Alex Blaze

Discrimination among Gay Male

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 27, 2011 7:00 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This

A video on discrimination within the community.

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Video link is broke (shows up as just white space in all my browsers).

OMG! ... I could comment on this, but I might need to write an entire book to do the subject anything approaching justice ...

However, I do wish to add ...

I think we need to perceive carefully the notions of "political discrimination" and "social discrimination" ...

What I am calling "social" discrimination is almost impossible to eradicate. By this I mean, if I don't want to be friends with Bob because I think he is too old, or I don't want to be friends with Fred because he is obese, or I don't enjoy hanging out with Curtis because he grew up in Appalachia and still talks and thinks like an Appalachian, no one can make me socialize with people I don't find appealing ...

However, if I claim that gay men who are "too old" or "too heavy" or "too rural" do not deserve to be included in the amorphous blob we call "the LGBT community" then I am extending my personal "preferences" to become prejudices of a political nature.

But we all have prejudices, and we all have to check and work on our prejudices.

About the time that I was coming out, around age 18 or so, I was appalled by drag queens and openly effeminate men. I had internalized the attitude of my upbringing, that males are obliged to "act masculine" within a certain range, acknowledging that I myself was not a football player or Marine drill sergeant. I also felt that drag queens were types that were embarrassing to the "more straight-acting" gay men. I cringed at all the drag queens in the Gay Pride Parades.

I eventually became friends with some men who do drag -- mostly because they were nice guys and, surprisingly, were sometimes willing to be friendly with me. Even so, to this day, I generally don't socialize with drag queens -- even though I have gotten very clear on the point that, politically, drag queens have a right to be themselves just as much as I do. Although I am still not a big fan of drag, I have learned that drag queens are, and ought to be, an accepted part of our community and movement. So in a way, I still "discriminate" against drag queens in my social life even while I embrace them politically. Even so, my policy is to always treat people of drag in a friendly, civil and respectful manner.

For me it was drag queens. For someone else it might be blacks or Mexicans; for someone else, it might be men who are openly HIV-positive, etc., etc. We all hate being "discriminated" against, and we are all guilty of discrimination.

That duplicity within each individual makes this a very difficult subject. Additionally, there is the matter that some of us see our own prejudices and don't like having them; while others insist angrily that he or she has a right to their prejudices -- in which case, they are not prejudices, but "preferences", "opinions" or "viewpoints".

And then, we can observe that straight people and their prejudices are not that different from gay people and their prejudices. Whether gay or straight, some atheists are appalled at religious people, and some religious people are appalled at atheists.

(While on the subject of religion, even Jesus of Nazareth struggled with his prejudices -- the Canaanite woman had to convince Him that she deserved his blessing, even despite her ethnicity. We are told that Jesus's heart was touched, and finally he surrendered, "Woman, great is your faith!" Perhaps the lesson here is that we all have the ability to overcome our prejudices.)

I think I've outlined what a mess this is -- so I'll stop here.

Gorgeous!! I put it up on the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project facebook page.