Social Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Where does the idea that homosexuality or any sexuality for that matter is a lifestyle come from?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21461points) April 29th, 2010

I think this question may have been asked before but as there are a number of new users as of late, I thought I would ask it again.

Many people seem to think that homosexuality, indeed, any non-standard sexuality, is a lifestyle. I have never understood this because sex is a relatively small part of someone’s life and no one’s well, very few people’s life is based on their sex life. I understand that there are some lifestyles of which homosexuality is a large or integral part, but this is not the same as homosexuality being a lifestyle.

I have heard the “choice” argument and I do not think this is a valid argument. Even if you do, please try a different argument if you can. Thank you.

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129 Answers

Zen_Again's avatar

I’ve always found it as silly as thinking that hetero-sexuality is a lifestyle.

Except in the teen years, for boys, when it’s all they can think about.

jackm's avatar

I think its considered a lifestyle, because many homosexuals make it a lifestyle. Doesn’t mean all do, or even that its a bad thing.

Surfing can be a lifestyle. Smoking weed can be a lifestyle. Singing can be a lifestyle.

Why is this any different?

netgrrl's avatar

@jackm Surfing, smoking pot & singing are choices.

Whether one is heterosexual or homosexual is not a choice.

poofandmook's avatar

ignorance + intolerance + gross misinterpretation of religious texts

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@jackm, none of those things are really a lifestyle, except maybe the surfing. You can be gay and do all of those things.

You can be heterosexual and have anal sex, and that’s okay.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yeah, I don’t get that either, whatsoever – I think people use this term to emphasize their opinion that being queer is something one can just stop – like stopping leading an unhealthy lifestyle.

poofandmook's avatar

@PandoraBoxx: You can be heterosexual and have anal sex, and that’s okay.

Exactly. What is the difference between a straight man who has anal sex with a woman and a homosexual man who is strictly a “top”? Isn’t an ass just an ass? lol

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think perhaps it’s easier to justify the mindset that the gays are sinners, abhorrent, or whatever if you adopt the mindset that it’s a choice or a lifestyle. That and there’s a certain depersonalization that happens, a closing off of the mind to what the gays might be experiencing. However, I find a lot of the anti-gay arguments to be highly illogical… and it is very difficult to have a reasonable, informative debate with someone locked into an illogical frame of thinking. I mean, no one questions straight people, obviously they wouldn’t or couldn’t change their sexuality on a whim, but somehow it’s just waaaaay easy to assume things about gay people.

Pandora's avatar

From people who don’t like sex and don’t understand why anyone would want to do it.

DominicX's avatar

@jackm

The problem with that is just when do you consider it to have crossed the line into a “lifestyle” as opposed to just being someone’s sexual orientation? I’ve come across some people who think that once two guys have sex, they’re part of the “lifestyle”. Of course this doesn’t apply to heterosexuals and that’s what makes it a double standard.

Either way, I find most times people calling it a “lifestyle” are doing so because they are trying to pinpoint it as something negative or as a choice. “I’m gay, but I avoid the lifestyle” is a statement I’ve heard from various gay people on the internet. I never quite know what they mean by this. They don’t have sex? They don’t participate in pride parades? Who defines when you’re in the “lifestyle”? Clearly, the attraction isn’t a choice, but the lifestyle is. And that is another reason why people call it a lifestyle—so they can act like it’s just a choice and you can choose to not be homosexual and live that “dirty lifestyle”.

As far as I’m concerned, “homosexual” is just my sexual orientation. It’s not a lifestyle, it’s an orientation, it’s a description of my sexual attraction.

Ponderer983's avatar

Good question, and I don’t know if I have an answer at this point. I’ll have to sleep on it.

poofandmook's avatar

Just a side question… if someone is bisexual with no real preference in either direction, and enters a relationship with someone of the same sex, does that make it a lifestyle choice? Or am I really overthinking?

jackm's avatar

Why does calling it a lifestyle mean I think it is a choice? I know it is not a choice. Being born in a different country will give you a different lifestyle, doesn’t mean that is a choice.

@DominicX It doesn’t have to be your lifestyle, but you have to admit it is a lifestyle for some people. Some people who aren’t homosexual live that lifestyle also.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jackm So what kind of lifestyle are you thinking about?

jackm's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I am not going to start throwing around stereotypes if thats what you mean.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jackm Well good – why do you believe them then?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@jackm: I think I know what you mean and that’s why I specified that there are some lifestyles of which being gay is a large or integral part. For example, drag queens are almost always gay. I would consider being a drag queen a lifestyle but it is not necessary to be gay to be a drag queen. There are straight men who are drag queens as well as women who pretend to be men in order to be drag queens. However, I do not think this means that being gay is a lifestyle.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jackm Then why would you say It doesn’t have to be your lifestyle, but you have to admit it is a lifestyle for some people. Some people who aren’t homosexual live that lifestyle also. if you don’t know what lifestyle you’re describing?

jackm's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Certain dress, certain way of speech, hanging out at gay clubs, etc. The idea of a “flaming” homosexual. I think you know what I mean.

poofandmook's avatar

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, but from @jackm‘s initial statement, my first thought was people that are flagrantly, in-your-face gay. For example, I have a friend who is gay, and my father is gay. Now, this particular friend delights in “acting the part”... perpetuating most of the stereotypes of a gay male. The tone of voice/way of speaking, mannerisms, what have you. He even has a t-shirt that says “I’m Gay. So?”

My father, on the other hand, is in a relationship… and the only place you would probably ever have any indication that he was gay would be in his bedroom.

My friend makes being gay his identity. My father doesn’t. That’s a lifestyle choice, is what I think @jackm meant.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jackm I do know the stereotype thanks – I just don’t see how any of what you describe is a lifestyle.

