Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Worse than a Homophobe?

I received this comment for my post Why Gay Men Marry Women. Since it's quite long and raises some interesting questions, I decided I would answer it on a new post. The comments are in italics, my interjections are in bold, and I"ll wrap things up at the end.

From "rick lee y:"

It's no secret that these kinds of marriages have been around forever. It's silly to assume that just because someone comes out the guilt, shame and all negative thoughts, feelings and actions associated with gay life end there. You're absolutely right about that, which I believe I said right in the post you're responding to, as well as elsewhere. To a small minority within the minority it might be impossible for them to empathize with those who don't flip the denial switch automatically whenever you do something profound in life. The cost never talked about for such an act like outing yourself is that family and friends often times need time to deal with it as well. I think this is actually talked about a lot. Forcing the issue without regard for anyone's feelings or points of view on the subject that isn't the expected "I'm happy for you" is pretty much guaranteed to permanently damage or kill long standing personal relationships. So what's the alternative? Staying in the closet and being miserable? Sure everyone wants the big happy rainbow filled coming out of 110% acceptance but many people often deal with terrible unforeseen consequences to their personal relationships they once thought were solid and reliable. It has damaged or destroyed that connection leaving them feeling much worse about themselves. But the other side of the coin is that once they are out of the closet, these people who are left with shattered old relationships can build new relationships within the community. Plus not everyone who comes out goes through the situation you're describing, especially nowadays. You can blame "homophobic society" and the everything else in the world. That instant instability in one's personal and family life can lead to profound and severe depression often leading to other destructive behaviors as a coping mechanism. But you're ignoring the fact that most people come out to family and friends after they've come to terms with their sexuality, therefore there is no "instant instability." But because it has to do with being gay and coming out all those issues are ignored and replaced with campy, topical and cliched anecdotes that are a product of gay pop culture and nothing more. No, these "anecdotes" are not a "product" of gay pop culture but the result of more and more gay people accepting that it's okay to be gay, and that there is nothing wrong, immoral, or abnormal about homosexuality. You are terribly uninformed. Gays will have to accept that at times they will be unaccepted. Actually, I think most of us are aware of that, but what's wrong with trying to change things? Thanks to political correctness this issue has moved away from those it directly affects and has been handed over to politicians to legislate our lifestyle into acceptance. You just don't have the facts. Today's gay activists work with politicians to change not only legislature but attitudes; nobody has just "handed" things over to politicos. So, Dr. Bill, it would be nice to see you accept those gays in kindness who aren't just like you instead of this harsh and catty [stereotype alert!] judgment because not 100% of those who come out feel good about doing so. You seem unaware that the very idea of Coming Out -- becoming an Out and Proud Gay Individual -- is to acknowledge and celebrate one's sexuality and acceptance of same. Yet I will grant you that there are those who come out before they are ready, or still harbor [sometimes unacknowledged] negative feelings. Gays like you are actually worse than homophobic people oh come on now! since you cast away those whom you say you identify with based on some topical and unimportant assessment you probably got wrong to begin with. I'm sure you think you're making sense here but you're not. I know truth and the gay life are never supposed to mix what on earth are you talking about? but you have to put up with gays like me who keep self-inflated moral judges [judgments] in check. Oh really? Your personal life is littered with hookups and missed opportunities and regrets is this me you're talking about or yourself? Even if you've met me believe me you obviously don't know me which you make up for by having an over active activism hobby [gay activism is no "hobby"]that is clearly steeped in denial as you will support the gay agenda [?] no matter how illogical or unfair the fight becomes. It's not fun feeling judged is it? As an openly gay man no doubt I'm judged every day, whereas closet cases generally avoid this. So in conclusion I do see why you would write the point of view you did, you are a gay agenda sympathizer At least you're not calling me a "commie sympathizer" -- or is that next? who has no empathy for others who struggle with the pain and fallout of a coming out that doesn't go like it does on Logo. Just don't be so out of touch with the reality of what gays are actually doing and feeling by getting overly busied with this militant gay agenda that has lost touch with the average gay guy or girl it says it supports. According to who? Thanks.

You're welcome. First I think you should take a look at my piece on self-hating homos on my brother blog jatgab, if you haven't already. I have a feeling you'll be able to identify with the portrait I paint of people like you or the people you profess to know so much about.

Look, I'm sorry you -- or your friends or patients, or what-have-you -- have issues with your sexuality, are uncomfortable being gay and so on. A post on this blog went into why some gay people feel this way, and you might find it helpful.

But I'm not going to apologize for not feeling the way you or your friends do. I am not going to apologize for having been a gay activist and for trying to a.) help people feel better about themselves, getting past society's uninformed and wrong-headed prejudice and b.) trying to make things better in general for all gay people. Frankly, I think all gay activists should be thanked for it, but I suppose that's too much to expect.

As for people like you -- well, I have tried to be compassionate and understanding and I do accept the fact that not everyone is as strong as those of us who are Out and Proud, and some people just don't have the courage to be just a little bit unconventional. But, my friend, it is not 1950 anymore. It is not even 1970 or 1980. Attitudes have changed. And while there is still a great deal of misunderstanding and prejudice -- and obviously a lot of self-hatred -- it is also time to acknowledge that the dinosaurs no longer walk the earth and Gay Pride has been around for decades. What with gay marriage on the horizon, gays adopting kids, and so on, it won't be long before even conventional people will feel comfortable being gay.

I have met a number of people like you and have, in my way, tried to talk with and help them, but invariably I am met with hostility [You even go so far as to say I am worse than a homophobe!]. Self-hating gays almost always hate the Out and Proud, and I don't think I need to go into the obvious reasons why. We're happy, you're not -- and that's a shame, but aside from telling you it's okay to be gay, what more would you have me do when confronted with the usual steel wall of [self-] contempt? I can't force you to feel better about yourself, but perhaps a counselor or therapist might do you some good?

[Or jeez, perhaps you are a therapist who thinks he's sticking up for the self-hating gay person or the supposedly "straight" guy who continuously pursues men for sex -- if so, it's definitely a case of the blind leading the blind! If "pursuing the gay agenda" means that I want all homosexuals to stop denying their nature, both literally and figuratively, and be happy and fulfilled, then I am definitely pursuing a gay agenda and I'm damn proud of it. We should not encourage people to stay in the closet and continue to feel ashamed because they might lose current support networks -- we should encourage them to feel good about themselves so they can build new support networks.]

I don't think you know what gay activists are about, nor do you know what's on the mind of the "average" gay man or woman [if there is such a thing, as we're a pretty diverse bunch]. I think you feel you are so disconnected from and/or above "gay culture" -- for which you feel contempt -- that your knowledge of and opinions about same are simply uneducated at best or downright homophobic at worst. You undoubtedly have few gay friends; maybe not many friends at all.

I don't know the exact reasons for your bitterness, but I can't imagine that it's easy to live with. You're gay, you can't change it, and there's nothing wrong with it.

Once you accept that, life will be much easier for you, and you'll stop thinking of me -- and gay activists in general, who are only trying to help -- as the enemy.

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