"In Defense of the Gay White Male" and "An Open Letter to the Gay White Man"

  • Another_Jerem...

    Posts: 355

    Jul 12, 2011 11:28 PM GMT

    http://jezebel.com/5745172/in-defense-of-the-gay-white-male




    http://thenewgay.net/2011/07/an-open-letter-to-the-white-gay-man.html


    Thoughts?




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    Jul 13, 2011 12:41 AM GMT
    Both of them are very American experiences, although I can see how part of the criticism applies here in Australia and maybe other parts of the world. It sort of fails for me in that regard because it's talking about the foregrounding of one perspective in a movement and yet fails to recognise that they are only dealing with a solely an American perspective...

    The second article definitely raises some important issues that I think many have never even thought about - this site is proof of that - though I did feel that he was sometimes unfairly general about his statements about white people.
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    Jul 13, 2011 12:49 AM GMT
    I dont think white dudes are even the problems, its everyone else having a continuous hardon for them.

    At the end of the day some people will just sweep it under the rugs and call it preference instead of dealing with the underlying issues,
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    Jul 13, 2011 12:52 AM GMT
    The author of the latter article rapidly loses credibility with his specious premise and persistent condescension in the comments section.

    Haven't read the first yet, so I'll check it out next.
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    Jul 13, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    wowgamer92 saidI dont think white dudes are even the problems, its everyone else having a continuous hardon for them.

    At the end of the day some people will just sweep it under the rugs and call it preference instead of dealing with the underlying issues,


    That's only because Western media is very heavily white populated. The media define beauty/power and we largely see white actors, white models and white opinion. The underlying issue is the prominence and over-representation of white men. I think what you're talking about is just a symptom of that. You can't really say that the problem isn't 'white dudes' it's everyone else loving them when the only reason for this is because white men have shaped most of what we see in the world. Your 'underlying issue' is 'white dudes'...
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    Jul 13, 2011 12:57 AM GMT
    cold said
    wowgamer92 saidI dont think white dudes are even the problems, its everyone else having a continuous hardon for them.

    At the end of the day some people will just sweep it under the rugs and call it preference instead of dealing with the underlying issues,


    That's only because Western media is very heavily white populated. The media define beauty/power and we largely see white actors, white models and white opinion.


    Yea that's a part of it too but most guys who date only white won't admit it and say its just a "preference".
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    Jul 13, 2011 12:59 AM GMT
    My red marker is all over the monitor after the first several paragraphs on the first one. There should just be a "Whoa is Me" magazine for articles like this one. It could come out quarterly.
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    Jul 13, 2011 1:04 AM GMT
    wowgamer92 said
    cold said
    wowgamer92 saidI dont think white dudes are even the problems, its everyone else having a continuous hardon for them.

    At the end of the day some people will just sweep it under the rugs and call it preference instead of dealing with the underlying issues,


    That's only because Western media is very heavily white populated. The media define beauty/power and we largely see white actors, white models and white opinion.


    Yea that's a part of it too but most guys who date only white won't admit it and say its just a "preference".


    I edited my post for clarity.
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jul 13, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    I think Michael O. -- the writer of the open letter to gay white men -- makes the better case of the two by far. As for Zack Rosen's rhetorical question -- "Can a nontrans, white gay man ever truly leave the comforts of his own identity without having to make frequent and loud apologies for the crimes of his ilk?" -- the answer is yes. The "how" is nicely addressed by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a straight African-American writer:

    It's about practicing Tolerance. It's about attempting to understand people who are radically different from you, and saying to them you want their voice in the process. Tolerance isn't just a value you hold, so much as it's something you do repeatedly. It's uncomfortable. You fuck up. You go to parties where they play music that you don't know how to dance to. You go to restaurants where the food is difference. You go to neighborhoods, where no one speaks English. The whole time people on the outside are laughing at you. The people you're trying to understand get pissed at you, and call you racist, homophobe, bigot, sexist etc.

    But they ultimately respect you for trying. And you get better. You pick up bits of a second language. You learn to like the food, to enjoy the music. And then one day you look up, and lo and behold, it seems like the whole world is dancing to that same music, eating that same food.