DominicX's avatar

@poofandmook

This is another problem I have. In my opinion, the only way you can make being gay your identity is making the attraction your identity, making sex your identity, talking about it all the time, constantly telling people you are gay. Because that’s what “being gay” means. It doesn’t mean liking musicals or wearing pink or liking clothes shopping.

What do those things have to do with sexual attraction? People always praise the gay guys who look like football players and like fishing and drinking beer because “no one knows they’re gay”. Well, the only thing that indicates a person is gay is their sexual attraction, not any other interests or mannerisms. This is why it’s unfair to people who have those interests and mannerisms. They’re accused of making “being gay” their identity, when really, that’s just how they are and the only thing that has to do with “being gay” is sexual attraction. So, unless a person is making sex and sexual attraction the focus of their identity, they’re not making homosexuality their identity.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The notion of homosexuality as a “lifestyle” derives from observations people make or have seen portrayed about the norms of certain well know ghettos where homosexuality is openly celebrated and where some tiny subset of homosexuals live. In the USA, the “Castro” district of San Francisco is one such district. I believe such areas provide comfort to people who have more recently acknowledge their homosexuality and who draw comfort and affirmation from being involved in such communities. Like new converts to a religion, these people surround themselves with others who feel and do as they do. They may initially be comfortable in defining themselves in terms of the culture or “lifestyle” manifested in these districts.

Most homosexuals live and work in the same communities as heterosexuals and celibate individuals. No person’s sexual orientation defines their entire way of living. Yes, gay people may show greater support for certain plays or movies that honestly or favourably portray the reality of living as a gay person in a society still so uneasy and mistrustful of people who are openly different in an area of life that most people still have trouble discussing even in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

People frequently mistake flamboyant expressions of homosexuality as defining some lifestyle which they presume applies to and defines all homosexuals.

That is as foolish as assuming the porn stars, strippers and street prostitutes define the “heterosexual lifestyle.”

The less people really know and the less they think about and evaluate the information available to them, the more likely they are to draw illogical and false conclusions about the lives of others, especially groups of people whom they identify as “different.”

There seems to be a strong correlation between being grossly uninformed or misinformed and expressing certainty about those very topics. In some cases, extreme religious convictions seem to enhance this correlation.

When people rely on authority figures to tell them what is true and how they should feel and act about things, the less these people educate themselves and make their own decisions.

This happens among those whose political affiliations play a similar role to religion in determining beliefs, attitudes and behaviour.

jackm's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
lifestyle: a manner of living that reflects the person’s values and attitudes
lifestyle: A person’s pattern of living as expressed in his or her activities, interests, and opinions.
lifestyle: The overall mode of living of an individual or group of people, as represented by the type of housing, transport they utilize, work and leisure activities in which they engage, types of clothing, food, and other products and services they purchase, and image they convey.

poofandmook's avatar

@DominicX: I thought by mentioning his favorite t-shirt that I was making it clear that he does constantly talk about his sexual attraction. Yes, the stereotypes are unfair, but the mannerisms and such, in widespread society as it is today, influence one’s perception of a person. I don’t agree with it either, but you can’t deny that it’s true.

Incidentally.. the friend I mentioned.. his take on the stereotypes I mentioned is that he’s not offended by them, because for a lot of people, they’re true… like some of them are for him. He chooses to be that way because, as he puts it, he loves being gay and wants everyone he meets to know it.

I hope I clarified what I was trying to say. I would hate to be seen as anti-gay in any form. I don’t think being gay is a lifestyle, but I do think it’s possible for a homosexual person to MAKE being gay their lifestyle… their identity… like my friend, and unlike my dad. Does that make sense?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jackm Right, okay – I’m sorry, I’m not being a bitch here – I just don’t see any of ‘mannerisms’, speech, going to gay clubs as a lifestyle – it’s part of someone’s life sure, even if it takes up a large part but if you describe lifestyle as life, then maybe.

DominicX's avatar

@poofandmook

Yes, and that’s what I assumed you meant, don’t worry. :)

It’s just there are people I come across who seem to think that every time a gay guy likes something stereotypical or acts stereotypical, they’re doing it on purpose so people will know they’re gay. Obviously, the person you are referring to admits that is why they are doing it. But there are others who simply are that way and it’s not some kind of show they’re putting on. Unfortunately, the two are often mixed up.

j0ey's avatar

I have many homosexual friends, and I myself identify as bi-sexual…..

I fail to see how choosing to hang out at certain places, standing up for who you are, and basically exercising the rights that ALL people have for free speech is a lifestyle?

I do understand how there is perceived to be the gay lifestyle, but that means that there is a hetero lifestyle. I guess you could call extreme homophobia the hetero lifestyle, and flamboyant activism the gay lifestyle. Maybe it is just related to extremes in both situations.

However, the “flamboyant” gay people I know, did not just become this way over night when they came out. When they identified as straight they already had this “loud and proud” personality…..

If any part of homosexuality is a lifestyle this means ANY hetero person could adopt it tomorrow….Just like someone that wants to lose weight may simply adopt a healthier lifestyle….

Jeruba's avatar

I think it may have gained hold as a euphemism. The first time I heard the term used that way was when a friend at work who was a lesbian told me that she didn’t want to live too close to her family. I asked if they didn’t get along, and she said they got along pretty well, but her parents weren’t too comfortable with her lifestyle. It took me a second to realize that she was referring to her sexuality and the fact that she lived with a female partner. I just figured she felt uneasy speaking openly about it, even though we were friends. I heard her use the term the same way a number of times.

