Is gay OK now?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by BIGdkluver, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. BIGdkluver

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA--Illinois
    Do you think that our society today is "OK" with people being gay--especially M2M gayness?

    I know not everyone is totally accepting of gay people, but I'm beginning to feel that a lot of people are a great deal more accepting and tolerant of it than just a few years ago.

    For example, "Will and Grace" was a terrific hit TV series. Today we have that "Modern Family" sitcom which features a gay male couple with their adopted children. Plus, I feel that most college students seem to be very "cool" with people being gay and, conversely, they seem to be quick to attack anyone who appears to be "homophobic" in their opinion.

    Recently I was in a small restaurant with some friends. Two gay male friends who were also lovers were part of our group. The two guys sat next to each other at our table, held hands (discreetly) under the table, and, when one of them had to leave, the other one gave him a quick peck on the lips as a good-bye kiss. All this was in front of "str8" people in the restaurant. Nobody blinked an eye.

    So, what do you think? Are we on the threshold of some kind of "golden age" for gayness?

    Thanks for your comments! :smile:
     
  2. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Rugby, England
    I like the global comparison from this site.
     
  3. chadstallion

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,983
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    668
    Gender:
    Male
    of course.
     
  4. helgaleena

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    5,663
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wisconsin USA
    great info link! Thanks. It warmed my cockles.
     
  5. Tense0000

    Tense0000 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    34
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Miami (FL, US)

    nice!:smile:
     
  6. AlextheRedhead

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,132
    Albums:
    15
    Likes Received:
    755
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Phoenix (AZ, US)
    I agree that it has changed but I still over hear young people say "that's so gay"
    or "no homo" so we still have a problem with being gay as something that is negative.
    In England they have a PSA that says "Some people are gay, get over it"
    Wish we would have that here in the USA
     
  7. runningwoof

    runningwoof New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    68
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    It is getting better. Especially in large cities, but in certain areas of the US, there are still problems. In the bible belt in particular, I know a lot of people that still need to stay closeted so they can keep their jobs.
     
  8. crescendo69

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    8,142
    Likes Received:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    After auditioning prospective organists to fill in at a local Presbyterian church for certain services, only one was found by the church commitee to be qualified. During his interview, he stated that he was gay. They have decided not to hire him. The pipe organ remains mostly unplayed for the past several years..

    I play piano there regularly (for pay), and am relieved that I have not told them. If my financial situation improves, I might be glad to leave, although they have been very nice to me so far. I am not a member, though I have been playing there around 5-6 years. I know some may disagree with my decision to remain silent, almost like a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. I did tell one member who is a relatively poorer, liberal lady who befriended me early on. She was very accepting, but alas, has little power in the church's decisions.

    Having come out to several friends over the last twenty years, I am still selective about whom I tell. It is getting a little more accepting in some places, but remains the same in others. I've heard some good stories of gutsy responses to homophobia from some who have been successful in diffusing these prejudices, but I've never been a very confrontational person. I guess I'm still learning at 57 that much of the responsibility falls on each of us.
     
    #8 crescendo69, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  9. Satyrrific

    Satyrrific New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Central Coastal CA
    OK! MESSAGE FOR THE; HIP AND IMPATIENT.
    yes this is a looong message -which some folks find infuriating.
    I understand. Please don't get mad. Just scroll on past and try to forgive me. Actually, no one needs to read it. I just needed to say something outloud. I didn't have a hole in the ground to say it into. I just had to get it out of my head even if it can chalked up to plain ol' whining.

