Tiny Little Boxes: Defining others by their sexuality | Street Jazz

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tiny Little Boxes: Defining others by their sexuality

Posted By on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Last week I read the latest in a long string of letters to the editor bitterly complaining about gay pride parades. In the words of the writer from Hensley:

“Pride parades. He’s gay, she’s gay, wouldn’t you like to be gay, too?

“Well, no. I do not make my sole identification based on a sexual act or any of my identification . . .”

Which pretty much sums up most of the feelings of those who are upset about gay pride parades, or even folks identifying themselves as gay . . . they should just shut up. Why, heavens to Betsy, us straight folks don’t go parading around, or expressing “pride” in something that makes some folks feel . . . well, just yucky inside. Why, we don’t go around insisting on knowing on their sexuality, do we?

Well, except for the fact that so often, we have, haven’t we?

I can’t speak for everyone, but most of my friends over the years (really, all of them) who are gay haven’t really based their sole identification on their sexuality, but rather on their jobs, their relationships, their accomplishments . . . you know, just like everybody else on the planet.

I have, though, met all too many straight people who have identified someone as gay - though often in more vulgar terms than that - and that was the end of it as far as they were concerned.

“Don’t drink in the water fountain/use the toilet after Bob, you might get AIDS.” And this was usually coming from someone who was unacquainted with the concept of washing their hands after using the bathroom.

“I found out one of my neighbors is homosexual. I’d better not see them looking in my kids’ direction. I’ll have the law on them.”

“That’s Jim, the new worker in the ______ department. He’s gay.” And that was it. Jim, the new guy, was now an oddity, a creature in a zoo, folks watching him from every direction. What kind of job was he doing? Who knew? He was gay!

These are all comments I have heard in the enlightened 21st Century.

The final line line in the letter from the gentleman from Hensley goes:

“Homosexuality must be tremendously confining.”

Well, small minds are, at any rate - though I’m not saying that the fellow from Hensley suffers from such. But he does seem to suffer from a certain lack of historical insight, forgetting the days when every gay person was automatically put into little boxes of shame . . . watched all the time, mistrusted, mocked.

The Old Days, which, sadly enough, are still These Days.


Quote of the Day

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none. - Jules Renard


From the ArkTimes store



Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Richard Drake

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation