Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

Happy Pride Month, America!

chicago dyke's picture

DSCF1175

That's the gayest flower I cultivate that's blooming right now, and I think it's perfect for Pride month. For those of you that don't know, this month is when many/most "Gay Pride" celebrations take place around America in cities large and small. Here's one page out of many, filled with dates for parades, parties, and events that shouldn't be missed. Unless you were like me this year, and so overwhelmed with the garden and planting that I totally forgot about our local Pride until the Monday after. And I didn't even go to the afterparty, dammit. Oh well.

But I wanted to drop this comment from this post from one of my favorite gay bloggers as he celebrates NYC Pride with a reissued post.

Are you out to every single person you know? Is there anyone who does not know your sexual orientation? Do you walk down the street holding your boyfriend's hand? Do you insist on a double bed at a hotel? Do you tell the maitre d' at the restaurant that you are celebrating your anniversary? Do you ask your employer to institute a non-discriminaiton policy? Do you tell your doctor you're gay so that he can start diagnosing correctly? If not, then you have nothing to say.

When I lived in Teh Big City, being 100% Out all the time was an essential part of my identity and life. I felt a kind of safety there that enabled such behavior, there's no better way to put it. Without that safety, when I visited Mom or relations in the sticks? Well, let's just say I wasn't wearing my 'Denver Dyke March' t-shirt every day I vacationed there. Here in the burbs? It's sort of in between. It took me a year to come out to my neighbors, but that had more to do with them and their weird straight swinger vibe I got off them, than shame. My other neighbors? Honestly, I'm not sure they care. Store clerks? Police officers? The guy who comes by to check my gas meter? I'm pretty sure that despite seeing these folks regularly, they don't know my orientation.

It's especially interesting to me because I'm extremely "out" with my religious and political opinions. I don't fear gay-bashers any more than I fear TeaBaggers or rethuglican lobbyists. And yet, I'll bring up my own atheism, or liberalism/progressivism, to people before I will my sexual orientation. Are we just all to puerile? Too afraid? Is it in "bad taste" to say to a stranger at the gas station, "I just had sex with my girlfriend and gosh it was Hot!" How do straight people talk about their sexuality with strangers, day to day?

I am not in the Closet, but the comment really made me think about the last few years of my life, when fighting for my rights as a queer person have taken a back seat to economic justice political activism. Pride is a good time to think about that sort of thing, imho. Your thoughts? And Happy Pride to all of us! All of us who have sex that isn't: within the "holy" bonds of matrimony, and/or for the purpose of procreation by a fecund male, performed infrequently, and poorly, as he top-mounts a female of reproductive age not using any form of birth control or asking for satisfaction, and/or as the male fantasizes to Closeted depictions of gay male orgies in South Beach he didn't get invited to because he's in the Closet and not rich enough to mitigate that with the Beautiful, Popular Gay People of the World.

If you're NOT in that group, then "gay" Pride week/month/whatever is For You.

[Boilerplate to the "davids" of the world: no, of course Pride isn't just about sex. This post sort of is; get over it.]

0
No votes yet

Comments

Think Liberally's picture
Submitted by Think Liberally on

> How do straight people talk about their sexuality with strangers, day to day?

Well, that's just it, isn't it? You don't have to talk about it, it's something you assume. Convenient, that. Most of our culture, it seems, is based on that.

Straight men might comment on a beautiful woman (whether nearby, or on TV, etc.), I guess, but that's probably the extent that I've ever seen between acquaintances.

> And Happy Pride to all of us!

Happy Pride!

E.T.A. And that's a beautiful picture.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

their personal sexual narratives, and in public, the workplace, etc., and with total confidence that such is "OK?" that would surprise me, if so. it seems to me i can't go to a gas station, grocery store, doctor's office or postal drop without overhearing some conversation between or by a man/men about "what i just fucked" or "what i just fantasized i fucked." ymmv. the number of lesbian or tranny conversations i've heard in a public place? mostly limited to "gay spaces." we know to keep our mouths shut or only speak among ourselves, sadly.

thanks for your reply, i really appreciate it. i feel very guilty as a gay/garden blogger. i can blog easily when i'm showing off blooms, but tricky questions like this make me hide my writing and keep it private. it's good to know other people are asking these questions, thanks. :-)

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

spaces exist so that straight men can discuss their real/imagined sexual exploits. But, ThinkLib is on to something about straightness being assumed. It is the default orientation. People assume someone is straight unless told otherwise (there are exceptions to this rule).

