My high school just started a Gay & Straight Alliance. It started progessively with this one guy who came out of the closet in the school newspaper... a very daring and bold move on his part. It is fortunate though that there are a great number of people who supported him and what he was trying to do...
I haven't really an exact question to pose, more of an acedote about what happened in my Study Hall...:
There is this very cocky, opinionated and arrogant guy named Andrew. He is also very loud (there seems to be a guy like this whereever you go...) Well, he started a conversation with his friends Mate,Ryan and Caleb. Their discussion started out simple enough: about the "overuse of pride." They initially started with the example of the "My son is an honor student" bumper stickers and moved on from one to the next until they hit Gay Pride. This struck a nerve with me. They couldn't understand the purpose of the Rainbow flags & pins, the mraches, the banners and GSA. They cited that there was no "Heterosexual Pride" posters or such. They claimed that all gays wanted to do was draw attention to themselves and in doing so they (the gays) deserved what came to them.
I'm not saying that no-one disputed what these guys were saying. One girl stopped her work just to point out the simple fact that everyone, including gays, has the freedom of speech AS WELL AS the freedom not to be assaulted for any reason. (Also, about 10 of the members of GSA were in the room, getting very aggrivated with these statements that the boys were making)
When I had finished what I was doing (for I knew I would never get what I was working on done if I just jumped in.... there would have been no end to it), I listened carefully to what Andrew was saying and then took my moment to say what was on my mind. I jumped in at the point in which he was saying that if you advertise your sexuality you get what you deserve. I chimed in that only bigots would say something as ignorant and contrived as such.
What perterbs me the most is that the people who started this discussion kept saying that they 1) were not homophobic and 2) that they were devoted Christians. The simple fact that they could not tolerate being hit on by another guy with out being "repulsed" just shows that they are, in fact, homophobic or at the very least afraid of their true emotions. (They claim that the couldn't just simply say, "Hey, I'm straight" or something like that...) And the second claim just baffles me. A true Christian would never say that someone derves to be beated to death. They forget their own faith; the life of Jesus Christ who not only died for them but who also spent his life helping those who the rest of the society had washed their hands clean of. Not being a follower of an particular faith my self, I found their belief system to be completely out of whack.
YET, the point is that there isn't a need for heterosexual pride for they make up the majority. There is, on the other hand, a need for Gay Pride and Gay Awareness, and the reason for that IS to call attention to the issue. And it isn't because the people want others to know that they are gay or lesbiens or just supporters: they want people to know that they are here, they will stay here and they will demand their rights. Many people are ignorant of the fact that homosexuals live in their communites and are, in fact, human and quite like themselves. Many people seem to forget that it is not sexual orientation, race, creed, age or color that makes you a person and makes one who you are... You are a human because you have 46 chromosomes and the DNA to make you a homosapian. That is all. And because you are a human you have rights that can not be superceded by anybody else's beliefs or religion.
Sorry if this seems to be a rambling, but I just wanted to put my thoughts out there.
Posts: 5 | From: Middle of Nowhere | Registered: Jan 2002
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I'm glad you brought this up; I've been thinking about the purpose of GLBT groups lately too.
We have an active GSA on campus and at first I went to meetings regularly. I liked the people I was meeting, we did nifty things everyone could enjoy such as sponsoring a drag show, and, like you said, just made people aware there were queer people around. However I stopped going about two months into the school year and I'm still not entirely sure why.
I think it's because I felt like I was making too big a deal out of something so basic as my sexuality. Oftentimes I felt like I was going to a very cheerful support group and that felt wrong to me.
Now, my school is pretty queer friendly and all of my friends are. I think I'd have felt differently about things if there were a great deal of hostility around.
Let me know if I need to clarify anything - I'm still puzzling through this.
I think what it does come down to is that GLBT groups are intended, on some level, to be a support group. Some require that support or affirmation, other's simply don't. While I would definetly like to be exposed a little more to queer culture, I don't think that it's required, becasue for myself, I'm first myself and then I am queer.
I have to admit, Shadow, that those are arguments that I've heard far too often, and truthfully, they never sound any more ridiclous. Truthfully, they're based on fear and stereotypes, and nothing more. That's my honest opinion.
It's just sad, really.
------------------ Tim Scarleteen Advocate
I am not Dr. Freud, nor is he on staff. The talking cure this ain't.
It is part of the human nature to want to belong to a group identity. Basically, all GLBT groups are is another social clique, such as prep or goth, IMHO. But, I do feel that GLBT groups are nessicary, seeing as how little educated people are on the topic. Most people just assume that homosexuals are perverted or sick in the head. It's very hindering :S
Posts: 5 | From: New York, US of A | Registered: Dec 2002
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Okay I know this it sorta off topic and all but you got me thinking.
