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So why does being gay matter so much?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by crazydog15, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. crazydog15

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    I was very fortunate to be able to go on vacation out of town recently. It gave me the chance to disconnect from work and work to process all the thoughts and feelings I've had. And one of the things that came up was why society at-large makes such a huge deal about being gay. Does anyone know?

    For all my closeted years, being gay was this HUGE thing in my life. Maybe it was because I was younger and more, um, sexually charged, than I am now, but maybe it was because other people made such a big deal about someone being gay. As I'm coming out, I'm realizing that to people who don't care about whether someone is gay, being gay doesn't make you any more or less interesting to talk to, or any better or worse of a person. It's just a thing like hair color. And that is good, of course, but it's also a little unsettling to me. Now I'm wondering what exactly makes me interesting or a good person or whatever. I have to rediscover myself all over again. Maybe straight people have to do that, too, sometimes. At least I hope they do.
     
  2. WilliamHunter

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    Nice message. I've wondered the same thing having been in closet for most of my life until last year. I'm still the same. I've come to have a greater appreciation for all LGBT and the great diversity of people. People are people. Love is love.
     
  3. gryf

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    Fit my friends and immediate family, it doesn't.

    It's another sexual preference, like being attracted to a certain body type or hair color.

    Slightly more than the above, but I hope you get where I'm going.

    Gay is a part of you but it isn't YOU.
     
  4. Calf

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    For many religious organisations and conservative societies it serves well to have an aggressive minority enemy to fight against. It is a great way to unite people against a cause that can be perceived as threatening to their way of life because scared people that believe anything they are told will give anything for protection. In the case of religious and political groups, they can generate huge amounts of financial support and political power by turning gullible people against the 'gay agenda'.
    For liberals, it serves well to always be seen to be the righteous do-gooder, the moral conscience of the world, and so keeping a few pet minorities and spoon feeding rights to them serves to provide them the finance and power they crave too.
    So to answer the first question, being gay is such a huge deal because the main powers in our world aim to keep it that way, in a corrupt effort to secure their own power and control of the people. This is why the issue is always 'gay' rights, 'gay' marriage etc and not the full LGBT issues or equal rights. Society doesn't really care at all.
    Most people that are homophobic or anti-gay, have no idea or reasonable rational for why the feel that way but similarly they usually can't rationally explain any of their opinions - because they are not their opinions, it's just what they were told to think.

    As for the 'disappointment' of being gay, I know what you mean. When I 'came out' and started to experience the gay world around 18 years ago, it was like being in a secret club. I slipped into gay bars through secluded side doors and bought gay magazines under the cover of darkness in empty newsagents.
    In areas where equality is growing nearer, this whole secret society is being lost as we integrate so boringly into mainstream society. Now our parents (and the prying eyes of society) can still have ordinary expectations of us to work the nine till five, get married, have kids and very much live the uneventful lives that everyone else does.
    In a way, it can leave you feeling cheated, especially when you have spent so much of your life 'in the closet' for reasons that turned out not to be true. You may feel that you have given up so much and now you have to go without the reward.
    The key to getting over this 'disappointment' is to remember where you have come from. If the world around you really had been as liberal and accepting as you find it today, would you have stayed in the closet? probably not. Society is changing and becoming something new, so that you don't have to.

    Rediscovering yourself is something that we all do if we want to stay healthy and enjoy life because even if we don't change, the world around us will.
    Don't think about time lost or the length of time you have left. Focus on what you want in life right now and aim for it. Set some positive goals, set out your actions to achieve them and enjoy the journey. If your goals change, alter course, there's no set route to finding happiness.
     
  5. greatwhale

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    I would have to disagree a little on the OP's stating that "being gay doesn't make you any more or less interesting to talk to", I think it still does make him somewhat more interesting, but perhaps not to the degree that he may have imagined.

    Being gay or being part of any other minority, intrinsically makes one "interesting", and this interest may be either positive or negative. You may find that the indifference that you perceive in others may be a deception (of the "not that there's anything wrong with that" variety, it's there, and they're trying mighty hard to appear indifferent). In fact, I can guarantee that this is one fact they will remember about you, one that will more likely be remembered than the colour of your eyes, etc.

    Whatever other aspect of you that makes you interesting will be up to you. If you want to be more interesting, read a lot, and find your passions, that will come through more than anything else. Talk about any loves you may have, and don't hesitate to commiserate about any exes you may have had, as long as the person you are talking to will understand.
     
    #5 greatwhale, Apr 25, 2016
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  6. baristajedi

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    I've been thinking a lot about a similar question, maybe the same question from a different angle. It's been sort of a nagging philosophical musing, but also a personal one that's tugging on me, maybe in some way related to my unconscious chipping away at my own insecurities and shame.

    I keep thinking - why do people care so much about who you love, who you're attracted to, who you build your life with, who you have sex with. Specifically why the hell do people care, why do my desires and feelings invoke discomfort for me? I'm working to eradicate my personal discomfort through action and experience, confronting those feelings head on. But the question of why this stigma exists nags at me.

    It's absurd when you think about it, that this, this inconsequential thing is so stigmatised and viewed in the way that it's viewed. In turns it makes me angry, puzzles me, makes me sad, makes me laugh even. It's such an absurd thing for society and individuals to feel such strong discomfort with.

    I'm not sure my answer contributes much, but it's something I wonder about too.
     
    #6 baristajedi, Apr 25, 2016
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  7. Spaceman

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    A few reasons come to mind:
    1. Historically, religions push procreation to grow their numbers and see homosexuality as a threat to that goal.
    2. People equating "gay" with "anal sex" and not being able to see beyond a sex act that they may genuinely find distasteful.
    3. People fearful of being labeled gay if they don't actively oppose homosexually.
     
