Intolerance: it isn't just for straight people anymore

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2008 9:53 PM GMT
    So, last May I was vacationing in Spain and stopped off for a few days in Sitges (one of the top gay vacation spots in Europe). I was sitting at a table at Parrots, a well known gay sidewalk cafe in a very prominent location, with two guys I'd met a couple days before - an English guy in his 40s and an Irish guy in his late 30s. I noticed a backpacker, early 20s, strolling past slowly a couple times and glancing over. My thought was that he wanted to come in but was afraid - probably having some sexuality issues. I mentioned it to the other guys, thinking maybe we could find a nonthreatening way to invite him in and make him feel welcome. But the Irish guy flew into a rage and launched into a loud, vicious tirade about closeted guys, guys who claim to be bi, and guys who say they didn't figure out their sexuality till later in life. I was shocked - he'd been a very mellow guy up till then, and my experience with the Irish has always been that they're some of the nicest, friendliest people on earth. But it wasn't unprecedented. His attitude reminded me a lot of some of the bitter comments I see sometimes on the RJ forums. At the end, I decided it was best to let the young backpacker pass on by.

    Being gay, realizing you're gay, accepting that you're gay can be very hard. Why would anyone be so hostile toward a young guy who's only trying to find his place in life?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2008 9:59 PM GMT
    Well many people have grown up under the impression that being bi is just an excuse to not say you are gay. They are scared to accept who they are and how others will view them. For a long period of time that was the case for me. I would go round telling people I was bi just cause I didn't want to be known for being gay. It sometimes takes longer for some people to realize they're gay or just stay content with actually being bi.
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    Nov 30, 2008 10:07 PM GMT
    Also, the guy was prob just being shy.

    No need to bash more on the bashed.
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    Nov 30, 2008 10:12 PM GMT
    We've been through this a thousand times before. Some gay guys are just as intolerant of bi, trans, fem, and closeted guys, anyone who isn't like them. Oh well...

    In terms of bis and closeted gays, the intolerance is because of the perception of cowardice, a bad experience with a guy who left them for a chick, a bad experience with a guy who won't acknowledge them publicly, or just bitterness at how that gay guy should be so fortunate as to avoid the pain of coming out they went through.

    Jeez, if that was the attitude no wonder why a lot of gay guys choose to remain in the closet.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Nov 30, 2008 10:19 PM GMT
    Guys like that have more issues going on than the guys they bitch about. And yes, you can see that all the time here on RJ. Not naming names icon_neutral.gif
  • Sayrnas

    Posts: 847

    Nov 30, 2008 10:44 PM GMT
    it's sad to see that someone who came out (most likely having a hard time with it no doubt) is treating those who are still figuring it out like that. I'm not surprised and I don't think it's an issue of nationality either. It's a "person" thing.
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    Nov 30, 2008 10:57 PM GMT
    That kind of behavior would mortify me. It reminds me of a coworker going on a tirade about Indians (from India) while we were siting next to a table of Indians. (I'm not sure he knew that because they were behind him.) I would have been mortified even if there were no Indians sitting nearby. I later approached one of the guys from the table and explained that his tirade had nothing to do with my views. I would feel compelled to do something similar with the poor backpacker.

    Sexuality is so complex and emotional why do some people seem to think everyone should deal with it in the same manner.
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    Nov 30, 2008 11:02 PM GMT
    eh, they are jealous.... I get cake and carpet....
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Nov 30, 2008 11:06 PM GMT
    Empathy plays second banana to "righteous indignity" much of the time.

    From my own experience, it's easier to get riled up and outraged at perceived traitors than it is to recall one's own uncertainty of identity. I'm pretty bad myself when it comes to empathy for self-styled atheists who "rediscover" their faith in divine constructs (largely due to my own difficulties in adapting to my atheism).

    Rage is fiery and temporarily invigorating (though potentially draining); empathy is calm and anesthetizing (possibly to a point of complete ambivalence).

