Does Being Gay Really Unite Us?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 26, 2010 4:00 PM GMT
    Some say yes, but the more I become part of this dynamic, the more I see regular people who just happen to like men. There is an old saying "Misery loves company", that may apply here and that may be the uniting strand in a community as much diverse as our straight counterparts.

    Some even think we already have equality, others don't believe in marriage and see no need to press the issue. There are 'straight' acting, 'femmes', queens, jocks, closets, open, you name it, we have it.

    So gentlemen, what actually unites us?.....is it just being homosexual or is there more?

    I always invite intelligent and mature input and the floor in now open to all....

    Keithicon_cool.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 26, 2010 4:08 PM GMT
    It represents one point of "unification" for a very diverse group of people.
    Our group has different focuses, ideas, backgrounds, goals and understanding.
    Being Gay (and what about the women who are gay?) is a powerful motivational factor, especially in this environment, but it isn't the sole motivator.
    Some may see their sexuality as being a primary point in who they are... for others, just one aspect of who they are. Does it "unite us"? It can, in important ways, but it doesn't in many more.
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    Nov 26, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    There is no right answer, but to me the guys who seem the most well rounded and interesting are driven by several attributes, sexual orientation being only one of them. There are some guys who see everything through a gayness filter and every other interest or preference is valued in terms of its benefit to gayness. That's fine and to each his own, but I find these guys more narrow and boring.

    There is probably the strongest bond among the gays who do see things through this gayness filter. I find myself bonded more with guys who share gayness along with other interests or values.
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    Nov 26, 2010 4:16 PM GMT
    Are we all defined by our sexuality?
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    Nov 26, 2010 4:31 PM GMT

    We're brought together by those that see us as a separate group without individualities and treat us as 'them people'.
    So.... we obligingly become 'them people' and fight for equality so that we will not be 'them people' anymore. icon_wink.gif


    -Doug
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    Nov 26, 2010 9:05 PM GMT
    Good comments all along.

    Socialfitness talks about being "well rounded" ("sexual orientation being only one [attribute]") and unfounded7 asks: if we are "defined by our sexuality?"

    The answer is yes and no. It's not just "sexuality" but who we associate wtih, including family (and I don't mean "family"). Family and associations are a large part of people's lives. Beyond "I woke up, showered, grabbed breakfast, went to work, came home, worked out, ate dinner, watched TV, went to bed, repeat" this is the story of our lives. People put pictures on their desks/screensavers, they talk about not just what they did over the weekend but with whom they spent that time (took the kids fishing, played in a gay football tournament).

    Sure, one can choose to hide all that, or perhaps one doesn't have a good relationship with his family and doesn't spend time with them. The natural progression is to then deny that these things are important. But they are important and doing so diminishes us - our lives.

    So getting back to the point, along with coming out in the first place these are shared experiences and problems that we share.

    So as Doug said, we have the union of being an ostracized minority.

    Less so today than 25 or 50 years ago, but we're not yet out of the woods.

    What about in 25 or 50 years when coming out isn't a big deal and there's (hopefully) only residual discrimination left?
    Some of that mutual experience will be lighter, but I bet there will still be different groups/cliques of gays based on common interests.

    One more thing, Keith: it's not just misery that loves company. (:
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:13 AM GMT
    Even though being gay may be a small part of you, it is a vital part, the part that's all about loving and being loved, about falling in love and having another fall in love with you. With this in mind perhaps it is one of the most important parts of you.

    -Doug
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:46 AM GMT
    vetteset saidSo gentlemen, what actually unites us?
    Nothing. The GLBTQA "community" simply implies that we're all minorities. As for what unites us, well, this "community" is just as diverse as any other community. There are lovers, haters, and everything in between...and always will be.

    The thing "united" about us is when a few of us get together - either online or in person - and become friends.

    Just my $0.02+tax
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:52 AM GMT
    It unites us in that we all are in the same minority as far as sexual orientation is concerned, and unites us in that we all can understand what it feel like to be discriminated against as a whole. But if you break it down, within "our group" we are not very united. We are just as diverse and show just as much hatred as the straights do or the straights vs. the gays, and its very apparent through many peoples posts on here. People seem to have a gard time understanding even the slightest differences.
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:53 AM GMT
    HotCollegeDude saidIt unites us in that we all are in the same minority as far as sexual orientation is concerned, and unites us in that we all can understand what it feel like to be discriminated against as a whole. But if you break it down, within "our group" we are not very united. We are just as diverse and show just as much hatred as the straights do or the straights vs. the gays, and its very apparent through many peoples posts on here. People seem to have a gard time understanding even the slightest differences.


    ..like herding cats. (an Art_Deco saying)

    -Doug
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    Nov 27, 2010 4:00 AM GMT
    Misery does love company.