    Rosen's not interested in dialogue. He's interested in shortcuts where there are none. Coates gets it right: Tolerance is something you have to practice, continuously, and you will fuck up and feel uncomfortable, as with all things that require practice. And it's worth it because it ultimately makes you better equipped to function effectively in a society that's only going to get more diverse as time passes.

    Here's the rest of his post:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2009/05/the-importance-of-being-politically-correct/18471/

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    Jul 13, 2011 1:10 AM GMT
    cold said
    wowgamer92 said
    cold said
    wowgamer92 saidI dont think white dudes are even the problems, its everyone else having a continuous hardon for them.

    At the end of the day some people will just sweep it under the rugs and call it preference instead of dealing with the underlying issues,


    That's only because Western media is very heavily white populated. The media define beauty/power and we largely see white actors, white models and white opinion.


    Yea that's a part of it too but most guys who date only white won't admit it and say its just a "preference".


    I edited my post for clarity.


    Yea but you can't really change the original issue, atleast not in the short term. I am pretty sure Hollywood is not ready to swap their leading white man for some other ethnicities.

    What I am saying is the best way to handle it, for those minorities crying about being subordinate in the gay community, is to learn to love themselves instead of being a clone and chasing white cock.
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    Jul 13, 2011 1:11 AM GMT
    Oh not another one of these kinds of post! Why is it that I never see Lesbians with these problems or complain about racism, yet I've rarely come across Interracial Lesbian Couples, and have come across more Homosexual Male Interracial Couples than the former.

    Does the TV Show The L Word glorify White female lesbians?

    Does most popular culture glorify White Female Faux Bisexuality?

    **********************
    You are simply not obligated to have intercourse with another race just to prove you're not racist. People have preferences some people are rude about their preferences, this is not exclusive to White Homosexual Males, some people just have no tact.

    Furthermore, Racism in and of itself a strong word, so is "Homophobia" and "Sexism" To use those terms loosely without warrant only seeks to devalue the word and render it completely useless and ineffective at what you are trying to express.

    And I wish people will kill it with calling "gay" a culture. A sexual orientation will never and can never become a culture" so stop trying to make it so.

  • austex85

    Posts: 572

    Jul 13, 2011 1:31 AM GMT
    ITT: Angry white gay men who didn't read either article, but nonetheless still comment and rant on a completely tangential subject matter just to make it look like they're making a valid point.

    check. icon_cool.gif

    as for the articles, i don't think the two views are completely irreconcilable. there comes a point where you have to accept the status quo for what it is. the white guy makes a point—there's only so much that can be done, and he shouldn't have to be apologetic about the shortfalls of society. at the same time, though, i applaud him for at least recognizing that inequities exist. most white people don't seem to be able to grasp that (unfortunately, including most people on this website).
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    Jul 13, 2011 1:48 AM GMT
    I'd rather spend my time on the guys who don't have stupid hang-ups instead of wasting it by discussing the idiots who do. My $0.02. Let's move on....
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:09 AM GMT
    First piece: Good work. I stopped reading before he was able to blow the whole thing to shit. But I would have slapped that butch Lesbian. Screw this "white man is the devil" nonsense.

    And "gender and gender identity" are bad? Oh, please - take that to the white Liberals at NPR.

    The second piece was stupid. Anything called an "Open Letter" usually is. It more often than not means someone is going to give you a real talking-to, and you need to sit there and take it. Bite me.

    Everyone got on Bachmann's case - just because we don't preface our comments about him with "As a gay white male, I...." means jack squat.




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    Jul 13, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    Both authors bring up valid points....

    The first author... he acknowledges the inequalities, and asks "well what do you want me to do??" Guilt doesnt solve anything. But acknowledge it and DO WHAT YOU CAN to reverse it, or to make things equal. I dont believe that we have to accept the status quo at all... in fact if we did, then we would not push for gay rights at all!

    The second author has many valid points too. The truth, if there is a truth, lies somewhere between. Lost in the chasms of personal perception, societal trends....

    But one thing is clear to me.... racism, or racial microaggressions, are very real and still exist both in the gay community and outside of it. People here and elsewhere try to defend their biases and prejudices with lame excuses. "Its just a preference!" But that is such hogwash. They refuse to, and will not, answer the question "Well, why is that your preference?" Any answer will be concrete, lacking in depth and ... defensive.

