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  #51  
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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  #52  
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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  #53  
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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  #54  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:22 AM
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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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  #55  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:00 AM
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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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  #56  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:20 AM
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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!
I sorta doubt that I am, but I'm certainly willing to explore the possibility. This stuff isn't exactly plain and easy!

What I tried to say is that LGBT people OFTEN have to much more deeply explore issues around sexuality, gender and relationships than many hetero / straight / "normal" people have had to do, and this fact has deepened our perspective on some of these matters "on average".

It is similar to saying that racial minorities have often had to examine very deeply the racial issues in our society, and that doing so has caused them, on average, to have more awarness and sensitivity -- and often insight -- into social power dynamics (for example) than those who are not racial minorities -- all on average.

Are there exceptions to these trends? No doubt there are.

Do I think average women are more aware of power dynamics with regard to patriarchy and sexism? Damn right I do. As a guy, I have to work a little harder to see the world the way a woman can here. And I think my being one of the marginalized has helped me to be sensitive in this way.

I've never meant to suggest that "straight" people are somehow less sophisticated than LGBTQ folks. Instead, I've suggested that LGBT folks have been handed a lot of lemons and some of us have creatively made lemonaide out of some of these lemons (though rarely all of them).

What is more, I know and love many straight/"normal" people (non-LGBTQ) who are extraordinarily conscious, intelligent, developed, sophisticated, awake, loving and beautiful. I don't have a preference for LGBTQ people over non-.

There are still many white people living in the deep South who think they are superior to black folks. If only they could be black for a little while, ideally in childhood, they'd perhaps wake the f**k up? And there are men who think they're better than women, etc.... Same for them. Right?
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  #57  
Old 09-17-2011, 03:20 AM
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... 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."
This is where you misunderstood my words. I never said anything about "most straight men". Rather, I compared two groups of people. Biamorous men and "straight" men, on average. I think it must be a scientific fact that biamorous men are more androgynous, on average, than "straight" men. I don't have any documentation of that fact handy, but I think this must be a fact. If it hasn't been established scientifically, somebody has got to get on it. (No pun intended.) Realize, of course, that biamorous men are a tiny fraction of the category: men. Not all bisexual men are also biamorous, and even these are a tiny fraction of the category: men. Biamorous men are capable of being fully in love with persons of either sex. Merely being sexually turned on by persons of either sex is being "bi" in the conventional (bisexual) sense. My point is that we're talking about a tiny sliver of men, on average.

Now, bring together the biamorous men of the world. And bring together the non-biamorous men. I'm saying that the biamorous men will be, on average,
more emotionally androgynous than the "straight" men.

I have money to back up my bet. You wanna bet?
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:29 AM
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Once again: I really like straight men. I have nothing against straight men. Some of my best friends are straight men. My very closest male friend, aside from my boyfriend, is a straight male. I do NOT believe most straight men are cave men, or unevolved, etc.... I simply suggested that biamorous men, on average, tend to be more emotionally androgynous, and that an awful lot of women are attracted to this aspect of our being. We are, on average (as suggested by some women in these fora) "more in touch with our feeling sides" (read, tenderness).

Well, ... duh?!
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  #59  
Old 09-17-2011, 06:50 AM
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I am about to make a stereotyping statement (but I'm not the only one to do that in this thread) --I have a certain picture in my head of the kind of masculinity I find attractive and a bisexual guy does not fit that picture. So, in general, I'm not usually attracted to a guy who identifies as bi. I know that conditioning is hard to get past. .
Wow! I really respect your honesty on this thread Nycindie. I'll be honest as well. While I do think a lot of guys hide same sex desires, I also find openly bi-sexual men pretty easy to spot. I'm not alone in this and I don't think it is a negative thing. People who meet RP's hubby often ask me if he is gay or bisexual. Who really cares thought?

Common traits I see in bisexual men...kindness, increased empathy for the world around them, less violent and ego driven personalities and increased gentleness. Do I think these attributes are stereotypes? Nope..they are what I observe.

I don't see expectations of "masculinity" to be a conditioned prejudice to get over. I believe those "old" views and attributes still hold validity in certain environments and social circles. Keep in mind I work in the military where the classic idea of "toughness" and emotional repression is not only expected but critical in certain situations regardless of gender - in this sense my views are skewed and more one dimensional.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:34 AM
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I'm not the target audience for this question since I'm bi myself. But I have to say that I find bisexuality/biamory in a man very attractive. I admit, one part of it is the thought of two men together which I find incredibly hot. But the bigger thing is what many people here have written and I have to agree with them: I can see the relation between being bi and being more feminine (soft, kind, emotional...) in a way. My husband is a bit bi-curious and he is like that, which I adore. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone and you can find the same features in a hetero man and also not find them in a bi man. But because I see the relation between these two things, I'm intrigued if a man tells me he's bi. It's definitely a plus.
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