Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

Nitro


Member

Posted Sun Oct 4th, 2009 4:48pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

This isn't really a rant but since it might get 'hot', thought it better to put it in the Zero Room, which seems more conducive to tolerating higher temperatures

Watching 'Milk' reminded me of how the ground work was laid for what came later as a divisive topic in the gay community, and that's 'forcible out-ing's. This caused a lot of furor between people I knew who otherwise got along fine.

There's an assumption that all gay people are behind all gay politics ( this assumption is usually made more on the part of hetero's ).

But this topic in particular really caused a few shouting matches.

I have gay friends who say,"I'm totally against Pride Parades. When straight people start parading down the street celebrating their sexuality in the manner we have, THEN I'll march in a Pride Parade." And having that opinion gets them tons of heat sometimes. They also point to these parades as seen on the evening news as being the sort of imagery that reinforces straight bigotry that say, for instance, "all gay people are promiscuous...it's all about bath houses and cruising with them and nothing more...".

OTOH, there were/are gay activists who believe 'out-ing' other gay people against their will ( this happened to some celebs a while back ) was something that had to be done because staying in the closet hurts the community and the person in the closet and that parades are a good way of letting the straight community see just how many gay/bi/transgendered people there are.

Some gay people smoke Marlboro cigarettes. Others won't touch them because of RJ Reynolds employment policies ( don't know if that's still true - I doubt they're hiring anyone new in these anti-smoking days ). I actually watched two of my friends get into a fist fight over this specific topic.

There are still so many straight people, even liberal straight people, who really believe that gay people are perversions of nature in some way and that acceptance of the 'lifestyle' of homosexuality is being shoved at them and their children, like it or not. Religion and indoctrinated fear have more to do with that, imho, than any failure on the part of the gay community. And little is known about those gay folks who are conservative politically because they are maligned sometimes in their own community. So, they keep quiet around straights and they keep quiet around gays. A double whammy of sorts.

Really? Wow.

Back to top

quantumofire


Member

Posted Sun Oct 4th, 2009 5:49pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

I think you raise two important points here 1. on outing people 2. on the image the media/gay community project. I'll be brief.

1. I don't subscribe to outing people. Once, I had that game played at me by someone at work, who themselves was engaged to be married but hid behind it by making innuendos whilst he was obvious deep in the closet himself.

Yes, if people are being hypocrites and playing the straight card to protect themselves that's another point...same applies to politicians.
But most actors now just do the think of not talking about there private lives, though some...

2. I worked in the gay community for some time.. I can see both sides.
But many times the media when showing a pride event always concentrates on the drag queens and leather guys (as if all being gay is sex, sex, sex and Judy Garland),and as though this is the only life-style choice. No wonder many non-camp gay men recoil. The gay scene is a lot like that...all that calling people 'girl' stuff really used to piss me off once but... It just that too many young people I've seen going into the gay scene end up being 'campified' as though that's the only way to be accepted. Bottom line, pride doesn't represent anything but a money making scam for pubs and clubs, and to promote business to the pink pound.

Yes I do love the gay send ups like in Are You Being Served but...I don't see it as the be all and end all...most people don't.

Sorry wasn't that brief...was I

http://quantumofire.blogspot.com/

Breaking contradictions in his mind was, to him, like walking through a winter forest snapping twigs underfoot.

Back to top

keymaker


Member

Posted Sun Oct 4th, 2009 10:32pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

I have gay friends who say,"I'm totally against Pride Parades. When straight people start parading down the street celebrating their sexuality in the manner we have, THEN I'll march in a Pride Parade."

Yeah, I mean I s'pose the point there is that being gay is nothing particularly to be proud of.

km


Back to top

quantumofire


Member

Posted Sun Oct 4th, 2009 10:45pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

I think the point is that there IS still a social stigma in many places based on stereotypes that seem to be perpetuated by pride parades, because that is what is always focused on...and those who scream the loudest get the most attention.."look at me, look at me" and they're thinking "look at the freaks". No wonder, if that's the only stereotype people have, that many still stay in the closet.

http://quantumofire.blogspot.com/

Breaking contradictions in his mind was, to him, like walking through a winter forest snapping twigs underfoot.

Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Mon Oct 5th, 2009 4:26am Post subject: Politics and Divisions

Pardon me km, but that sounds like a reflexive response and actually does miss the point my friend was making. Which often happened to him, a gay man, by other gay men. Go figure.

I guess in any group if you don't 'tow the party line' you can be ostracized eh?

Really? Wow.

Back to top

keymaker


Member

Posted Mon Oct 5th, 2009 7:28am Post subject: Politics and Divisions

Nitro said:
that sounds like a reflexive response...

Reflexive? It was intended to be reflective strictly of the extract I cited.

km


Back to top

joan


Member

Posted Mon Oct 5th, 2009 10:57am Post subject: Politics and Divisions

First I should explain my own background. I'm a straight older woman brought up to despise all prejudice, whether racial, sexual orientation, gender,religion.... I met my first gay man an at age 6: he was a spinner who worked for my Dad in a Yorkshire woollen mill - Dad was the foreman spinner.

