How could "we" show the world that we are more than what "they" think we are?

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    Sep 28, 2007 8:02 PM GMT
    What do you think that we can do as a united gay community? In order to show the world that we are not a bunch of "tutty fruities" dancing half naked on floats and dress as trashy looking women.

    Personally I feel that we can all make a huge difference, each and every one of us.

    Some ideas:

    Get involved with non-gay community groups.

    Volunteer in our community/city/town/local school.

    What are some of your ideas or things you are involved in?
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:21 PM GMT
    I'm not too worried about people perceiving us in a negative way based on gay pride parades. If we were feeding the hungry in the streets and rescuing kittens from trees we'd still be perceived negatively by those who can't look past whom we love and/or have sex with.

    But I think you have a great idea, rk, and it's one that I practice, too.

    I worked on hurricane relief after Katrina and Rita a couple of years ago, and I am prepared to work on the next disaster.

    I think Habitat for Humanity is a fantastic charity effort.

    I am not religious any longer, but I used to participate in church groups that worked for hunger causes (some of which I initiated). The same can be done in a secular environment as well.
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:23 PM GMT
    LOL - well, first of all, there are A LOT of, how did you say it..."tutty fruities - dancing around half naked..." just how it is...

    other than that you refer to the community as, "united," which I'm not so sure we are - certainly not in entirety, but then, not all American citizens are truly, "one nation under God..." anyway - I think it is simply a matter of time. The strides that have been made have been significant and I think it will continue that way - so I say, let's dance if we want, scantily clad or otherwise and in time, folks will adapt.
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:39 PM GMT
    To be honest this is a topic that i often find hard to identify with, because I often look at both sides of the spectrum with a form of detachment. I've never felt like I've met the requirments of either and would be happy if someone could send a message out to younger gays that its ok to just be who they are even if they're plain and normal. I'm not a femm, and I'm not a butch, what the hell does that make me? I don't think anyone's ever said.

    When you look at a femm sometimes, though, its too much to handle. But one thing that can be said is that sometimes they have more balls than anyone else. I couldn't imagine walking down the street dressed and acting the way they do, but I respect that they aren't afraid to be who they are.

    I say in order to change the stereotype, people need to be just as outgoing as they are. Look at how shocked the world is when ever a famous athlete comes out about being gay. thats how rare it is. Many masculine gay men who have the position to open people eyes and inspire millions say nothing to save face.

    People need to see you guys being who you are, strong and proud, capable of doing what any other tough guy can do. I know personally I myself probably would've gravitated more towards sports in high school instead of the arts if people made me feel that it was ok to be gay and do manly things without lying about my identity.

    Be proud, be in people faces. The more you're seen, the more people will know. Its time we all establish a true gay community, for we are not a society of people just because we share the same sexual orientation.

    Doing something to help the world is very noble and sweet, but if a femm want to be part of that would we cast him aside? If we can't accept one another, how the hell is the rest of the world going to do it?
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:39 PM GMT
    rksportswearIn order to show the world that we are not a bunch of "tutty fruities" dancing half naked on floats and dress as trashy looking women


    Are we talking about Gay parades here, when people are being outrageous for fun?

    I am not sure I am ready to buy into any this. I feel like I am buying into standards of homophobia that have been established by the straight world. Kinda like, this is what a man looks and acts like, and this is what a woman looks and acts like.

    I think the current standards in the US are way too restrictive for all the different kinds of people in the world.

    I guess I feel if somebody isn't hurting or infringing on anyone elses rights, they should be left alone.

    I know I dont mind socializing with a drag queen with a good sense of humor. Lord, they can make me laugh with their campy sense of humor.

    Would you define the discussion issue a bit more clearly....or am I just not seeing the problem here. Or maybe it has to do with where you live. Or maybe because I am just not flamboyant.
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:39 PM GMT
    Raise families and participate in family activities, for one. I know this isn't for everyone, but it's for more people than are currently visible.
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:51 PM GMT
    LOL - Please guys don't take his the wrong way. Let't be positive about all this.
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:51 PM GMT
    Marry the opposite sex.
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:53 PM GMT
    Nick, I am not saying to do away with the parades at all! That is not my aim.
  • GQjock

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    Sep 28, 2007 9:34 PM GMT
    We NEED to be exactly who WE are ... that means show the world that we are people just like the heterosexual world
    we have relationship problems - family strife
    good days and bad days at work
    there really is no difference between us
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    Sep 28, 2007 10:48 PM GMT
    I agree with GQJock

    We need to be who we are. As for supporting initiatives in the mainstream communitty - I think we do - I am just not sure it is very widely publicised.

    When I write a check to 'The Nature Conservancy' for example, I don't say 'this is from a gay donor and should only be applied to gay wildlife...

    The truth of the matter is though that we have enough problems in our own communitty - and gays generally earn less than the average anyway; so we really do need to rally to our own communitties causes.
  • MikemikeMike

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    Sep 28, 2007 11:14 PM GMT
    I think it is more important to do good and be a good person without attaching your sexuality to it. I would not use my sexuality to describe myself in the first 10 words.

    rk when doing these other gruop activities when would you feel it necessary or appropriate to say you're gay??

