Name::straighttalker05 From::Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
I'm an avid dreamer. I have big ideas, and I'll probably take them somewhere. Watch this space.
I want to present what I think - and not with words minced up into an acceptable platter. Some things need to be told straight - particularly gay rights. Particularly life in the closet, it's very nature means no one hears it. If they do it's usually tinted with nostalgia.
I'm confident, I know what I like and what I don't. Please don't confuse this for arrogance. I'm probably more insecure then you imagine. View my complete profile
I came across the new ‘fake gay news’ website, which exists because ‘real gay news is too damn depressing’. While it exists obviously to satirize the media, I have to admit – it is quite true.
This week, the Vatican has finally published its guidelines on homosexuality that clearly states that the Catholic Church cannot accept men who “practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture." Of course, they won’t have female priests anyway, so that’s that career off the list (not that it was ever on it).
In Poland, gay rights activists are looking at potential fines or prison sentences of up to a month for rallying in the Polish city of Poznan over the weekend, defying a city wide ban on their Equality March. This comes after an anti-gay Prime Minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz was duely elected there.
Back home, our dear politicians are still arguing themselves quite silly over Civil Partnerships and Equality Legislation.
I have come to a conclusion that I am one great big contradiction. I am very sure in my views, yet sometimes my actions mightn’t suggest that. I’m always in the grey areas – so unsure yet so determined.
I could describe in details the aspects of my life that are contradictory, but they would involve explanation, which is unnecessary. If I’m such a contradiction in so many things – how can I be so much and still be me?
Happy/Sad. Gay/Pretending to be Straight, Politicized/Feckless, Stressed/Relaxed, Opinionated/Quiet, Pensive/Loud Mouth, Proud/ Scared, Smart/ Divvy.
There are a lot of things I could wish I wasn’t. There are a lot of things I could wish I were. But I’d rather just admit to myself the things I am. Some day I’m going to write them all down in blue ink. I could scribble out the things I’d rather not be, but that would be dishonest and untrue. For now I’ll be what I am at the moment. Me. Or at least some part of me. Maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini, or maybe I’m just messed up inside. Maybe I’m too influenced by the outside, or maybe it’s because I’m too influenced by myself. I spend so much time looking for answers I forget the questions. I spend so long asking questions I never find the answers….
Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.
--Robert A. Heinlein
I’m jealous apparently. Oh yes, I’m jealous of my artificial peers and their handbag boyfriends. I’m jealous that one of my ‘friends’ has 10 guys on the go at once. I’m jealous that it’s been a whole 3 weeks since another friend started dating her perfect man.
Please excuse me while I snort with laughter. (This is obviously an example of me being bitter.)
Yes, 17 and totally single – the best of their knowledge. If they stopped looking in the mirror for 5 minutes and put their brains in gear they might also realise I’ve never actually had a boyfriend, or shown the least interest in the male species. I must admit it doesn’t exactly go in my favour. Makes me wonder why they haven’t guessed I’m gay already… Or maybe they consider me just to be too inferior and ugly to get a boyfriend anyway?
Luckily I’m too restrained to actually retort with, ‘I’m not jealous because your boyfriend is a pimply get, and my girlfriend is much, much prettier. I could be jealous of your 10 guys, but I reckon being known as easy isn't much fun.'
No – I must listen instead to them babbling incessantly.
‘Boy 1 said the CUTEST thing…’ ‘That’s like the time boy 2 told me …’ ‘Oh that’s just SOOOOO adorable!’ ‘I know, and I mean, like, it’s been a WHOLE 4 weeks since Boy 3 and I started going out.’
I guess they just must mistake me for someone who really cares for their banal details. Or worse – the mistake me for someone jealous of their banal lives. Sure they are easier, but convention can be so bland.
Sorry if I don’t get excited by what position your boyfriend plays in rugby. Sorry if I don’t really give a damn what colour his new highlights are. Apologies if I seem disinterested in his life achievements/family/pet.
The closet is somewhere I will eventually be expected to leave – it’s a little like being stranded on a desert island because you are just too lazy, or too afraid of calling the hover-craft taxi to come get you. Some regard it as the porch to the gay world, whereas for others it has never really existed at all. Everyone has their own ‘coming out’ experiences, which they may wish to share, or not to share. However, I’m not any less of a person because I chose not to divulge my ‘personal details’… yet.
There are people with secrets in every aspect of my life. I have friends who are Christians and yet secretly go to pubs and bars. I have other friends who have dark secrets in the bottom of their pockets. I know many people who get up to much more clandestine activities than me. And yet I’m the one who has to ‘come out of the closet?’
Lets face it – gay or not, many people have things they want to hide. People spend years in denial or desperately trying to cover up their deepest secrets. It is acceptable to have secrets, you aren’t even expected to tell anyone, and it’s considered quite romantic to take them to the grave.
But if you’re gay, come on, out with it.
Is coming out a way of wearing a badge to forewarn everyone I’m not exactly the same? I have lots of other unique (and possibly more interesting) features to my life – perhaps it’s time I produced them from the closet and reorganised them for the shock and bemusement of my peers and family.
Coming out is something that I ponder a lot. Not because I am in denial, I know I’m gay. Unlike others I am firm in my belief that I don’t want to face the problems coming out may bring while I am young. I’m young, gay and about to start truly living. Why would I wish to stain that with arguments from those who I know wouldn’t even really understand when I told them?
Perhaps it’s not ‘big’ of me to stay in the closet. I do however, refuse to be patronised with the ‘older and wiser’ lines. As if time is a determining factor. While I may realise I’m gay, I don’t have a long grey beard and half moon glasses and am therefore not wise enough to make this momentous step.
I can’t say I was surprised to read here that a Democratic Unionist Party councillor was doing what they seem to do best – flapping his gob. Apparently I’m “abominable and filthy” and to blame for Hurricane Katrina and the spread of AIDs in Africa. Oh yes, so that’s what I do at weekends.
The Ballymena DUP Councillor presents a thought provoking argument. Hurricane Katrina was God reminding us that he doesn’t like homosexuals: “the media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence Festival, which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people.”
Well I suppose the media did have rather a lot on their plate to report that week – I guess they just missed that bit.
They also must have missed that the DUP election victory on May 5th 2005, which left them the fourth largest party in the House of Commons, increasing their mandate in both Westminster and local elections was followed 20 days later by an air disaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 27 people were killed. This was obviously God saying something important to us.
I’m sure people of the same view as this public representative must dread the summer Pride season. What with so many gays on the streets, surely God must be about to start flicking whole continents of people to their death as vengeance. Funny – no one I know faced the wrath of God this summer, or last.
It really is positive to see our elected public representatives being stupid buffoons.
Unrequited love seems to be something experienced in particular by lesbians. If it isn’t the cute female teacher with the sparkly eyes for whom only you seemed to hold a fascination for, it’s the best friend who was cruelly straight and uninterested.
For me at least, there was the initial confusion over feelings. But that wasn’t too very difficult because it just didn’t occur to me that I was actually gay. This was of course helped by countless girly magazines that assured me that it was totally normal to have ‘feelings’ for other women, and told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t gay. There is also the constant worry that someone else will notice that you are mildly obsessed with a woman. Not knowing yourself is bad enough, but the worry that everyone else may also know is almost unbearable.
Not that unrequited love is something purely associated with my past. I have no doubt that I may fall for someone equally unobtainable in the future, maybe even tomorrow. This is a risk, since about 9/10 of the people you may fancy are likely to be straight, and even if they are gay, they are unlikely to fancy you anyway.
If love is a battle, homosexual love can be a war. It hurts when the person doesn’t know. The silence is the hardest part, filled with daydreams and what ifs.
When the object of your affection carries on as if nothing has happened. All that happened was in your head, and there it will remain.
It seems to have become a tradition in Northern Ireland at least, that every Pride parade is accompanied by the placard patrol. Having recently reorganised themselves into the ‘Stop The Parade Coalition’, they are avidly fighting to have us banned, with such choice and original remarks as “The sexual dead end”, and “Pride goeth before destruction.”
