The World and LGBT Lifestyles (Full Version)

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Eukara Vox -> The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 10:50:28)

Our world has come through so many changes, economic, social, emotional and physical. So many things tug at our minds and spirits nowadays, asking us to think this way, act that way. For any common, everyday mind, sometimes it is too much. And sometimes, not enough.

Our world has come leaps and bounds from what it once was, but in many areas we have far to go. We say we demand and spread equality amongst ourselves in terms of gender, race, nationality, and private lives. In the recent years, roles have become more acceptable in all of the above.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss how far the world has come in terms of the acceptance and acknowledgement of LGBT lifestyles. Granted, there is still room for improvement in all areas, on all sides. In this thread, I would like to open up the OOC to discuss how the emergence of LGBT lifestyles into the public eye and the continued growing acceptance of LGBT lifestyles has changed the face of our world.


I will remind you that this is considered a prohibited topic, and I am allowing the discussion of this to see just how mature and ready this community is for the opening up of subjects that are deeply emotional, deeply personal and controversial. The repercussions of rule breaking in this thread will not only be swiftly and harshly warned, but the risk of condemning this forum to not being given the ability to talk about things that are potential issues.

1. Do not present discussions in a manner that is inflammatory, no matter your personal opinion. You can discuss without being cruel, mean and trollish.

2. This is not a "Dear Abby" thread. In other words, this is not the place to post your issues and ask for advice on how to deal with it.

3. Though you may make mention of personal experiences, this is NOT a thread for personal soapboxes, vendettas and such. Mention if it is perfectly relevant, otherwise, leave it out.

4. This thread is not in anyway, an anti-gay/pro-gay thread. Please do not make it such a place. Making it so will be seen as soapboxing, which was covered in the previous rule. This is a discussion on impact and influence.

5. This is a universal rule and it seems to have been overlooked. "Do not post anything that may offend : Any sexually explicit language." The discussion of sex, the action of sex, and details of sex are not allowed under universal rules. Please refrain from it in this thread.



Let's see how this goes.


Eukara Vox
OOC Head Moderator
AE Forum Administration

This is now open. I am hoping that everyone approaches this thread with maturity and respect. Do not be surprised if rule breaking results in harsher than usual consequences. You've been given a long time to prepare for this and a weekend to ready yourself.

The rules WILL be enforced and the 4 points above will be honoured and respected.




Supertails -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 11:51:20)

I think it's made a massive change, and one that's going to open doors for a whole lot more acceptance in the world in general. It was one thing when it was decided that it was wrong to judge people based on the colour of their skin, but I think it's a whole 'nother level of acceptance washing over the place now. Now it's not just "it's wrong to judge someone on their appearance", but also to judge someone on how they were born and how they live their life. It's incredibly important because it means people are in general changing their way of thinking to be just...more accepting in general.

It's no secret here that I'm bisexual, though I very much have to keep it secret offline. I live in an area that's really socially conservative. They're very quick to judge you based on your life, so I know exactly what it's like to have to keep secret that you were born attracted to the same gender. If I came out here I'd honestly be kinda scared. Honestly, I usually am anyways because I'm pretty flamboyant and just have no idea how I'm supposed to act to seem 'normal' in general. Kind of a tangent, but the point is that it's really easy to judge LGBT people and think that it's as simple as saying "I'm gay!" and being one stereotype or another, but in reality there are tons of people around you who are probably LGBT but you don't have the slightest clue they are because they know exactly what it'll be like if people know.

That's why it makes me so happy to be part of the shift from telling people to keep mum about it to being publicly supportive of it. We're allowing people to live happy lives who, before all this, couldn't. It's paving the way for even more such changes. I've been really happy lately with the fact that being transgender has very quickly gone from horribly condemned to suddenly somewhat more accepted. I honestly think I might have some gender dysphoria-like issue, and that's taken me even longer to admit to anyone than being bi did...I told one person earlier this month, and this is literally the second time I've said it to anyone. Yet I know that, one day, people won't have to be scared to say it. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing it's not a permanent problem that every generation is going to struggle with.

I'm sorry for the ramblyness of this, I should probably be asleep, but I just had to post in this when I saw it was open. It's something that more and more people are dealing with and facing every day, so I really hope the OOC can discuss this without fighting or getting heated up. Anyways, all I'm really trying to say is that it's changing the world for the better and making more people happy and accepting. What more could you ask for?




Starflare -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 13:41:42)

First of all, thank you, Eukara for giving us the chance to possibly discuss more profane/mature/taboo topics, and I do feel our community is ready.

