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Old 06-01-2005, 08:49 AM   #346
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good question


I don't think it has all that much. Because of some experiences I've had in my life since childhood, I like to think I have a decent level of empathy. I want acceptance from others for who I am, so I do my best to give the same. I'm not perfect, I fail so many times..but that's my goal. For me it's ultimately all about just striving to accept people for who they are. As long as they're good and decent people according to how I define that, nothing else really matters all that much to me.

Maybe I never thought of gay marriage all that much until last year. So I guess maybe that issue has just reinforced my belief that we are all equal and should have equal rights under the law.
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:58 AM   #347
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My views on homosexuality have really not changed since I became aware that it existed.

I was a little slow and had no idea what "gay" meant when I heard kids on the playground using it and I was probably 12 or 13 by the time I finally asked someone. Around that same time, I realized that my stepfather's sister was most likely gay but I thought it was so strange that she kept it hidden. She had a girlfriend but they went to great lengths to make everyone think they were platonic friends. I didn't realize back then that her family was extremely homophobic and she was just protecting herself. In my young mind, everyone who was in love should have been able to openly express it and I couldn't understand why people had a problem with it.

I still feel the same way. I can't understand why anyone has a problem with it.
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Old 06-01-2005, 09:03 AM   #348
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No, it hasn't changed much, not really.
10 years ago, I didn't know any gays but wasn't biased either, I didn't have an opinion about it as such.
Now, I don't have a specific opinion about them either, even though more than one close friend of mine is gay. I don't know why I should, really, I tend to not form opinions or have prejudices untill I get to know someone on a personal level. I *try* really hard to not be prejudiced anyway.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:05 AM   #349
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hmm, great question, irvine.

i'm not sure my attitude towards homosexuality per se has changed much at all. since high school, i've had numerous friends who are gay. while i was aware that they were different in that sense, they were just like all my other friends in the sense that we hung out, had fun, shared our problems, scoped out hotties, all the things that friends do. i did note that not everybody sees things this way, and a couple of my friends in high school were ostracized and bullied. i did my best to stand up for them whenever i could. and, most of my gay friends have struggled with coming out, in all the circles of their lives (family, friends, work, etc.).

what has changed is my understanding of the complexity of being different in a white, heterosexual, middle class society. i've become more aware of homophobia in all its forms, and that the hidden/concealed/masked form is the most sinister of all.

i've also learned how these masked prejudices have made their way into mainstream society and the law, and how hard it is to combat systemic discrimation. i'm not sure that the PC movement was any help, as it merely changed the language to mask the problems in politer terms, driving the root of the problem further underground--to the point that people often don't even recognize the underlying homophobia in their views and opinions.

i guess it's more my attitude toward society that's changed. it's not all negative--we are able to talk about homosexuality openly and publicly, and that is a huge step in the right direction.

the optimistic pessimist strikes again.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:59 AM   #350
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Who cares Irvine, dare I say most of the people here show you respect and would be disgusted at whatever that was. Good thing I didn't see it

It's just the internet and the irresistible power it has for some people to sit there and say whatever the hell they feel like saying regardless of how offensive it is or whose feelings it hurts.

A good thing to remember is that behind all those screens are humans with feelings like your own....well most peeps
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:04 AM   #351
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My views on homosexuality have really not changed since I became aware that it existed.
Same here. I'm not quite sure where I got my openness about homosexuality but as long as I can remember it was never an issue for me. Growing up in a small, religious, racist, conservative environment in rural Virginia, I certainly did not get positive impressions about homosexuality from family and friends, but I was fortunate in high school to have 2 brilliant teachers (and this was in the 70s) both of whom I realized even then were lesbians, though these things were never discussed. Given that these were the only, and I do mean ONLY, positive teacher role models I had in high school I just never questioned the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality; it just obviously was okay to be gay because these two extraordinary women were all the evidence I needed.

From there I went to college and the next extraordinary human being I met was a gay man who was the most fabulously radical person I'd ever met. The son of CIA parents, which isn't important except that it was just another thing that made him especially interesting, he was the first person I knew who was out and unlike most other gays of that time period, he had absolutely no issues about coming out at all and had extremely high self-esteem. His attitude was basically 'yes, I'm gay, and if you have a problem with that it's definitely your problem.' He was so open and accepting of himself and others that even the most macho homophobic guy around softened in his presence. That began my life long association with gays and lesbians and since it's now been over 25 years it's really hard sometimes to understand why people still have issues with it.

What has changed for me, and continues to change, is a deeper understanding of men in general through my friendships with gay men, as well as the difficulties of being gay in this world which I honestly don't think I've understood until recently just because my whole adult life I've lived in a bubble where it was okay to be gay, first in this interesting college community in VA, then in NYC, and now in a very gay friendly town. But with gay issues on the political agenda these last few years, I've seen the challenges in a new light.
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:20 AM   #352
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Growing up ,I was very sheltered,so it took alot of learning "in the real world" for me(starting after high school).

I get my caring and accepting nature from my Mom.My Dad can be very closed-minded though.We often dont agree on things,but he did teach me to stand up for my belief's.Iam just not as outspoken as him at times.

One of my second cousins is gay,but it was kept hidden from me as a child. My first gay friend was in high school.He didnt come out for many years after,but I was very glad that he finally did.At the time in high school,as I said I was very naive,and I didnt realize that he was gay until he told me sometime later.

