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#203984 - 02/07/08 10:19 AM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: LandOfShadow]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Originally Posted By: LandOfShadow
This sounds a bit US-centric. Regarding oppression and discrimination, don't forget many places outside the USA where gay couples have far easier lives and greater rights. Some places are more oppressive certainly, but much of western Europe has removed much of the official and unofficial hostility to gay couples.


That's so true. In the European countries I know best - Germany, the Netherlands and the UK - gays and gay couples do not encounter the hostility and bigotry that pass for acts of "freedom of speech/belief" in the USA. You even see gay couples in ad campaigns for major companies, and in Germany centers for the arts and culture have frequent programs for gay music, art, literature and so on.

I have lived here most of the past 36 years, and over and over again the question comes up of how such a powerful and sophisticated country as the USA can nevertheless harbor such deep prejudice against gays and homosexuality. From a western European perspective that's nothing more than barbaric primitive nonsense.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#203990 - 02/07/08 11:13 AM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: VLinvictus]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Originally Posted By: VLinvictus
Then there are places where if two men are found having sex, they stone the top and collapse a wall onto the bottom...


Actually, from what I know of Islam (if that's what you are referring to), it's OK to be the top, but God help you if you're the bottom (because Allah certainly won't). This makes as much sense as a lot of the fundamentalist interpretations of Islam...

Larry, as advanced as we like to consider ourselves in the US, we fall far short of the ideal when it comes to social acceptance and anti-discrimination. The Victorian Era is still alive and well in many places. Even though beliefs have changed significantly in the past few decades, bigotry and discrimination are very much alive and well in many parts of the good 'ol US of A. That being said, I should also add that while I don't wear my sexuality on my sleeve, I don't hide it either. Most people I know are either very accepting, or they hide their opinions because it's become politically incorrect to discriminate against someone to their face. Now get people in private and they are probably just as old fashioned as they ever were. But when I walk down the street holding my husband's hand, I rarely get a second glance (much less a glare) and almost never illicit a comment unless it is a positive one.

As a friend of my who has a PhD is Philosophy (wouldn't that be a PPhD? LOL) says, the only two groups who it is still acceptible to the majority of people to discriminate against are gays and athiests. Damn, two strikes against me. I'm glad I'm a Caucasian male...

One last question; I've heard it said that legalizing gay marriage would destroy the institution of marriage. How's that? Does anybody buy this? That's one of the most rediculous things I've ever heard...

Just my thoughts...

Lazarus

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

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#203995 - 02/07/08 12:21 PM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: Lazarus]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Lazarus

Actually, from what I know of Islam (if that's what you are referring to), it's OK to be the top, but God help you if you're the bottom (because Allah certainly won't). This makes as much sense as a lot of the fundamentalist interpretations of Islam...


Various Islamic societies in the past have taken less strict views WRT to tops -- the Turks spring to mind -- but the creative sentencing I referenced was a favorite of the Taliban.

Quote:

One last question; I've heard it said that legalizing gay marriage would destroy the institution of marriage. How's that? Does anybody buy this? That's one of the most rediculous things I've ever heard...


From what I gather, the argument (if you can call it that) is that if the definition of marriage were changed to include same-sex unions as well as "one man/one woman," then it would somehow no longer be special. If marriage was no longer special, then people would not get married and illegitimacy and social chaos would follow. Not to mention the fear that sanctioning same-sex unions with public recognition would give societal approval to gay sex and more men would choose to have sex with other men than with women. Then there is the slippery-slope fear that if you challenge one plank of the bourgeois capitalist patriarchy and sanction gay sex, then all the rest of the WASP morality system will come crashing down. They fret that since abortion already makes it OK to kill babies and tolerance of homosexuality is making it OK to be gay, then the next logical step is godless feminist communism...

IOW, gay marriage leads inevitably to human sacrifice, dogs and cats sleeping together, mass hysteria.



Edited by VLinvictus (02/07/08 12:34 PM)
_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#203996 - 02/07/08 12:27 PM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: Lazarus]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Lazarus,

"If you're against gay marriage, don't marry one!" I like that little lapel button statement. I really don't see how my partner and I having a legally recognized relationship, with all of the benefits, rights and responsibilities that go with it, affects anyone at all but us. My kids accept it, my family accepts it, most of my friends accept it. I want to grow older together with the person that I love just like any other committed couple in the world. How is that a threat to anyone?