    ***
    Corrected: invigorating instead of envigorating
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    Nov 30, 2008 11:22 PM GMT
    Well, I wouldn't be hostile, but it is dissapointing to see guys that aren't open. There isn't a need for it - unless they're in a theocracy - even if they think they must. Also, it's only hurting our cause. Accepting yourself is the first step in gaining acceptance of others. The more that keep us a small minority instead of a large minority, the more our influence is suffering. But no, there is not need for intolerence of it. It's a personal choice to stay in the closet and no one has the right to judge them even if it hurts us. I do find it hard to resist laughing when someone tells me they're closeted and they're parents don't know. Anyone who has a good relationship with their parents is totally kidding themself about that. Anyone who has known you your entire life will know. It's as simple as that. But no one should be an outcast just because they don't want to face it.
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    Nov 30, 2008 11:31 PM GMT
    Good points brought up by all of you - Nick, thanks in particular for the insight about rage being "invigorating". I can understand people being bored/tired/unaccepting of those who won't own up to themselves just because they can be a hassle to deal with, but the viciousness and rage seem to stem from another place entirely (and the perennial favorite candidate seems to be insecurity).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2008 11:31 PM GMT

    Intolerance, it's never been just for straight people!
    OP, if one isn't intolerant of something, they may read like a waspish pushover like you. PAALLLEEEAASSSEEE, you didn't even know this guy, so why are you tirading against your own sister for him!? Actually, you must not be a good judge of character even personally, otherwise you'd have been aware of your friend's convictions. Just because he strongly believes in something doesn't make him intolerant either. Maybe that you are so bothered by his beliefs makes you intolerant. Obviously, you weren't sold enough on yourself to envite the guy, your friend's outburst be damned. It was battle of the wills and yours lost: THAT SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING!
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    Nov 30, 2008 11:35 PM GMT
    And there you have it.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Nov 30, 2008 11:46 PM GMT
    That situation is just down-right sad. Just when someone was apparently trying to find comfort in their own sexuality, some red headed jerk off ruined it for the backpacker and the rest of the gay community.


    I am all for coaxing and cajoling closeted people to come out, but ridiculous tirades are counter-productive.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2008 11:59 PM GMT
    Since when are liberals tolerant? You agree with the party line or you are called ignorant and are ostracized.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 01, 2008 12:06 AM GMT
    If there's a chance to make any person feel welcomed and safe with us around that's what we need to do
    I don't agree with your friend's point of view
    but you need to understand a lot of men esp the older men went thru an awful lot of shit to get where they are today in proclaiming that they are gay
    and it ticks them off when someone says that they are in the closet or that they're "bi"
    you get the same sort of response from war veterans when someone mouths off about what went on in Viet nam or during WWII

    Btw Sitges is a great place
    I got totally drunk at that bar icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2008 12:16 AM GMT
    Remember that gay is the exception. Nobody "grows up" being gay. There is nothing around gay kids that makes them feel comfortable regarding relationships. If a kid is lucky, he doesn't encounter discouragement, but certainly, there's not a culture on earth that offers encouragement.

    The kid had no idea how to behave, was probably sorry he was carrying a backpack. He probably had cramps for chrissakes.

    Anyone who's gay can easily remember his or her first encounter or his or her first trip to a gay bar or to something gay related more developmentally related than an underwear catalog. It's different from anything he or she has ever seen on TV or heard rumored about in the high school cafeteria.

    I say that the Irish guy was no more equipped than the kid with the backpack for the way he was affected by the situation you described. I think the same thing of anyone else in that sidewalk cafe, unless there were comatose homos there.
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    Dec 01, 2008 12:28 AM GMT
    I really hate PC attitudes - It is just all so extremely lethal and soul deadening.

    What I don't get, and I have tried very hard to avoid getting involved on RJ, is the Bisexual bashing, Lesbian bashing, Conservative bashing, Transgender bashing (that one really happens to irk me), etc.

    Who gives a shit why anyone wants to fuck anyone else. I totally fail to understand why bisexuality is seen as anything other than excellent. To me that is like guys who can eat cake and have a six pack.

    The lesbian mechanic jokes actually aren't funny - and they are 40 years old.

    It is the 21st century (sort of, I mean we still have Bush & Cheney).

    I think sex is great. I think people are great and I really don't care what color they are or even if they are guys (if you want hard core SM it is the girls who do it best and the transgendered (especially FTM's) who do it with total poetry).

    Man, I feel like Auntie Mame sometimes.

    It is sort of depressing. This stuff just rolls on like the waves. Then we scratch our heads and wonder why people are blowing each other up.