Later I began hearing it used by friends in the kinky community also. I thought maybe it was a useful way to express the idea of “unconventional/nonmainstream in some important way along with all the other stuff that goes with that.”

jackm's avatar

@DominicX It does not have to be a show, people genuinely like smoking weed, and they embrace the lifestyle. The same can be true here. Just because it is how they actually feel, does not mean it can’t be part of their lifestyle.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir In my opinion it is a lifestyle, I guess we disagree on what a lifestyle is then.

Many Christians live a “Christian Lifestyle”, this does not mean all Christians do, nor that they are doing it only to fit in.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jackm I guess I’d want a person who self-identifies as living ‘the gay lifestyle’ to describe to me what it means to them because it makes no sense to me – I’ve never felt straight, so to speak and my lifestyle has changed a hundred times.

jackm's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I love when my questions generate this kind of discussion and controversy!

ragingloli's avatar

It is harder to condemn someone for what they were born as and what they have no control over, so many people create this parallel universe in their mind where a sexuality is a choice, making it easier to condemn them in the real world.

Rangie's avatar

I only have one question. Why do so many gay people find it so necessary, to broadcast to the world what their sexual preferences are? I am not trying to be a smart ass or anything, I really want to know.

liminal's avatar

@Rangie what do you mean by “broadcast”? Can you give an example?

poofandmook's avatar

@liminal: I gave an example above… which may have prompted @Rangie‘s question.

Rangie's avatar

Writing it in your Bio, talking about it on different threads, that may not even have anything to do with that subject, but somehow gets around to it. Having parades, sort of in your face stuff. I don’t care one way or another what anybody’s sexual preference is, and you can go walking around arm in arm or what ever, I just don’t care for it in your face stuff.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Rangie: How do you feel about overt displays of heterosexuality?

plethora's avatar

@KatawaGrey I have do problem whatsoever with overt displays heterosexuality, but I absolutely despise overt displays of homosexuality, be it lesbian or guys. You asked.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@plethora: I am quite aware that I asked, thanks. Why do you “absolutely despise” overt displays of homosexuality?

DominicX's avatar

@Rangie

So you consider me having it on my profile “in your face”?

Rangie's avatar

@KatawaGrey Personally I don’t see any, but it would be offensive as well. There is a time and place for everything and public is not it, in my opinion. I just don’t see heterosexual folks broadcasting their sexual preference. How many Bio’s read I am a heterosexual person. They don’t have heterosexual parades. It is just not “in your face’ like the gay people do. I don’t mean to offend anybody really, I just don’t understand why they feel a need to let everybody know. Honestly, we don’t care what your preferences are.

Disc2021's avatar

@Rangie Most gay people grow up in an environment that they’re basically taught to sub-conscientiously suppress themselves. Early on, it’s learned that it’s something very stigmatized and if anything something to never be apart of. By as early as elementary school or middle school, gay people are in fear to breathe any words, show any action, wear any clothing or show interest in anything that might identify them as a homosexual.

The idea of “coming out”, or perhaps what you’d refer to as “broadcasting” is the abandonment of that fear and you’re basically either asking for approval or rejection. To this defense, like @KatawaGrey is hinting at, heterosexuality is everywhere. If you feel as if “gay” is being shoved down your throat or that homosexuals are broadcasting their sexuality, you have no idea.

In response to the question, I think referring to homosexuality as a “lifestyle” sounds extremely silly and almost awkward. I could understand the thinking or purpose – ‘this is someone who lives their life by sleeping with the same gender and deviating from the norm’, but it just doesn’t sound like a necessary category for such a thing. I think homosexuality as a sexuality and nothing more works best.

Rangie's avatar

@DominicX Yes I do. When I go to read someone’s bio, the last thing I want to know is their sexual preference. It is more than I want to know.

liminal's avatar

@Rangie Would you be more comfortable if DominicX just said he had a boyfriend?

DominicX's avatar

@Rangie

I originally put that on there because I had people asking me if I was because it was something I talked about a lot, being one of my topics of interest and expertise. I wanted to make sure people knew that I was speaking from experience when I started talking about homosexuality.

Either way, I don’t consider it “too much information” and I will be leaving it on my profile. It’s one word. No one is forcing you to read it. I also included information about my age and my heritage (or have in the past). Just information about me that I wanted to include.

jackm's avatar

@Rangie When people parade, they are trying to turn it from being a negative thing into a positive thing. Why does it bother you if people proclaim their sexuality?

Heterosexual people do not often proclaim their sexuality, because most people assume others are heterosexual. All though, it it not uncommon for guys to whistle at girls, or say how hot they think a movie star is, which is really a proclamation of sexuality.

poofandmook's avatar

I actually hate hetero PDA, but I don’t mind homosexual PDA… and I’m hetero. How’s that for a wrench in the proverbial gears?

Rangie's avatar

@Disc2021 I never said anything about a lifestyle. And you may be right about how suppressed they were. But they are not anymore. And from the looks of it they are in great numbers anymore, so why the need. We understand you are there, like anyone else is there. But you all are doing yourselves a disservice shoving it in our faces. Nothing can make people turn against your “cause”, more than pushing, pushing.

liminal's avatar

@Rangie Would you be more comfortable if DominicX just said he had a boyfriend?

ragingloli's avatar

“When I go to read someone’s bio, the last thing I want to know is their sexual preference. It is more than I want to know.”

It is a Bio. It is supposed to be in there.

poofandmook's avatar

@Rangie: Oh goodness… gay people are still suppressed… there’s a thread that has been raging most of the evening (that I’m purposely not linking) that proves as much. Granted, it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be, but it definitely still exists, and likely always will, because being hetero is the majority.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Rangie: Just curious, do you feel the same about non-sexual minorities?

I’m really not trying to be pugnacious here, I am honestly curious.

