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  #111  
Old 09-15-2011, 11:54 PM
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As I see it, being one of the letters in LGBT --[or LGBTQ(eer)]--makes a great many of us "look inward" quite a lot. We question all kinds of socially approved notions about gender, sex, love, relationship... more than the average non-LGBT/Q person is apt to do. We do so in large part because we've felt excluded . . .
And hetero people have never felt excluded? Sure, not for our gender or orientation, but everyone has had the feeling of being excluded forsome reason or another. Certainly I was ostracized growing up for many reasons, which cut deep. It makes sense, and I can certainly accept that LGBT people are more prone to and have had to dig down deep and examine emotions and issues surrounding sex and sexuality moreso than anyone else in contemporary society. But I thought you were saying that LGBT people are more self-examining and open-minded in general, and I don't see it that way. Hetero people look what it means to be in love and in relationships, question who they are, what they want, explore both the tender and agressive sides of themselves, ask why they are on the planet and search for a purpose and to reconcile their emotional lives. Obviously, the generalizing and stereotyping go both ways.
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  #112  
Old 09-16-2011, 12:05 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Obviously, the generalizing and stereotyping go both ways.
It's not always as obvious as it is this time.
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  #113  
Old 09-16-2011, 12:20 AM
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River was saying that LGBTQ people have more reason to question society's norms about sex, love, gender and relationships, and that seems to me perfectly true. I would also include other sexual minorities in that category, including kinky folks and naturally-poly folks (I see poly as an orientation for some, a choice for others).

That doesn't mean that straight, vanilla, or mono folks aren't often deep or don't have plenty of reasons to think about life, but, on those particar fronts that River mentioned, lgbtq folks do usually have a very different experience than their peers. I mean imagine *never* seeing the type of emotional or sexual relationship you crave depicted in books, movies or songs growing up!

There are lots of statistics showing that lgbtq kids are more likely to be bullied, more likely to be kicked out of their homes and are at greater risk for suicide. This by no means implies that other kids don't experience these things! But if it's more likely for queer kids, doesn't it also stand to reason that queer kids are also more likely -- on average -- to have reason to sympathize with the outsider's point of view and see things differently than their peers in some ways?

So, yeah. I think River had some perfectly salient points and I don't think he was trying to disparage straights, Nyc.
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  #114  
Old 09-16-2011, 12:46 AM
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Note that I can say "In my experience, the queer community tends to exhibit less racism overall than society at large, which may be due to a greater general sympathy for the outsider's perspective" and this is not the same as saying "Straight people are racist."
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  #115  
Old 09-16-2011, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
And hetero people have never felt excluded? Sure, not for our gender or orientation, but everyone has had the feeling of being excluded forsome reason or another.
Of course you have. We have. We all have. I never implied we don't, all of us.

What I was saying is that faggots have been niggers. Think of the John Lennon song, "Woman is the nigger of the world". If you are not a faggot or a nigger, you're not a faggot or a nigger. You get to go through life a little easier than those who are faggots or niggers. Not that it will be easy. Hell no. Even women are the faggot/niggers of the world. Or "poor people". Or homeless or "Third World" people.

Poly people are also the faggot/niggers of the world.

Anyone not playing by "the rules" is a faggot and a nigger.

Sensitive, kind people are the faggots and the niggers. This is, after all, a world where the "winners" combine with the other "winners" to win at the cost of making losers out of the rest.

By no fault of your own, you just don't know, from the inside, what it is like to have feared honest self-disclosure at a tender young age about a matter that could prove emotionally or physically deadly. You have a hint of the damage The Closet can wreck. And that's about it. By no fault of your own.
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  #116  
Old 09-16-2011, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
But if it's more likely for queer kids, doesn't it also stand to reason that queer kids are also more likely -- on average -- to have reason to sympathize with the outsider's point of view and see things differently than their peers in some ways?

So, yeah. I think River had some perfectly salient points and I don't think he was trying to disparage straights, Nyc.
Thanks, Annabel.

I wish I could show folks here the movie of my young life. I stayed in the closet until age 24, for terror. I'm old-ish now, so the young folk here may not relate. There was not a single "out" person in my childhood or young life. I had almost no support at all -- and then AIDS hit. Right at the moment I was "coming of age". Empathize with me and those of my generation and you shall see, folks. I'm not needing any narcissistic hand-holding here. I'm standing up for a cause.
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  #117  
Old 09-16-2011, 01:38 AM
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And hetero people have never felt excluded?
Did white people in the deep South sometimes feel excluded? Of course they did, and legitimately so. Think of the cannon fodder! Think of .... So many!

Honey, I've been at the back of the bus. We had no drinking fountains or restrooms of our own. We were expected to be invisible, preferably non-existent or dead. I've had figurative fire hoses turned on me.

Have you had?
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  #118  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:15 AM
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I survived a horrible childhood, which I won't discuss here, but suffice it to say that I have had to overcome my own seemingly insurmountable odds. You think that just because I'm straight, I "don't know, from the inside, what it is like to have feared honest self-disclosure at a tender young age about a matter that could prove emotionally or physically deadly," but that is not true. No, my issues did not pertain to my sexuality, but I had secrets to keep about myself/my family that were very damaging to do so. However, this is not about who has the "best worst story."

