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input, please?
my hand
stupidfool
so i've been thinking a lot about sexuality, and how it affects interpersonal relationships, and i'm wondering if i have a completely wrong view of the world.

to preface: doing a nice thing, when it's perfectly acceptable to NOT do the nice thing, makes me feel good. for example, as i approach the checkout lane at the grocery store, a self-checkout is being vacated. i've scanned and bagged a few items, and then i notice that there's a $5 in the change return. i could give the money to the cashier, in case somebody calls to claim it. i could keep it for myself, and you can't really say that's wrong. or i could wrack my brain, trying to picture the person who was leaving, and then i could race out to the parking lot, to find that woman with her small children, and give her back her change. when i do that, and she thanks me repeatedly, and is clearly grateful, i feel good about myself. i'm glad that i could help her out, and i'm proud of myself, and i just feel good, about having gone above and beyond what is required of me as a decent person. i think that for most people, doing something nice for somebody makes them feel good.


so... i know that things might have changed, since i was growing up 20 years ago, in a tiny little town. but based on what i learned back then, if you're straight, and somebody tells you that he's gay, you have innumerable options, most of which are considered acceptable to the vast majority of society. you can tell the gay he's going to hell, and lecture him about the evils of his ways, every time you see him. you can flat-out stop talking to him, even if he used to be your best friend. you can make fun of him, and spread the word to all your friends, to get them to make fun of him, too. you can refuse to let him be around your children, or raise a big stink any time you see him near any children. you can kick him out of your church, or your boyscout troupe, or your coffee club. if he's turned 18, and you're his parent, you can disown him, kick him out of your house, and shut him off from all financial and emotional support.
i know there might be some people who disagree with some of these options, but overall, they're acceptable choices.

so for me, as a gay, when i come out to a straight person, knowing that you have all those viable options... it's a huge deal to me if you instead choose to love and accept me. i think more highly of you for it, and i'm happy, grateful, and honored.
it's weird to think about, because the same thing can't happen in reverse. there is nothing, equivalent to this, that i can do for you. there's no way for me to return this favor.

and unlike a stranger at the grocery store finding you to give you your change, this isn't something that i'm just grateful for once. this nice thing that you did for me--it's not something i can ever forget. maybe it's not always in the very front of my mind... like we're watching an intense scene in a movie, and my focus is on that... but we get to a dull part, where my mind starts to wander, and right there in the back of my mind is that thought--that you know i am gay, and you've chosen to be here with me, anyway.

the thing about this is that if i take my thoughts as facts, that leaves us as intrinsically unequal. you're always better than me. i always owe you, a debt i can never repay.
if i can't ever see myself on equal ground with any straight person, ever, then that means i'm looking at it all wrong, because i'm not actually a lesser person, am i?

so i don't know. where did i go wrong?


i guess separate questions for the gays and the straights of my fl...
gays
do you think about things this way? what do you feel when a straight person accepts your sexuality? do you move past it, to the point where it literally never crosses your mind, that they've accepted you? if so, how quickly do you move past it?

straights
do you view the world this way? do you understand that you kind of have one up on the gays? do you feel good about yourself, if a gay person comes out to you and choose to accept them, and they're grateful? if so, do you eventually move past this, or do you continue to feel good about this choice every so often, or every time you see them, or what?

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I think I've always felt this way as well, and perhaps because of it, I honestly don't even think I've ever been in a position to feel that a straight person was accepting me despite my sexuality. Because with all the straight people I know, I either never came out to them, or I already knew they were pro-gay to begin with before even knowing me, so that I knew accepting me was really no compromise on their part. But I have felt indebted to people for this same type of thing where I felt that people were accepting me "despite" my anxiety or other problems (usually someone I was dating), and that they were so much better than me, etc, and it never turned out well.

I'm even going to admit that I've felt like I wished I was in the other position, of being able to accept someone so I could feel good about myself...when I was in college, I distinctly remember being jealous of the straight allies at gay things...I felt that they were lucky bc they got to demonstrate what a good and accepting person they were by going to these things, whereas the gays could never be in this position because since they were gay no matter how much they were in it to help the cause of other gays as well, being in the group could never be a selfless thing, and was inherently self-serving. For a little while I tried to think of something else I could join and be selfless, where I wasn't "one of them", but I never really got the guts...

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