Rangie's avatar

There are so many of you to answer, give me some time and I will make an attempt to answer all of you to the best of my ability

Rangie's avatar

@DominicX It would certainly tell how comfortable you are with your sexuality, not having to spell it out. Yes, boyfriend would have been sufficient. It all those people ask you, you could just as easily tell them at the time they ask. But as for not reading your bio, to late, I have read it and won’t need to again.

Rangie's avatar

@KatawaGrey the same how? If you mean broadcasting, I don’t have any non-sexual people in my face. In fact I have never even come in contact with one, or maybe I have and they didn’t let me know of their preference.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Rangie: I mean like a black person being vocally proud of being black or a Jew being vocally proud of being Jewish.

Nullo's avatar

I thought that there was a movement to get it recognized as a lifestyle. o_o

Disc2021's avatar

@Rangie Last paragraph I was responding to the original question.

I beg to differ – there are still homosexual children committing suicide over this very issue. When I was going to public school, the very idea was still very frowned upon and overall I’d say my upbringing subtlety expected me to be a heterosexual and usually frowned upon anything defined as gay. While it may appear to the general public that gays are gaining more acceptance, larger numbers and more awareness – there are still issues of homophobia, bigotry and intolerance , I could attest.

I dont quite understand what is so “pushing” about establishing ones sexuality or homosexuality marital status in a profile bio section or even anywhere. It’s not like anyone is forcing you read their profiles, replies, or topics. By a landslide, I’d say heterosexuality is more “in our faces” just about every second of every day in our society – just turn to TV, movies, magazines or glance down the street or take a walk through the mall. Unless you’re in the gay district of the city, you’re likely to catch apparent heterosexuality.

Rangie's avatar

@poofandmook It would be my guess, they are raging because everywhere you go you hear about it. Honestly, all of you would do your cause a better service with the general public if you would back off with all the vocal and literature stuff. It is getting boring and in fact causes anger in people that don’t even care what you do sexually. I am not criticizing any gay people at all. Everybody has a right to their body to do what they want. But why do we all have to know so much?

poofandmook's avatar

@Rangie: Wait a second. ”..all of you”? Can I just point out again that I’m straight?

Rangie's avatar

@Disc2021 I am sorry, but some of what you say is just plain silly. Children are unfortunately committing suicide for all sorts of reasons. I don’t think parades will help that. Proper education would be a better choice. There are quieter ways to do things without disrupting so many people.
No, nobody is forcing me to read anybodies bio. but I don’t know any of you and that is how I see who you are. But, you paint a vivid picture when you put gay or whatever word you use. It is a sexual image, and that is what I am saying, is more than I wanted to know.

ragingloli's avatar

Keeping silent about who you are is a surefire recipe to remain an oppressed minority.
Without the civil rights movement, blacks would still be segregated second class people.
It is good that homosexual people proclaim their sexuality openly, proudly, and vocally, fighting for equality. They should do it more even. If they did not, no one would think about the bad treatment of gays and lesbians by society and thus a change could not occur or even be thought about.

Rangie's avatar

@poofandmook sorry, I am overwhelmed with a little pressure, Anyway, if it is a nothing thing, why would that bother you?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Rangie: Have you ever voted?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’m really mad.. I had a great post all written out, hit the ‘answer’ button, and the Fluther demons ate it!! aarghjhglj.

@Rangie – We put it on our profiles because if we don’t, we’d be assumed to be straight. Straight people don’t have to advertise the fact because it’s a given. I don’t do it to be in anyone’s face, but if you’re clicking on my profile, then obviously you’re at least slightly curious as to who I am, and that includes being a lesbian. Putting it in a bio allows me to connect with other gay/bi people and that is important to us because it’s really nice to know that someone else gets a particular struggle you deal with constantly. Much like someone might mention they suffer from depression, have kids, like to shoot guns, enjoy gardening, or whatever.

Gay people are still suppressed. Homosexuality is gradually gaining social acceptance, but there are HUGE patches of this country where people have to hide portions of themselves. It makes us have to be dishonest, and that feels really crappy. I freaking hate being in an intolerant place and having to lie when things come up. Pride parades are one day a year where we come together to celebrate as a unified voice and say, You know what? Today I’m not going to lie. I’m going to be proud I’m me.

As for the “throwing it in our faces” thing, I am sorry, but only a small portion of gay people are interested in that. It’s just that as a cultural majority, you’re so used to a certain way that you can’t imagine what it feels like to be on the other side of things. Hetero culture is so overwhelmingly pervasive and in our faces all. the. time. I get that it’s that way because most people are straight, but to say that we’re shoving our sexuality down your throat when all we want is to be open and ourselves is hypocritical (because you guys get to do it every day) and kinda offensive, at least to me.

Rangie's avatar

@ragingloli I think any minority has better ways of doing things with success, rather than choking people with their cause, as that will create more friction.

poofandmook's avatar

@Rangie: because my dad is gay, and he agonized for over a decade about hiding it from me, the way heteros don’t have to because they’re not discriminated against. So this particular issue hits home with me.

and just an aside: parades make people happy, and happy people don’t commit suicide. Just sayin’.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Rangie: Have you ever voted? I know it sounds like a non-sequitor but I have a point

MissAnthrope's avatar

@Rangie I think any minority has better ways of doing things with success, rather than choking people with their cause, as that will create more friction.

I’m not attacking you, but are you saying that it would have been better for women to not broadcast their cause during the Suffrage Movement? For African-Americans to not have broadcasted their cause during the Civil Rights Movement? I mean, that’s the whole point of a rights movement, is to drill the point home and get change to occur. No one is trying to choke anyone with anything. It is your perspective where you feel put on the defensive by a strive for equal rights. Straight people have parades, get to marry, get to hold hands in public, get to inherit their partner’s assets, benefit from tax breaks through marriage, are able to visit their partners in the hospital, get to not be harassed or discriminated against based on who they love, etc. What you are perceiving as something shoved down your throat is simply a call to awareness and another civil rights struggle.