The men I hear discussing sex in public are talking with friends/acquaintances, not chatting up the check-out clerk at Safeway or the gas company meter reader. Unless it's a offhand comment about some random hot woman who happens to walk by. And they make that offhand comment because hetero is the default orientation.

i live in a city where it is pretty safe to be out, and I have been for decades. Still, I don't go around announcing my homo-ness to everyone I meet. I don't make any effort to hide it, but I also don't talk about it unless there is a context for it. It's not something I state when I meet someone new- "Hi, my name is caseyOR, and I'm a lesbian." That feels awkward. It would feel awkward if straight people announced their sexual orientation to me. But, unless I have reason to believe something different, their hetero-ness is assumed.

That said, I certainly have had casual conversations about sex and relationships, with friends, in public places. But I don't make the generalized offhand remark to a total stranger when a hot woman walks by. I only ever hear straight guys do that. And that is straight male privilege.

My days of LGBT Pride marching are behind me. Economic survival has overtaken all else in my life. I know it is still, after all these years, a necessary and important fight, but, and I don't know why I think this, but I consider that public fight a young person's game. Even as I type that sentence it sounds wrong somehow, but I have only so much energy anymore. I husband it carefully, doling it out bit by bit for basic survival.

I'm going to stop now because it feels like I am rambling.

CD, that flower is gorgeous. What is it?

Happy Pride Month everybody.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

The men I hear discussing sex in public are talking with friends/acquaintances, not chatting up the check-out clerk at Safeway or the gas company meter reader. Unless it's a offhand comment about some random hot woman who happens to walk by. And they make that offhand comment because hetero is the default orientation.

The sexism here isn't just about hetero/homo. It's about misogyny, disguised as usual as sexual attraction. Or perhaps more accurately, it's a defense of a hierarchical system, where hierarchy is eroticized.

JLA's picture
Submitted by JLA on

Clearly as more LGBT individuals and couples are "out," the more likely it is that a better understanding of who we are can grow. But I've always thought that "coming out" is a personal decision -- and where one lives can definitely influence those decisions. To judge those who are "selectively out" as somehow having "nothing to say" (from the NYC blogger quote) seems a bit lacking in respect, not to mention in a realization of the differences in locations. Smaller cities, small towns, rural areas -- certainly there are people who are out in such places, but being out in a large city and being out in a town of, say, 1500 or even 200 ... there is a difference. Even with all the progress made, it's still not safe to be out everywhere.

Thanks for the post, chicago dyke. And for the beautiful photo.

Submitted by lambert on

... at the gas station, 'I just had sex with my girlfriend and gosh it was Hot!'?"

Simple answers to simple questions:

Yes.

* * *

But my answer has to do with boundary issues, not with gay-ness or straightness or tri- or n-sexuality or whatever. I can live without knowing when you last had sex. Ditto with whom. Really. But then I'm a WASP; we're all about boundary issues.

* * *

Special bonus points for obnoxious public behavior: Same statement, with your girlfriend right there.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I feel exactly the same way. I don't want to see groping in public, and I certainly don't want to hear about what you do in your bedroom. And that goes for any sexual pairing you can think of.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I have been involved in the construction trades in verious industries that are highly "testosterone" for decades, since I was 15 years old. I've done that pretty much all over the country (except the south and northeast). I can't remember the last time I heard a conversation like that even among people who know each other well. Certainly not among strangers. Sorry, way out of bounds even in the straight, male, testosterone world.

I think the response to a comment like that would be along the lines of "Dude, what? Are you like, twelve? I don't want to hear about your wife/girlfriend. Tell someone who cares."