    SCROLL PASS NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR EPITHETS


    Actually, as the few places where attitude is improving (some big cities) and perhaps in certain social circles, the rest of the country is actually worse for M2M sexuality. I live in a supposedly liberal bastion of a town just south of SF, and maybe some folks are more politically-correct but I've heard more negative attitude and seen more violence against gay men as well as the word "gay" become so synonymous with "lame" "weak" "gross" and "just wrong" that the people I confront (very politely) don't seem to even be conciously aware of how wrong it is to do that. Or the busdriver or restaurant manager or anyone around me in those places. Even of I bring it to their attention. I've heard the answer more than a few times; "Is that a bad word now?" or "Are they calling you gay?" When I used to be more argumentative if I got a smart-aleck response, some high-school students would laugh, mock, increase the epithets, "warn" mothers with kids and other kids to "stay away-he just told he's a fag!" My all-time bus experience was the teen who jumped up and shouted at me in German (with that Nazi whine) , pretending (or not!) to me a Brown-Shirt Nazi, claiming Nazi heritage and that all queers should be killed. He asked me if I know what he said; and he said he was impressed that a stupid queer would know German. I told him many of my friends have been German and that I'm German too!. All the while remaining calm but speaking clearly so that the nearly full bus can hear me: they could hear him alright...he was shouting in my face, which I would embarass him away by saying with a lilt, "gee, you don't seem uncomfortable this close to a gay man, maybe you are not so homophobic." And added that though he couldn't frighten me, there might just be people on this bus who did suffer under Nazism and..." He didn't care, he said more German and I heard "Yuden (Juden) and Uber Alles, and I'm pretty sure he didn't mean Jews Over All!
    Well, not one person stood up for me, the driver who I not only know he could hear all of this, but kept watching on his mirror. People on the bus couldn't have ignored what was happening...you could see that most people were tuned in and a few looked a bit scared, but most looked amused.
    Eventually he and his pals got off. I was by the back-door and as he got off he shouted in an outrageous Nazi accent (that condescending lilt of contempt) a string of German and English epithets and that one day they'll clean up the scum like me and put us back I'm concentration camps. I gave him the finger without looking at him.

    So I'm sorry that I disagree about social change as regards homo-hatred and phobia. Socialogists have noticed the trend of rising homophobia despite what the TV shows us. And its not non-correlative.
    The more people of homo sensibilities feel free to express this in art or movies and books, the more horrified the general public. Case and point; of all the states, California has the most open attitude about gays. Yet, they went out of their way to attack Gay marriage numerous times and won, even though, like a lot of Republican bills are Unconstitutional. (Right Wing Philosophy - "We know we're right, so evil in the name of good is actually good, right?)
    And as much as I love my black friends and lovers, I'm deeply saddened by their communities choice to seperate the values that they hold dear, essential human values, like "a person's value is based not on their color, class, gender but on their merits" from gay folks. No matter the horrific stereotypes that follows them to this day. The gay community has always championed minority caused, especially the black community. (Whats really ironic is the percentage of gays in various communities. By their own answers as to being black straight/bi/or gay compared to other racial groups, they have the highest percentage of gays in their group.

    Sorry but funny gay couples on TV shows is not the same as being gladly invited to your partner's home for Thanksgiving

    As for me, I don't have a single close friend anymore. When I came out either it became quickly clear I wasn't welcome to visit anymore or I wasn't welcome around if I was going to be "out". Their standing and reputation was at risk. "Oh, then they weren't really your friends!" Others didn't mind so much but that they didn't want to be taken for Gay as it messes up any chance meeting with a female. Others yet got married, and once they had kids their wives were "uncomfortable" with a gay man around the kids. And I dig kids, not just because they are fun, love nature, and say the most intrigueing things: but also because sexuality doesn't come up. I get to be free of my label and I just can be a regular guy if only for a bit. I am neither in nor out, my orientation is about as suitable and meaningful as the Business section of the paper for them or me to bring up.

    Well I have two cats who love me when it's dinner...and Im dearly grateful for the attention I do get from them. I owe them for my continued existence and how happy it makes me to make them happy. Otherwise, I would have downed the oxycodone bottle years ago. (Yup! I'm a lucky guy! I get oxy's! I'm in constant pain, can barely walk, losing my continence, and my erections don't anymore very well and the rare orgasm that I do have (on my own) hurt. As does crying. Im only 45, but people want sex to be part of a relationship, not that I had much in the way of relations (I don't club, smoke cigs or wear cologne or hair gel- or being near those; nothing personal, I just find those smells overwhelming.
    So in this wonderful new TV sanctioned new positive gay paradigm I just sit alone in pain, strung out, no more friends, no love, (not that there ever was) and I'm too chicken to just end my pain and stop using up resources that could really help others who have people that need them, that love them.

