Thursday, March 06, 2008

Homophobia

Here we go. Down the road of homophobia, political correctness, appreciating differences, being sensitive to other people, welcoming others into our lives. I could go on .

I can stand up for myself if I need to. Mostly I prefer more subtlety. I don't come across overt homophobia much these days. The world has changed. There is plenty of subtle homophobia out there but it mostly goes over my head. I am nearly old. I did my bit earlier. I am tired and jaded now. Thank the lord, some of my age aren't. I will rise to the occasion if necessary, but I seldom see the need. Others are working hard on my behalf and I thank them and appreciate their efforts.

But there is something in the media that really get up my goat. That is the constant reinforcement that guy and girl is normal and nothing else is to be considered. There was a male streaker at the cricket yesterday. How many times did I hear, 'well, I don't really want to see it', or 'I'll avert my eyes', or 'pity it is not a chick'. Much joking over cricket commentator Richie Bernaud being unsure if it was a girl or a guy.

Other media people saying, when male nudity is mentioned, "I don't really want to think about that"or just "perish the thought", especially if it is an older male. Ha, if it is an older woman, they say nothing. They have at least learnt to shut their mouths in that case.

The Grand Prix is about to happen in Melbourne. This year for the first time we will have 'grid boys' for the ladies, as well as the usual 'grid girls'. Of course the gay media have given it some oxygen. I have no intention of attending the GP, but I will looking out for the grid guys in the media, or perhaps from the window.

Wait, it is grid boys for the ladies only.

I dont' say yuk when I see a naked female. I can even appreciate a female body. Just not my bent.

I know I am in the class of being a significant minority. I can wear that. But does it have to be constantly reinforced in my face?

It happens daily, in all media. It is constant, in life as I live it and in the unreal media. It grinds me down to a degree that being called a fucking poofter never has.

Just because you are straight, or gay for that matter, if a person is not of your gender choice, you don't have to make a bit deal about it. Sometimes the revulsion that straight males seem to have for male bodies makes me wonder.

27 comments:

  1. Andrew,

    I agree. The way the mainstream media peddles such a narrow view of society in Australia is very tiring and it can make me feel sick if I let it. There are lots of points of view that are excluded by just being left out and that is not healthy for any society.

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  2. A very telling post Andrew. As a straight person, I can't really empathise with your situation - but I can kinda imagine how it would be. There is a cultural nervousness and shyness when references to sexual orientation are stated. This is particularly noticeable at school where being gay would mean automatically that you'd experience bullying. I know of no gay or lesbian students at my school, but I'm sure they exist (probably too scared to admit it). I think the world is still opening up and learning about differences and it would be unrealistic to think that homophobia, racism, sexism etc would disappear in the future. You're bound to get some inconsiderate imbecile spreading hate as if it's rancid butter.

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  3. I totally agree Andrew!

    **Just because you are straight, or gay for that matter, if a person is not of your gender choice, you don't have to make a bit deal about it

    OMG this is exactly wut Im talking abt in my today's post. Respect INDIVIDUALITY!


    Keshi.

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  4. "I am tired and jaded now. Thank the lord, some of my age aren't. I will rise to the occasion if necessary..."

    Alternatively, I believe Viagra's very good.

    As for male streakers, I personally don't want to see them. Cricket's depressing enough for us Brits as it is without having to witness any more sticky wickets than necessary.

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  5. Although LiD, in many ways, women have it worse. The media is not representative of what makes up Australia.

    Reuben, I bet there are some in your class. I reckon if you concentrated on each as and individual, you could work it out. 'at school where being gay would mean automatically that you'd experience bullying' Not these days, not automatically. Some schools are exceptionally good, such as Eltham High who have had students march in the Gay Pride March in St Kilda for the last couple of years.

    Yes, my post did rather connect with yours Keshi.

    Pun intended Brian and so nice of you to mention it. Keeping it down has always been more of a problem for me.

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  6. Michelle9:19 pm

    Unfortunately Homophobia is alive and kicking, which is a shame, my son is gay and I have to admit I notice the homophobia more now then ever, but alas my son is not affected nor am I , we joke about it, we are serious about it. I'd love to pick your brain at some stage too Andrew, as I love the blog and your openness.

    My sons partner's family were a little more uptight than I was in when he came out but once they saw how we were together they let up a bit more.

    Great post, I enjoy reading your blog :)

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  7. Anonymous9:31 pm

    Oh God, I know what you mean - it really annoys me too. I think that your examples however may be due more to sexism rather than homophobia.

    I particularly hate the way the media continues to define gender roles. TV ads are still being made today which portray women at home, cleaning washing or looking after kids - and men driving fast cars, going to work, leering at women, or doing other blokey things etc. It gets so unbearable at times.

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  8. Yes, I agree with you Andrew. People who make a big fuss just may have something they are trying to mask...uh huh, seen that before.
    Go grid boys :) They are quite hot...but so are the girls too :) What can I do? I just like both, lol. Also, I like natural beauty, not plastic fantastic features.
    Go the streakers.they have always made me laugh. Remember the time Alex Jezzalenko, or was that Bruce Doulle (spell check), got harrased by a girl streaker on the footy field? I was there, and we all just laughed, even if it did stop play for some time.

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  9. Hi Michelle and thanks. Feel free to email me personally. Address is in my profile. But please don't think of me as a well adjusted older gay male role model. Pick away as you like. Continue here if you like and it is on the public record for all to read at some time in the future.