You mentioned the whole concept of heterosexual pride and it kinda made me wonder. What if someone actually wore a shirt or made a banner saying heterosexual pride? Is there something wrong with being proud of you sexuality even if it is the majority? OR would you assume that it's just a way of surpressing Gay Pride?
Its like white pride. When ever someone sees something in reference to white pride it automatically has people drawing back because here and many other places I have lived, white pride = white power. I can understand the whole thing wrong with white power, but what is wrong with white pride?
I guess i'm just confused on the whole basis of if your part of the majority your not allowed to be prideful about it.
Posts: 197 | From: north carolina, United States | Registered: Dec 2002
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punk, i was JUST about to bring up the case where a boy WORE a shirt on it that said "Straight Pride" that he bought off a website, www.straightpride.com. I don't remember the whole story, but there's a few details about it up on the site. As I recall, the boy got expelled from school for wearing the shirt and he sued- and won.
The argument against the boy was that the website that he bought the shirt from expressed anti-homosexualism and all that junk. Now, I've been on the site, and there DOES seem to be an anti-homosexual TONE to it, but it doesn't say anywhere that "straight is the only way to be, gay is bad" or anything. I thought that he had the right to do it- and at first, thought because ppl flipped, it just prooved that there IS a double standard with that- gay pride is ok, straight pride isnt. But now that I stop and think about it, I could understand why some people would be upset if they thought this kid had some anger towards homosexuals.
I think a shirt that says "one way" in regards to sexuality makes it pretty clear it is, in fact, very clearly supremacist in terms of heterosexuality being the ONLY way. One does tend to signify only, after all.
If we saw someone wearing a shirt like that they got from say, on, whitepride.com, or oh, malepride.com, or oh, catholicpride.com, or, nazipride.com would it not be pretty clear that's what they meant? I'm thinking so. So, I don't buy that that was at all ambiguous. That isn't to say he didn't have a right to wear it, I think he did. But having a right to freedom of speech doesn't mean all of that speech is kind or commpassionnate or isn't bigoted.
In all honesty, I think the whole concept of pride for things that are simple matters which exist and cannot be changed, such as race or gender or orientation is a little bit skewed, however, I think why you see some oppressed groups work with that sort of tone is to make clear that they will not be shamed for being what they are despite other groups trying, if you follow me.
So, unbalanced as it sounds, and whether we like it or not, something like "pride" has different takes and tones in oppressed parties and in ruling parties.
I think there will always be discrimination as long as people have their own opinions. Even teaching tolerence promotes, in a twisted way, discrimination. By teaching tolerencce, which I am FOR by the way, but it still teaches people why the stereotypes were there in the first place, which some people will learn and decide they agree with. Anyway, I've just always thought that and wondered if other people thought about that too...
And also, I see what you mean by saying that straight pride promotes homophobia... but then why isnt it taken that gay pride promotes heterophobia? I dont think that it should, but I mean, it is a huge double standard. And keeping up with them will just make it seem like we (GLBT) are the victim. That we're too fragile to see things like straight pride when we're willing to show our own pride. I guess it's all in the way we interpret it.
I also just want to say that a lot of the things I point out, I don't believe SHOULD be the way they are, or agree with what they imply, I just feel that both sides should be addressed. I personally would be offended to see someone wearing a straight pride shirt, but I dont think that they should be condemned for it anymore than I should be condemned for being Bi.
I think it's worth thinking about the sort of thing you see though. For instance, what do we usually see with gay pride events? Rainbows. In flags, on t-shirts, and that was chosen as a symbol in order to represent that sexuality is a DIVERSE spectrum, one which includes everything from homosexuality to heterosexuality. In other words, I'm not sure we can compare those two things.
I also think it's worth thinking about the fact that whether we like it or not, a given group or party which is or has been oppressed is entitled to different things than one which has not been. Again, as I asked before, what would we think of someone wearing a "white pride" t-shirt? Just food for thought. If that seems dissimilar, you might want to consider that being gay, lesbian or bisexual right now -- even when we still have very limited rights and liberties -- is a FAR cry different than being such at say, the trun of the century (when you would have been jailed -- and yes, you still can be) or the 1950's, when you would have been unable to breathe a WORD about your orientation without likely losing your job or being lumped in with child molestors (which again, still happens). These things do not and have not happened to heterosexuals, so again, we're not talking about equal playing grounds here, we're talking about oppression.
we dont have one yet in our whole school district, yet in my school only, there are about 20 people that are bisexual. Not to metion the ones that are afraid to..."come out of the closet". I dont know what I can do to try to start one.
------------------ wHeN tHeY StOp AnD StArE dOnT wOrRy mE,cUz iM fEeLiN 4 hEr wHaTs sHeS fEeLiN 4 mE- tAtU
Posts: 2 | From: hOuStOn, tExAz uSa | Registered: Jan 2003
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