Alan's appearance shocked me. He wore a light summer suit, with a silk shirt embroidered with roses, and his hair cascaded over his shoulders in auburn waves, hair that was normally tied up under his flat cap when working! This was 1951, an era of short back n sides and demob suits. I was openly shocked when Dad and I bumped into Alan on our Sunday walk. I had never seen anyone like him, but then Dad started asking him about his boyfriend, who was sick. Boyfriend!!?? It did not compute!

I was rude, staring and letting my jaw drop. When we walked on, Dad took me to task about my rudeness. I started to go on about Alan's appearance, but Dad just asked me who made the rules about how people dressed and acted. I had no answer. He asked me what it would be like if we were all alike. I said it would be boring, but Alan was TOO different. Than he asked me how different we were allowed......the questioning went on like that until, by the time we got home, I was convinced (and still am) that differences make life much more interesting.

So I grew up without any prejudices, I saw gay people normal: I never thought a person's sexual orientation was anyone's business. So I see being gay as mainstream, and therefore expect a variety of politics, attitudes etc among gay people. I think it is rude and disgusting that churchy people and others should dare to judge someone's sexuality, and say what they can and can't do. I get mad when people say they 'tolerate' homosexuality. How dare they? They should just butt out and accept people.

Having said that, I love to see the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. I enjoy colourful spectacles, and love to see the wowsers get their comeuppance. It satisfies my inner anarchist in a fun way. But I know that only a few gay people want to take part - many others probably enjoy watching as far as I know. I love the 'Sisters of Perpetual Indulgance' and the various ways that religious nutters like Fred Nile are lampooned. It is fun. One day I'll go and see it in person.


Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Mon Oct 5th, 2009 5:46pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

It bears repeating I guess: if you extract a few sentences out of the whole of a few paragraphs, one can easily forget about a very important part of reading and comprehension called Context.

Sounds like you had a wise father Joan. This is a blatant generalization on my part, but I've often thought Europeans in general were just a little more 'mature' about certain attitudes regarding the lives of others. Whereas in the states, we still have this Puritan hangover to deal with and it's often more likely you'll see certain bigotries in plain view if you plop yourself down in rural areas. For example, being gay where I am and also very obvious in some way - a man wearing a pink boa walking down the street here ( gay or not ) - could result in a severe beating. This same individual might feel far more comftorable in a bigger metropolis doing the same thing.

But my point wasn't so much about how heteros disagree with any aspect of gay life, but how one can be a minority within a minority and be marginlized even further.

Really? Wow.

Back to top

sonano


Member

Posted Tue Oct 6th, 2009 3:26pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

As I streight, white male, do I have nothing to be proud of? Well as a matter of fact I as greatly proud of being intelegent, poetic, wonderful and generous. Could the reason that the world is "dominated" by boring, socially accepted people such as myself be that we have to achieve to be proud?
For example, if certain black/asian actors (I'll leave their identities to your imagination) stopped being so hung up on starring in ridiculous films, programs etc. about the "difficulties" of being black/asian, might they be able to break into the mainstreem, hollywood time which apparently (according to them) alludes them because of their race?
I would like to hear a debate on this subject, it does annoy me so. I just want to screem at anything with Meera Syal in it "STOP BEING SO BOTHERED ABOUT YOUR RACE, IF YOU LET IT DROP THEN YOU WOULD BE ACCEPTED, YOU ONLY HAVE YOURSELF TO BLAME FOR CHRIST'S SAKE"

Oh dear, I am sorry. I just wish that people would take a leaf out of the white man's book and get on with their lives without having to stop every five minutes to tell everyone how proud they are to be gay/black/female/asian/genetical different from the majority of people in charge. Maybe if they did then they would acheive the goals that they seek an awful lot faster because I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I simply don't care about your race, gender or sexuality (execpt for the latter two when seeking a partner!), I only care about your wit, your interests, your generosity etceteras etceteras.


Back to top

TheElephant


Member

Posted Tue Oct 6th, 2009 6:27pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

"As I streight, white male......Well as a matter of fact I as greatly proud of being intelegent"

A comedy genius perhaps.

You seem to protest too much about not caring about what people are.

Picking on Meera Syal? Is she who we were supposed to be thinking of when we were using our imagination then?

And you think they should copy 'the white man' !! Unbelievable. All the poor white men as a shining example of how to cope with being marginalised, abused, segregated, bullied, ostracised? Because the straight white man has had experience of this when exactly?

Sometimes there is nothing you can do but despair........

Edit: Nitro, Zero Room was the right choice I think.


Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Wed Oct 7th, 2009 3:25am Post subject: Politics and Divisions

I understand your sentiments, I do. Even so, I think it's important to hear opinions like sonano's. We want to shout it down or turn it off, maybe because we live and experience it every day, but how will sonano understand why it is minorities feel the way they do or do what they do? I'd rather think sonano is an intelligent person open to reason and able to consider other viewpoints than not. Some people are staunch and rigid and you can prove gravity to them and they'll still insist a fairy is at work, others feel a certain way because they REALLY do not understand or even why there may be any debate the subject at all.