And, next, I would like to say that I agree with everything you have said, Supertails. I do believe that the world has come so far, with the first transgender model on ANTM a few years back, and the fact that so many celebrities have come out of the closet, not with their careers down the toilet, but being more celebrated.

BUT, I would like to point out that although the world has come so far, it hasn't come far enough. I do believe that living an LGBT lifestyle still comes as quite a shock, and that's understandable, not everyone has the same beliefs. I have lived in Asia, the Middle East, and North America, and not all of these places have the same beliefs, especially not about LGBT.

In the Philippines, Asia, it occurs to me that they think being gay is like being transexual; you want to be the opposite gender. Being born and raised there, I could certainly back this up. It's not that the LGBT can't live a successful life there, in fact, some of the most successful entertainers there are gay. They just choose not to, and move out of the country in shame...

In Qatar, Middle East, where I lived for a solid 4 years, the sexual barriers are more lax, in a way. You have to understand, PDA is highly frowned upon there, even to straight couples, but I have seen people of the same sex holding hands and kissing, although, it can come across as a sign of friendship, a gesture found mainly in Muslim countries. I remember, my mother had some gay friends, they were from the Philippines, moving out of the country in shame, as I had previously said. They were able to live a successful life in a non-judgemental country. I still wish them luck with their future endeavors.

In the U.S, it occurs to me that in the South, people still haven't opened their minds up enough. Having lived here for 2 years, I can honestly say that there are still anti-gay people here, and I do believe that so many people would agree with me that the Southern people still hold their traditional beliefs on marriage and sexual orientation. There's more I could say, but it'll probably come across as flaming, so I'll stop here...

On a completely unrelated note, one of my biggest role models has been Ellen Degeneres. She has been outed, and just about everyone was expecting here career to end, but she proved them wrong. With a successful sitcom and an ongoing talk-show, both named Ellen, she's still one of the biggest stars in the world, and the one I've come to call my role model. Shout-out! ;P

I hope my ranting doesn't come across as, well, ranting. I hope in the future, we see more topics like this, because, in my head, these topics are actually worth discussion.

Hopefully, no one messes with this thread and screws everything up, to put it bluntly. Good luck!




Smalls -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 14:30:40)

I'm a very active member of my school's GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) due to one of my best friends being lesbian, and two others bisexual. So this is a matter that's pretty dear to my heart despite myself being straight.
The fact that my school (the largest in my state with about 5,000 kids) has a GSA that is extremely active and one of the most attended clubs just shows how open people are now.
However, all is not well with the treatment of the LGBT community,the Chick-fil-a fiasco shows that people still are against it, crazily so. Not to mention Amendment One.
I believe it's a fantastic thing that more people are agreeing with this, however, and that it's becoming more widely accepted. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the upcoming years.




Langste Nacht -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 14:33:34)

I have a relatively simple stance on this, people are people and deserve to be treated as such. It seems that (at least where where I live,) people are finally starting to realize equality has nothing to do with their comfort zone, and that it doesn't change based on a situation. Equality is equality, there's no other way about it. I see this as nothing more or less than a symbol of how far we've come as a species, however, it also shows that we still have a mountain to climb. But with all things said and done, I think it's safe to say that the gay community has started making their "fabulous" (I denounce and reject myself for using that stereotyope :P) impact on the world, whether people notice or not.




PyroPuppy -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 15:35:25)

Well, in my opinion, the best comparsion of gay people to anything, is to left handed people. "Everyone" used to think being left handed is against religion, is wrong, can be fixed by horrifying acts, still nobody knows what causes it, and most of the population are actually the opposite.
Also, I guess that most people would agree with me, making a parade dedicated entirly for left handed people, is a bit useless and really weird without a real goal. I bet you start to get the general idea.
"But that was 500 years ago!" "Things have changed!" Well, with those arguments, we can understand two things. First, gay lifestyle will be accepted in 500 years, probably.
The second, that you can change things. In my opinion, you don't need to "support gay people". By using this statement, you are distinguishing them from the rest of the people. You can call someone gay, and that shouldn't be offensive, but you shouldnt make laws that are completely based on a person's sexual orientation. For an example, if someone hit a gay person, he should go to jail not because "a new law that said hitting gay people deservs a punishment too", but simply because he did an act of violence
That said, I believe that instead of tons of resources that go to a parade, which I'm not sure is suitable for little children, those resouces should actually go into educating those little children, instead.