    To each his own though, If you want to wave a flag yelling we're here we're queer get used to it. Do it. Just not many people respond well to having your moral or ethic values thrown in their face IMHO.

    IT- as far as earnings go, gay men have more disposable income then any other sect?? Where did you get that info from... what publication??
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    Sep 28, 2007 11:22 PM GMT
    OMG! How scary!

    People need to be themselves, and it seem like you have hard time accepting people for who they are. Isn’t that exactly what we have fought for all the years? It’s something called DIVERSITY!

    I am sure that every gay person interested in helping other people is already out there doing just that. I do not believe that sexual preference has to do anything with what kind of a person you are?
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    Sep 28, 2007 11:28 PM GMT
    MikemikeMikeQUOTE when doing these other gruop activities when would you feel it necessary or appropriate to say you're gay??

    I agree with this question. People dont usually go around proclaiming their sexuality. But then maybe that is because everyone is presumed "heterosexual."

    I do think my being gay is important in who I am ans would probably be in the top ten words I used to describe myself. I don't process stimuli from the world the way a straight guy does. I can remember from high school on missing out on the point of incidences that require a heterosexual response, because the stimulus went right by me. I dont pick up and I dont respond to sexual stimuli as a straight guy does. Draping women all over a car doesn't attract me to the car, etc. I am "heterosexually blind" in a world of heterosexual stimuli.
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    Sep 29, 2007 12:51 AM GMT
    Mikemikemike wrote: "IT- as far as earnings go, gay men have more disposable income then any other sect?? Where did you get that info from... what publication??"

    Actually what I said was that gays earn signifigantly LESS than their straight couterparts and as a class. This would in turn lead to LESS disposable income as a class.

    Citation:

    1 - Income Inflation: The myth of Affluence Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Americans by M.V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D. Dept. of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Director, Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies (IGLSS )

    A Joint Publication of : The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and The Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies

    2 - Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men by M. V. Lee Badgett
    University of Chicago Press, 2001

    3 - The myth of gay wealth by Grant Lukenbill
    http://www.gay.com/business/article.html?sernum=292

    Those are the 3 quickest I can think of off the top of my head, but if you want more I will be happy to return your email.

    R
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    Sep 29, 2007 1:04 AM GMT
    If we are interested in changing the public perception of GLBT's in general, our best bet is to put some energy into changing the way the media covers us. After all, that's how most Americans get their information - CNN, CNBC, their local evening news show, talk shows.

    If the media goes after the sensationally bizarre for the sake of ratings, then that's how we'll be perceived. If, on the other hand, the media is approached with good stories that are more constructive in nature, they'll spead that information instead.

    Suppose instead of treating the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as just guys in Nun Drag (and possibly roller skates) they covered them as an organization which does a great deal of public service. Have you ever seen the media talk about the way the Sisters interposed themselves between the police and the rioters on White Night in SF? I doubt reporters even know about it. All they report is what they see - guys in Nun's habits.

    I have to note, however, that we're hardly a "united gay community". We're as diverse as any other aggregation of people on earth. We happen to have a couple of things in common, however - a sexual orientation that is in the minority, and years of political and social oppression to overcome as a result of that orientation.

    This is not to say that I don't feel some kind of kinship to you all - but I don't see it as a grand unifying force in the way that some organized religions or a few specific ethnicities do.
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    Sep 29, 2007 3:41 AM GMT
    I don't understand why gay people should feel the need to do anything to improve their community image. The great majority of young people don't give a shit if someone's gay any more and their elders aren't going to abandon their religious convictions because you or I make fruit baskets for shut-ins at the Methodist Church.

    You know, the Civil Rights Movement was rife with this same argument. There was this idea that black people had to appear perfect, when the reality is that civil rights ought to be every person's birthright and have nothing to do with membership in a minority, much less how you comport yourself or look.

    Of course, if it makes you feel better about yourself to be a PR emissary for homosexuality, go for it.

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    Sep 29, 2007 3:53 AM GMT
    Sirkyous> I'm not a femm, and I'm not a butch, what the hell does that make me?

    Human?

    Sirkyous> if someone could send a message out to younger gays that its ok to just be who they are even if they're plain and normal.

    I'm smiling, because one would think that people who are "plain and normal" wouldn't need a message that they're ok. But I know exactly what you mean. I remember when I was growing up having my exposure to gay people limited to the 10 seconds of coverage of pride on CNN - showing leather daddy's and drag queens. That wasn't me, so maybe I wasn't really gay...?

    Today, in addition to Will & Grace, we even have gay cowboys on the big screen.


    Sirkyous> Many masculine gay men who have the position to open people eyes and inspire millions say nothing to save face.

    True. It's often in places where it can do the most good that we find it hardest to come out in public.


    Caslon> People dont usually go around proclaiming their sexuality. But then maybe that is because everyone is presumed "heterosexual."