    But the main thing is that we all know what it's like to go through the discrimination, insecurity, coming out, self loathing, anxiety about being outed or people finding out about you, all those phases and events, and because of that we share a common experience.

    That common experience can (should?) lead to a slightly different view of the world, a different standpoint in reality, in which things aren't as nicely organized and uniform as some other (straight) people might think they are. In which there's more gray between the black and white, in which covers and books differ more from each other than you might expect at first.

    And if that equates to "unification", then that's it. I'm not sure it does, however.
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    Nov 27, 2010 8:40 AM GMT
    I don't know if I have mentioned it elsewhere; this forum is my first real experience with the "gay community." I will confess that I was niave (alright, blind and stupid) and believed that there would be a "community." What I have found resembles a community only insofar as it is every bit as dysfunctional and broken as every other community.

    This is not to say that what I found is not a community- it is. It is made up of individuals who are drawn together because they share one trait; some may share more, but there is only one guaranteed to be the same (and when you consider bisexuals, there are varying degrees of that trait...) I suppose that when I arrived here I had heard of the LGBT community, and arrived with unrealistic expectations. Instead of looking at other communities as an example of what to expect, I came with the expectation of finding a cohesive group of individuals who (for some unknown, illogical reason) would have put aside their differences and crated some strange utopia.

    I should have looked to the religious community for an example of what to expect. Christians differ from Muslims. Protestants differ from Catholics. Unitarians differ from Southern Baptists, yet it is a religious "community" even if there are factions who can not stand the sight of one another.

    So, what is it that makes this a community? I suppose it is the shared outrage we feel when we think of Matthew Shepard; the sorrow we feel when we hear of another child who killed themselves rather than face the world as a gay man.

    I should thank the few people who have reached out to me in my time here... I am grateful to them for the help they have provided. They have made me feel that it is a community; regardless of differences in life paths, beliefs and ideas there is something that ties us together.

    Finally, I want to ask if you NEED to be gay, bisexual or a lesbian to be a part of this community? What of the parents who are not only accepting, but take stands for their children? What of people like Anne Hathaway? If they are to be considered part of the community, then all that I wrote above (as well as a few other responses) would not stand up. It would no longer be based strictly on who you sleep with, and we need to broaden our definition and redefine what we refer to when we say community.

    I suppose if this is the case, we need to say that it is more than just being homosexual, but what is it? Perhaps it is based strictly on the fact that we choose to refer to ourselves as a part of the community. If we are gay, and reject the "community" would we still be a part of it? Can we chose to opt in or opt out of this LGBT community the same that we can our internet communities or religious communities? Possibly we break it down in the same manner that we do the "community" of humans. We can not opt out of being human, but we can break it down to smaller communities that people feel more comfortable considering themselves to be a part of.

    So, the community is made up of straight people who support the cause, lesbians, gays etc. After that, we break it down to sub groups until we find the community that we feel best describes us... the community that we feel that we are a part of. Some people are happy to be a part of the LGBT community, some might need it broken down further- they don't want to be associated with "feminine acting" gay men, so the would only consider themselves to be a part of the leather community; they need the group split into smaller, more definitive parts before they will consider themselves a part of that community.

    Pardon my rambling- I started thinking a little and have decided to subject you to my thought process without really coming to any real conclusions.

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    Nov 27, 2010 8:46 AM GMT
    My sexual orientation is only one small part of my identity. It unites me with other homosexuals only in the sense that we are attracted to men. I tend to find that I don't have much else in common with most of the other homosexual men I have met.

    And this doesn't bother me at all. Sex shouldn't be the focus of my identity.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 27, 2010 8:50 AM GMT
    with most gay guys the only thing i have in common is we are gay. I usually have more in common with straight guys to be honest.
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    Nov 27, 2010 8:53 AM GMT
    In general, people are united for a cause. Is being gay, in and of itself, enough to be a cause that unites us?

    My guess is that it depends on the context.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 27, 2010 9:02 AM GMT
    Yes - we are all very different
    and at the same time all very much the same
    It all depends on what definition of gay you use

    We're all united by the fact that we are sexually attracted to other men
    The jocks
    The "femmes"
    The Str8 acting
    all the different types of gay men there are ... when you strip it down to the basics all of us are the same

    .... but what truly unites us is that we are a true minority in this country
    we struggle together against the same misconceptions and hate
    And the struggle against that hate and to live our lives is what truly unites us
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    Nov 27, 2010 9:15 AM GMT
    Being gay unites people only if they wanted to be united on that basis alone.

    Mainstream gay culture ( the clubs, the drugs and the hook ups) does not interest me nor does it support own personal values. Why should I identify with someone with whom I share no common interests just because of our sexuality?


    Although I've had had gay friends, I don't really spend that much time with them anymore because our outlook on life is just too different and for the most part I have avoided gays like the plague. Sad I know.