    There will always be an in group and an out group. And this is not to say that being white precludes you from being acted against because of racial bias.

    But its so obvious.... the prejudice is so obvious. And its sad.
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:21 AM GMT
    The first article is whiny and stupid, and its title is borderline offensive. There's no need to apologize; just man up, look forwards instead of getting all angsty about the past/present, and start doing the right things.

    Also, I hate pieces like this. Paint a very subjective picture out of personal stories, with little actual truth in it. Maybe if the author had discussed it with a few people for some perspective before publishing it, it would have been a lot more thoughtful and less narcissistic.
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:53 AM GMT
    On the Zack Rosen essay:

    It's always beneficial to examine someone's inner thoughts if they indeed choose to share them. It's a bold attempt for us however as readers to try and view life from their perspective but well wroth the exercise as all of us have no truly set borders or horizons (admitted or not).

    In my view his essay stalls in the first paragraph by clouding the air with the very cultural baggage he seems to be wanting to disengage later in the piece. The first sentence references himself as 'cisgender' which honestly I had to look up and was quite underwhelmed by the definition (no offense meant whatsoever to those who identify themselves as such). Then he promptly raises the images of flamingos, bath houses, and the 33rd President of the United States.

    His comments on personally not fitting into so-called mainstream gay culture are even more self debasing to the thrust of his observations by once again raising intra-gay stereotypical icons like "Madonna", "Elton John" & "megaclubs-and-Abercrombie". Those can easily be considered tired tropes; way too easy targets to compare one's self against. It's great that he makes the case most folks need to take a more nuanced approach to racial relations but throwing down these GWM popular icon cards is just as beguiling to me as the Latina speaker he mentions (who is seemingly based on his description) rousing the crowd for blue blood to figuratively flow freely through the streets or ReparationVille.

    There's a great lesson here from Buddhist philosophy that speaks to this kind of Captain Obviousness. It advises to be cautious about pointing at the moon lest you mistake your own finger for the actual thing your trying to draw attention to.

    Is Mr. Rosen guilty for seeking "Defense Of The Gay White Male"?
    Perhaps, ironically.

    I did not read the second piece.
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    Jul 13, 2011 3:02 AM GMT
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    Jul 13, 2011 3:12 AM GMT
    DodgedBullet saidOh not another one of these kinds of post! Why is it that I never see Lesbians with these problems or complain about racism, yet I've rarely come across Interracial Lesbian Couples, and have come across more Homosexual Male Interracial Couples than the former.

    Does the TV Show The L Word glorify White female lesbians?

    Does most popular culture glorify White Female Faux Bisexuality?

    **********************
    You are simply not obligated to have intercourse with another race just to prove you're not racist. People have preferences some people are rude about their preferences, this is not exclusive to White Homosexual Males, some people just have no tact.

    Furthermore, Racism in and of itself a strong word, so is "Homophobia" and "Sexism" To use those terms loosely without warrant only seeks to devalue the word and render it completely useless and ineffective at what you are trying to express.

    And I wish people will kill it with calling "gay" a culture. A sexual orientation will never and can never become a culture" so stop trying to make it so.



    It's called manufactured preference.
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    Jul 13, 2011 3:18 AM GMT
    Wow this is very interesting...the older I get the more I learn.
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    Jul 13, 2011 3:40 AM GMT
    slimnmuscly saidI think Michael O. -- the writer of the open letter to gay white men -- makes the better case of the two by far. As for Zack Rosen's rhetorical question -- "Can a nontrans, white gay man ever truly leave the comforts of his own identity without having to make frequent and loud apologies for the crimes of his ilk?" -- the answer is yes. The "how" is nicely addressed by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a straight African-American writer:

    It's about practicing Tolerance. It's about attempting to understand people who are radically different from you, and saying to them you want their voice in the process. Tolerance isn't just a value you hold, so much as it's something you do repeatedly. It's uncomfortable. You fuck up. You go to parties where they play music that you don't know how to dance to. You go to restaurants where the food is difference. You go to neighborhoods, where no one speaks English. The whole time people on the outside are laughing at you. The people you're trying to understand get pissed at you, and call you racist, homophobe, bigot, sexist etc.

