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  #16  
Old 10-29-2010, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie View Post
The tricky problem with the "reverse discrimination" idea your friend has is that being thin comes with inherent privilege that the overweight among us do not benefit from, and when a thin person says, "Well, I get concern-trolled, too, so my experience is just as valid as yours," they're wrong. This is not to say that thin people don't get hurt when someone tells them they're too skinny and they need to eat a sandwich, because it is not right that ANYONE be body-shamed, but, in general, thin folks don't experience the world the same way fat people do - a thin person can usually walk into any ol' regular clothing store and find many things that will fit, they are not overlooked for jobs due to weight, etc, etc. We each have to be aware of what privilege we may be benefitting from and use that to examine our experiences appropriately.

I say this because this question of privilege plays heavily into other areas of our lives, from discrimination due to race to discrimination due to sexual orientation to discrimination due to religion. And THAT is not to say that the struggle of the overweight is in any way as "serious" as people that experience racism or homophobia, but privilege plays a role in much the same way. So, that's why when I pointed out earlier that as a heterosexual, cisgendered woman that did experience harassment and bullying due to my general "weirdness" back in school, I STILL can't say that my experience is comparable to the harassment and bullying that GLBTIQ kids experience. Because it's just not. I have the inherent privilege of being heterosexual and cisgendered, which prevents me from being treated the same way. I was targeted as an individual, not a member of a larger community that has to deal with things that are both far more serious and directly impact the quality of life for that group as a whole.

All of that was just a long-winded way of saying - we ALL experience bad shizz in our lives at some point or another, but we experience it to different degrees and in different ways, and we must all work to be aware of our respective privilege. If I were to say that my high school experience is exactly like the high school experience of, say, a transgendered teen in rural Idaho, I'd be minimalizing and trivializing not only that particular teen's struggle, but that of the LGBTIQ community's struggle in general, as well.

Anyhoodle, I see what you are saying about the way some gay males treat others, and I did not think you were referring only to body image - I just used that as an example when relating my own observation. I am curious to hear your thoughts on why gay males engage in that kind of behavior, though. I know that women can behave much the same way, and I believe a lot of it has to do with the way we're taught to view ourselves through an objectifying, heterosexual, cisgendered male lens. I wonder if this behavior in gay males stems at least partly from that same source.



Thanks for sharing your story and experiences, cookie. I can almost hear your frustration and confusion through the screen here, and I'd give you a hug if I could. I am not sure if this will help you work through your "does that make me bisexual?" confusion or not, but I do not think we have to look at sexuality as a binary (gay or straight and that's that) or even a ternary (gay, straight, or bisexual, and that's that), but a more fluid spectrum of sexual orientation.

The binary or ternary view automatically excludes a ton of different people - for example, it doesn't make room for the asexual or the intersexed. And it doesn't allow for the person that doesn't feel or identify as homosexual, but meets one "special" same-sex person and falls in love (or lust) just that one time. So it doesn't have to be a "one or the other" situation - you can fall anywhere on the spectrum, and where you fall is just where you fall, and that's that.

Does that make sense? For example, I identify as straight, but back in the day, I did have a relationship with another girl. She was the first woman I had ever wanted to do that with and the last - I haven't met another chick that I would want to have sex with. That doesn't make me a lesbian or bisexual if I don't sincerely feel like I'm a lesbian or bisexual - it just makes me a straight chick that got it on with a girl once. And I'm reminded of something Margaret Cho once said about that one time she had sex with a woman on a lesbian cruise and then got all confused about whether she's gay or not - "But then I realized, I'm not gay...I'm just slutty. Where's my parade?"
Thanks for my counseling session Anniewhoodles. Yes, you make sense. Lots of it.

I think the Margaret Cho quote just about sums it all up for me (Well only if gin or vodka are involved, which isn't much these days).

Ya know, after I typed my story I felt better, just getting it out helped. If I had been in this same situation 10 years ago I would probably be out of my mind right now. I am very lucky that I have a strong foundation and know this isn't the end of the world. I feel for younger people or any other folks that can't process this kind of thing like I can or have NO ONE, not even an internet buddy, who they can share with . I can for a second see why people consider suicide...but it gets better! It's gonna take folks like us reaching out and putting a little bit of ourselves out there by sharing experiences and helping increase openmindness in order to make a difference...that's what It Gets Better is about.

Don't worry about me deary, I mostly wanted to share with people the way I was treated and talked about by the "mean" girls. I am strong. I am WOMAN hear me roar!!!!
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2010, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Kena View Post
Thanks for my counseling session Anniewhoodles. Yes, you make sense. Lots of it.

I think the Margaret Cho quote just about sums it all up for me (Well only if gin or vodka are involved, which isn't much these days).

Ya know, after I typed my story I felt better, just getting it out helped. If I had been in this same situation 10 years ago I would probably be out of my mind right now. I am very lucky that I have a strong foundation and know this isn't the end of the world. I feel for younger people or any other folks that can't process this kind of thing like I can or have NO ONE, not even an internet buddy, who they can share with . I can for a second see why people consider suicide...but it gets better! It's gonna take folks like us reaching out and putting a little bit of ourselves out there by sharing experiences and helping increase openmindness in order to make a difference...that's what It Gets Better is about.

Don't worry about me deary, I mostly wanted to share with people the way I was treated and talked about by the "mean" girls. I am strong. I am WOMAN hear me roar!!!!
Oh lawdy, I hope I wasn't coming off like I was patronizing or lecturing you or giving an unwanted therapy session or anything. I confess to being somewhat doped on cold meds at the time, and that leads me to ramble, especially when it comes to issues like these. I will latch onto a few ideas and then I'm off.

But I am so glad you are doing awesome, and I hope that It Gets Better helps at least ONE kid. But hopefully many more than that.
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  #18  
Old 11-02-2010, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie View Post
Oh lawdy, I hope I wasn't coming off like I was patronizing or lecturing you or giving an unwanted therapy session or anything. I confess to being somewhat doped on cold meds at the time, and that leads me to ramble, especially when it comes to issues like these. I will latch onto a few ideas and then I'm off.

But I am so glad you are doing awesome, and I hope that It Gets Better helps at least ONE kid. But hopefully many more than that.
I didn't think that at all! I am pretty darn good at patronizing and lecturing myself so I'm being totally honest (not that I'm a ol' lier other times!) when I say I didn't think that. My last comment on my post was meant in a "Hayyyy Girl, what's up" way. Think Niecy Nash.
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  #19  
Old 11-02-2010, 09:02 AM
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I think this project is a joke. Typical of Dan Savage. A friend of mine walked out on him during a speech he gave at my college, because Dan Savage insisted it was the duty of all gay people to come out of the closet. Some people aren't fortunate enough to have that as an option. That's the kind of presumptuous, classist perspective that Dan Savage continues to propogate in his disingenuous "It Gets Better" campaign--maybe for rich white gay men like himself.

I'm sorry, but gay people are just as cruel to other gays as homophobes are--gays kill each other with AIDS, gays use each other sexually, gays glamourize a lifestyle of self-destruction and drugs, gays establish unrealistic beauty standards, gays demand total subservience to the Gay Political Agenda, gays ostracize those who are different or unattractive or (among gay men) too feminine.

I'm sure much of this comes from an internalized, learned homophobia and persistent low self-esteem, but to pretend "It Gets Better" doesn't deal with the problem that when gay people survive the pain of adolescence and (often) small-town ignorance, they rarely find in the gay community or urban enclaves a protective, tolerant embrace that fosters kindness to each other and provides the tools to deal with a homophobic culture that exists outside of "small-town" American and is, in fact, PRODUCED in our cultural centers (from Harvard to NYC to Hollywood to DC).

To paraphrase Will Ferrell: "Dan Savage can suck it!"

ETA: I see I was being somewhat redundant to some of the sentiments expressed in the thread. So I'd also like to add that I'm annoyed by the celebro-centric nature of the campaign. All it does is raise celebrity as a value (another fallacy celebrated in Gay Hegemony) instead of the real value (pop) artists could provide: in making art that challenges hetero and homo hegemony. Do any of these people use their influence to promote or even distribute movies like those by Julian Hernandez? No. Because he's not favored by the media power centers, to which they insist you bow--if you want "it" to "get better."
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Last edited by TrueFaith77; 11-02-2010 at 09:14 AM..
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  #20  
Old 11-02-2010, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Kena View Post
I didn't think that at all! I am pretty darn good at patronizing and lecturing myself so I'm being totally honest (not that I'm a ol' lier other times!) when I say I didn't think that. My last comment on my post was meant in a "Hayyyy Girl, what's up" way. Think Niecy Nash.
Haha, Niecy Nash. She makes me laugh, and also want to go 'round the neighborhood, collecting everyone's junk, so I can pile it up in my living room and have them come clean my house and give me new furniture and perhaps wear can-can dancer outfits during my garage sale. This is a life goal.

But I'm glad I didn't come across that way, anyway - I was just checking, because while I am likely not known for being overly friendly, when I offend people, I tend to want to do it on purpose, and it's mostly done for a reason (even if the reason is "Annie's bored," though I usually have a better reason than that). I don't like offending people not-on-purpose, and try to avoid that when possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueFaith77 View Post
I think this project is a joke. Typical of Dan Savage. A friend of mine walked out on him during a speech he gave at my college, because Dan Savage insisted it was the duty of all gay people to come out of the closet. Some people aren't fortunate enough to have that as an option. That's the kind of presumptuous, classist perspective that Dan Savage continues to propogate in his disingenuous "It Gets Better" campaign--maybe for rich white gay men like himself.

I'm sorry, but gay people are just as cruel to other gays as homophobes are--gays kill each other with AIDS, gays use each other sexually, gays glamourize a lifestyle of self-destruction and drugs, gays establish unrealistic beauty standards, gays demand total subservience to the Gay Political Agenda, gays ostracize those who are different or unattractive or (among gay men) too feminine.

I'm sure much of this comes from an internalized, learned homophobia and persistent low self-esteem, but to pretend "It Gets Better" doesn't deal with the problem that when gay people survive the pain of adolescence and (often) small-town ignorance, they rarely find in the gay community or urban enclaves a protective, tolerant embrace that fosters kindness to each other and provides the tools to deal with a homophobic culture that exists outside of "small-town" American and is, in fact, PRODUCED in our cultural centers (from Harvard to NYC to Hollywood to DC).

To paraphrase Will Ferrell: "Dan Savage can suck it!"

ETA: I see I was being somewhat redundant to some of the sentiments expressed in the thread. So I'd also like to add that I'm annoyed by the celebro-centric nature of the campaign. All it does is raise celebrity as a value (another fallacy celebrated in Gay Hegemony) instead of the real value (pop) artists could provide: in making art that challenges hetero and homo hegemony. Do any of these people use their influence to promote or even distribute movies like those by Julian Hernandez? No. Because he's not favored by the media power centers, to which they insist you bow--if you want "it" to "get better."
As much as I can from my own position in the world, I understand where you are coming from, and there have been a lot of people saying similar things (not just the few things here, but all over the 'net). I do think that Dan Savage operates from a position of privilege that many, if not most, LGBTIQ folk do not have the benefit of, and I think that even when he means well/thinks he means well, that often skews his advice or rhetoric.And I honestly can't imagine how he thought saying it's the duty of all gay people to come out of the closet would be an actual, in-practice, good idea. I'm a straight, cisgendered chick and even I know that's just...ridiculous.

At the same time, I can't agree with the idea that telling kids that it gets better - because it DOES get better for a lot of people, so why not you or you or you? - is an entirely bad thing. The idea that my life would probably not be so damn awful when I got older got me through a lot of what was an admittedly ****ty childhood (not only school bullying, but my family situation, which was...not good). Did it get super-fantastic? No, not yet. But it's still better than it was. And maybe it will be super-fantastic later, if I am lucky. If not, at least it's still better than it was.

And I do know that is not reality for everyone, or going to be true for everyone. But I don't think being offered a little hope when you have none of your own is an entirely bad thing - and those kids can't get to those urban enclaves that aren't going to be as great as they thought if they don't make it through the right now and stick around for it, anyway. Perhaps there needs to be a companion movement of some sort that promotes tolerance within the community itself, as well? What do you think would work or help?

As for the celebrity-centric nature of the project, I think that was just bound to happen, and I'm not sure that's entirely bad, either. As kids, we look up to those celebrities, and I imagine it helps some kids to see that it's possible to be both gay and "successful."