Well, comments:
@Supertails: You pointed an important point over there. The change the world went through in the latest years. In the 21th century, everything goes faster. If it took 500without any blog posts or threads on forums over here at the internet to left handed people to be accepted, I'm sure after few years we will see a massive change in the subject.
@Starflare: Well, you mostly pointed the different opinion on the subject in different locations. I don't have much to add.
@Smalls: Similar comment, I don't have much to say about it, only to add that it's pretty nice to hear.
@Langste Nacht: I agreed with your entire comment, except for the latest sentence. As I wrote, I don't think we should treat differently to gay people. Like you don't remember if the latest guy who won a Nobel Prize was right or left handed, I don't see any reason to remember their sexual orientation.




Langste Nacht -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 16:43:14)

PyroPuppy: Just 2 things that popped into my head when reading your post:
First, the left-handed person comparison does get your point across, but I don't quite feel it's accurate as homosexuality has been around (presumably) for as long as there have been humans, and is still treated as an awful, horrible thing by many people.
Second, while I do agree that overall we shouldn't treat them any different than others, I have to disagree with your (apparent) stance on "hate" laws, reason being (and this is just my belief), that if you assault someone at all, that should be one crime, but to assault someone purely based on their sexual orientation/color/gender/religion or any other thing that "catagorizes" us, that should be an entirely different, and much harsher crime to be added on to the regular assault charge, because those people are an extra level of despicable. However (!), to be convicted of said hate crimes, there should substantial, irrefutable evidence against the accused.

That said, I completely agree with you on the GP parade, it seems a bit... risqué and unnecessary at times, and I'm all for education.

*Hopes he caught (and fixed) anything that would break rule 1 for this discussion D:*




forumlogin -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 16:49:54)

@Langste
Just wanted to say, homosexuality has prob been around just about as long as left-handedness, but much like being a leftie, it was not necessarily taboo in every culture.

Not much to add. Personally, I don't really support it, but that's prob more because I'm a bit old-fashioned.
I know and have some friends who are not straight; I just prefer not to talk about it with them. :P
That being said, I do agree with PyroPuppy a bit.
If homosexuality could become sort of left-handedness, where it's not a big deal on both sides (although, I'd like a left-handed solidarity day), that would be IMO the ideal situation regarding this.




Densoro -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 16:59:06)

Supes makes a good point -- this stands to open a dialogue for so many other subjects too, and that's awesome. By accepting and understand transsexual people, I was able to examine my own beliefs and ultimately decide that I had no reason to fear my masculinity. Not because I was afraid of transsexualism, but because I just realized that my problem didn't stem from my gender identity, but from my fear of the abusive men I've met in my life.

Everybody should be afforded this clear-headedness to figure out their lives. If they want to crossdress or even undergo major surgery, they deserve to be able to make that choice without fear, to define themselves by their wants rather than their pains. Even though I used that freedom to decide that I am in fact your average heterosexual, I want everybody to take this clarity in whatever direction they please. Running around in confusion is no way to live.

I'm really glad I was able to live in this time of change; when my little sister came out to me that she was bi, she looked like she was afraid I'd flip a desk, but it felt as profound as if she told me her favorite color. I just said "Huh, okay o-o" and watched her face brighten at the acceptance <3




Fingerman -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 17:33:59)

Wow, these topics are being given a chance. I think it can result in quality disscussion, and hopefully doesn't turn into an argument resulting in a lock or deletion. Anyway, back to the topic.

LGBT conditions are much better than before. Homosexuality and bisexuality, though still out of many people's comfort zones, is not as much of a persecuted lifestyle. People live and work in the same cities and towns, and can usually get the same jobs and education. Here where I live in the US, some, mainly kids and teens, use the word 'Gay' as a negative and derogatory word to describe things that are far from the word's meaning. A movie that people don't like is gay. A rule in school kids hate is gay. In my opinion, it's just sad how uninformed they are. Lack of explaining about homosexuality from teachers and parents allow kids to accept the innacurate views of many people these days. I haven't started high school yet, and I see the huge difference. I bet there are LGBT youth in my school, but society is just so unaccepting of them at that age they don't dare say anything. I bet most of you have heard about LGBT youth committing suicide. That's a direct result of the lies circulating middle/high schools across the word. You see, in schools, teachers see it as such a touchy topic they don't allow debate/disscussion. Parents may want to sheild their younger kids from such controversy, but then they say next to nothing as their kids grow and mature. I remember having political debates in Social Studies like Romney bs Obama, Border Protection, even Abortion. As not to spark argument on those off topic subjects, I won't delve further. But LGBT never came up. Teachers never taught us anything in that subject. I started first hearing other kids using the word gay as a derogatory term at age 9. That means something's wrong with kid's knowledge of LGBT issues.