    Life goes on long after the thrill for living is gone...and has been for years

    Sad-yrrific
     
    #9 Satyrrific, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  10. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    I came out in HS in 1977 at the age of 17. It may surprise many to know that it was no big deal: when I told my mother, her first response was "Do you think I'm blind?" :rolleyes:

    Though Massachusetts is known as a bastion of progressivism, I grew up in a scruffy working-class town 12 miles south of Boston: trust me when I say that it was not a leafy liberal suburb. Part of the reason why my coming out was relatively painless was because of the sheer confidence in my approach. I have often said that I never asked anyone's permission to be gay, and I never wore it as either a badge of honor nor as something to be ashamed of. I was simply affirming that I am what I am, there was an enormous, collective shrug, and life moved on.

    For about eight years in the 80s I worked for a furniture company that claimed to be the "largest importer of Danish furniture in the US", and though hardly the only gay man, I was the only one who brought his lover to the various company functions, where I expected him to be treated with the same courtesy accorded anyone else's significant other. This created a fair amount of controversy, and I know of at least one example where it cost me a promotion I otherwise deserved; I know this because it was the specific reason stated when I asked. Discrimination was completely legal in MA in 1986; what I found ironic was that the GM who told me so was, herself, a closeted lesbian.

    In order to progress in my career, I needed to switch divisions within the company to one that was run by an out gay man. Suddenly questions of whether or not I was "appropriate" to manage a store became irrelevant and was by far the most successful manager of the division (on a percentage basis if not in actual volume, I was one of the most successful managers in the entire 88-store company).

    I honestly believe that the political situation in the US makes it harder for young people to come out now than it was in the hedonistic, free-wheeling 70s. There have always been outspoken bigots, but as acceptance of LGBTs grows, they seem to be given larger platforms. There was a time when religion and politics were completely separate, believe it or not, and there was a time before the Culture Wars poisoned the well of political debate.

    Of course, I knew "my place": the military was not an option for me, neither were trades. As I had no inclination to cut hair or wait tables (not that there's anything wrong with those careers), I chose retailing, which was the other option where one could be gay without necessarily causing a fuss. As I've always preferred urban living anyway, I never even considered living in a suburban or rural area where I might be more likely to be exposed to other people's ignorance. I understand that it's not the life for everyone, but for me, being a Ghetto Fag just always felt right.

    People of my generation were not pioneers, but we were homesteaders in the cause of LGBT acceptance and civil rights. There were challenges, but in all honesty I believe that teens and people in their twenties have a tougher time now, if only because the opposition has grown more vociferous even as their numbers dwindle.
     
  11. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Rugby, England
    PMSL, love it. mine said "Are you sure?"
     
  12. avg_joe

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    3,284
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    I think people have become more tolerant to gayness compared to the last 20 years.
     
  13. lvsxy808

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,548
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    325
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Surbiton (GB)
    I think that while society at large has become more tolerant and accepting, the lunatic homophobic fringe which will always exist has become correspondingly more lunatic and homophobic. They sense they're losing the battle, and it just makes them shout all the louder in their desperation.
     
  14. maxcok

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    7,392
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Elsewhere
    Overall attitudes are shifting in a positive direction, however too many people are "tolerant" only as long as gays "keep in their place", adopt a discreet assimilationist posture, and aren't too "in your face'". Also, as other posters have pointed out, people who live on the coasts and/or in urban areas have a much different experience than people who live in the heartland and/or rural areas. Having occupied both environments, I can well testify to the extremes of acceptance.

    As exotic and entertaining as it may be to middle America, I don't consider the depiction of stereotypical gay characters or the stereotypical "gay lifestyle" on teevee shows any more a sign of progress than those hilarious "Negroes" were on Amos and Andy in the 1950's. I would also add Desperate Housewives and Queer as Folk to that list. I'm on the fence about Glee; so far the writers have managed to present hysterical camp stereotypes alongside a powerful positive message of acceptance with not much in between. I will say that depictions of gay people in the media in general have definitely improved over the past few decades.

    The operative word in that anecdote may be "discreetly". You weren't specific about what sort of environment you were in, geographically or otherwise, but in most public places and most areas of the country there is still a double standard regarding public displays of affection. Even if no one visibly reacts, that's not to say some don't experience an internal shudder.