    On a brighter note, I really enjoy this website as it's a tool to express a counter gay culture.


  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Nov 27, 2010 9:26 AM GMT
    I don't really feel that just the fact of being gay "unites" us....to me it seems as if many of us tend to pull in different directions even in the small community here on RJ...much less in the outside world. icon_wink.gif
  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Nov 27, 2010 9:49 AM GMT
    Being gay does not unite us. We are all individuals with different backgrounds, priorities, perspectives and beliefs. That is why that I think that calling us a community is more accurate. Even looking at just one issue with just people that want the same thing, such as getting rid of DADT, they are huge disagreements as to what will work and won’t work.
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    Nov 27, 2010 9:56 AM GMT
    Fuck no! We are not one, we are many. yet some try to force us all under the one banner. I myself am a pure homosexual, diffrent to a bisexual who has had a wife[s] and kids. I came out Young diffrent to a bisexual or even homosexual who spent all their youth in hiding.

    has this GLB thing united us, no it's identified us as having diffrent labels, because we are not one, nor all belong under the one banner either.

    You have guys who live out in the burbs, and you have guy who live like sheep in the inner city ghettos for safety, and what they preserve as unity.

    I being a true blue aussie poofter, is different to being an American gay, we are not so sensitive for one.

    So no the word gay has not united us! We have never been one, and never will be. You have gay republicans, and gay democrats, big diffrence there. We are not one. We don't all vote the same,and there are us homosexual who don't let our sexuality define us, and nor do we play the poor victims either.
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:15 PM GMT
    meninlove said Even though being gay may be a small part of you, it is a vital part, the part that's all about loving and being loved, about falling in love and having another fall in love with you. With this in mind perhaps it is one of the most important parts of you.

    -Doug


    I kind of agree.
    Does being gay unite us ? Yes I think it does . Although sexuality should merely be an aspect of our character and not what defines it being gay is a big part of who you are whether you care to admit it or not. And its not just amongst gay people it happens with straight people as well . I mean if you hang around guys aside from the occasional (emphasis on occasional) conversation about something meaningful and thought provoking most of the stuff they talk about is girls! How hot this girl is , how ugly that girl is ,how many girls I've slept with as opposed to how many girls you've slept with. Even non-girl topics have a way of relating to girls , if you talking about cars "imagine all the girls I could get with that car" etc. And vice versa girls are the same with boys (they're just more discreet about it). So sexuality in a sense unites most people, gay and straight. Im not saying this is right cause it is pretty shallow to be united by sexual attraction but ultimately so are most of the other things that unite us. Idealy we shouldn't be united because we're gay or because we like the same sport team , we shouldn't be united because we come from the same ethnic back round or religion. We even shouldn't be united by the fact that we might live in the same country . What SHOULD unite us is the fact that we're all human beings! Idealy we shouldn't need to unite because we shouldn't have been divided in the first place. there shouldn't be a "them" and an "us" since were all just human beings. But since such an ideal world doesn't exist we should settle with being united as gays lol.
    At least thats how I see it.
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:19 PM GMT
    True_blue_aussie saidFuck no! We are not one, we are many. yet some try to force us all under the one banner. I myself am a pure homosexual, diffrent to a bisexual who has had a wife[s] and kids. I came out Young diffrent to a bisexual or even homosexual who spent all their youth in hiding.

    has this GLB thing united us, no it's identified us as having diffrent labels, because we are not one, nor all belong under the one banner either.

    You have guys who live out in the burbs, and you have guy who live like sheep in the inner city ghettos for safety, and what they preserve as unity.

    I being a true blue aussie poofter, is different to being an American gay, we are not so sensitive for one.

    So no the word gay has not united us! We have never been one, and never will be. You have gay republicans, and gay democrats, big diffrence there. We are not one. We don't all vote the same,and there are us homosexual who don't let our sexuality define us, and nor do we play the poor victims either.
    However the only 'truth' in this entire diatribe is that you are FOS... in more ways than just one.

    Oh, dont play the 'poor me im bein picked on' card either..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:22 PM GMT
    I thought what united us on this site was being gay and being into fitness...
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:32 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    We're brought together by those that see us as a separate group without individualities and treat us as 'them people'.
    So.... we obligingly become 'them people' and fight for equality so that we will not be 'them people' anymore. icon_wink.gif


    -Doug


    Right on the spot.
    Gay 'unity', if there is something like that, is first a self defense mechanism.
    I hope that someday, the 'gay' concept will vanish, and sexual orientation will become something fluid, and not black and white, just like your size or the color of your hair.
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    Nov 27, 2010 3:34 PM GMT
    i guess the major reason is that gays are not really accepted by the public. and many gays feel quite lonely..so that is why we wanna find companies to share our feelings ...