More to the point... I just do not see the correlation that makes one who has been the victim of discrimination more open-minded or more in touch with emotions than anyone else. In fact, people who've been victimized can be even more shut down emotionally. What I was taking exception to is the almost-blanket statement that LGBT people are just more open-minded and emotionally evolved than heteros. Perhaps they are when it comes to matters of sex, sexuality, sexual identity, gender, but not necessarily love and relationships, nor anything else. You seem to be asserting that, since LGBT people have had to struggle with the issues surrounding their sexual identity and coming out that it makes them more sympathetic and sensitive overall, and therefore more in tune with their feelings and emotional development. This is similar to when someone says that poly people are more evolved than mono people.

I am not saying that LGBT folks have not suffered at the hands and attitudes of others. I am not saying they haven't been treated unfairly. I am not challenging the idea that LGBT people have had to overcome many obstacles and deep hurts to accept and overcome any issue surrounding sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, identity, etc, including the risk of danger for doing so. I am simply saying that hetero people can be just as emotionally developed, evolved, sensitive, and in touch with their inner lives than anyone else, and can have struggled with similarly devastating or radically life-impacting issues. Different paths to self-knowledge and emotional development, but pain is pain, confusion is confusion, and loss is loss. People can be marginalized for any reason. It is part of the human condition to question who we are and what we're about, so gender and orientation doesn't make one more adept at doing so in general, though one's experiences may make one more adept at such inner exploration in a particular area of life and/or personal identity.

River, I've seen you scold members here when generalizations are made about differences between men and women. Someone who says something like, "Women are just more sensitive and compassionate than men are," often gets a rebuke from you. You would tell them not to generalize, that to do so is bullshit because there are plenty of sensitive, compassionate men out there and you are one of them. But now you're doing the same thing!

This branch of the discussion started when you stated that bisexual men are more sensitive and in touch with their emotions than straight men, and I objected to that because it's my experience that hetero men can be just as deep and emotional as you described. You said women are attracted to bi men like yourself probably because "we tend to embody the full range of human emotional responsiveness. Many women desire a quality of companionship which many or most men cannot offer, simply because they are caught up in lots of masculinity training (and perhaps also some biological traits) . . . we're just what the women generally want. We're kind, sensitive, thoughtful, tender, vulnerable, feeling..., but also tough and rugged and "masculine" when the situation calls for it." Now I know you weren't making a blanket statement about all bi men (surely there are many who are bi and not very emotionally responsive nor psychologically evolved), nor about all straight men, but your statement was an implication that most straight men tend to be less than fully responsive emotionally, and that they are not able to be kind, sensitive, thoughtful, tender, vulnerable, feelingful, while also tough, rugged and "masculine."

To me, this thinking paints a picture of straight men as mostly a bunch of unevolved, insensitive clods only interested in looking like tough guys. Geez, if Al Bundy is all I have to look forward to in my attraction to hetero men, I might as well throw in the towel now. But fortunately I have known many a straight guy who is not a cave man, and is all those things you say bi men are. I doubt they were all anomalies. All I am saying is that, while it is true that most men in our culture, gay, straight, bi, or whatever, have been taught what being a man and masculine is "supposed to be," just like women have been taught about femininity and being a woman, I don't think it's accurate to assume that one's sexual orientation determines how sensitive and able to "embody the full range of human responsiveness" a person is. You yourself point to experience rather than anything else as putting you in touch with those sensitivities (having experienced brutal forms of discrimination, for example). So, I say, it's experience, curiosity, and a willingness to challenge what we've been taught that I believe will make someone more open-minded and emotionally available than anything else.
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Last edited by nycindie; 09-17-2011 at 12:41 AM.
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  #119  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by River View Post
By no fault of your own, you just don't know, from the inside, what it is like to have feared honest self-disclosure at a tender young age about a matter that could prove emotionally or physically deadly. You have a hint of the damage The Closet can wreck. And that's about it. By no fault of your own.
Well put, River. I have tried to explain this before and not done nearly so well as you have here. Thank you.
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  #120  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I am not challenging the idea that LGBT people have had to overcome many obstacles and deep hurts to accept and overcome any issue surrounding sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, identity, etc, including the risk of danger for doing so. I am simply saying that hetero people can be just as emotionally developed, evolved, sensitive, and in touch with their inner lives than anyone else, and can have struggled with similarly devastating or radically life-impacting issues.
I've not even finished reading your whole post, NYCindie, but I just had to say something about the above quoted material before reading on.

I've never said that LGBT people are more developed, evolved, sensitive than those who are not LGBT--except, perhaps, on average, and about certain particular issues. Nor have I said that hetero people are less evolved. What I did was to agree with your own words, which I can only paraphrase here (since I did not memorize them and cannot readily go back and read them at the moment). You said that some people (roughly paraphrasing) are forced by circumstances to look more deepy at some matters than others, and doing so generally raises their consciousness about those matters. This I agreed with. It was YOUR statement (we can go back and find the exact quote, so my paraphrase can be adjusted).
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Last edited by River; 09-17-2011 at 01:04 AM.
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