Rangie's avatar

@MissAnthrope Honestly, I think what causes some of the intolerance is the outward information the gays keep trying to inform everybody about. That causes more intolerance than the fact that you are gay. What do we get to do everyday that you can’t? I don’t go around hanging all over a man in public and acting obscene. not that you do, but some gays do, granted so do some straight couples, and I believe they are some what insecure about their sexuality. I am not completely out in left field, I have a gay sister in law. She doesn’t feel the need to push her way of life at anybody. She just lives her life as normal as any other person, that is not obsessed with their sexuality.

Disc2021's avatar

@Rangie You’re right about suicide not just being attributed to homosexuality alone, but it’s still a factor (and in some cases a larger factor than others).

Why does it paint a sexual imagine? We’re not saying “Hi, my name is ____ and I engage in anal sex” – what-so-ever. It really doesn’t have anything to do with the sexual aspect, we’re simply stating that we’re into the same gender for assumptive sake. The reason it’s in my profile is to indicate that I’m interested in gay sociological or political topics, not for people to discern what I do in bed – that’s you’re own imagination taking charge.

Pride parades are a larger topic – in short, it’s either you understand them, like them or you dont. I understand certain criticisms of them but I dont understand why a person simply stating that they’re gay equates what they do in bed necessarily. Do you feel the same way when people talk about heterosexuality or express it?

liminal's avatar

Ugh, I am tired. It is probably from hanging around ’the gays’ too much.~ @KatawaGrey, regarding your original question, I agree with the people who say that tying the term lifestyle to matters of identity, rather than behaviors, are probably thinking that desires are a choice.

I think it is silly to think people live only one lifestyle. One can live any number of lifestyles: slow, fast, healthy, erotic, celibate, happy, loney, promiscuous, rich and famous, lousy, on and on the choices can flow and only the people living those lifestyles can define what that sort of living means. Everybody else is just guessing.

Rangie's avatar

@MissAnthrope the things you are talking about are quite different. This is a personal, physical, private, sexual matter. Not women trying to achieve the right to vote. Straight people don’t have parades about being straight.
You can hold hands in public.
You can inherit your partners things, with a will.
You can visit your partner in the hospital with a durable power of attorney.
People are harassed by all sorts of people for all sort of reasons. So, you don’t have to stand there and take anything from anyone. Just because people say things that are hurtful, doesn’t make it law. They are mean people pure and simple. This is your life, and why would you allow anyone to make you feel bad. You are allowing it, so don’t.

Rangie's avatar

need a drink of water, be right back.

netgrrl's avatar

@Rangie I’m a board member of our local PFLAG chapter – some of the stories of young people struggling to both come to terms with their own sexuality & deal with societies attitudes about it would break your heart.

I’m sure everyone heard about Constance McMillian, who simply wanted to be able to wear a tux to prom and bring a date of her choice.

Perhaps one day when they have exactly the same rights as everyone else, they won’t feel the need for parades and declarations on their profiles.

poofandmook's avatar

@Rangie: I don’t mean to be argumentative, but…

Straight people holding hands in public will never have to hear a slur like “fag” yelled at them.

If, as a homosexual, your partner suddenly dies, without a will, you have no legal rights to inherit anything, since you can’t legally marry.

Straight people don’t need a power of attorney to visit their significant other in the hospital.

Gay people have to go extra lengths to gain what straight people get automatically, and that’s not fair. That’s the whole point.

Rangie's avatar

@Disc2021 Yes, I would feel the same way. The word homoSEXUAL pretty much spells it out. Just as hetroSEXUAL does. It does conjure up a picture in ones mind.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@Rangie – I’m trying to tell you that we are not obsessed with our sexuality. It’s straight people that make our sexuality an issue. In a perfect world, most of what you don’t like wouldn’t exist because we would be living lives that straight people take for granted. Yes, being gay is technically about sex because it’s about being set apart due to the gender I’m attracted to, but I am not out there advocating for sleeping with women, I’m out there advocating for having the same rights as everyone else.

I don’t know where you live where you see men hanging all over men, but I certainly have seen my share of disgusting hetero PDA. For the record, I am a private person and I would be far too embarrassed to suck face and whatnot in public. I would guess many gay people are like your sister-in-law and I think you are focusing on a small portion of the gay population. I can understand why because there are definitely flamboyant gays and that attracts attention. But there are many more gay people trying to live a normal, quiet life like most straight people get by default.

I can hold hands in public—BUT risk being harassed, beaten, maybe even killed. That happens even in big cities where you’d assume being gay is generally accepted. YOU can hold hands in public and no one bats an eyelash. That puts a feeling of differentness on us, a fear of how someone might react.. and all we want is to be accepted.

The other things, sure.. but you get those automatically. We have to hire lawyers. And that’s expensive and completely unfair. So, my point is, all we want is what you have by the grace of being born straight. When we get that, hopefully we can all settle in and we won’t need parades, protests, and all of that.

ragingloli's avatar

Even carefully worded contracts made by an expensive attorney can easily be overridden by the family who hate you. They are effectively useless.

http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm
In most cases, even carefully drafted wills and durable powers of attorney have proven to not be enough if a family wishes to challenge a will, overturn a custody decision, or exclude us from a funeral or deny us the right to visit a partner’s grave. As survivors, they can even sieze a real estate property that we may have been buying together for years, quickly sell it at a huge loss and stick us with the remaining debt on a property we no longer own. When these are presented to a homophobic probate judge, he will usually find some pretext to overturn them. Is this fair?

These aren’t just theoretical issues, either; they happen with surprising frequency. Almost any older gay couple can tell you horror stories of friends who have been victimized in such ways.

Rangie's avatar

@poofandmook I understand what you are saying about people calling you fag or something like that. Those are mean people that don’t deserve as much as a look in their direction. But you are allowing them to upset you. I have reached a point in my life where what people call you is just their opinion, ignorance, meanness, or just plain stupidity. I will not allow them to ruin my day. Just who are they anyway? Nobody that counts in my life.
As for having all the rights of married people, there are ways. Like I listed above. None of which is very difficult.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Rangie: Please read @ragingloli‘s response.

Response moderated
Disc2021's avatar

Then why are you exclusively attacking gays who establish themselves and not our society as a whole for the overload of heterosexuality in TV shows and movies?

Rangie's avatar

@ragingloli No that is not fair. But, it would be harder if you had an attorney that specializes in wills, draw it up. If it is done properly and I mean properly it is very hard to break. Each member of the family needs to be named in some way, if they are getting something or not. It must be spelled out completely.
And I would find a way to go over the head of any judge that did that. He doesn’t have the right to break a will. That is a person wish of a deceased person. Honestly, I would go all the way to the supreme court. I would be willing to bet you there are more successful transfers of property than not. There are attorneys that are just not qualified.

Rangie's avatar

@KatawaGrey I scanned it, and honestly I think most straight people have a problem with the word marriage. It has never been used in the context of gay partners, so it is foreign to them, us. Perhaps you could get another word with all the same rights, maybe that would fly better.

Rangie's avatar

@Disc2021 In the first place I don’t think I am attacking anybody, I am sorry you feel that way. And I have no idea what you are talking about with the TV. I would say gay shows are close to equal to straight shows. I don’t watch much TV my self, but when I do turn it on, I see both.

Rangie's avatar

I am truly sorry if anyone thinks I was attacking them. I know this is a sensitive subject, and sometime we don’t phrase things well. And that goes for everything we talk about. I honestly tried to be understanding and tried to be of some help from a different point of view.

Disc2021's avatar

@Rangie I think you’re missing the point. It’s a little homophobic to suggest that homosexuals that want to identify and establish that with others are “forcing” their sexuality upon anyone when daily (probably more than you realize), heterosexuals freely, openly and blatantly establish their sexuality without any rebuke. It’s a double standard.

There really isn’t a need for apology – no harm done, I this as just for discussion sake and I’m honestly just curious as to why you feel that way.

Rangie's avatar

@Disc2021 please explain to me how you think the heterosexuals freely, openly and blatantly establish their sexuality without any rebuke.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@Rangie – Because they do? I’m kind of flabbergasted that you don’t see it because it’s completely obvious to me. Almost everything is heterosexual-based. Nearly every magazine, TV show, movie, novel, whathaveyou is full of blatant heterosexuality. Two straight people kissing, marrying, having sex, having babies, divorcing, cheating on each other, adopting kids.. I don’t know what to say, because it just is that way. No one gets up in arms about any of these things, unless it’s something graphic, profane, or disturbing. It’s so pervasive you don’t notice it because it’s your sexuality. Those of us who don’t share that orientation definitely notice it.

ragingloli's avatar

@Rangie
Holding hands, kissing, flirting in public, making comments like “look at that ass”, candle light dinners, public marriage proposals. No one seems to mind those displays of heterosexuality. But if homosexuals do that, oh the outrage.

Disc2021's avatar

@Rangie Going back to your example with it being indicated in the bio section of profiles, I’ve seen people indicate that they’re married with children before. Does that count? Can’t I make the argument that a person that does that is telling me “too much info”? – I dont need to know that they’re not only married to a person but that they’ve had sex with someone to acquire children. This is just for argument sake – I’ve already explained the reasoning (my reasoning at least) for it being in my profile.

PDA. Heterosexuals seem to be the worst offenders of this (as stated before, unless you’re walking through the gay district of the city).

Television is and commercials and magazines are saturated with heterosexuality. If you dont see or acknowledge it, it’s because you’re so used to it.

I can’t tell you how many times throughout my life (even within the first 10 seconds of meeting) men and women have immediately expressed certain heterosexual love interests they were after or opinions about the opposite gender. It’s not uncommon for men to express what they’d “like to do” to the girl they’ve been checking out.

Granted, most of the time a gay person indicating their sexuality simply because the the general society just assumes that everyone is heterosexual unless they’re demonstrating tight clothing and speaking in a feminine voice (vice-versa for women). Most of the time, it’s done not to give you a glimpse into their sexual adventures, but to avoid being identified as something they are not.

Rangie's avatar

@MissAnthrope I think you see more because there are more straight people than gay. I see more white Americans than I do Russians, because there are more.
But as for TV, Magazines, movies etc. there is both, granted more sexuality with straight in each. I personally don’t care to see any of it. I like my own sexual life and don’t need to see it on TV, magazines etc. I think anyone behaving blatantly in public is an exhibitionist. I don’t care for it from anyone. As for kissing, there is kissing and then there is kissing. A peck of good by see you later, is one thing, making out in public is lacking in class by anyone.
Now I am not following you with the marrying, having sex having babies, divorcing, cheating on each other, adopting kids. So you are saying you can’t marry, okay that is not stopping you from having a relationship. Some people want to have more than one spouse, but they can’t, but that doesn’t stop them from living together and having a relationship. Having sex, if you are referring to on TV etc. that is out of line and uncalled for. But, there are shows I have seen with gay people in bed together as well. Having babies, well yes male and female do have babies, that is nature. Divorcing, well I don’t see that is an issue for gay people to worry about. You can and do split up, only difference is there is paperwork and a whole lot of crap involved with the straight divorce. Cheating on each other is not a straight issue only. Adopting babies, is not a straight issue only. What makes you think I don’t notice bad behavior in anybody, gay or straight, doesn’t matter to me. It is bad behavior in public.

