Friday, June 12, 2015

Gay Men vs. Lesbians?

I have some gay friends who insist that lesbians hate gay men, and since I've never had that experience, I wonder where this is coming from? Is this some kind of sexism or even homophobia? I was very disturbed by the attitudes of some people. P.S. I am a gay man in my forties.

Let me make it clear that well-adjusted gay people, those who accept themselves and don't have a problem with their sexuality, generally don't have the kind of blatant prejudices that afflict so much of society, gay or straight. I once participated in a conversation on just this subject -- lesbians hating gay men -- and, as I'm sure you did, found it to be ridiculous. The "evidence" of this alleged prejudice was all anecdotal. One bartender told me a lesbian waitress was rude to him in a restaurant, so this, of course, means that lesbians all hate gay men. Could he even be sure she was a lesbian, and did her bad attitude have anything to do with his being gay? Probably not. I mean, once a lesbian bartender was kind of unpleasant to me, but she is vastly outnumbered by other gay women whose attitudes were perfectly nice and professional. I think the few gay men who feel this way are defensively covering up their own negative attitudes toward women.

Let me also make it clear that gay men all hating women and lesbians all hating men (gay or straight) is in this day and age indicative of ludicrous stereotyping. Are there some lesbians who may dislike some or all gay men, or men in general, and are there some gay men or men in general, who have issues with women, be they straight or gay? Yes. But generally these are based on one or more bad experiences, which don't really add up to any kind of scientific survey. The truth is, there are gay people who may simply be indifferent to the opposite sex, which is often misinterpreted as "hatred." On the other hand -- and this is very important --  many gay men and lesbians have formed warm and life-lasting friendships with one another.

During this debate with some acquaintances, one guy said that it was simply that his experiences were different from mine. This is true, of course, but a person shouldn't base his attitudes on his own experiences, however valuable, alone. A person should learn and know about other people's experiences as well before forming a judgment. Also, it is often how we interpret personal experience that makes the difference.

That being said, in my experience, lesbians do not in general hate gay men or vice versa. Dare I say it's only fucked up people who have such antediluvian attitudes.

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