Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Mass of Stupidities

I'll get back to answering questions very soon, but for my first post of 2009 I have to get a few things off my chest.

I started this blog because I was tired of reading all of the incredibly stupid things being said about the gay community by gays and straights alike.

Just a couple of nights ago I was flabbergasted when a patron at my local watering hole said that there was no homophobia. What? I told him he was completely out of it, mentioned the fight against marriage equality by the religious right (and others), anti-gay groups such as Focus on the Family (which has millions of dollars to spend on their homophobic campaigns), and groups like Exodus, which claim you can "pray away the gay." There are still 31 states in the U.S. where you can get fired merely for being gay. And countries where homosexuals are routinely put to death. Now. In the 21st century. Yes.

There are far too many gay people who remain blissfully unaware of what is going on in their own community and the dangers we still face, not to mention the amount of shame and internalized homophobia that stills exists in the homosexual [as opposed to the Out and Proud Gay] community. We can talk all we want about increased tolerance and acceptance (maybe), but that's not the same thing as being considered equal.

Recently I came across two message boards devoted to physical fitness, one gay, one straight. Ironically, the threads I came across had to do with the same subject (which I've covered more than once): straight guys working in gay bars.

On the gay message board a guy was understandably complaining because he thought a straight co-worker at the bar was doing his best to steal business -- and therefore tips-- away from him.

On the straight message board somebody asked other straight men if they would ever consider working in a gay bar.

The interesting thing is that on both threads some of the same old crap about gays, straight men, sexual identification, and so on was brought up for the umpteenth time. For instance:

* the moronic business about gay men allegedly being better tippers than straight. How did this ever get started? On the straight message board one guy insisted that gay men tip better because we're all rich -- he referred to antique dealers (one step above hairdressers, I guess) and the like. But some of the posters on the gay message board seemed to believe this shit too. There may be some gay men who tip a hot bartender a ridiculous amount of money the way some straight guys might over-tip a hot woman behind the bar, but most of us just tip what we feel is fair and can afford -- like most straight guys. I have never left a huge tip just because I thought the bartender was hot. I have observed the tipping habits of men in both straight and gay bars and have never seen any real difference, believe me.

*Then there's this nonsense about gay men all having a "thing" for straight guys. Well maybe if they're self-hating homos. Most out and proud gay men today know that the gay community is very diverse, and you can find just about anything you want -- including super-butch guys -- without having to pursue straight men. How pre-Stonewall can you get! Yet some of the guys on the gay message board forwarded this theory just like the straight guys did on the other message board. No wonder straight guys just don't get it. They pick up a lot of crap from gay acquaintances. (Or worse, episodes of Will and Grace).

[Of course we're dealing in both cases with jocks and physical fitness nuts -- not exactly intellectuals, although there are exceptions.] Most of these guys also seemed rather young, and therefore not as wise or experienced as older men, although I've also encountered many middle-aged morons. In fact the guy who made the comment about "no homophobia" was actually a senior citizen!

I also thought it amazing that the gay guys seemed completely unaware of the difference between sexual identity and sexual orientation, the fact that many men engage in gay sex and yet don't think of themselves as gay. Make no mistake that this on occasion applies to "straight" bartenders in gay bars. One gay poster even insisted that a certain bartender was certainly straight because he had a wife and kids. Jeez, over the years I've been hit on both off and on line by dozens of guys with wives and children!

Some of the gay jocks seemed okay with the idea of straight guys working in gay bars, suggesting (without necessarily using the term) that it was heterophobic to object to their employment. I wonder what they would think if they read the thread in the straight jock web site. While some of the responses were completely homophobic -- suggesting that a straight bartender would be assaulted in the men's' room, or grossed out by guys' kissing and having to watch "perversion" -- even the ones who said they'd consider working in a gay bar (or had already done so) creeped me out a bit. None of them seemed to really give a shit about gay people; it was all about them. One wrote: "Being around gay people makes me feel better about myself (superiority complex or some shit)" -- so he'd be willing to work in a gay bar.

[Say, isn't this just what we gay guys need, straight (or straight-identified) bartenders who feel superior to us! Or ones who are convinced that they'll get great tips because (they think) they're so damn hot. And, unfortunately, I've met more than a couple of bartenders like these. Guys who don't give a damn about the gay community yet are more than happy to take our hard-earned money.

But all this is just the frozen tip of the iceberg of imbecility that seems to emerge from people of all sexual orientations when they write about the gay community.

So Dr. Bill is going to continue his mission of educating both gays and straights and cutting through the bullshit -- and there is a lot of it out there. Way too much. This blog may soon be undergoing a name change -- a full explanation is forthcoming.

Until then: Stay out of trouble and have hot safe sex!