    Yes Anon, I see that too. While I don't exactly having a vested interest, women too are treated shamefully by the media. Please, women are half the population.

    All the tight lipped words about the streaker Cazzie, everyone has lost their sense of fun. Bruce Doulle was someone I had forgotten about. You must have liked him.

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  10. I have to admit that I don't understand the thrill one would find in streaking. Do you understand it?

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  11. get over it, the world is not here just for you !!

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  12. Well I enjoy streakers at the cricket... it's so damn boring that I pray for them.

    And Grid Boys are a GREAT idea.

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  13. No Daisy Jo, I don't, but I am quite happy to see it and enjoy the fun of it. The fun has left sporting events here.

    Gaywallaby, fabby blog nick. Wish I had thought of it. You ought to have written something in it. Of course the world is here for me, otherwise, what is the point of me being here. (I was about to add, could I trade a boi on boi session for your blog nick, but that would be a little uncouth)So ah, if you care to put an argument, I will try to be serious.

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  14. LOL, I was dragged up through Carlton and Geeloing footy clubs as a kid. Went to every game of what ever team my mum barracked for at the time.
    There were some real personalities in footy in the 70's..and well, I guess Carlton had them all. Yep, I liked the players then, I was not smitten with them, but just thought they were great. They used to go for the ball, work as a team and they were not like the players of today who take scuffles off ground and out into the night clubs. Perhaps it has all changed, or is it just me getting older?

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  15. Well, there weren't drugs then Cazzie, well in wide spread use. And the media used to keep silent about excess drinking.

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  16. Michelle6:05 pm

    Aside from getting away from you original post, Grid boys yay! Id watch them , sorry to say the girls annoy me , plastic wannabes I guess, can't string along enough words to make sentences...

    Oh I remember Bruce Doull used to run the newsagent around ViewBank, quietly spoken man, hated the fuss, so can only imagine him being mortified at streaker, vaguely remember it. Now Peter Bousostow *spelling* was a hottie back then!

    But grid boys are welcomed! :)

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  17. Ah Michelle, from my experience, the Grid Boys won't be any smarter than the Grid Girls. Funny about Bruce Doull. Ex football players often went into either news agencies or pubs. My curiosity is aroused about Peter Bous whatever.

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  18. OTOH, the famous (but, as a long term pathetic Collingwood supporter like me would say, 'infamous') Carlton player Ted Hopkins is/was a poet.

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  19. Andrew, my problem is, I'm not sure how to "identify" and "label" someone as gay without being prejudicial or pejorative. I can't imagine there being any subtle traits that ONLY gays or lesbians have that mean that they're not straight.

    As for your comments on bullying towards gays and lesbians, whilst a few schools might adopt stringent "anti-homophobia techniques", the most that many schools would do is stick up signs that say "report homophobia" along with the anti-racism signs and so on. The fact is, in teenagehood, being gay is an uphill battle if you're open about it. Perhaps I'm misreading social interactions, but being gay or lesbian in school is harder than being it in adulthood (that said, I'm not an adult yet and I take it when you were a child, things were very different).

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  20. M'lord, don't you dare start talking about goals and stats. If you want to talk about flanks, that is ok.

    Reuben, yes, you always have to remember that I am 50 years old and that comes with heaps of baggage, a very flavoured perspective and really not much knowledge of young people, except minimal personal experiences and media. However, when I was at school, straight guys were bullied because they were thought to be gay, and gay guys like me got away with it. While I knew I was gay, I did not really know. Back then we were called homosexuals or poofters, but poofter was an insult word used very loosely and not necessarily meaning gay.

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  21. jeebus Lord Sedgwick - I know Ted Hopkins famously kicked a goal on the siren to take a Grand Final for NORTH MELBOURNE and I'm not even vaguely a footy person.

    I remember it because I also went to one of his poetry readings where his mother made a pavlova onstage while he read. hysterical.

    and Andrew: are you sure about that minority you claimed? I'm not. Those closets are crowded.

    Gridfgirls are disgusting and sum up the entire GP for me.
    Bernie Ecclestone is a small piece of shit.

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  22. Errrm Cuz. Maybe you're thinking of that other literary giant Arnold Breidis in an entirely different (but same bloody result for the Maggies) grand final?

    Or maybe you're thinking of one of the other last winning kick Collingwood supporter heart breakers? Neil Crompton or Andrew Gaze or Barry Breen or Trevor Chappell ... sorry can't go on ... it's all too painful ... "Beulah, peel me another bottle of hemlock."

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  23. Okay Andrew, I see your point. I still don't understand how you could identify someone as gay without witnessing explicit sexual interaction.

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  24. It infuriates me Bwca that we line Ecclestone's pockets with taxpayer's money.

    Well, you can't Reuben. Some are obvious of course, but many aren't. There is an exceptionally tall and very effem Wesley student walking the streets of Malvern and Prahran the last couple of years. Very obvious, but there is clearly more than one gay Wesley student.

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  25. Oh yes. I have mates who go to Wesley who know and are in friendship with gays at Wesley. I still don't think it's possible to presume someone's sexuality based on looks. That Wesley student might be effeminate but in no way does that mean he is gay (unless he's cuddling someone of the same gender).

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  26. Technically true Reuben. A guy can be effem and straight, but it is rarer.

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