    But they ultimately respect you for trying. And you get better. You pick up bits of a second language. You learn to like the food, to enjoy the music. And then one day you look up, and lo and behold, it seems like the whole world is dancing to that same music, eating that same food.

    Rosen's not interested in dialogue. He's interested in shortcuts where there are none. Coates gets it right: Tolerance is something you have to practice, continuously, and you will fuck up and feel uncomfortable, as with all things that require practice. And it's worth it because it ultimately makes you better equipped to function effectively in a society that's only going to get more diverse as time passes.

    Here's the rest of his post:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2009/05/the-importance-of-being-politically-correct/18471/



    Yes. This the right way to think if you're interested in true equality and social justice. I, for one, am sick to death of hearing wealthy and affluent white gay man (who pass) whine endlessly about how no one is giving them enough credit.

    I think there's plenty of evidence on this board alone that a decent percentage (though certainly not all) of these men would close the gay rights movement up in a heart beat if only they could get married and not fired because they suck dick. In fact, Andrew Sullivan has said as much.

    We live in a truly great country, but also one that is rife with systemic and historical inequality. The challenge of our Founding Fathers is to work toward a more perfect union.

    When I first came out in high school, nearly all of my gay friends were men of color. Hanging out with them I got to see both how it was to be a minority in a crowd (didn't feel too good) and also how much my being white literally opened doors for me and allowed me to walk into Bloomingdales without Security freaking out, got me tables in restaurants, and (pre-9/11) let me walk into nearly any building, commercial or residential, without be given a second look.

    I have also had the icky instances of being objectified for my whiteness much in the way that men of color are objectified by white guys. Also, not a good feeling.

    So, I try to be aware of the relative privilege that my whiteness and maleness confers upon me, while also noting and calling people out when my gayness, background of growing up poor and on welfare, or my identification with femmes is used to minimize or smear me.

    While imperfect, I've found that this approach is a lot more pragmatic and appreciated by queers of color than whining about my "rights" or telling them to stop whining about their struggles.
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    Jul 13, 2011 3:46 AM GMT
    slimnmuscly saidI think Michael O. -- the writer of the open letter to gay white men -- makes the better case of the two by far. As for Zack Rosen's rhetorical question -- "Can a nontrans, white gay man ever truly leave the comforts of his own identity without having to make frequent and loud apologies for the crimes of his ilk?" -- the answer is yes. The "how" is nicely addressed by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a straight African-American writer:

    It's about practicing Tolerance. It's about attempting to understand people who are radically different from you, and saying to them you want their voice in the process. Tolerance isn't just a value you hold, so much as it's something you do repeatedly. It's uncomfortable. You fuck up. You go to parties where they play music that you don't know how to dance to. You go to restaurants where the food is difference. You go to neighborhoods, where no one speaks English. The whole time people on the outside are laughing at you. The people you're trying to understand get pissed at you, and call you racist, homophobe, bigot, sexist etc.

    But they ultimately respect you for trying. And you get better. You pick up bits of a second language. You learn to like the food, to enjoy the music. And then one day you look up, and lo and behold, it seems like the whole world is dancing to that same music, eating that same food.

    Rosen's not interested in dialogue. He's interested in shortcuts where there are none. Coates gets it right: Tolerance is something you have to practice, continuously, and you will fuck up and feel uncomfortable, as with all things that require practice. And it's worth it because it ultimately makes you better equipped to function effectively in a society that's only going to get more diverse as time passes.

    Here's the rest of his post:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2009/05/the-importance-of-being-politically-correct/18471/



    I am quoting your post because it is the one that I feel makes the most sense out of all of these. The quote from Coates is EXACTLY the remedy for what ails us where this issue is concerned (on BOTH sides). The problem is that most Americans (not just gay Americans, but all of them) don't want to put in the work necessary to hit that kind of breakthrough.
  • ooomonkeys

    Posts: 3

    Jul 13, 2011 3:49 AM GMT
    tl;dr
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    Jul 13, 2011 5:12 AM GMT
    horrible writers. i couldnt make it past the first paragraph of either article without wanting to go watch a youtube video of someone falling.
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    Jul 13, 2011 5:36 AM GMT
    wowgamer92 said
    What I am saying is the best way to handle it, for those minorities crying about being subordinate in the gay community, is to learn to love themselves instead of being a clone and chasing white cock.


    This.