Take good care of yourself,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#204002 - 02/07/08 01:30 PM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: Stephen_5]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Quote:
From what I gather, the argument (if you can call it that) is that if the definition of marriage were changed to include same-sex unions as well as "one man/one woman," then it would somehow no longer be special. If marriage was no longer special, then people would not get married and illegitimacy and social chaos would follow.


Let's walk through this slowly.

Straight person A does not want gay persons B and C to get married because that would cause straight persons D and E to think about marriage in a way that straight person A does not want them to.

The right isn't trying to control how gay people live; they're trying to control how straight people think.

*sigh* I'm really tired of people trying to negate my right to exist by pretending that they have an equal and opposite right for me not to exist. I'm even more tired of people claiming that the very idea that I should be allowed to exist constitutes an assault on their life. (My meme can beat up your meme!)



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#204010 - 02/07/08 02:30 PM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: MemoryVault]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: MemoryVault

Straight person A does not want gay persons B and C to get married because that would cause straight persons D and E to think about marriage in a way that straight person A does not want them to.

The right isn't trying to control how gay people live; they're trying to control how straight people think.


Because if they don't, the result will be Cirinism! \:\)



Edited by VLinvictus (02/07/08 02:30 PM)
_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#204106 - 02/08/08 07:46 AM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: VLinvictus]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
For me gays have as much right as anyone else to marry. Period.

Returning to what being gay means, it has always struck me as grossly inaccurate to think of straight guys and gays as representing opposite sexualities. One of the big contributions of the Kinsey report was the way in which it showed that both the attitudes and sexual behaviors of boys and men form not two opposites, but a kind of long and slowly shifting continuum in which the true minorities are those who are absolutely straight and those who are absolutely gay. Most guys have at least fantasies somewhere in the middle, and many have acted on them at some point in their lives. Others have been with one sex and then, for whatever reason, shifted to the other.

Stephen talks about this and makes a lot of good points. I guess I should point to myself as another example, if not in the same way. I knew nothing about sex before the abuse began when I was 10, and by the time it ended, when I was 14, I was a totally broken kid with no boundaries or self-esteem. What pulled me out of the abyss was my relationship with a close friend who was abused with me for the last year. After the abuser was chased off we continued as before, and it was my relationship with him that showed me that sex didn't have to be violent, frightening or humiliating. It showed me I could be loved.

I wasn't with him because I "liked dick". That never occurred to me, or at least I don't recall that feeling. What drew us together was the fact that we had helped each other survive a pretty horrific year and had never abandoned the other to face the abuser alone - not ever. What I remember was doing what we knew, and gradually realizing how intensely in love I was. He was my first true love.

Where does that put me now, as a "straight" guy? Especially when I still look back on that relationship as one of the most positive things in my life?

In any case, who decided that heterosexuals are "straight" and homosexuals are "gay". I mean, where do the terms come from? I know I never heard them when I was a kid and in a relationship with the other boy who had been abused with me. We were scared of being detected and denounced as "fairies" or "queers", but I don't recall ever hearing the terms "straight" or "gay".

I wonder if the term "straight" is a sarcastic term that emerged among gays. It reminds me of how, in my frat house, my friends and I were criticized as "detriments to the good name of this house" \:D . So we started calling ourselves that - the "detriments": falling through picture windows, wild excesses in drink and drugs, riding motorcycles up the stairs just to see if we could do it, hiring the madam of a local brothel as our housemother to chaperon our parties, etc. And we called our critics the "responsible brothers" rofl. In those days (late 60s) I remember the term "straight" as meaning guys who didn't do drugs; nothing to do with sex.

On the question of "Do straight guys ask themselves what does it mean to be straight?", I have to say this misses the point that such a question is largely irrelevant when you are the majoritarian group in society. It doesn't make a lot of sense to ask "what does it mean to be white in the USA?", but blacks rightly consider it pretty important to talk about what it means to be black in the USA. When you are subject to judgment, discrimination, stereotyping and misrepresentation, or if there is something significant that sets you apart from the majority, surely that raises questions of identity and meaning that don't otherwise come up.