Our peaceful carnival is described as a ‘contentious’ parade, and must therefore be brought before the Parades Commission for permission to go ahead. Ironic isn’t it – the one parade of the year when both sides of the community come together to march in solidarity is brought under scrutiny and is every year threatened with closure by an ever vociferous (minority) opposition.
I totally defend the protesters right to protest, but for one day, must they rain their fanaticism on our parade? You’d think they might get the message by now – we’re here, we’re queer and we aren’t going away. Gays have existed for thousands of years, so homosexuality isn’t going to end because they wove a little placard with some loosely translated bible verse at them.
Of course reason isn’t going to work. They will surely find some example of the ‘lewd’ behaviour of the pride parade. Some people are just like that aren’t they?
Some people accuse me of being preoccupied with my sexuality. Being preoccupied with being gay. They may be right. On reflection, straight people aren’t overtly proud of being straight. They don’t have a parade for it, or a flag for that matter.
But then, they also don’t have to go through the awkwardness of realisation, the agony of ‘coming out’, and the persecution that may follow.
Someone once told me that gay people are strong people. Not that it’s just in our genes or something, but because we’ve learnt to be strong. She believed we knew more of ourselves because of our battle with ourselves. And to a certain extent I agree.
Being straight is something you don’t have to think of – you are brought up that way. Have you ever heard of someone coming out to their parents because they realised they are a heterosexual? They have never needed to hide their sexuality. They have never needed to lie about things as seemingly insignificant as friends and partners. Heterosexuality is the norm, a desired quality if you will.
So stuff convention, and because people will frown upon it – be proud. Be preoccupied.
I go to my school and it is empty, filled with people, but still empty. I talked to them and it was like a brick wall. I talked to the walls and they too were immovable. The people talked and talked, but I didn’t want to hear, they gave me a sore head.
Schools are full of squealing teens. If they aren’t squawking in your ear, they’re stabbing you in the back.. Best years of your life?
So maybe I’m a little bitter. I like to imagine I’m above it all, but sometimes they drag me down. I don’t object to their company at all, they are all really nice – just not in concentrated doses.
I try to distance myself, and yet it makes me feel so much closer. I protect myself and yet it just brings the buzzards closer. If you witness so much backstabbing, it doesn’t make you immune.
Maybe I’m just super-sensitive. I’m always wary that someone may guess I’m gay – It’s not really that hard (I rely on their own self-obcession rather than my own pretense). Being different makes you prey, but it also makes you wise up pretty quick.
If we were all different, or at least embraced our differences and individuality, we might be less suspicious of each other. It’s a natural instinct to be aggressive if you feel threatened. If they all stopped pretending to be the same, maybe they’d feel more at home.
Stop blinding me with repetition. You aren't all the same.
I imagine myself to be a comedienne extraordinaire. At the very least, I find myself mildly amusing. I think it may just be my unappreciative audience. We simply aren’t on the same wavelength.
One of the things I find amusing is to use their respective innocence of all things queer to entertain myself. I ask if they are in ‘the L word’ with their boyfriend. I inquire as to whether they were ‘cottaging’ at the weekend if they go to their holiday homes by the sea. They are obviously totally oblivious to my implied meaning, perhaps some day they will remember and realise my gentle mocking. But more than likely they will continue the sheltered and inward-looking lives they have led up to now, and my humour will go unappreciated.
Gentle teasing it may be. Fundamentalists may argue it’s me trying to pollute their minds. Double entendres are harmless; it could go completely undetected by someone who was not familiar with the hidden meaning. Yet they have an offensive stigma attached by the person who doesn’t understand them but is aware that there is something not right with them.
Maybe it’s wrong of me to exploit their innocence (or feigned innocence), but grant me my petty concessions. It’s not easy to be young and gay in any situation, it is accompanied by doubts, which seem to be magnified by silence and difficult to find answers to in that great empty space which seems to be waiting to be filled.
Lesbians have several prominent figures in media and music. Ellen, KD Lang, Melissa Etheridge, Alex Parks…. Sorry who?
Why is it that straight people have never heard of the popular lesbian idols? Are they just totally blinkered, or are they just unaware of the wealth of talent that exists in the ‘lesbian’ box?