We're all adults. We should be able to, in this day and age, explain our position without demanding that others align to it. Sometimes you may do nothing more than plant a seed for some future growth that you, by the way, might never see but that might altar someone else's reality in a positive way.

I live in an area where racist language is rampant. It's stunning actually to someone like me who isn't from here. I'm an outsider looking in. I could challenge every person directly and aggressively, but it would 1) do nothing to altar their view, 2) reaffirm in their own mind that us 'liberals' are a pushy bunch, 3) would never allow me the opportunity to get to know them enough to even HAVE any kind of influence. I don't join in, I don't indulge it, but I don't go on the attack. Little by little, as they see I'm not here to destroy their way of life, acceptance comes. I've managed to have some pretty interesting conversations and now, without ever demanding it, the language around me is less abrasive and certain references not used. There are one or two hold outs and I have no uber-ego enough to think I'm changing anyone. That's not my job. They have to change themselves and they will, or won't, because THEY want to.

Sorry to ramble but I guess my point is that there are various degrees of alienation. We can easily, very easily, alienate each other simply by finger wagging, accusing, judging, demanding, insulting, etc etc. Hopefully, that won't happen.

Hopefully

Really? Wow.

Back to top

Maxx England


Member

Posted Wed Oct 7th, 2009 9:04pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

My experience in the workplace in Britain has generally been that nobody gives a damn if you're black as midnight or so far out of the closet you've moved in next door (note: there are places where this is not the case, I've seen some of them), and there is therefore usually no need for someone to make any statement about pride in something they have no choice in being to those who work alongside them.

But if somebody feels self conscious about a thing and wants to put on a brave or bold front, then fine; but please don't go ramming homosexuality down unwilling throats. It leaves such a nasty taste in the mouth.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

Back to top

TheElephant


Member

Posted Thu Oct 8th, 2009 2:30am Post subject: Politics and Divisions

Thanks Nitro. Very wise. I wasn't actually intending to shout down sonano, but I can see it looks that way.

To some degree, I think the argument that constantly making a point about your own minority grouping is keeping the thought in other people's minds. I felt that about Stephen K. Amos saying he was happy when Lenny Henry wasn't on TV as there was only room for one black comedian. And then I tried to think of another black British comedian that was on TV on a regular basis and failed.

And Maxx, I've found that workplaces that don't have any minorities will much more easily lapse into (various)phobic and racist behaviour. Obviously with none there, it isn't directly at any minority as they aren't present, but the tendency for phobic/ism humour to rear it's head is there.


Back to top

Canaderek


Member

Posted Thu Oct 8th, 2009 5:43pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

During the sixties, some people saw "Black is Beautiful" banners and responded with "What, so white people aren't beautiful?!" These were, obviously, the sorts of people who were against the civil rights movement. Well, I suppose some of them might've just been incredibly self-centered.

I think that minorities who are oppressed, ostracized, and sometimes even beaten to death (for being black, gay, and more recently in the United States, Muslim) have every right to congregate and express pride in themselves, despite the views of their opponents. Further, I think they ought to continue doing so.

In some cities, you'll usually find picketers at Gay Pride parades, screaming, "Get back in your closets, faggots!", etc. I believe those same people and many who are less vocal about their hatred, when the parade isn't in progress, would be less likely to, for example, hire a known homosexual for their business. I also think that some of them would be more likely to physically assault homosexuals simply for being homosexuals.

If you think homosexuals are no longer targeted in this way, do a bit of research.

I think that "Straight Pride", "White Power" sentiments, and the like, are sometimes thinly-veiled, sometimes not, old fashioned bigotry (specifically homophobia and racism).

And I'll bet every Stephen Fry fan age 30+ agrees with me.

Please do not read this signature, and instead concentrate on the bulk of my post.

Thanx!

Canaderek/Reverend Neil Pudding's musings can be found at FreedomHaters.org

Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Oct 8th, 2009 6:17pm Post subject: Politics and Divisions

I don't think you have to be 30+ or a Fry fan to be agreeable to your opinions

You're right that those on the outside of some group are or can be hostile, even physically violent. That's fact, sadly. But what about the divisions *within* the group itself? This is what concerns me, as I see it as a sort of hypocrisy and bigotry as well. Imagine that! For example, many gay people *assume* all other gay people are 'liberal' politically. But that's not true. And the gay conservative is maligned for being 'wrong headed' by other gay people, which makes them doubly disaffected from the status quo. IOW, the status quo isn't something only white, hetero bigots are prone to pushing. There are 'status quos' even within a minority group. I've been to parties where incredibly heated arugments, scarily heated, go on between gay people. Here's one I actully heard recently:

A)"Why are you smoking Marlboro cigarettes?!! That company does x and y to gay people and you're supporting them!"

B)"Mind your own business. What I smoke is none of your concern."

A)"You're part of the problem, not the solution."

BTW, that's a trivial example of what I've witnessed.

It makes me wonder if human beings just aren't one helluva screwed up species never quite happy and always needing to feel power over someone else.

Really? Wow.

Back to top