I'm not sure about perspectives, but straignt men (at least) don't talk much about their sex lives. Straight men don't talk abut their sex lives with other straight women much. Unless they are trying to get in their pants somehow.

I can't speak about what straight women talk about....

As for being out, it pains my wife and I when people we are involved with either professionally, or social settings, either can't come out, or feel we somehow judge them for their sexual preference. I know it ain't all about us, but it's sad we always have to prove our "gay-friendly" cred. It's a big time waster for everyone, which I guess means that society is letting all of us down, straight and gay.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Special bonus points for obnoxious public behavior: Same statement, with your girlfriend right there.

Exactly. That's why most guys (at least in the spheres I've been in), don't really talk about sex the way I'm hearing here. First, if you are talking about your wife/girlfriend that way, you are an asshole, and everybody would look at it that way. Second, if that kind of conversation was tolerated the next guy would have to "go there" too. Doesn't happen.

Regarding "Woah! She's smoking hot" about someone who walks by. Oh yeah, that happens, but there are (unspoken) boundaries there too. Personally, I could care less if anybody felt the need to say that about anybody, regardless of gender or orientation. Just leave out the specifics please! 8-)

BTW, not to take away from Pride, but it's also Father's Day today. :-)

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

it seems to me i can't go to a gas station, grocery store, doctor's office or postal drop without overhearing some conversation between or by a man/men about "what i just fucked" or "what i just fantasized i fucked."

Nine times out of ten, they're lying.

The general rule of thumb, among straight males at least, is that the more they talk about sex, the less sex they're actually having. Again, YMMV.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

2 consenting adults
don't scare the squirrels/cats/dogs/fishies
don't tell anyone who doesn't ask or doesn't seem interested
don't tell your parents or your children

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

Trailing African Daisy (osteospermum fruticosum). it is an annual here, and native to South Africa. i bought it at a nursery and put it in a spot where people walking by will see it, cause it's so unusual here.

that's rule i practice too, the idea of talking about sex with anyone in the family other than my sister is tres icky. :-)

you folks with boundaries make me think of another issue relating to the differences in str8 and gaii cultures. again, mostly in our "safe" spaces, queer people are VERY forward with our sexual behaviors and practices, "loud and proud" if you will. heh, if i were in boystown right now having brunch, i guarantee you i could overhear plenty of loud, laughing, bitchy conversations about who had sex with what last night. i suppose this is also true in 'regular' spaces, in which straight men at least enjoy a privilege of speaking openly about it, even if they're lying. (and do gay men lie about sex as much as straight men? lesbians?)

but the notion that sex is something i should always keep to myself when among strangers is a little foreign to me. i like spicy conversation, and if it's an encounter that lasts a while, i'm not that hesitant to bring up racy topics. this is why i'm thinking about these questions this weekend. if the topic of conversation among newly met people turns to sex, in general i have no problem going totally raunchy if for no other reason than the shock value. but if the subject is my sexuality itself, i get a little more shy. at least, in this town. i guess that's my "boundary."

hang in there, Casey. {{{hugs}}}

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

And I understand the "loud and proud" thing too. I was close with two gay men as they were coming out, and it was quite the education for me!

I kind of have a reputation for being "unshockable" with them, actually. They took me to a sex shop on Christopher Street one time, and there I was, surrounded by everything you could imagine. (I'll keep it clean since this is a "family blog".) You have to understand that I have a very innocent face which is somewhat misleading. So here we are, looking around, and I wander off to look at the counter. The guy with the 18 earrings in his face starts teasing me ("See anything you like, hon?" while pointing to the biggest toy he could find), then somehow we started talking. The boys came back after five minutes, and we're chatting like old friends about how he knows my cousin Danny from Long Island. The boys looked at me in utter disbelief. As we walked out of the shop, one of them said to the other quietly, "Like water off a duck's back."

So, my boundary issues are not with sex, but with intimacy.

Also, I think a certain level of PDA is sweet and romantic. But I don't want to see you throwing your leg over your girlfriend's in a restaurant, or grabbing her boobs, or touching your boyfriend's penis in public. My rule is, if I don't want to see a straight person doing it, I don't want to see a gay person doing it either.