Sure there have been several advances in visibility, http://www.afterellen.com/ being one particular website which I commend for it’s work in increasing lesbian visibility. The latest series of ‘America's Next Top Model’ features an out lesbian contestant, Kim. A British lesbian singer/songwriter, Alex Parks, won the BBC Fame Academy series in 2003. Even Living TV is showing a sitcom based on… you guessed it – lesbians. As if I even need to remind you.
But maybe we don’t want visibility. Some of us like our secrets. It’s like a secret club, and it might be easier for us closettes if the straights didn’t quite understand our fascination with our lesbian idols. I can comfortably say ‘I’m a KD Lang fan’, not because I’m totally comfortable with my sexuality, but because I know my straight friends won’t have a clue. I take a strange pleasure in reading Jeanette Winterson books in front of my school mates, not just because she is a wonderful writer, but because it feels liberating to do so – they have no idea.
If I am talking to someone who I suspect is gay, I can drop a few names into the conversation, and believe me it gets results. ‘Oh yeah, I love Melissa Etheridge too!’ – Gay.
This secret code is like a secret handshake in a secret society.
Dire straights – unfortunately we all know them. It would be totally wrong for me to assume any prejudice against someone just because of their sexuality (if only others would realise the implications of this), but there are people who I cannot abide.
Hate is a very strong word, particularly in the context of a human being, but I reckon I come pretty near hatred of the dire straights. But don’t worry – the feeling is certainly mutual.
Dire straights can be my acquaintances, or they can be strangers. They scorn me for something they don’t understand. They are determined to make their lives more awkward, but see it as my fault. If they can make my life more complicated too, then even better.
I came across one of this sub species a few nights ago. It was a fireworks display and a group of gay friends were there for the spectacle (that turned out to be rather less than a spectacle). As the pathetically choreographed fireworks burned our money over head and some strains of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ drifted from the seemingly broken speakers, two of the group, who are after all girlfriends started to kiss. Forgive me for glossing over the romantic bit, you can imagine that for yourself.
In the way that lesbians are hairy and gay man are all hilarious, one of them called ‘Hot Lesbian Action’, which was met by guffawing laughter on our part, and nervous pattering around us.
One women, obviously so spell bound by her child’s first Halloween decided to kick up a fuss, proclaiming ‘Watch what you say! There are children here.”
Oh yes, Sorry, I forgot for a moment that my sexuality is disgusting and that your children live in a bubble where parents can get drunk, swear or worse in front of their own children, but homosexuality is forbidden. I do doubt that the child in the pram will ever remember the incident, or the two amorous women. It will also never remember that fireworks display, as it was promptly wheeled off.
If it had been a man and a woman, I doubt the woman would have wheeled her offspring away. I hope she drove a fair distance to see, or not see, the fireworks. I hope she met heavy traffic on the way home. I hope, someday, she’ll realise how her double standards are in fact affecting her life, and, sadly, the lives of her children.
Sometimes you just can’t win. You may imagine it defeatist not even to try, so we still do. Are we kidding ourselves into imagining there is a way forward? Why do we still try for the impossible, knowing we’ll get hurt, or worse – get nowhere?
There are some things that seemed impossible, but were achieved. Equal rights for blacks and peace among other things. We look to them for inspiration for the most mundane things, yet we are still not surprised when it all falls down.
“I have a dream today…”
Martin Luther King’s dream fuelled many more. It took one man to get the ball rolling.
Those who succeed are ‘exceptional’, the ‘movers and shakers’ are regarded with a mixture of admiration and contempt, and the rest of us are just… human.
So maybe we’re just biding our time here on earth. Each one of us imagining we can make a difference, but knowing inside that it’s all a bit of a façade. Maybe it is all a dream, like the child who wants to be the pop star, but knowing inside there is a pretty slim chance of that ever becoming reality, particularly if they don’t fancy appearing on reality TV.
I’m not suggesting we should stop trying, or stop dreaming for that could only lead to disaster. I just wonder why our design, which has allowed us to evolve into such a complex species could still be engrained with a sense of unreality. Why do we never learn?