In the world of adults, things are much different. People, especially straight people, clearly state their viewpoints. Many lesbian, gay, and bisexual people even state their orientation. It seems more of a versus issue in the adult/mature world. Some want less LGBT rights, some want more. Today, the only thing in the legal system is same sex marriage. In most states, the law is against same sex marriage. Where did this all start? Religious text. I'm not familiar with other religions, but I know for a fact that there is a small verse in Leviticus that is against gay/lesbians. Now, whatever people's personal beliefs are, the US's Constitution states freedom of religion. This isn't the direct reason against same sex marriage today, more so because of how many would be against it. Bottom line: This issue will continue for a long time before it vanishes, like the Civil Rights movement. Still, raceism plagues our wors and country. LGBT rights still have a long way to go, but they'll get there eventually.




Starflare -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 19:25:57)

quote:

I started first hearing other kids using the word gay as a derogatory term at age 9. That means something's wrong with kid's knowledge of LGBT issues.

I completely agree with this statement. But, I think it's not just the usage of the term, but the entire stereotype the world has put onto the word. Where I live, no specifics, let's just say Southern U.S., you should hear how these kids talk about matters like that, and the vocabulary they use. They use "Omigod, that is soo gay." when referring to things that are bad. This really hurts, because being gay is not bad. There is no known cause for it, but there have been theories. Also, I think I'm not the only one who's noticed this. I have seen commercials* featuring Hilary Duff, among other people, talking about this exact same issue. Now, considering the amount of time children spend on TV nowadays, I'd have figured they'd just stop it, but no. I continues to be a problem, maybe not for them, but for the others who work so hard to promote equality between all of us, regardless of age, race, or sexual orientation. But, I guess it's more of the children's "monkey see, monkey do" behavior. I've yet to see a mature adult use that word, so, maybe we are on the right track. ;)

*I've not seen these commercial circulated for quite some time, but I assure you, they have.

Below:
Amen.
Below below: :) Good to know.




The Extinguisher -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 19:44:08)

"I don't care if you're black, white, straight, gay, trans or cis, as long as you ain't made of metal"
-Me, crotchety, at age 65


There's actually a valid point in there. We're in the middle of a civil rights movement, but not for sex or race, but for sexual orientation and gender identity. 60 years ago, it would be a major controversy if a white women married a black man, but now, no one really cares (except the racists, but we'll get to them later). Picture this: You're sitting in you're living room, watching TV, drinking you're scotch, when you're daughter comes up and says "Mom, Dad, I have something I need to tell you. I like black guys." Seems kinda ridiculous, doesn't it? But that's what so many people have to deal with.

I hope that when I have kids and they're growing up, that we don't live in a society that demands a confession of who you are sexually attracted to. It probably won't happen for my kids, but it will happen. It's a slow process, but it will happen. People will complain, and people will protest, but last I heard, women still have the vote, and we aren't hanging people for inter-racial marriage any more.





Fingerman -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 19:58:28)

@Starflare: Yes, you explained the point I was trying to get across very well. And those commercials, I guess I just don't remember them. I remember seeing only one or two, but it could be different areas, IDK. As to where the stereotype starts, it could be Leviticus, though with the ratio of religious kids to non-religious kids, especially in the USA, I have my doubts. Like, once someone in my grade said upon me asking "Being gay is against the Word of God" Of course, they didn't know what was actually in the Bible.




Memory of a Nightmare -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 23:19:01)

Thank you, Eukara, as well as all you others who made a thread like this possible. It proves that a group of people who share an opinion can accomplish something together. Here's a tip though; the abbreviation LGBT is used a few times in the first post, I think writing the full term at least once wouldn't hurt. By reading replies it's hard to miss what the thread's about and I assume it's a well known abbreviation, but still. It's just my opinion.


There is this one thing that bugs me a lot, perhaps more than anything else in our Western society: Heteronormativity. (If you enjoy reading, see this post in the "New Year, New Goals thread. Not needed though.) I am very grateful to live in one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the whole world, but that's simply not enough. It feels pointless to write the same thing twice, so if you're interested in my opinions on heternormativity, just read the mentioned post.

Unless you didn't know, and I don't see why many of you should, I have a strong interest in human rights, believe in equality for all living beings and am specially interested in the issues of racism and LGBT discrimination. Unfortunately I think these issues are being handled incorrectly by both sides. You shouldn't say "Natives and immigrants are equal" or "straights and gays are equal". Equality should be the common goal, and to achieve equality we need to get rid of the "we and them" way of thinking. For this reason I oppose, to use a relevant example, our Stockholm Pride which is held in just a few days. Pride parades, likely because of unusual clothing and many sexual allusions, but also simply because it's a full event dedicated to LGBT, gives a completely wrong image of homosexuality. (Bisexuality is as usual often forgotten, I have to admit I am actually not that knowledged when it comes to transsexuality, so I can't really bring that up.) Those who suffer are the more "discrete" LGBT people, and perhaps most of all those who feel they can't be open about their sexuality just because they're afraid of people's reactions. (I fall into this category myself, so it's likely true, no?) I would guess the so called "homophobia" can be blamed on homosexuals just as well as heterosexuals, but how much is impossible to say.

