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Old 12-02-2006, 02:32 PM   #496
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Ok, I never wanted to see Top Gun until now.
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:41 PM   #497
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Thanks, so much. I never knew that it could be so confusing. I went on that website that you posted, it was very informitive. Just out of cursitity, do you have any suggestions for gay books, like memiors? I've already read all of Augusten Burroughs memiors, and a little bit of David Sedaris. They were both very good authors. Once again, thanks.

LGBT literature is rich....

Larry Kramer's "Faggots" is an extremely provocative critique of the early movement after Stonewall as is "Dancer of the Dance."

"Zami" by Audre Laurde is a wonderful biomythagraphy and deals with intersectionality beautifully.

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg is one of the most raw, in your face, painful books I've ever read (I've been eternally blessed by it though).

Of course, you have to read Angels in America. That'll friggin' blow your mind. The imagery, the deconstruction of performatives role playing....just read it and read a guide to reading it too.

I also recommend At Swim, Two Boys by an Irish writer, Jaimie O'Neill. It's about two boys realizing their love for each other during the Easter Uprising. The author parallels gay rights with the Troubles. You have to force yourself to get past the first half, and then it all comes together and you cry when it's over because you become so attached to these characters.

Anything by James Baldwin too.

Everything Ive listed thus far has been Post-Stonewall literature. Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson are all fantastic pre-Stonewall LGBT writers.

If you're wanting some great literature for persons who don't understand, are conservative, homophobic etc. go with Stone Butch Blues or sit down with them and watch Rent. Even though the later is a horrible excuse of a pro-gay medium of entertainment it will garner some sympathy. Perhaps later on it would be constructive to discuss how that movie essentializes the "gay" experience.

ok, enough with the rambling
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:14 PM   #498
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
underneath all of this, some old gender stereotypes rear their heads, and while i'm always suspicious, they do tend to be true more often than not in my experience. generally speaking, a man's sexual attraction starts in the visual, a woman's sexual attraction starts in the emotional. there are women i love emotionally, but i could never be physically attracted. it's very simple; they possess the wrong anatomy. women, on the other hand, don't get as hung up on anatomy, or it isn't as critical to the female sexual response, so they can thusly slide between different anatomy due to their emotional attachment to whichever person they are currently with.
This is also kind of a stereotype...but, I think basic physiological differences and the way those intertwine with sexual socialization can enter into it, too. Women don't need to be physically aroused for sex to "work"; that obviously has its downsides--easy to resign oneself to chronic low satisfaction, etc.--but on the upside, it can also make women more attentive to the more intimate or playful aspects of sex, and that can in turn affect what seems arousing. As far as how attraction starts, that is just so difficult to compare I think, for all kinds of reasons--men generally get much more license and impetus to consciously recognize, isolate and articulate sexual desires ("Ah you know how we are, we're always thinking about sex") and are more taught to frame those in terms of "I want to have..." than "I want to receive..."; also, the idea that women are there to be looked at/validated and men are there to do the looking/validating is so powerful in our society--even if there are some innate bases for these, you can't discount the way they work themselves into and actively shape a developing sexual self-concept at the same time. It's not something I've talked to a whole lot of people of either sex about, but I tend to think a lot of girls and women think about sex--and respond sexually to sights, thoughts and situations--much more than they consciously realize they do, strange though that probably sounds. So all that could make "experimenting" seem less drastic, or more achievable, above and beyond the different social risk levels you mentioned. You can't "politicize" yourself into an orientation though, I've seen people try and that always fails; Dorothy Allison has a great essay about that, can't think of the title right now.

Good point about straight men who "experiment" being more likely to be judged adversely for it by subsequent (female) partners, that does sound right. Actually, the one person I've known who experimented in college was a straight guy, and he certainly didn't tell his (long-distance) girlfriend, who he ultimately wound up marrying, at the time--I've often passingly wondered if he ever did get around to telling her, but it's not the sort of thing I'd feel comfortable asking him now. It was pretty clear to everyone who knew about it, though, that he did it very much as an "OK, damn it, why not?"-type thing, almost as if on a dare; maybe that made him really unusual, maybe not, but I can definitely see where the men-who-say-it's-just-an-experiment-are-lying sort of thinking can harden into a blanket assumption on both sides, and make such things much less likely for men. But then in real life it's not like most straight people, male or female, are likely to be OK with the thought that their current opposite-sex partner is actively interested in experimenting; if nothing else, they'd want to know that any serious sexual self-questioning that might have occurred is safely in the past, unless perhaps it's a nonmonogamous relationship. Same for gay people of course.