Just some further thoughts.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#204188 - 02/08/08 04:36 PM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: roadrunner]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Please tell me you formed a band called "The Detriments"! First album: "The Detriments: To Your Health"?

"Gay" goes back to the '20s as a term for homosexual men and women in the "scene," but it didn't become the dominant term until the late 60s with the "gay power" movement. Very quickly after that, it lost a lot of its constituency--lesbians didn't want to be lumped in with a category that mainly meant men, so we started saying "gay men and lesbians", then other groups stood up for separate recognition, hence GLBTIQQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersex, Queer, Questioning)--apologies if I left one out. "Queer" has been floated as a blanket term for all orientation/gender minorities, but a lot of people find it uncomfortable, while "gay" has come to many to seem assimilationist.

I now propose we all call ourselves the Detrimental community.


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#283259 - 04/11/09 02:07 PM Re: To me, being gay means ......... [Re: roadrunner]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Originally Posted By: roadrunner
gay has to do with more than sex


i want to kiss all the feet of the spider that brought this thread to my attention while i was in the 'who's on line section'. [i apologize to anyone who is put off by my perspective here; this is ron the person in recovery speaking, and as such my role is to support our highest and best attempts to elevate a community ethic that has too long been accused of being smarmy and low life].

i have been thinking about this over the last several weeks in as it relates to those who are struggling struggling struggling....so much so that the struggling seems more like a snuggling than anything else...with the idea of same sex attraction, and how somehow being gay is the same thing.

conversations have taken place around this topic that have attempted to cast it in the light of being some disordered condition, and the culture itself as being somehow deluded.

further, the indications seem to be made mostly under the aegis of trying to get 'back to heterosexuality' for whatever reason, and in doing so feel it will somehow help their cause to kick the legs out from under the premise that gay is 'ok' for anyone at all.

i am talking mostly about people who admittedly used the gay community for its most base purpose: to get their admittedly twisted sexual needs met.

if you reduced your idea to what it meant to be str8 as measured by your experience of it in terms of the establishments you frequented as a fledgling giant hormone at the age of 21 looking for a big happy sexual playground, then you would also see all of heterosexual culture as essentially a giant meet/meat rack, where you could go to get sidetracked sexually/emotionally/psychologically.

but we know such is not truly the case. just as we know that the entire 'morals-based' paradigm of heterosexual culture can not be encapsulated in the bar scene, so is it unfair to judge an entire community according to one's disappointment in one aspect of it to deliver higher values in the more base domains.

Originally Posted By: bigjdaddymack
Gay or straight, the more structured, esteeming and values-based a persons support system is, the higher the likelihood of creating a healthy adjustment. The gay world needs this type of structure out in the mainstream. It needs to shake off the shackles of stereotypes and stigmas that reinforce the negatives. It needs support and fairness.


i have spent the last 20 years in academic environments of higher learning and during that time have only encountered narrow bigoted thinking in schools where their bias was particularly slanted to align their students opinions to their own particular reality tunnel conjectured on prevailing axiomatic thought.

our 'community' has broadened its moral, political, intellectual and spiritual scope and risen in ascendancy, but there are still those who used its most base point of entry as a determinant for identifying its essence as being wicked and seriously flawed. to those folks i would say, you have never met my daughters, my pastor, my community, the organization that provides care for aids and hiv patients. the list goes on. water seeks its own level, and if you went seeking the devil well you found him. please don't castigate the rest of us for your shallow choices.

i hope and pray that those for whom this is such a bone of contention, stop casting shadows of shame on an entire contingent of society that has brought no more woe to the culture at large than heterosexuality in general, but rather has enriched it in ways we cannot fully measure or fathom for our lives today.

we are good, we are healthy, we are sane, we are fun loving wildly theatrical compassionate people, and, like our str8 brothers and sisters, we are NOT our sex drives.

thanks for listening as i speak in defense of those who are not here to defend themselves,

ron


_________________________
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  2. ReClaiming Now
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