job of responding, was that there is no need to demonize those who express themselves in this manner.  I mentioned how the movement has changed, but that nobody should accept that as a reason to violate originating principles of tolerance for all sexualities.  I think you've shown anything but.  Nobody called anybody a hero, but you felt the need to respond with puh-leeze, make a strawman, and show your true colors again.  I'm glad to know I was right about you in the Duke thread.

finally

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #136 on: May 19, 2006, 03:23:20 PM »
I've learned a lot on this thread!  Thanks guys and gals  :)

got you ana11y curious, huh?

prevert

no my {freaky} dear!   just was curious about "being curious"

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #137 on: May 19, 2006, 03:25:36 PM »
id bet alot of people are curious...

i just dont find guys attractive...
Do you really believe in free speech, or just in speech you agree with?

AtlantaSteve

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #138 on: May 19, 2006, 03:31:00 PM »
There are a lot of people who aren't heroes in this world AtlantaSteve, you should work on going after them too .  Anyone who has to enter a conversation saying "I'm as tolerant as the next" probably isn't and I think your purposly bad analogies show this. 

My original point, to which you've done a bad job of responding, was that there is no need to demonize those who express themselves in this manner.  I mentioned how the movement has changed, but that nobody should accept that as a reason to violate originating principles of tolerance for all sexualities.  I think you've shown anything but.  Nobody called anybody a hero, but you felt the need to respond with puh-leeze, make a strawman, and show your true colors again.  I'm glad to know I was right about you in the Duke thread.

Do I know you?!?  By "the Duke thread", I assume you're referring to one of the two or three different threads that sprounted up about the lacrosse team.  The fact that I don't recall you or which "side" you were on is due to the fact that I had disagreements with both sides discussing that issue, because I was far less of looney-tunes extremist than most people posting there (case in point). "I'm glad to know I was right about you...", geeze, do you have any idea how childish that sounds?

You're going more than a bit overboard here.  I drew analogies between homosexuals acting out other's negative stereotypes of themselves, and two minority groups theoretically doing the same.  If you failed to understand the point being made, then you should probably work on your knee-jerk reflexes before you have to deal with problem-solving in law school.  There are also key differences between "tolerance" and "acceptance".  You can tolerate a behavior (without "demonizing" anybody) while simultaneously declining to accept the behavior as decent or healthy, and this distinction does not make you a bigot or hatemonger of any kind.

To illustrate, I believe that explicit sexual expression in public is poor behavior (and I apply that standard to ALL groups).  At the same time, I think driving a Hummer is poor behavior... it doesn't mean I "make strawmen" or "demonize" SUV owners.  Alot of people are putting in their 2-cents to say that discussion makes more out the issue than what's really there, and I couldn't agree more.  I've already stated three times that the people we're arguing over make up probably less than 1% of participants and are not representative.

finally

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Re: Ask a Homosexual
« Reply #139 on: May 19, 2006, 03:43:42 PM »
id bet alot of people are curious...

i just dont find guys attractive...

and I don't find women attractive.  I just find it fascinating that one could be "curious".  If I were lesbian or bi, I would find that infuriating.