My views havent really changed,but I have gotten past the media's stereotyping of gay people.Gay people are just like me,they just happen to be attracted to their own sex.Nothing more nothing less.

I believe in eqality and happiness for all,and I have taught my daughter through example to be the same.
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:11 PM   #353
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My views haven't changed but my understanding has. I remember having a conversation with other kids from church when I was 14, I kept defending the idea that homosexuals shouldn't be condemned or treated any differently in the church or anywhere else. Needless to say I was the only one who stood on that side. You're outspoken and outnumbered and the next thing you know your sexuality is being questioned...oh adolescence.

But what has changed is that at 14 I believed that homosexuality was more environmental than nature. I no longer believe that anymore.
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:28 PM   #354
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i hope it's all right for me to answer this question since i haven't been posting, but i've been following the thread. i don't post much in fym.

anyway, my views on homosexuality have never really changed. i too was lucky that i had parents who raised me to think everyone was equal. believe it or not, i wasn't even really aware of any slurs (racial, etc.) until i moved here to memphis.

but i was taught that gay people are just the same as me, they are just attracted to the same sex. that's the only difference.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:34 PM   #355
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No, my attitude hasn't changed a bit; didn't think it was a big deal then, and I don't think it's a big deal now.

I guess I've got a pretty relaxed attitude toward sex and relationships anyway, perhaps because such things were simply not discussed in my parents house. It just...never came up. There was nobody telling me, "This is the way you should think", so I was able to make up my own mind. And my mind says diversity makes the world go 'round.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:36 PM   #356
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I have a question: what do you believe is the genesis of homophobia? Why, do you think, does there seem to be so much of it in America? What do you think these people are really afraid of?

(Okay, one question, plus two )
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:49 PM   #357
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1) Do you 'sound' gay?
2) Is that you or Jude Law in your avatar?
3) Do you have an equivilent term for straight people, like 'poof'?
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:16 AM   #358
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Quote:
Originally posted by echo0001
I have a question: what do you believe is the genesis of homophobia? Why, do you think, does there seem to be so much of it in America? What do you think these people are really afraid of?

(Okay, one question, plus two )


the genesis of homophobia?

there's a long answer and a short answer.

short: we fear difference, and i think it's rather natural to find a sexual act that is not to your liking unappealing, if not disgusting. there are some sex acts that i am totally uninterested in, so i understand where a straight men would find the idea of two men having sex gross (yet, they seem to like "lesbians" making out). however, there's a huge difference between finding something gross, and claiming that something is "wrong" or "immoral" simply because the Bible tells you so (and then plead innocence to bigotry because, golly gosh, it's not me saying it, it's the Bible!!!) this is then combined with the idea that all gay men are simpering, limp-wristed half-men (i.e., essentially female), so i'd almost say that homophobia is rooted more in misogyny and sexism than anything else, the idea that femininity is at its core inferior to masculinity. and there's also the idea that one can "turn" gay, which means, in essence, to be feminized -- hence the use of anal rape by men on men in war or otherwise as a means of subjugation.

long: it's challenging for people to imagine that a different way of being human is not only acceptable, but as good as how they understand themselves. also, the "value," i think, gay people bring to the human family is to prove that we can and do exist beyond our capacity to reproduce. that's also a scary notion, especially if you root your worldview in a sort of God-Country-Family mindset. a huge discussion could follow, but the essence of it is simple.

i do believe that, very simply, people who are homophobic have very closed, rigid minds and cannot (or choose not to) deal with difference, diversity, unconvention, ambiguity, and complexity.

as for America ... on a global scale, our society is very tolerant. i'd be beheaded in Saudi Arabia, stoned to death in Afghanistan, and jailed in Egypt. American cities are great places to be gay, as urban Americans are as sophistocated and accepting of diversity as anyone else on earth. the probablem with more rural parts of America -- yes, forgive me for stereotyping, but we're speaking in broad strokes here -- is that 1) you can move to a town where you do not have to deal with people who are different from yourself, so you never have to encounter anyone who isn't a white Christian hetero, so it's easy to deamonize those who are different, and 2) there's no quesiton that Christianity is more important to the fabric of American life than it is to our Western counterparts in Europe and Australia; sadly, many churches and politicians have used Christianist homophobic bigotry -- to the point where it seems as if the Bible is nothing more than an anti-gay pamphlet -- in order to mobilize their masses to get to the voting booth. its' really no different than how racism was used to convert, post 1968, racist Dixiecrats into Republicans.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:18 AM   #359
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Quote:
Originally posted by Palace_Hero
1) Do you 'sound' gay?
2) Is that you or Jude Law in your avatar?
3) Do you have an equivilent term for straight people, like 'poof'?


1. by "sound gay" i assume you mean if my voice is high, if i have a lisp, if i endlessly reference show tunes and Liza Minelli. the answer, to all those things, is no. however, i do sound gay because most gay people sound like me.

2. i wish it were me but it is Jude Law.

3. the most derogratory term we have for straight people are "Republicans."

just kidding -- the closest thing to "poof" would be to call straight people "breeders." but the more common term would be "straights" or "heteros."
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:36 AM   #360
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Ive got a question for ya since Jude Law came up
What exactly is it about him that attracts so many gays?
I understand that he's extremely good looking but theres other good looking men out there that just dont have the same sort of gay following.
but hey, if i was a guy I'd probably do him
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