Anyhow, as far as bisexuality ultimately being just another orientation, and "experimentation" being something very distinct from that, I agree there completely, at least from what I've seen. Unfortunately truly bisexual people, at least the two I've known, do seem to get a lot of "I don't trust you"-type sentiments from both the gay and straight communities, as if they're innately more "serial" or something where relationships are concerned, which doesn't make sense.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:44 PM   #499
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Originally posted by Irvine511


i don't have an opinion on bisexuality, because like homosexuality or heterosexuality, it is neither intrinsically good or bad, it simply is. some people are bisexual, some people are straight, some people are gay. simple as that. it's absurd to say that you "agree" or "disagree" with a sexual orientation.

but i know what you are getting at, and in my experience, it's a bit different for men than it is for women.
Thanks for the response Irvine, and I am glad that you understood what I was getting at. To be honest (and this is kind of embarassing to admit) I never really thought about it as absurd to say that you agree or disagree with a sexual orientation. I guess it can partly be attributed to my conservative Christian upbringing, but I had not realized that I still carried that way of thinking with me, that it was normal, or even acceptable for a person to view a sexual orientation as intrinsically bad. I haven't identified myself as bisexual for a significant amount of time (only for about a year) and I clearly haven't fully come to terms with the whole conflict of my religious background and my sexuality. So I appreciate that you understand what I was trying to say, and I apologize for any ignorance on my part.

I agree with you that it is a lot easier for women to experiment than it would be for a man to have same sex relations in his past. In my personal experience, this sort of lax mentality towards female experimentation allowed me for a long time to simply write off what I was doing as a phase, as if once I broke up with my girlfriend I'd go back to being straight. Kind of like getting it all out of my system. But now I know that's not the case.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:20 AM   #500
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Irvine, last night I felt awful. I felt like sobbing, I literally had tears in my eyes, but they wouldn't fall. I listened to One a lot, and realized that it sounds like a person coming out to the people that he or she care about.

But, then I told my friend, over AIM, that I was feeling upset, and he asked why. So I came out to him, told him that I was gay. He said that it was surprizing but no big problem. Then we talked about it, and I told him that it just felt good to tell him. I felt like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Cliche I know.

Anyway, I just felt like telling you, and that you have been a big help. Any more advice would be great. Thanks again!
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:07 AM   #501
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Mr. Green Eyes

I don't really have any words of wisdom for you, but I hope that you feel support here. You're not alone.
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:21 PM   #502
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Green Eyes
I listened to One a lot, and realized that it sounds like a person coming out to the people that he or she care about.
It is. I don't remember where the article is, and I don't have search privileges, but there's a link to the interview somewhere in IAMJ. Bono said it was about a friend of his coming out to his father, and it's a conversation.
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:37 PM   #503
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
Mr. Green Eyes

I don't really have any words of wisdom for you, but I hope that you feel support here. You're not alone.
Thanks! It's nice to not be alone.
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:44 PM   #504
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i should also add that there are shlubby, unfashionable gay men.
Hey! I don't call you names!








Mr. Green Eyes: Congratulations! Coming out is a very scary thing, and it takes time, but you feel SOOOOOO much better when you can just be yourself and comfortable in your own skin, and that the people who you love and care about can also know the "real" you.

Like I've said before, if you'd just met me and you asked any of my friends or family about me, they'd probably think it more interesting to tell you that I'm a huge U2 fanatic or a lawyer or a great Uncle before they even thought to tell you that I'm gay.

Good luck on your coming out journey. Trust me, it's worth it.
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Old 12-08-2006, 01:21 AM   #505
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Green Eyes
Irvine, last night I felt awful. I felt like sobbing, I literally had tears in my eyes, but they wouldn't fall. I listened to One a lot, and realized that it sounds like a person coming out to the people that he or she care about.

But, then I told my friend, over AIM, that I was feeling upset, and he asked why. So I came out to him, told him that I was gay. He said that it was surprizing but no big problem. Then we talked about it, and I told him that it just felt good to tell him. I felt like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Cliche I know.

Anyway, I just felt like telling you, and that you have been a big help. Any more advice would be great. Thanks again!


hey -- have been away from the computer for a few days (on the road for work)p; first, congratulations, this is a huge and difficult step, but each step will get just a little bit easier, as you'll find that most of your friends will probably react in exactly the same way your first friend did.

it does feel good to talk. coming out can feel lonely (and liberating), but it can also be a period of depression (it was for me). if at ANY time you feel you need someone to talk to, do not hesitate at all to talk to a counselor. most gay people i know have sought out help during the coming out process, and many check back in from time to to with a professional. just keep talking, maybe keep a journal. and be honest with yourself; don't let anyone talk you into something you're uncomfortable with.

for now, it seems like its hard, but healthy, and, yes, i think you're right about "one" being almost a coming out song, and i think Bono said in the Rolling Stone cover issue from late last year that a friend's coming out was an inspiration for that song.

good luck. ask anything you need, and feel free to PM me if you'd like.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:30 AM   #506
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Since you've had a chance to respond now Irvine, I'm going to go ahead and close this, as it's past the postcount limit.

It's been a great thread...lots of interesting questions and memorable discussions in here.
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