So about informing people, I have somewhat of a dream to actually be able to help other people feel comfortable with being themselves, as well as fighting prejudices etc. Paired up with my curiosity it makes me eager to discuss and learn more about all the different subjects. Hopefully this thread can help with that. However, this was probably the hardest post I've ever written, and it took me more than an hour because the words didn't come to me as easily as I had expected. I'm not sure if it gives a correct image of my opinions either, but hopefully it doesn't matter. Long posts like these makes it clear to me that expressing my opinions in English is a lot harder than in Swedish despite more than 10 years of experience. I'll have to stop rambling now.

Some tips on possible discussion subjects could be heteronormativity, differences in acceptance of male and female homosexuality, and media's portrayal of LGBT. I am willing to discuss these subjects, but right now I simply do not have the time, so... I'll be back! May this thread be successful, because the subject is one of the most important there is.




Superemo -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 23:24:47)

I'm completely in favor of love, and I really don't give half a damn what or who you love. I'm also completely against hate, which is what the term "homophobia" means. They're not afraid of homosexuals. They're just intolerant of anyone who isn't like them.
My best friend through most of high school was openly gay. That fact didn't change a thing about who he was, and it didn't change the fact he was an awesome person. We were two of the founding members of our school's GSA, we sang together in duets for competitions, stuff like that. His sexuality affected literally nothing.

Edited out off topic link and comment.
Eukara Vox
OOC Head, AE Admin




Eukara Vox -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 23:54:37)

I am going to jump in here right now and stop something before it starts.

You have every right to point out that some religious beliefs play a part in the acceptance of this issue. What you may NOT do, however, is use this thread to start in on religion, bashing it and those who observe it. You may not mock, bash and belittle the beliefs, scriptures, etc of others.

I am surprised that in a thread where we are discussing tolerance, acceptance, progression etc, talking about the hurt caused to this group of people by others, some of you are doing the exact same thing you are complaining about. What goes around comes around is NOT the theme of this thread. That is not acceptable.

I do not want to see any of this.




raylas -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/30/2012 23:55:56)

I have a similar stance on this to Supremo. I favor the "live and let live" approach, their not hurting anybody, so I let them do as they will. Overall, I think the best thing to do is not to treat people as gay or straight, but to treat them as people. They don't need special treatment, they need equality. I would like to see an attitude similar to the Ancient Greek stance on homosexuality, where it was just something that happened, and it wasn't considered an issue at all. The worst places are those that still treat it as a crime, which is a gross violation of human rights that is a relic of the dark ages. I consider myself a straight ally personally, but that's not the topic on hand.

One of the most interesting things to research is how LGBT people have been treated in various cultures and time periods. In Greece, it was a simple non issue, in Rome sexuality was not defined by "Straight or Gay", but by "Dominant or Submissive", in Japan, samurai often had relations with their apprentices, and in Celtic Europe, it was common for men or women to have relationships with the same sex. Interesting to say the least, and it shows how different cultures handle things differently. The real Taboos on homosexuality seem to start with the rise of Abrahamic Religions, although I'm not sure on the stances that Islam and Judaism take on the matter. The most hardline stance seems to come about in Christian Europe, where the passage of Leviticus was treated as a law, and it was a hanging offense. That attitude started to become less radical around the time of the Enlightenment, but it still remained a highly frowned upon, and in some places, illegal, lifestyle. That said, while the laws existed until as late as the 70's (IIRC), they became less and less enforced until they were finally taken off the books. In modern times, LGBT people and culture are widely accepted, and many repressive laws have been repealed. Overall, it seems that the civil rights movement is making great progress.




Cataclysm -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 0:17:48)

I'm in a really bizzare place in my life. I go to a Catholic school, despite being an atheist. But that's not the weird part (though I admit it's odd). The weird part is how forward my school is. Most people think a school with a church on campus is going to be fairly homophobic. That's not the case at all. My school is known as one of the most progressive, apparently. We had a club similar in nature to the GSA, but different name (my mind blanks on this). It was banned - not by the school, but by the archdiocese. The school had to drop the club or lose funding. Of course, they just don't "officially" sponsor it anymore, but it's still there. Similarly, I know of several openly bisexual people, and one of my closest friends is openly lesbian. I think it's amazing and wonderful that a Jesuit school is as supportive as it is. There's still many that aren't, but that even one is, even if I'm going to the only one... That's a sign of progress. A great, brilliant beacon of progress.