    You know what, in order to blow somebody up you have to stop seeing them as human. That isn't something that can be done if you look at another person and feel that they are somehow or another an entity like me. Because if we see people in those terms we cannot do this stuff.

    Anyway, that is all on the same continuum with prejudice. It starts with self hate and it goes to group hate - and it really sucks.

    Now I am an old fart, really old. When I was the age of most of these kids on RJ we were heavily into ACTup and Queer Nation. I remember still our Queer Nation outing to try on lipstick at Bullocks department store and then go to the Dodger's Game. I even bought myself a very smart little fuchsia suede handbag (this was way ahead of the murse that I carry now).

    Wow it is all so icky and depressing. The atheists (and your all really smart as hell) have no time for even the most modest Episcopalians and Catholics. The one Fundie guy here (that I know of) makes me fulminate with total rage. Bi guys are ridiculed and belittled for what reason exactly? And lets not even talk about conservatives (whom I alternatively defend and don't because it is all pretty fucked up).

    Ugh, come on.

    I think it is fine and good fun to slam dance with people and poke fun. I really don't want to be PC (but if that is what you call just liking most people who are cool then I will take the label I guess). I don't even mind Chucky diagnosing everyone as insane. What I don't understand is why we cannot be a nanometer more intelligent about people who fuck differently.

    It is all just dicks and holes, pussies and tongues, and whatever gazillion other combinations work.

    I dunno, I am sort of disgusted with this.

    Terry
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    Dec 01, 2008 1:07 AM GMT
    * Renews membership in the Terry Fan Club *
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2008 1:30 AM GMT
    I just want to know when the gays started being against one another.

    I just saw Milk, and was reminded of the acceptance of that time. If you were gay, you were part of the family, part of the fight.

    These days it seems like everyone's trying to section everyone else off. They're not like me because of this or that or the other. It seems like people have forgotten that we're all in this together for a couple of reasons.

    #1 We're human.

    #2 We're gay (or some variant of homosexual i.e. LGBT)

    We have to work with one another to makes things better and get things done. We can't accept our prejudices if we have them, we have to abolish them first in ourselves, so that we can abolish them in others.

    How much power would we have if we all just united?

    ~Alex
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    Dec 01, 2008 2:43 AM GMT
    kencarson saidI just want to know when the gays started being against one another.
    ~Alex


    Oh they been doin that a LOOOONG time baby !
    In gentler ways they call it "READING" someone.
    I always wondered why some queen can lip off to one
    of their own but freeze in the face of the str8 culture
    in which they were raised ? We knock down our own
    to make ourselves feel better. Why ? Because we
    can't love others if we don't love ourselves !

    Back to the Irish man with the temper.
    I always find the ones that yell the loudest
    have the most shit in their closet. And it ain't
    all Dior and A,C & F neither !! Hrumph !!

    I would have invited the backpacker over and
    if it made the Irish guy upset ? Then IMHO, he coulda
    bounced his ass right on up outta there !

    Glad you liked the MILK film Alex.
    I saw it yesterday. Perhaps it will
    bring some tolerance to those of us
    who are a bit thick in the head ?

    .....or maybe not.

    Anyway....stay positive !
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2008 3:34 AM GMT
    Perhaps the Irish guy had a bad experience with a closeted or married guy -- maybe fell in love with someone who wasn't ready to come out, the closeted guy backed away and left the Irish guy a little bitter.
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    Dec 01, 2008 4:53 AM GMT
    Alpha13 saidSince when are liberals tolerant? You agree with the party line or you are called ignorant and are ostracized.


    Now, how exactly did this become another of your endless fucking tirades about liberals? Give it a rest.
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:20 AM GMT
    kencarson saidThese days it seems like everyone's trying to section everyone else off. They're not like me because of this or that or the other. It seems like people have forgotten that we're all in this together for a couple of reasons.

    ~Alex


    Excellent point. I've wondered about this too. Obviously this doesn't apply to all cases, but I've noticed some guys who try too hard to distance themselves from other gays. It's one thing to break stereotypes but throwing other gays under the bus to make themselves feel better?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:33 AM GMT
    i believe in equal opportunity... to quote madonna: "i hate people who hate." it matters little to me what a person's demographics are, a douche is a douche.