Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Labels

This is, wonderful to relate, the 200th post to this blog.   Well, youse people know I like to natter.  Thanks for listening to my rambles and rants.

Just thought I'd mention it.




This blog post made me think.  Always a dicey activity, no?  He's the bloke who started and now runs the Iomfats website.  (Thanks to Rock for reminding me of it).

A quote from the post:

Confession time.
I don't understand bisexuality. I'm homosexual, 30 years into a heterosexual marriage with a very beautiful woman, and we adore each other. We have a full marriage in all senses of the word, but I am homosexual, not even a smidgen bisexual. My wife is a glorious exception-event.  So I truly do not understand bisexuality.


Interesting.  I used also to describe myself as gay and married to a woman I love. I recently realized that I am probably bi, but at the gay end of the spectrum.  I had a kind of epiphany after reading a story by Neil Plakcy which I found very hot.  Now, you can't fool your cock ("so light, even a thought can lift it")   If you get hard, you're being turned on.  (I'm explaining this to virgins, gay, straight or in between, who somehow haven't realized this.  The rest of you know this already, right?)   So why, if you're gay and you can nevertheless get hard with a woman, do you go on calling yourself gay?

I did it because I was primarily gay. And I thought calling yourself bi was a cop-out, dishonest and in fact cowardly.  I thought that the world considered bi better than gay, and there was no way I was going to bottle out like that.  I was gay as fuck, dammit!  True, for a couple of years in my early twenties I only fucked men.  And then I met my lady, at a time when I was pretty pissed off at the cum-and-go culture.  She was so frigging beautiful, so clever and witty and just plain hot that giving up men was easy.  I hadn't found anyone to love, and I wanted to be more than a piece of meat.  I wanted to be loved.  And she loved me and I loved her, and it was wonderful.

Since then I have (at least to the outside world) been heterosexual.  But I still respond to men, to maleness, to male beauty.  I also respond to women and female beauty, but mostly I incline to the male side.  So what am I?  A gay man who got married to a woman (as Tim Trent describes himself), a straight man who went through a gay phase (a fricking long phase, acushla), or a bisexual?  You know what?  Who gives a flying foo-foo valve?  The labels mislead.

If you read Cross Currents you'll get the perspective of a mostly straight man and his relationships with other mostly straight men.  What are these blokes?  Gay?  Straight?  Bi?  Well, it's unimportant.  They are fond of each other.  They have sex with each other.  They also have sex with women.  Sometimes they're not fond of the women they fuck.  Sometimes they are.  The clichés, the labels, are damaging.  If you're gay you've gotta like musicals?  Be good at house decorating?  Wear coordinated clothes?  What a load of cobblers.  If you're straight you can't be tender and caring?  You can't love your best friend?  You can't like classical music or ballet or literature?   What utter, utter tosh.

This piece was posted a couple of months ago in The DB Files, Don Bellew's group:

It was a real-life "Brokeback Mountain" couple that Courier-Post staff
writer Robert Baxter met--though this was when Baxter was a young boy,
long before Annie Proulx wrote the story that filmmaker Ang Lee would
eventually turn into an affecting story of love between two shepherds
in the wilds of Wyoming and the life-long romance that followed.

In his Aug. 27 Courier-Post article, Baxter described meeting the two
cowboys, Bud and Manuel, at age "5, maybe 6," while at a county fair
with his grandmother. Baxter wrote of how the cowboys "looked like
real men. Lean, muscular, with big, calloused hands and strong faces,
tanned by the sun." Bud was a ranch owner; Manuel was his foreman; and
the two men shared a life, Baxter wrote. Indeed, although nobody in
the small California community where the men lived made an issue of
it, "everyone sensed Bud belonged to Manuel," and the pairing, Baxter
recalls, went over "as comfortably as Charlie and Mary or Harry and
Alice." 

(See more here)

Where do these manly gay blokes fit into the stereotypes?  It's all so much more complicated than the gay-haters believe.  In the end, we're people.  Sometimes we love people of the same gender, sometimes we love people of the other gender.  Sometimes we have sex with our own gender.  Or not.  And it doesn't follow that the love and sex necessarily have anything to do with each other.  It's more complicated than that.  And the labels ("You're so gay", "What a fruit", "He's a homo") are dangerous.  For everybody.  For the gays, who grow to hate themselves, for the straights who grow afraid to show affection to another man.  Some people are 100% gay (whatever that means)  Others 100% straight (define, please!)  And others, many many others, are somewhere on the line between, though we may call ourselves gay or straight or bi.  My invented term is "gay-shaded".  But even that is an unhappy descriptor.  Judge not lest ye be judged, everyone.   Set aside your preconceptions and prejudices.  It's much more nuanced and muddled than you thought.  Than I thought.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Succinctly and beautifully penned!

"And then I met my lady, at a time when I was pretty pissed off at the cum-and-go culture. She was so frigging beautiful, so clever and witty and just plain hot that giving up men was easy. I hadn't found anyone to love, and I wanted to be more than a piece of meat. I wanted to be loved. And she loved me and I loved her, and it was wonderful."

Nigel said...

Mind you, it can go the other way. I know two blokes who are straight, but because they loved their (male) best friend profoundly, were able to transcend their upbringing and conditioning to embrace a sexual relationship with them. But you see, that came from love. Love first, sex later. Alas, we males are so often wired or brought up to value the sex more than the love.