Tuesday, June 19

What is the importance of labels between straight and gay?

This is not from an article or anything I heard. Just from the old noggin. I was thinking about something a straight guy asked me a while back, that why was it so important about gay pride. Instead of getting mad, I asked him what he meant. In his mind, gay and straight are equal and he doesn't go around saying 'straight pride' and separating himself from others. I explained to him that there is no need for 'straight pride' because everyone is expected to be heterosexual. He then asked me why bother? I was like, well, we are oppressed all our lives and then when we can come out, we are proud about it and want to say it. It got to me thinking, why are these labels so important if we try to dismantle labels?

Some ignorant people see gay people and say, 'They don't look gay.' They expect a flamboyant man or a butch woman. Then other people get confused with transgender individuals that are female to male and butch lesbians. I always say there isn't an easy this or that. Our need to label people or group them, is fear of the unknown. We want everything nicely packaged. The term 'Transgender' is not even accepted by my Firefox spell checker. Awful. Anyhoo, most straight guys hear that I am gay and then instantly say they are straight. Some people that didn't label themselves is writer Gore Vidal, who didn't want to be label one sexual orientation or another. That is sort of complicated. So yeah, I do believe in some sort of order.

I hate when some gay people say that bisexuals are just afraid of coming out as gay. That they aren't out completely. One of my friends that happens to be a lesbian says there is no such thing as bisexual. That just irks me. It surprises some straight people when I tell them that there is such conflicts between gay people. That most gay men want 'straight-acting' men and that back in the early starting of the GLBT revolution, gay men wanted to be separate from lesbian woman. I personally think it all stems from what we grow up being told. That gay people are bad, so we try to stem away from people who don't fit society's gender construct in order to fit in, even if they are out. I had arguments with this guy, who said he was bi-curious, who didn't believe there was a difference between gender and sex--getting to talk to him more and more, I discovered he found homosexuality immoral. In the end, he was afraid of himself, of course he didn't want to admit it but it seemed he was conflicted. It would be easy to call him hypocritical but it just isn't easy being out, even to yourself. Evidence on how labels can bog the mind.