    I don't think we are on the threshold of a "golden age" regarding gay acceptance, or anything else for that matter. I think we are making slow steady progress on this issue, resulting in slow steady changes in attitudes. At the same time, the more acceptance is gained, the more severe is the backlash from those people who are threatened by and opposed to equality. It's taken a lot of work to get us where we are, and there's a lot more work still to come. Overall I am optimistic, and I would say the signs of progress are gratifying and good to see, though we still have far to go and should not be complacent or take anything for granted.


    :biggrin2:
     
    #14 maxcok, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  15. maxcok

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    7,392
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Elsewhere
    Thanks for that a terrific link, Mitchy. The one graph that jumped out at me was this: the Neighbors. I mean, WTF? With all the anti-immigrant sentiment and muslim bashing being fueled these days, people would still rather have them next door than have any damn queers move into the neighborhood? I lived next door to a house filled with at least 20 immigrants of 'suspect status' at one point, and believe me, it was not fun. Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?!! What accounts for this prejudice? Are we "protecting the children" or what? :rolleyes2:

    It reminds me of my otherwise racially tolerant aunt in the Midwest, who back in the '80's was complaining about a black family moving into her upscale suburban neighborhood - "You know that I don't have anything against them honey, it's just that it brings property values down." Riiiight!! I pointed out to her that the only reason property values went down was because people like her had those kind of attitudes, and since she had no heirs and was going to die in that house anyway, who cares?

    Of course the irony here is gay folk generally drive values up with improvements to their properties and through involvement in community improvement. Maybe with the state of the housing/mortgage market we should put that word out. They'll be begging the gays to move in. :biggrin2:
     
    #15 maxcok, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  16. JaimeB

    JaimeB Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    97
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    there are still plenty of racists, homophobes, misogynists, and religious fanatics out there. even in san francisco, where i live, i hear people say things out loud in public that are intended to wound or humiliate gay people, and gay people are still attacked, beaten and even murdered here.

    this is the situation in which things have gotten better. i don't doubt that they are a lot better, at least in some places and among some people, but they are far from perfect.

    if i hear racist comments, i try to call the person on their racism and say how disgusitng it is. the same with homophobes, unless the atmosphere is so unfriendly that i fear for my own safety. fortunately where i live, even most str8 people will call a homophobe on his/her bullshit.

    as for religious fanatics, i usually point out to them that they are judging others, and that jesus condemned this behavior. they deny it, and say they have to speak out against immorality. i say that if they confess their own immorality it will please god more than if they condemn others whose lives they know nothing about and whose burdens they have never had to bear. i invite them to try being a member of a racial minority or a gay person for a year, and come back and tell me how they felt.

    homophobia is only possible if people let it happen. if they condone it or tolerate it, or even legitimate it by calling it "free speech," it will continue. homophobia is not free speech, it is advocating or at least condoning violence against fellow citizens. it amounts to assault, by putting others in reasonable fear of bodily harm.

    the more people who come out, the more str8 people who have gay friends and family whom they love and defend to others who are intolerant, the less homophobia there will be. how do those numbers stand in your community? if you want it to change, you have to change it. speak up, speak out against injustice and prejudice, loudly and often! and get everyone who claims to care about you to prove it by speaking out too
     
    #16 JaimeB, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  17. B_Hung Jon

    B_Hung Jon New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    What I notice here in Los Angeles is that most people under thirty are educated about sexuality and understand that they may have homo erotic/sexual feelings or tendencies. Most don't think negatively about their own feelings and therefore are more accepting of gay/bi people in general. For instance I don't have any friends who would make a homophobic comment about others. So I'm thinking this is about how many straight younger people can identify with a larger cross section of humanity.
     
  18. maxcok

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    7,392
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Elsewhere
    Generally true. And being open and tolerant yourself, you surround yourself with tolerant friends.
    And you live in LOS ANGELES. It's a bubble, Jon.
     
  19. Redblonde

    Redblonde Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Near Philly
    Is it a coincidence that the graph for Acceptance of Same Sex Marriage looks like an uncut cock? ;-)
     
  20. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Rugby, England
    Haha, i hadn't even noticed. That is pretty funny.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted