Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Gay Stereotype

It seems like a lot of people get hung up on stereotypes.
For instance, gays are known for being crazy sex fiends who get std's out the wazoo. Gay people even seem to think this is how things are or how they are perceived. And then as if to prove something some gays feel like they have to act like the most pious Christians out there. Gay Mormons feel like they have to show they're being celibate and following all the rules in order to prove that gays aren't bad. Others feel they have to prove that gays can have families and build lasting relationships just to show that gays aren't bad. In some ways this sickens me, but at the same time I'm going to give you my proof.

I've been in a committed relationship for about four years now with the most beautiful girl on the planet. We are best friends. We communicate, we have fun, we work together on things like planting and caring for our little garden or washing the dishes or cooking dinner. We have our arguments and misunderstandings just like everyone else. We cry sometimes. We get frustrated and angry sometimes. Like everyone else.

If you read my post last week, you'll know that we have sex--like everyone else. But, probably unlike most people in the world neither Addie nor I had much experience before meeting each other. I experimented lightly as a teenager with another girl, but never really felt comfortable with it. Addie had never been with anyone before me. Also, quite unlike most people, Addie and I knew each other and dated (although she didn't know we were dating for some of the time) for over a year before ever having sex. According to Addie, this is even rare among the pious Mormons who get married after two months of knowing each other--and apparently, largely in anticipation for the wedding night. Of course in this world, timing and getting to know the person you're going to make love with as well as spend your life with doesn't seem to be as important as some little piece of paper saying you're legally bound in marriage. So, really for all intents and purposes, I'm still a sinner and a bad person for not marrying Addie first. Ooops! guess this isn't proving I'm still a good person even if I'm gay.

The truth is, I don't care what people think of me. I find it very sad that anyone has to "prove" their human identity, their goodness, their worthiness for enjoying legal rights and love.

Even those who wind up with STDs and who have multiple partners and who fit into whatever other stereotype that people see as "bad"--even they are human. Even they have emotions. Even they deserve to love and to be loved. Even they have a right to freedom and to legal niceties.

RyBread Wisdom: We cannot change the way others think. All we can do is live for ourselves, enjoy our loves, and be who we are without letting the ideas and opinions of others weigh on our shoulders. No need to prove we are good. Simply be good according to your own personal standards and belief.

8 comments:

  1. I like this. I used to have such a problem being a good Mormon. I couldn't follow all the rules. I don't think anyone can. But I was so caught up in everything I was doing, I didn't see any good I was doing. And that right there can kill a person. But I changed my view point. I thought of the basic things the Church wanted us to do (Love God, love ourselves, love our neighbor) and I now I feel so much better about being a part of this organization. Granted some people suck. They judge and hate. But that is their problem and they'll never be able to see the beauty in the world if they lives their lives like that. So I commend Addie on having the courage to follow love. I can't imagine what it would be like being told your entire life that the way you feel is a sin but knowing in your heart it was right to follow and doing that.
    This may be coming out all wrong but my point is I think you two are awesome :)

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    1. Thanks, Dupree. Addie and I talk about the Mormon thing sometimes--because it was a big part of her life--and I really really don't understand it most of the time, and I have a really hard time not harboring bad feelings towards Mormons simply because they have all these rules that people are expected to follow, but the general whole seems to be okay with breaking some rules--but not others. It seems like a huge double standard that I can't understand. Maybe it's like you said though, focusing on the good of your religion rather than the shoulds and shouldn'ts...

      For me, it's focusing on my beliefs as an individual rather than the expectations others have of me--whether those be religious folk or not.

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  2. Wow I need to reread before I publish.
    CORRECTIONS:
    Every I was doing WRONG,
    And good Mormon should have quotation marks because seriously the whole idea is ridiculous. :P

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  3. I love this post. Personally I've hated the huge counter-culture that exists in Utah. It seems that, in order to make sure the world knows they're not associated with the Mormons, many people, gay included, go to the opposite extreme, only helping to solidify those stereotypes.

    But I agree. We can't change what others think. And trying to will only cause frustration to both parties. I just try to stay open and live what I believe, what I feel inside. Forever and ever, amen!

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  4. Looks like I have to re-write my post for tomorrow... Great work. I am pretty emotionally drained, I'm sure you are too, it's been a pretty tough week. I just want you to know that every time I comment on your posts, it is not because I feel obligated, but because I legitimately care for you and I am genuinely interested in your life. Thanks for your strength and willingness to share and open up some of the deepest cockles of your life. You are loved by all of us.

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  5. Did you really just use the word "cockles"? You're my favorite. :)

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    1. Ha ha, I did. Love that word. :)

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  6. Great post. I definitely identify as someone who tried very hard to "prove" I was still a good person despite being gay. The very fact that we have to try to prove we're good people seems to give off the idea that being gay makes us bad. While I think it's completely ridiculous to think that anyone should be considered bad because of the people they love, I was once in the position where I did think I was bad becasue of it.

    It's definitely a long process...I feel like I say that about everything.

    Thanks for the wisdom!

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