  8. rachael1954

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    I hate that it matters so much to people. I have friends coming out and all through the grapevine it's "how could they not know?? their poor husband/wife" "it's still cheating if you are gay" "why would they do that to their kids" and no one understands just how complicated life can really be.

    For myself it's these people and their reactions reverbing through my head that make me never want to be out. To reduce myself to being just fodder for their salacious conversations and gossip makes me want to stay in the closet except to a few close friends.

    In positive news, this whole experience has shocked me and made me more compassionate of other people and their problems. Because we are all just people trying to get through life the best we can, most of us not trying to hurt anyone else.

    I think it matters so much because people seem to fear what they don't understand. So they build walls and comfort themselves that they are the ones living life the 'right' way. And everyone else, especially those gay people, are just doing it wrong and something must have happened to them to make them that way. They should just not act on it, etc.

    People love having the moral high ground. And even better if they can define and society enforces the moral boundaries.

    /end of rant
     
    #8 rachael1954, Apr 25, 2016
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  9. greatwhale

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    Yes, all of this may happen, it could even last a while, say 24 to 48 hours...then a curious thing happens: people get on with their urgent lives, and they get back to thinking about what preoccupies them the most...themselves.

    No doubt if "they" happen to see you again, they may return to these thoughts for a while, but more like a habit, it won't last long. Moreover, if they see that you are happy and confident in your own skin (a common side-effect of coming out and living with integrity) they may even change their perceptions a bit, maybe, who knows, they could even start to accept who you are!

    Eventually, it just becomes the new normal, nothing more to see or talk about...
     
  10. Weston

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    Based on our minority status, I would guess that there are many more straight people having anal sex than gay people.
     
  11. Calf

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    Not as many as some straight people would like though obviously, that may be why they're so obsessed with it - jealousy :lol:
     
  12. VitaminsBaileys

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    Labels, labels, labels and oh... labels! It's an intrinsic characteristic of the human mind to label everything and everyone. It makes the world a lot easier to comprehend if you can put someone in a certain 'labeled group', it erases the need to view every other person as an individual and simply Judge them by the characteristics you think fits their label. It's being lazy actually, to not take the time to try and understand people but just make prejudice. It also helps to unite yourself with others if you share the same hate/love/... towards a group of people, something we all do if you think about it. Homosexuality is simply one of those used by non-homosexuals to bond with eachother, it just so happens that a lot of people talk about it in a negative way. Probably due to the beliefs they were taught in the past, as well as the belief that something different is initially Always 'wrong'. I think that's changing though, especially since being viewed as gay-friendly is becoming more of a positive trait .
     
  13. SiennaFire

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    I would have to disagree somewhat with greatwhale :slight_smile: Or at least offer a slightly different perspective. The OP's point when viewed from the gestalt is that people don't care that he's gay, that is, in his pocket of America he's accepted for who he is. That's goodness!!! I also think he's reached the inflection point in the coming out process where being gay is no longer front and center in his own mind, which is more goodness! I recognize and celebrate these milestones.

    As LGBT becomes more accepted and integrated as mainstream, each of us has an opportunity to be seen as a person who happens to be gay rather than as a gay person. While the difference is nuanced, it's one that the OP is noticing and reflecting upon. Having said that, I agree that the he has the option of weaving in the interesting aspects of being gay into a conversation, which does make him potentially more interesting.
     
    #13 SiennaFire, Apr 26, 2016
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  14. crazydog15

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    Well.......... I wouldn't go that far. I was on vacation, and in that particular town, yes, being gay was OK. But I wasn't at home, and fully coming out here is still really, really difficult for me. It is still a source of incredible fear. But yes, I am glad that there are some parts of the world where being gay is so completely accepted that it doesn't really mean much.
     
  15. Jmiller85

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    As a young person who is still experimenting and trying to find out my sexuality, I really don't un why people have to come out. Why do gay people come out, straight people don't? Coming out in the future myself scares me, but it is what it is I guess.
     
  16. Calf

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    You only need to 'come out' to people if you have been hiding it from them or somehow deceiving or misleading them. I don't mean that in a bad way but if you have allowed someone or encouraged them to believe that your sexuality is something other than it is then when you decide you want them to know, you have to 'come out'. After this, if you are just yourself, open and honest about your sexuality from the start of each new relationship, you will never have to do it again.
    Of course you don't ever have to tell anyone but it usually is the best thing to do with those closest to you to avoid awkward or upsetting scenario's when they find out some other way.
     
  17. SiennaFire

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    I got a much different impression reading post #1. Can you clarify the context of the following snippet?
     
  18. crazydog15

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    @Sienna -- in my experience, in this pocket of America, gays are not accepted for who they are. Maybe someday I'll be proven wrong (and that would be most welcome), but for now, being gay is not generally acceptable here. But it was really eye-opening to find places where being gay is so accepted that's it's almost considered mainstream and unremarkable. I find those people refreshing.
     
  19. SiennaFire

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    Thanks for clarifying. I'm fortunate to live in an area where being gay is more accepted and mainstream. Perhaps you want to consider moving to an area where being gay is unremarkable if you feel that you can't come out where you live currently?
     
  20. OnTheHighway

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    I am going to focus on this one comment you made. Are you really rediscovering your self all over again? Or are you really discovering yourself for the first time?

    Really, truly, deeply discovering yourself for the first time is as interesting as it comes from my perspective!