The stratification of the gay community

  • Another_Jerem...

    Posts: 355

    Jun 12, 2011 5:06 PM GMT
    I find that "gay" (I actually prefer the term homosexual as it is more about a biological reality instead of a cultural phenomenon) white men are often extremely defensive of "gay culture". Heaven forbid someone who isn't a white male express their negative experiences in a culture that panders almost exclusively to white men. Perhaps they're all (minorities, transgendered people, women) just being defensive and/or overly sensitive. It's funny that many do not accept the same arguments from heterosexuals about perceived homophobia. I've been to many "gay" bars wherein the "lesbian room" is upstairs and I behold a sea of white male faces. I bring it up to my friends and the conversation usually goes something like this.

    "Oh it's because white people make up the majority of the population."

    "But we're in Washington DC."

    "Well this is a white neighborhood."

    "So why are the women upstairs and where are the Asians?"

    Etc.

    Let me speak this plainly and for all to see. The "gay community" has a huge problem with misogyny, racism and superficiality. It is stratified by gender/gender identity and it is racially segregated. Are these such controversial assertions? White is seen as better than other races. Male is seen as better than female. Cisgendered is seen as better than transgendered. "Gay" is synonymous with white, cisgendered male and the experiences of other groups within this subculture tend to erased or condescended upon.

    Is it then any surprise that the preponderance of cultural safe havens that are aimed at white males and the ridiculous over representation of white men in gay culture leaks over into what people value in their interpersonal relations with other LGBTs? I would like to see more examples of people listening to these complaints instead of arrogantly trying to "enlighten" those who are not white men.
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    Jun 13, 2011 1:14 AM GMT

    I hear your argument, but it is what it is. Groups tend to separate, especially on matters of gender and sexual preference; little girls are raised to play with other little girls: laugh, tell secrets, skip, jump rope and socially influence each other. Little boys play with other little boys; they pick up bugs and snakes, play with toy trucks, rough house, and influence each other socially. For the most part, this is how it is. Around puberty, boys and girls mix for natural reasons (because they can't stay away from each other), but I always have been sensitive to them being at odds with each other at every level of development. They mix more for nature than particularly nurture.

    That doesn't change with us; we are the same as that except our lack of a natural connection keeps us at odds. With us, pubescent and adult sexual development is turned on its head: the men are attracted to the men and the women to the women so naturally we stay apart (and nothing pulls us together).

    You see, you perceive those lesbians upstairs differently than I do and I strongly believe, than they perceive themselves. They enjoy their space. It's a man's world for females...or should I say, it is for hetero females. Lesbians are more liberated and freed from those social restraints that have been in play since little girls for for all women. Except, lesbians don't have to just laugh, tell secrets, skip, jump rope, and play, but they can fix cars, jets, houses, wear pants, rough house, pick up snakes, or ANYTHING THEY WANT. They do it all without a man telling them they can or can't and the absence of any other connection to men, most of all sexual, they don't miss it.

    As for that sea of white faces, you are forgetting also how different races of men are socialized before they find them selves old enough and liberated enough to transition into gay life. Asian people are very close and raised to stay that way to Asian people. I may be stereotyping a bit here, but clubs are so entropic; I always perceived Asian men to be so zen and wholesome. I think you give clubs to much credit. I don't even like them because they are so dirty to me.

    Black guys are socialized from little boys not to value integration as much as you seem to think they should, but most are socialized with enough white people that they value it still...not just as much as I think you think they should. In fact the reason that HIV/AIDS infections are higher among black gay males even though it's been shown that black gay males aren't as promiscuous as rumored is because of how close knit they are. When AIDS enters the pool it spreads faster and easier where it may not spread so easily in a larger group regardless of sporadic incidences of unsafe sex.
    (Yes, I know I'm black, I wrote they and not "us" because I'm black not a Marshian.)

    And finally, a lot of black gays are not as sexually liberated as you'd imagine. It's a HUGE faux pas still in our community to be gay so instead of living the life and being free to club hop, most black gay males are cowering in their particular choice of seclusion rather that be alone (which was my pick for years) or in the company of a clandestine group of other blacks. There are black clubs you know. So, the gay community is much more shaped by the hetero community. They had us first. If this was a science fiction movie, the planet Gay would be our second home and still have a hetero embassy and hetero military presence.



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    Jun 13, 2011 1:18 AM GMT
    http://hsb.sagepub.com/content/49/4/436.abstract

    http://hsb.sagepub.com/content/49/4/436.abstract