DominicX's avatar

@Disc2021

I’ve seen people indicate that they’re married with children before.

Exactly. I was thinking the same thing. I have no problem with people saying that. Just as I have no problem with putting the fact that I am homosexual in my profile. Although I changed it up a bit now just for lulz.

Rangie's avatar

@ragingloli I mind, and I am not alone. I would look at a straight person saying oh look at that ass in the same way I would a gay person. It is not a nice remark. I am saying there is proper behavior in public, straight or gay, and when either does not behave properly, they are asking for a rebuke of sorts.

Rangie's avatar

@Disc2021 I can’t equalize the word married with either heterosexual or homosexual. Now married or unmarried okay. And the thing with children, there are many gays with children. most of the rest of your argument I covered with my opinion, except the clothing thing. Who cares what you wear. If someone said something about my clothes to me, I would ask them “and your point is”. I just think you need to stop worrying about what people think about what you are wearing. Most people aren’t even looking, they are too concerned about themselves.
Example: I am a straight woman. I use to work with my husband in his contractor business. I learned how to run a backhoe, snowplow, jump into ditches and glue and stick pipe etc. I wore work clothes and any other worker of that type would wear. If I got off of the backhoe and ran into the market for something, sure I might get some looks, but who the heck cares. In fact a smart remark from somebody might very well get a smile from me. Granted it would be a half assed smile. People are coming around more and more to live and let live, mind their own business.

Rangie's avatar

@DominicX so are you saying you want me to go look at you change up?:)

Rangie's avatar

Guys, you know, I am an old somewhat set in my ways Grandmother. A lot of what you present to me is strange to my generation and many don’t have an open mind and a fairness about life. Honest, I am trying. You have pretty much raked me over the coals, and I have tried to answer each and everyone of you to my best. I am sure I have said thing that don’t set well with you, so, hey consider the source. That is all I can say. And @DominicX by the way you said you change it up, leads me to believe I really don’t want to go see your bio. Actually I don’t think I have ever seen yours anyway, so I would have nothing to compare it to.

Rangie's avatar

Hey, I am so tired, you all wore me out. I was only trying to peacefully give you a straight person’s perspective. It may or may not answer any questions about us mean people. :)
Good night.

Fernspider's avatar

@rangie ”...most of the rest of your argument I covered with my opinion, except the clothing thing. Who cares what you wear. If someone said something about my clothes to me, I would ask them “and your point is”. I just think you need to stop worrying about what people think about what you are wearing. Most people aren’t even looking, they are too concerned about themselves.

Link

I think your arguments would have more merit if they were at least consistent. I just felt I needed to say that.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The gays that I know work for non-profits, run their own companies and are middle managers in large corporations. They garden, collect art, like to cook, travel, own pets, are good to their mothers, go to grad school, go to church, eat out a lot, and shop at Lands End and Brooks Brothers. A few are career military.

The “lifestyle” that you are obliquely referring to would be like saying the heterosexual lifestyle includes strip clubs and watching porn.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because of a nurture fixation in the nature versus nurture debate.

Rangie's avatar

@Rachienz I can’t believe you would actually be seriously comparing the two. That was a funny question. I had just spent some time with a nephew that had his pants that way and we were teasing back and forth with him. That gave me the idea of a funny, fun question. I think if you read most of the posts, they are funny. That would have nothing whatsoever to do with something as serious as this topic. I think you can see I spent a great deal of time trying to be gracious on this thread.

Rangie's avatar

@mattbrowne would you like to elaborate on that?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie I’d like to address some of your concerns and questions, if I may…

You said I just don’t see heterosexual folks broadcasting their sexual preference. How many Bio’s read I am a heterosexual person Actually many people do that through explaining they have a boyfriend or are happily married or hate their girlfriend or have 3 kids with their partner, etc – you don’t notice it as much as you do when you are reading a profile of a queer person because you’re not used to reading about the latter and are much more used to reading about the former – your eyes glaze over about someone being married but that (usually, not always) signifies a sexuality, etc.

You said They don’t have heterosexual parades. It is just not “in your face’ like the gay people do. I don’t mean to offend anybody really, I just don’t understand why they feel a need to let everybody know We have always lived in a heteronormative society where opposite-sex attraction/marriage/co-habitation is assumed, considered normal and not discussed in any negative light – people haven’t been persecuted, discriminated against or anything of that nature because they were straight. The parades originated out of the queer community’s collective anger and angst (completely justified) against a society that doesn’t accept them and to this day remains a source of pride (hence the name the pride parade) for people who continue to experience lack of acceptance by their families and friends and societies. They are not for or against straight people and are not for the sake of straight people – they are for our sake and because there is not equality, obviously. That’s why it doesn’t matter where you, in particular, care what my preferences are – I want my preferences visible (in certain situations) so that people don’t continue to assume everyone around them is straight.