Starflare -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 0:20:43)

@Memory of a Nightmare
Nice, well thought-out, informative post, Memory of a Nightmare! I actually noticed that Eukara used the term LGBT sparingly, as if slowly breaking the ice, but I decided against posting this, but since you already said it. ;P

Few things I'd like to say:
First, I share your belief of equality. I believe no one should be discriminated against due to age, race and ,most importantly sexual orientation. I also believe no one should be given special rights, and allowed a better life due to their ancestry, hence my disbelief of a monarchy. Also, your statement about the gay-pride parades, PyroPuppy said what I think is relevant on the matter; the money should be put towards educating people about the matters at hand, because, let's face it, these parades make people picture the LGBT community in the wrong way, whatever that means.

Secondly, we were actually talking about this in IRC (#gallery), where I just praised Smalls on her activity in GSA, and we had PyroPuppy post his beliefs here, which, I believe is really worth having everyone see. I really do hope for a time when sexuality is a passive issue, much like Pyro explained in his post. My say is that although it's not as a far-fetched idea as in previous times, it's still hard for people to swallow their beliefs and actually open up their minds to the idea.
The point of my first post was to say how different countries have different opinions on the LGBT issue. I'd really like for you to address how things are in Sweden on your next post, as I'm really interested. Please?

And lastly, I look forward to reading more of what you have to say. I really do, but I wanna say what I think of the male/female homosexuality differences, if you don't mind. :3 It's gonna be really condensed, but I'll go with the basics:
It occurs to me that a homosexual woman is more accepted than a man in the same position. I've seen more lesbian topics and satire in the media than male ones. It's referred to as "hot", when a woman is homo or bi, but not in men. That's messed up, IMO.

Now, I'm sorry if the last part seems poorly-put, but I'm sleepy, and I can't use fancy words at this time of night. :O zzz
So, I hope no one takes this post the wrong way, I tried to make it as clear as I could. Memory's first language isn't even English, but he explained this better, lol.

Ninja'd by a long shot.

@raylas
I find the historical and cultural differences on the LGBT issue interesting, too. I remember, at a young age, the constant mention of gay people got me interested enough to Google it. At this time, I lived in the Middle East, where sites deemed too adult were blocked, and I could only read fragments of those articles, but I learned a lot from those hours of reading. I was mostly interested in Ancient Greece, but I had a healthy interest in all matters of the subject. Given as young as I was, no specifics, just primary school, it was my secret, but it felt good knowing I knew something my friends didn't. It was my secret superiority.
It might be worth it to go back and read up on all these subjects, now that I'm in the U.S. (no Firewalls, yay!), but I can still remember fragments of the fragments I read. In Greece, middle-aged/elderly men would take in young boys to mentor and had sexual relations with them, IIRC. I'd have to go back and read to see what I think of that now, as I've grown so much since my first encounter with the subject. :)




Kaelin -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 0:34:32)

To the extent it matters for the topic, I'm a straight male gender-nonconformist (not to be confused with anti-conformist). On balance, I probably do stereotypically-male things more often than stereotypically-female, but the fact I prefer to wear dresses once or twice a week (with a straight face) is enough to create confusion/tension anywhere I go, even to some extent among "accepting" communities. I don't consider myself "transgender" or a "crossdresser" any more than I would a woman wearing jeans and a button-down shirt. I have been stereotyped as gay (even though the overwhelming majority of men who don "women's clothes" are heterosexual) and misread as intending to pass for a woman. While I often stand out, standing out is not the point -- the male-designated clothing pool doesn't cover my full array of desired aesthetic flavor.

Between "bears," lipstick lesbians, soft butches, Castro clones, Ellen Degeneres, and Rick Welts, I don't see how the "gay lifestyle" is particularly different from the "straight lifestyle" that includes bikers, girly girls, tough girls, "metrosexuals," and straight-laced business executives. This is even more viscerally true for transsexuals, where the whole point is to simply attain their new gender (and be a "man" or a "woman") rather than be a "transman" or a "transwoman." The only things that really separates heterosexuals from BLGs (and cisgender people from transgender people) are a few intrinsic logistical issues (most of which concern reproduction and would also apply to infertile mixed-sex couples) plus however many additional hardships society throws at them -- in that respect, the main reason a "lifestyle" difference exists is because societies have forced one upon them. To the extent my own case relates to this issue, my clothing isn't a "lifestyle" either. Clothing (of which dresses are only a part) is only a small part of my life, and anyone who spends six months with me would probably point to my interest in math and video games as a lifestyle rather than my clothes. The heart of who people are has little to do with and skin/clothing-deep issues.

I believe "gay pride" (which is the reflection of the closest thing to a "gay lifestyle") is a reaction to its opposite: gay shame. When one confronts an institution that has sought to make the person feel inferior/sinful/evil, a very understandable and often necessary reaction is to fight back against the bully/oppressor with proportional force. Out of context, it can reinforce harmful stereotypes, much like rebel groups in Egypt (previously), Lybia (previously), and Syria (currently) would appear to be violent extremists if one did not recognize they were fighting against oppressive dictatorships. Just as armed combat will have lots of unintended consequences, so does adopting a deliberately-extreme appearance, so it's not the sort of tool one wants to wield in the long run. Most GLBs have already sought more diverse, nuanced, and tasteful expressions, but getting to where this contrast no longer exists requires they are fully integrated into the larger society. The "decency" issue with pride parades is definitely a problem, but the charge of indecency is a little overstated given the broader culture (there isn't a significant moral difference between a man only wearing skin-tight shorts and a woman wearing a bikini, to say nothing of the sexually-suggestive content children are going to see on TV and in movies even if parents try to regulate their consumption). Still, there are lots of "gay friendly" events that are also "family-friendly" -- although they tend to be less visible, if for no other reason than their policy won't be their front-and-center reason for existing.

In terms of "hate crime" laws, their purpose is to apply extra penalties when a crime is motivated by the victim being of a certain group. If race/gender/religion/sexual orientation are incidental factors, then the crime should be punished as normal. If one or more of those factors are instead driving elements, then these crimes have a chilling/terrorizing effect, and stiffer penalties are appropriate to serve as a deterrent.

The Chik-fil-a fiasco is a textbook business disaster, because it violates an important rule of customer service: saying yes / being positive. While the restaurant chain takes a loss by being closed on Sunday, it also guarantees employees a day off from work, so there's a positive spin on it. However, taking a stance against the rights of GLBs is predominantly negative: it does not just show an indifference to their rights (which would have been fine, since businesses are in the business of making money), but it actively works against them, and that places them and their allies in a position where their own customer dollars are being spent against them. Granted, "social conservatives" may latch onto the idea that spending money at Starbucks (which supports gay rights) works against themselves, but their "pain" of seeing gay/lesbian uplifted is nothing compared to the pain of gay/lesbians living without full rights (or even for their allies to see their friends denied these rights). Furthermore, the owner didn't do himself any favors by saying protesters think they know better than God, when said protesters (of the ones who believe God exists) simply believe God supports same-sex couples.

Memory of a Nightmare has an excellent point concerning the obsession with difference. While categories can sometimes be useful, they are overused and make frequently matters more complicated than necessary. For all the arguments about sexual orientation, the underlying legal argument for advocates is that they just want to change the forms/laws to be gender-neutral, to use a word like "partner" instead of "husband" and "wife." For those of us in the US, even labels like "African American" get in the way of the fact the person of interest is an American (which is still a label, but it at least it's a simpler one). The word "crossdresser" wouldn't even exist if clothing norms were equal for men and women. It's not as if we can ever get rid of labels entirely, but purging their unnecessary use helps use discuss ideas as generally as possible.

Despite how much parents tend to keep children from learning about human sexuality (leaving said uninformed kids at the mercy of their peers), young people nevertheless have much more access nowadays through the Internet. While the Internet is a deeply-flawed source, it is nevertheless a diversified fairly-accessible database that allows users (particularly older children and young adults) to take more responsibility for gaining understanding on these issues. For all the hostilities the Internet presents, it is generally less controlling (as a person who finds a certain source distasteful can generally leave where they are immediately and go somewhere else), so people are more able to seek out less sensationalist resources and construct a coherent carefully-considered knowledge base and belief system. Indeed, the Internet has gone a long way towards indulging those who desire information to actually find it, and I think people being able to acquire information to their satisfaction has made them less fearful and more accepting. At least on fronts of sexual orientation and gender identity, I am very optimistic for what society will do, even if progress will always be way too slow and has a long way to go.




1c3 r3b0rn -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 2:15:37)

The acceptance of the LGBT lifestyles to the public eye is really dependent on the views of the people. It's like Aziz Ansari once said, laws that make a certain group of people not able to do something are made because people just hate them and/or try to use the bible (religion) as a viable excuse for it. As forth he used the example of Big muscular men who get bottle service at clubs not being able to buy real estate and tried to find a quote from the bible to justify it.