Looking at it from purely an adult point of view, though, yes - we should be working to foster that environment that you described, absolutely. But in the meantime, making a little video that will maybe help a suicidal teen doesn't seem like it would be a complete derailment.
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  #21  
Old 11-02-2010, 09:35 PM
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TrueFaith originally wrote:
I'm sorry, but gay people are just as cruel to other gays as homophobes are--gays kill each other with AIDS, gays use each other sexually, gays glamourize a lifestyle of self-destruction and drugs, gays establish unrealistic beauty standards, gays demand total subservience to the Gay Political Agenda, gays ostracize those who are different or unattractive or (among gay men) too feminine.
I'm sure much of this comes from an internalized, learned homophobia and persistent low self-esteem, but to pretend "It Gets Better" doesn't deal with the problem that when gay people survive the pain of adolescence and (often) small-town ignorance, they rarely find in the gay community or urban enclaves a protective, tolerant embrace that fosters kindness to each other and provides the tools to deal with a homophobic culture that exists outside of "small-town" American and is, in fact, PRODUCED in our cultural centers (from Harvard to NYC to Hollywood to DC).

[/I]
***
I have to say that it was brave of TrueFaith to tell it like it is and to share unpopular truths. One part I disagree with is that 'gays glamourize a lifestyle of self-destruction and drugs' any more so than the straight club partiers do. The rest I found quite spot on.
What is it with the cruelty thing, anyway, that many gays have towards other gays beyond the two points TrueFaith mentioned- 'learned homophobia' and 'persisistent low self-esteem?'
It is so unenlightened, and catty behavior sure can keep progress a ways off. In the 60s, civil rights groups and women's rights advocates both worked at their separate causes, with neither group tearing it's own members apart, they had work to do, got it done, and look at the progress both groups made. Both can be used as examples to illustrate how far gay rights haven't come, comparatively, and how divided some gays still remain against other gays. TrueFaith said it better.
Perhaps unrelated- but does else anyone think Kathy Griffin (who is funny) crosses a line between 'appealing' to gays and 'pandering' to gays, and with a slightly hypocritical slant?
In season 1 or 2 of her show, she rolled her eyes and made a revealing comment at the thought of a homosexual man perhaps being "religious", like it was an impossibility. Nobody caught it. But she was perpetuating a really unfortunate opinion that gay men can't have a relationship with God because of the very fact that they are gay, which is an incredibly bigoted thing to imply.
Her use of "My gays" --is that not pandering? Yet, so many gay men love that.
I have a friend who for years now has followed her to all of her many live performances, city by city, throughout the US. She writes new material constantly, from what he tells me, and she's a funny 50-something lady for sure, but I think she exploits her gay audience and really has some of the same cruel attitudes towards gays as homophobes do, but covers it up with humor that appeals to gays, even though sometimes she shows her true feelings about homosexuality, which seem unevolved.
Oh well. Not the point I wanted to make. I think TrueFaith brought up a lot of important issues in why he hates the 'It Gets Better' guy. I still hope the program helps some who need assurance, but though I support it more than not, it does seem to be a shallow grab for media attention more so than really helpful, or accurate, for reasons TrueFaith stated well.

Last edited by Nikolaj; 11-02-2010 at 11:15 PM..
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  #22  
Old 11-02-2010, 10:15 PM
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While I find the intent behind some of this work commendable, I'm getting worried that people are starting to get involved because it's the "trendy" thing to do. Not that even that is such a bad thing, but as has been brought up since the beginning, these types of situations haven't just sprung up wildly recently, they've been covered by the media in such a way that attention is being brought onto them. And that is GREAT. But when you consider that someone like Daniel Radcliffe, a straight young actor known for playing one of the most popular children's literature characters of at least his generation, has been working closely with and speaking for the Trevor Project for ages before this, it kind of makes you wonder where all of these other people have been. I'm a very gray person, so again, I do think it's great that these issues ARE getting attention now and that people who are in the position to make people listen are speaking out and sharing their stories, it just makes me wonder if this support will start to fall away as quickly as it arose. These videos may help to alleviate the pain by providing support and hope and in some cases, advise, but there's a lot more that needs to be done in a situation like this, things that require more than making a video and putting it up on YouTube, and I hope at least a percentage of these people who have been speaking out are planning to continue to take action and awareness when this inevitably starts to quiet.
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