Tag Archives: gay

it happened again

Mermaid friend was making a comparison between me and someone else, and so she gestured to them and said “small gay” and then gestured to me and said “small…” and then just trailed off.  So I asked something like, “What?  You couldn’t decide on a noun?  Ace can be a noun,” and she said, “No, I just don’t know how you feel about being referred to as a gay.”

…I don’t know how to explain to her that “how I feel about it” is mainly this strong sense of you’ll get in trouble.

What I actually said, for the record, was something along the lines of “the real gay people wouldn’t like that.”


paraphrased

me: [overhearing friend listing names/identities on skype chat in the other room, and then raising my voice to comment from behind a wall] Why is my name being mentioned?

her: [also raising her voice to reply through the wall] I was saying that you’re ace, and we’re playing gay bingo, so that’s worth a certain amount of points.

me: I mean, I, I guess that’s worth being outed for, but — [loud sputtering/incoherent reaction]

her: I can’t hear what’s happening, but I think I just started an argument.

me: No, no, I’m trying to warn you.

her: About what?

me: About the danger.

her: The danger?

me: Of saying that me being ace has any gay points.  You’ll be excommunicated.

her: Excommunicated from what?  Being gay?

me: Yes.


sexuality triad

Anyway.  This… thing… tumblr meme? …of positioning ace/bi/pan folk as an allied unit was cute at first I guess, but it’s making me uncomfortable at this point.

‘Cause the theme has just more and more aggressively become this implication that The Hypocritical Gay Kids are invalidating and being bigoted toward innocent blameless ace/bi/pan folk, and, uh, while that definitely happens in specific incarnations (trust me, I’ve been there), it’s pretty clearly presented as if solely gay people (as a class) are Problematic and ace/bi/pan people (as a unified class) never engage in the same vice.

Which is false, by the way.

I’ve heard aces talk like anti-gay prejudice is mostly over and aces have it harder.  I’ve seen bi/pan people get on lesbians’ case for not being into men.  Our communities/demographics are not pristine.

If you’re addressing a specific case, that’s one thing, and if you’re just talking about things that have happened, that’s one thing, but if you’re adding that up to speak in metonymy as if gay people are guilty of invalidating others’ sexualities and ace/bi/pan folk totally aren’t… you’re wrong.


🌂

If one more straight kinkster compares being kinky to being gay or compares criticism of the kink community to homophobia I will be provoked to violence.


Labels: Looking Forward vs. Looking Back

a picket fenceThere’s something strange about the rhetoric of “don’t limit yourself” in response to identity labels.  The idea, or argument, rather, seems to be that you shouldn’t neglect the possibilities — i. e., if you feel a new kind of attraction toward a gender for which you didn’t previously have those feelings, or if you no longer experience a kind of attraction to a certain gender, you should be open to acknowledging what you feel.

This line of thinking seems to be predicated on the idea that labels are about looking forward and predicting the future.

Perhaps it’s meant to encourage acknowledgement of the fact that sexuality is fluid rather than static.  Things could always change.  I agree that orientation isn’t set in stone, and a reminder of such can be warranted — but what “don’t limit yourself” neglects to consider is that in order for “things” to change, there must be a “thing” in the first place.  And perhaps we would like to give a name to the current state of that thing.

While acknowledging that, perhaps, there are people who use labels for a different purpose than I do, I’d say one of the (available) reasons for using orientation labels is not about looking forward, but looking back.  If you’ve only experienced sexual attraction to people of the same gender as yourself your whole life, or if you’ve experienced it toward multiple genders regularly, or if you’ve never experienced it at all, and so on, you’re not “limiting” yourself by giving a name to that experience.  That’s because describing a personal history is not the same as placing a “limit” on anything.  Calling yourself what you are and have been makes no other statement than what you are and have been.

I can recognize some of the objectives and intended sentiments behind the rhetoric of openness (as applied to orientation labels), but I’d recommend they take a more effective route, because at present, this kind of warning only causes consternation by implying that an individual does not have the authority to describe their own experiences.