There could be many reasons why the government, which is the main contributor to the cause of LGBT lifestyles not being as acceptance in modern day society is because they cannot explain it. They can explain love in a heterosexual relationship but they cannot explain one of a homosexual relationship. I also believe it comes down to what a person is, I think LGBT people do not understand how hard is for someone who has been accustomed to a man and a woman to love each other not a man and a man or woman and a woman.

I think there needs to be understanding that two people will never be the same.

quote:

At least on fronts of sexual orientation and gender identity, I am very optimistic for what society will do, even if progress will always be way too slow and has a long way to go.


that right there really explain it all. I personally do not see the difference between a man and a woman in love than a man and a man or woman and a woman in love if they both feel the same, y'know not everyone is the same.




Dracoa -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 9:50:34)

I don't like that term, "LGBT lifestyle". There isn't a "Straight lifestyle". In fact sexual orientation isn't a lifestyle at all, it is simply a part of who you are, it's not something that can be changed on a whim, like a lifestyle can.

Having said that, I fully support the LGBT community. They've come a long way, but I'm afraid they have so much further to go, and they will have to fight for every inch of ground they gain, as there are certain groups and companies out there who would like nothing more than to see them treated as second class citizens, or even criminals.




The Extinguisher -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 12:15:04)

It generally takes the death of a generation to cause major civil rights changes, so give it about twenty or thirty years until all the baby-boomers are gone and things should start happening faster.




Langste Nacht -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 12:55:19)

^ Which is quite sad to think about, that some of the people we love most (grandparents) are actually the reason progress is so slow to begin with..




Memory of a Nightmare -> RE: The World and LGBT Lifestyles (7/31/2012 13:29:25)

Note: The two posts above were posted during the time I wrote this post.


I am optimistic about the future of the view on LGBT people. Kinda like Dracoa, I wish for the term "LGBT" to disappear eventually. The day when sexuality doesn't make a difference it's not needed. The abbreviated words should stay, because there shouldn't be a problem using them as long as it's done with respect, sense of equality and not to differentiate people in downgrading ways. An apple is always an apple, a pear is always a pear, an orange is always an orange and a banana is always a banana - but they're all fruits. You see what I mean? Regardless of race, religion, nationality, sexuality and so on, we're all human. It's been said before, and it will never lose it's trueness... If that's a word.

It's a matter of time. I don't like speaking in years, but rather in generations. My grandmother said she can't accept homosexuality, her son/my father said one's got to accept it, although somewhat reluctantly. His son, that would be me, well you obviously know what I think. My sister is also fully accepting, and I assume so are also my older brothers. We are in no way representing the typical Swedish family, but I can see that younger people are more accepting in general. I think it partially might be because the impact of religion on people's views is progressively shrinking, and that most Swedish children grow up with great freedom, the possibility to create their own opinions and ideas without being affected by adults. What I mean is, when my grandmother grew up we had Christianity as a state religion, and the state was also in control of schools until just about 20 years ago, when the municipalities took over. Christianity itself was taught in schools to both my grandmother and my father, but today's youth, as well as myself, are taught about Christianity. (And the other major religions in the world)

It may sound as I'm blaming religion alone for the lack of acceptance, but this is absolutely not the case. It's just a theory. It doesn't seem likely that religious education back in the days was all about telling children that homosexuality is a sin, don't do it, your life will be ruined, bla bla bla... Again, just theories about that less religion may have played its part in making Sweden an accepting country. My point is that, speaking from my generation's point of view, perhaps our children won't see different sexualities as something natural, nor will their children. But those children's children might.


@Starflare

Again, I'm proud to say that I live in one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. In addition to what I wrote above, Sweden was the first country in the world to legalize homosexual activity, (at the same time zoophilia was legalized, I don't know what that says about that time's view on homosexuality, but I guess it's a feat nevertheless) and also first to allow legal gender changes. This didn't really change the actual situation however since these were still classified as diseases for a long time afterwards. Discrimination was still present. Today, anyone can serve in the military. Swedish couples can get married and adopt children regardless of gender and sexuality. Basically, everyone has the same rights in Sweden today. But several of the most important changes to LGBT rights occurred as late as 2009. When it comes to politics, I am pretty sure that all 8 governmental parties support the most basic LGBT rights. If anyone's interested in more facts about LGBT rights in Sweden, this page could be helpful, though I find it a bit confusing myself. Or you could just look at Wikipedia or something...

I still want to add to the discussion about the differences in acceptance of males and females with norm breaking sexualitites/sexual identities, but because of the time it takes me to write these posts, I can write only so much at a time. I am really happy that this thread has gotten so much attention.




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