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Honestly I haven’t read any bio’s that have said they are “heterosexual”. In my bio, initially I said, I had husband, grandchildren and so on. Most of the people thought I was a male. I only said I was a female after someone asked. It didn’t matter to me what they thought. I have changed my bio a number of times, and will probably do so again. They apparently thought I was a male with a husband. Whatever. no problem.
Now for the parade thing. Yes straight people have parades, but they are for veterans day, thanksgiving, etc. And who’s to say they are all straight people participating. I have never seen a straight parade for the purpose of celebrating the fact that they are proud straight people.
You know that saying, “there are those that ruin it for many”, that is what I see wrong with the gay parades. There are those that act like loud, immature, in your face idiots, that people see and think all gay people are like that, because there are so many acting out in those public parades. It is almost disrespect for your cause, when those individuals act that way. And I say, where is the pride in that?
You may be a little overly sensitive as to what people think you are, gay or straight. That really isn’t on most people’s minds. I really don’t think when I meet people for the first time, that ever occurs to me to figure out whether they are gay or straight. That is a private issue and not something I would concern myself with, so I don’t assume everyone is anything, gay or straight. I just think if you don’t have a problem with who you are, then it just doesn’t matter what anyone might assume or think.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie That’s because when they say they’re married, they imply they’re heterosexual (if they’re heterosexual, that is). And the parades, I again, are not just for pride but for visibility, for strength, to show solidarity against discrimination. I think some people do act like idiots at the parades but idiocy is not specific to sexuality and if people want to see that and associate one thing they saw with all gay people, that speaks to their low intelligence and has nothing to do with whether the parades should exist. As far as sexuality being private, to you it is, to me it isn’t – that’s because I have a non-normative sexuality and you (I’m assuming you’re straight, forgive me if I’m wrong) have a normative sexuality – that’s why you’re not sensitive about it.

poofandmook's avatar

@Rangie: You know that saying, “there are those that ruin it for many”, that is what I see wrong with the gay parades. There are those that act like loud, immature, in your face idiots, that people see and think all gay people are like that

The same could absolutely be said for straight people who do things like organize public protests against gay people, especially when it’s at a funeral (Matthew Shephard, anyone?) There’s one gay pride parade a year (in a generalized area), but there are probably thousands of public anti-gay protests every day that make straight people and organized religion look like a bunch of assholes.

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I can see that when someone says they are married, it would imply that they are heterosexual, only because gay don’t use the word married. Mostly S/O is used.
Idiocy is not specific to sexuality. But when a parade is to show pride in the gay sexuality, then it becomes about sexuality. Because the pride parades to most people is about homosexuality and what comes with it. It is hard to take it seriously when the idiots (of which there are many in the parades) are making in your face obnoxious gestures and remarks. The parades, in my opinion do not help the cause, unless they can be run in a serious, respectable manner.
Yes, I am straight, but that does not preclude me from trying to understand a non straight person.
I think I understand your sensitivity, but as long as the people you care about know who you are, why do you feel the need to make sure everyone knows? Why do you care what other people think? Their opinion is not that important, and was that opinion formed with any kind of knowledge in the first place?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie You can ask 100 queer people why they go to the pride parade and I don’t think many will say it has anything to do with showing off – the obnoxious gestures are only so, to you and not to others and honestly ‘run in a serious, respectable manner’ is subjective as well. The reason why I do want others to know is for solidarity – I have always been okay with my sexuality but have always known many who weren’t and who suffered and who needed help. There is no reason for me to wear the rainbow bracelet that I do for me but I wear it so that others, if necessary, can find an ally in me and can know it’s okay to be whatever they are.

Rangie's avatar

@poofandmook I never said straight people were smart or compassionate. Anyone that would protest anything at a funeral is in my opinion the lowest of the lowest. I would never take part in such an evil event.
That is where the right to speech is over the top. And that is exactly what I am talking about when I say, there are those that ruin it for many. And as a religious straight person, I am embarrassed and it should be stopped.

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir well I didn’t say anything about showing off, because I don’t think that is what they are doing. I just think if the marchers were more refined and showed more respect for themselves, others will too. It is like the little kid in the super market. The kid that acts up and becomes a source for agitation to others around, because of his display of loudness and wanting something so badly that he will become something people want to remove. Then there is the child that behaves, and get respect from others around him. So much so that, I have been known to walk up and compliment the parent of what a well behaved child they have. I hope that makes sense to you. Sometimes I get off track.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie I have gone to the pride parade for the past 10 years or so and I have never worn inappropriate clothing (whatever that means) and I have never acted in any way other than happy and smiling. I used to go with NYU with all my friends and now I go with my family. There are different kinds of people at the parade and I think people do see that: that there are many different kinds of people, assless pants or not and that’s it.

poofandmook's avatar

who wouldn’t love a good pair of assless chaps?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@poofandmook as @Rangie tries hard to express, there is a time and a place for those, for me

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I agree there are all kind of people. I am not saying all of the people attending the pride parade are obnoxious and loud. But, unfortunately those are the ones that get most of the attention. The pants thing was a funny issue, as I explained earlier.
I am sorry Simone, I didn’t quite understand your last post.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie Oh, I didn’t read about the pants above – that was just my example. As for my last post, I said that there is a time and a place for me to wear assless pants and the pride parade isn’t one of them.

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh hehe, that is funny. I am so glad you and I have been able to communicate on this issue in a respectful manner. Thank you for being gracious to me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie I take each question as it comes without any relevant past interaction. I try to, anyway. Thank you.

Rangie's avatar

Ditto. Thanks.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The parade inference is funny; why do people go to Mardi Gras parades, get drunk and have girls take their tops off? It’s a pre-Lent event.

Rangie's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I am sorry, I don’t follow.

Rangie's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Okay, I get it. OMG I am agreeing with Simone.:) good point. Totally improper conduct in public. And to add insult to injury a pre-lent parade.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie It is possible you know :)

Kraigmo's avatar

I think it comes from religious gay people who at one point decided they were going to turn off their gay thoughts and focus on religion and straight thoughts best as they can anyway, at least in public; and then they expect everyone else to do the same.

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