Gay Parenting 101: Coming Out Isn't Talking Dirty - Mo's Journal
Gay Parenting 101: Coming Out Isn't Talking Dirty|
|Date:||November 25th, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)|| |
Here via hitchhiker
It strikes me that a great many arguments about Why The Queers Shouldn't _____ come down to "they have more power than straight people do". Queers shouldn't marry because they have the power to destroy the institution of marriage! They shouldn't adopt or give birth because they have the power to warp the minds of children! They shouldn't be allowed in the churches because they have the power to warp the teachings of God! They shouldn't hold hands because they have the power to make straight people think endlessly, horrifically, queasily about nasty gay sex! They must be stopped!
It's kind of funny and mostly really sad to see the straight world essentially emasculate itself when faced with the Queer Menace. If only this were actually, y'know, empowering
|Date:||November 25th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)|| |
If only this were actually, y'know, empowering.
So why do they think we are so powerful, in your opinion? Homophobia is very similar to anti-Semitism that way.
|Date:||November 25th, 2006 01:41 pm (UTC)|| |
Because our real power is the power to expose the things they tell themselves and one another as lies, and because they're ashamed of the things they do and have done to one another and need scapegoats to take the fall, and because to be different--especially if one is stoically and unashamedly different--is to be feared. Yes, many parallels to anti-Semitism.
And really, most queers (and most Jews) don't want the powers that are ascribed to them. We don't want to break up marriages or run the entertainment industry or convert people. We just want to be left alone to wear our funny clothes and talk in our funny way and raise happy families in our communities or in the wider world without fear of being stomped on because our confident deviance--which in fact has a much longer history than just about anything now considered mainstream--puts the lie to everyone who's ever said "Our way is the only way".
|Date:||November 25th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)|| |
(Also here via hitchhiker, and sticking my nose into a question meant for rosefox.)
Well, there's a sense in which we are
I try to remember the Asch conformity experiments in this context. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments
) One of my favorite results from these studies is that a single divergent answer pretty much destroys the conformity effect -- even if that answer is also
wrong. That is, it's not just the specific answer that gets reinforced, it's the whole category of unconventional answers.
So it isn't crazy to believe that, if people like me and my partner go around getting married or otherwise paired off in unconventional ways, we make it easier for other people to ignore all kinds of conventions. (And this, I do
find empowering. In a very literal sense one voice can make a huge difference, even in an enormous crowd.)
Of course, that's only a problem if you believe it's necessary for everyone to conform to conventions that have no obvious benefits. Even radical free-thinkers drive on the same side of the street as other people, and stop at red lights in traffic, because they know there are benefits to doing so. Not wearing white after Labor Day isn't the same sort of thing. So when this sort of thing comes up in conversation I try to narrow down just what sorts of conventions people are worried about, and suggest that either there isn't
a good reason to protect that convention, or there is
and precisely because there is it will survive the onslaught of us dangerous queer couples just fine thank you.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, my success is mixed.
Also here via hitchhiker
What you're talking about here seems similar to the mathematical argument that "it only takes one counter-example to disprove an absolute assertion". And for people who are heavily emotionally invested in that assertion, I can see how that would be perceived as threatening. I think your approach is a good one, and will add it to my own toolbox.
As to the original post -- hear, hear! This is an argument I've been making for a long time, that it's Not Okay to say "just don't rub MY nose in it" if your definition of same is "make me aware that it exists at all". It seems that a lot of anti-gay people have this idea that gay couples don't do anything BUT have sex, and that's just stupid. They also go to work, and do the laundry, and grocery-shop, and (if they're lucky) visit relatives, and all the other non-sexual things that straight couples do.
And it's much harder to demonize someone who is visibly similar to yourself... which I suspect is one of the reasons that the "flaunting" meme continues to be used.
|Date:||November 25th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)|| |
|(Link)|It seems that a lot of anti-gay people have this idea that gay couples don't do anything BUT have sex, and that's just stupid.
It is a stupid idea, and it's one that gets perpetuated by closeted behavior. It's not a coincidence that "Yes" to equal rights for gays in a variety of areas correllates strongly in polls with a yes to "Do you know any gay men or lesbians personally?" Everyone knows gay people personally because we truly are everywhere, but if you don't know that your colleagues and your neighbors and your kids and your parents and your friends and your kids' friends' parents are gay, then your only association with gay people is sex.
On the other end of that, my elder daughter who was of course raised in a gay family, thinks of being gay as about family structure first and foremost. She once asked me "What's the connection between being gay and sex?" as described here: http://mofic.livejournal.com/13962.html#cutid1
And, sadly, the people who most need to be made aware of gay people as just people are generally among the least likely to have it happen. I've had people tell me, in all seriousness, that THEY certainly don't know any goddamn queers, and my immediate response was, "Well, you almost certainly do, but they're sure as hell not going to tell YOU about it, because you'd firebomb their house!" (If I say it out loud, I usually substitute something a little less confrontational for the last clause.)
|Date:||November 25th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)|| |
Yeah. There's an old joke about "living the gay lifestyle" along those lines (wake up, have coffee, drive to work, bitch about traffic, read email, etc. etc. etc.).
There's another side to this stereotyping business, and that's the gay people who buy into it and believe that being gay has to redefine every aspect of their lives.
I mean, sure, to some extent it does, just like falling in love does, but not the way they think.
I've had a few younger folks over the years tell me that getting to know me and my partner was an important part of their coming out process, precisely because we "seemed so normal." Which I'm never quite sure how to take, to be honest, but on the whole it saddens me that the situation arises.
Thank You for posting this. I came out (was outed) a few months ago, and my mum said, (among other stuff) "I've never seen anything masculine in you!" (I'm a lesbian) It was all I could do to stay quiet.
Oh, don't even get me started on people confusing sexual orientation and gender identity. Pisses me off in more ways than I know how to count.
Anyway, good luck dealing with your mom and everything.
She was sorta OK, mostly just said I was too young to know for sure (16) and should prolly date a few boys first.