Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Isn’t the phrase ”openly gay” old hat?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (22148 points ) December 22nd, 2012

The term or phrase ”openly gay” isn’t that old hat, obsolete? Given that the government supports and recognizes gays and same-sex couples (even to the point of blocking popular votes not in favor of it), why would there still be ”closet gays”? Gays should be living gay open and notoriously. If you get in a fight with a gay and happen to be winning and say a gender slur because you are mad not because of the sexual orientation of the person, you can still be slapped with a hate crime. What reason should there be for any gay not to be gay loud and proud?

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20 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Perhaps a lot of gays are still firmly in the closet due to a fear of alienating certain family members.

chyna's avatar

Because no matter what the government says, there are still people out there that hate.

cookieman's avatar

If you get in a fight with a gay and happen to be winning and say a gender slur because you are mad not because of the sexual orientation of the person

I may call you a schmuck, or (at worst) a fucking asshole – but I’d never be “mad” enough to slur your sexual orientation (or race, or religion, or gender, or age).

That doesn’t just slip out, unless your pretty comfortable as a bigot already.

jonsblond's avatar

I have a friend who isn’t openly gay because she knows her family wouldn’t approve. Seems like a good enough reason to me.

ETpro's avatar

The government supports and recognizes gay marriage? Nope. We still have DOMA on the books. Married gays, even in states that allow such marriage, do not enjoy the tax, inheritance and other special protections reserved for marriages between heterosexuals. There are still plenty of people who are closedly gay, so it would seem to me that openly gay is a valid distinction.

JLeslie's avatar

Many many gay people still are “in the closet.” It’s still very dfiificult to come out in much of the country, especially in the bible belt where all the adults around openly talk about being against gay marriage and how it is against God to be gay.

As @ETpro pointed out the federal government does not really acknowledge gay people nor give them equal rights.

bookish1's avatar

Because there’s still people with a stick up their ass.

Poor, poor, heterosexual people; they have to contend with so much oppression from the gays.

Keep fighting the good fight, bruh.

Symbeline's avatar

As already said, it doesn’t matter, in this context, that the government ’‘approves’’ it. mostly Being gay is still pretty hard in this society, because not everyone is accepting or tolerant of it. You can get teased, beat up, other bad shit. Being gay is a okay of course, but it’s still implemented, quite badly, in our societies that it isn’t right, for lack of better word. Discrimination towards gays is still quite rampant, gender role is still important to many and cultural ’‘values’’ still don’t fully, if barely at that, treat gays equally. Sure it’s better here than some other places, but sad but true; if you’re gay, some way or another, even if not solely directed at you, you’re never going to hear the end of it.
So, keeping in the closet or out of it is still very serious business and a serious decision for someone. even though it shouldn’t fucking be, but I’ll never for a second criticize any gay person for not coming out.

Paradox25's avatar

I’ve learnt that there are two sides of life: one is the politically correct side, or what I call the front door and welcome mat facade. The other side I call reality, or locker room reality. The politically correct side tells to be decent human beings. The reality is that being a decent human being is despised when it goes against the rules.

I also believe that gay men get a much worse bum rap than lesbians. I know so many straight gay hating men who love lesbians. I had a gay brother and knew several gay men, also I knew many openly bi or lesbian women so I think I know a little of what I’m talking about here. My answer is it depends where you live, and there are differences between the way gays are perceived vs lesbians.

Kardamom's avatar

There are areas of the U.S., like the Southern bible belt for example, in which declaring one’s self to be gay would be inviting potential violence upon one’s self at worst, and at best, making one’s self a target for ridicule and shunning.

Certain professions (as we discussed in another thread about male sports) do not present a comfortable place to be openly gay.

Most religions still frown upon being gay, and some are worse than others. God forbid you should announce that you are gay whilst being a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. There are still religious organizations that try to Turn Gay People Straight because they believe that being gay is a sin. Some religions still excommunicate people for being gay, as you can read about Here

Most gay people, who have grown up in a religious community may not want to be excommunicated and so therefore, their only way to prevent being shunned from their church is to act straight.

Even fairly liberal, “open-minded” (whatever that means) straight folks, though being accepting of the concept of being gay, still don’t like to see “flamboyant open displays of gay-ness” because it makes them squeamish.

Also, try not to announce your homosexuality in non-Westernized countries, or you could pay with your life.

Also, with regards to your comment Given that the government supports and recognizes gays and same-sex couples this simply isn’t true. Gay people do not have equal rights in this country. Only a handful of states recognize same-sex marriages, the Federal Government itself, does not, only with regards to the individual states that do.

Here is some information, state by state, with regards to Lack of Standardized Rights for Same Sex Couples along with some Gender Related Issues

Wasn’t it Kermit the Frog who sang, It’s not easy being gay?

Shippy's avatar

Because ignorant people still box gay people into categories. Just like they box other people. Like oh she is mentally ill (imagery of hair cutting and wrist slashing). Why would people want to do that to themselves? And as I say, I am not responsible for educating the world. The individual is. But by and large I think society is pretty thick. They look no further than what they are told to be.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I love when people use the word “gay” as if it’s a noun. Those gays – incorrigible! :)

First of all, gay people still aren’t sufficiently represented or even supported by the government. More so, they aren’t sufficiently accepted by society. We’ve come a long way, but homosexuals are still subject to discrimination and hate constantly. Just because they should be able to be out and proud, many feel they cannot. There are many reasons for this – friends, family, work, their own fears, etc.

So, no, the phrase isn’t obsolete. I wish it was, but alas…

La_chica_gomela's avatar

1. The federal government does NOT support or recognize same-sex marriage, nor do the vast majority of states.

2. Being LGBT is NOT protected under federal hate crime laws or in most states.

3. Being LGBT is NOT protected in employment and other discrimination laws. IE Anyone in the state of Texas (and many many states in the US ) can be legally fired just for being gay and for no other reason at all.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

What I said IS true.

The link #2 you provided does not say whether that bill passed or not, but it’s my understanding that it did not become law.

Link #3 you provided ONLY applies to people employed by the federal government. It’s clearly labeled “Facts about Discrimination in Federal Government Employment ” right at the top of the page.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Well, the phrase “openly gay” still has meaning to me. It means that the person deliberately draws attention to the fact, as if they want preferential treatment because they’re gay. A normal gay person just acts like anyone else, and would like to be treated like anyone else. I don’t know if that is how others use the phrase, but that is my understanding.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Well, the phrase “openly gay” still has meaning to me. It means that the person deliberately draws attention to the fact, as if they want preferential treatment because they’re gay.
I got a different interpretation on how I seen it used. To be ”openly gay” was to not hide the fact you were gay. Back before gays got tons of political clout, and morphed into media darlings, to say or be suspected of being gay meant a serious knock to your career or marketability; unless you were Liberachi, or Harvey Fierstein. Even Elton John hat danced around if he was gay back when I was a teen). I can’t recall any gay that flaunted it with the expectation of getting better treated.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central If Elton John was gay back then? No, I think he’s newly gay.~

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Oh, I can say that I have known and witnessed many who overexaggerate their “gayness” for attention or for preferential treatment. But I am not saying that your interpretation of the phrase “openly gay” is wrong. I am just saying that is how I have used it, because what we called it in the 70’s is no longer socially acceptable (ha-ha).

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I believe we call that flamboyant or, even better, camp.

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