Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What are we doing to ourselves?

I read something today that got me upset. Now before I continue, I want to state that I could be totally off base. I could be misunderstanding what was happening. And I may be opening myself up for similar attacks in doing this. But hey, I could get killed for this or for telling someone that they dropped their napkin when they threw it out of their car.

I am going to be rather vague about the situation, it is not the situation itself that is sad but what the situation says about us, as gay people. If you recognize the situation, great, if not don’t worry about it.

The situation appears to be a group of bloggers attacking another blogger. Now, this was done on Oct 13 (which was a Friday) and may have been a joke. But, to me at least, it wasn’t very funny. The bloggers that were being attacked are a long-term, happily partnered couple. Their blog is a slice of their life, including all the small things like where they went to dinner and what they watched on television. It sometimes can be a bit sugary, but what is so wrong about that?

Then on October 13 there was a spate of posts parodying this blog. These parodies were not in fun but were mean-spirited. What it felt like is a bunch of bloggers who were not happy with their own lives needed to attack another. So therefore, they could not allow these others to be happy either. Since these bloggers that were attacked were happy and leading a normal, boring life, the other bloggers decided to make them the objects of ridicule.

I think it is sad enough that we have people running around telling us that we are abominations and we that we don’t know how to live a “normal” life. But when we have people who have been together for eight years and are still going strong, who have jobs and are happy, who do not go out and cruise the streets, become the object of ridicule; well, we, ourselves, have become as much a tool of the fundamentalist as Jim Dobson or Alan Chambers. When we attack each other, all we are doing is presenting the world with another point to say, “See, THEY are just a bunch of immature deviants. They don’t even want to try to act civil.”

Now, maybe it is the age that I was when I came out, but I want the white picket fence. I want the person waiting when I get home at night. I want the dream. And I don’t think we should ridicule the people who do actually have that dream. If that is not something you want, fine. But just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean it is wrong.


Lemuel said...

I was not aware of this particular happening. Yes, I agree. We have enough challenges from outside the Family. We do not need to "feed" on ourselves like pirana's. We should be able to celebrate what our fellow gays have, whether it is what we would want for ourselves or not, to be happy for them and for our community. We need to build each other up not tear each other down.

Doug Taron said...

Hey Benton,
Provocative post, interesting questions. I started coming out in 1979, and I have seen this tension within the gay world the entire time. As someone whose life also falls into the boring/ordinary end of the spectrum, I empathize with a lot of what you are saying here. When I first started coming out, there was a lot more emphasis on radical sexuality than there is today. I wanted to settle down, and sooner rather than later (fortunately, this happened). Today, there seem to be a lot more people going the coupled/ settled/ living quietly route. People sometimes say that it's due to the threat of AIDS settling guys down. Maybe. Some of the more activist folks have suggested that this shows the value of having lots of people come out, and I'm inclined to agree. By all means want the white picket fence. It sounds like you and Nick are well on your way to getting it.

Unknown said...

A profound post. I'm proud of you, if that is proper to say. At the very same time you report on a situation in which others were attacked for revealing parts of themselves, you gave us a window into your own dreams and desires. Personally, I don't think it has much to do with the age you came out. Rather, we're seeing what you've been dreaming about all this time. I want the same things.

Thanks for sharing yourself, BentonQuest.