    Exactly. Ergo invisibility. Which perpetuates the stereotypes. People see effeminate men and presume they are gay (even if they aren't). People see masculine men and assume they are straight (even if they aren't). And then they are all smug and think they can spot a gay guy from a mile away, forever ignorant of their false positives/negatives.
  • MikemikeMike

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    Sep 29, 2007 4:37 AM GMT
    IT any recent studies, things have changed since 2001 and even 2003. I guess because I live close to NYC. The majority of gay men I know vacation twice as often as straight couples,if not more. I have friends in banking hospitality and travel, All have been to meetings reguarding and targeting the gay and lesbian community. I work in corporate marketing for hospitality and we target gay men and women more and more each year. The publications we receive on disposable income are actual for this industry not a study that a gay man or woman wrote to make his/her point.

    You should also respect someone for not coming out. How many leading male actors would get roles if they all came clean about their sexuality. I'm sure we can all think of 2 or 10 that are.
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    Sep 29, 2007 7:54 AM GMT
    OW:

    Here here!

    I'm just so tired of hearing this business about putting a good face out. I say let's just be who we are individually, whoever that is, and not worry so much about PR. Other peoples' stereotypes are their own problem, not mine. I'm going to live my life like I want to, regardless of that that does or does not do for the community's image.
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    Sep 29, 2007 8:58 AM GMT
    well said ow.

    i would add we should take the opposite approach and encourage the straight communinity to join us and dress up in what ever takes their fancy and prance around. it's fun, it's fantasy and it's healthy! it usually only lasts for a couple of days or so and then it's back to the drear.
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    Sep 29, 2007 9:54 AM GMT
    Mikemikemike wrote: "IT any recent studies, things have changed since 2001 and even 2003. I guess because I live close to NYC. The majority of gay men I know vacation twice as often as straight couples,if not more. I have friends in banking hospitality and travel, All have been to meetings reguarding and targeting the gay and lesbian community. I work in corporate marketing for hospitality and we target gay men and women more and more each year. The publications we receive on disposable income are actual for this industry not a study that a gay man or woman wrote to make his/her point."

    icon_smile.gifWhy do I think you didn't bother to read the studies?

    You are in marketing - you deal in smoke, mirrors, spin, and perception every day. What makes you think marketing materials aren't skewed by those trying to sell something?

    Research marketing firms are the biggest portrayers of the income myth. These firms seldom do extensive research into gay buying habits, because of the complexity and cost in finding non-biased data.

    For example, marketing firms often used respondents from pre-existing lists of persons who've bought gay magazines, catalog items or donated to political groups. Thus, the information becomes skewed because these groups tend to have more disposable income than those who would not purchase them.

    The IGLSS research shows gay men, in particular, earn less than similarly qualified non-gay men, while it appears lesbians tend to earn roughly the same amount, as or perhaps slightly more than heterosexual women.

    You work in 'corporate marketing', your friends are in 'banking hospitality and travel'... and yet you and your friends don't think that maybe you are among the upper middle - or even upper - class of gays?

    Demographic information usually doesn't change so rapidly in just 5 years.

    The truth of the matter is that for every gay professional who makes $150k + in corporate marketing there are 10 gay clerks who work for $10 or less at Walmart.

    The unfortunate truth is that there is still huge descrimination in the workplace, and gays make less than their straight counterparts.

    And it is not just in the workplace, it starts early when gay teens have a vastly higher dropout rate in HS and college: this obviously affects the kinds of employment they can eventually find.

    Does this mean Gays are not a huge market? No - many minority markets are worth persueing for their buying power, gays are no exception and are a very nice, loyal, niche demographic.

    I am glad the marketing world takes notice of us; twenty years ago they mostly ignored us.

    But let's not kid ourselves.

    You and I are the lucky ones. We are educated professionals with disposable income. Your anecdotal evidence aside, most gays are not so lucky.

    The people we meet at the HRC banquet, the Lambda Legal $1000 dollar a plate fundraiser, the fundraiser for Identity House, or the Aids Bike Ride are not the 'typical' gay communitty. We are the lucky ones, generally the upper middle and upper classes in our communitty.




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    Sep 29, 2007 11:59 AM GMT
    It make no difference how much you earn or what you do in life for a living. We all have our individual skills and that is ok. I have nothing against parades and yes, it is healthy.

    I believe that with time the media will have a different focus on the gay population and portray us as healthy human individuals.

    However,

    I think as individuals we need to start somewhere. I have read some positive things on this forum and feel that we need to share more positive experiences about ourselves and what we are doing to gain better acceptance in general.

    I hear many gay groups or individuals saying "we need more acceptance" but Some of you need to get off your high horses and earn that acceptance and that is what I am talking about. Respect is earned.

    Sorry, that is my opinion!
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    Sep 29, 2007 1:50 PM GMT
    I apologize for commiting a MAJOR injustice to my fellow homosexuals during the mid nineteen-seventies: their was a group of girls that I used to run around with on Saturday afternoons; we stood on this sign at the front of a subdivision in Southern Illinois singing the theme song to Josie and the Pussycats at the top of our lungs to cars and people passing by.

    I'm afraid I've tarnished us forever!
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    Sep 29, 2007 2:00 PM GMT
    I could be the Governor of California by now if it wasn't for you!