Thursday, May 15, 2014

The last bastion of homophobia

Lordy, our endless complaints are working and suddenly the net is working.

We had a great dinner in the dining room on our river cruise and then adjourned to the lounge room. Everything got into full swing quite early with dancing, think Johnny Be Good, Abba and endless great fun knees up music in between, and a slow number inserted too. We were all in the mood to bop on the dance floor, but male to male dancing would not be a good look. The old dykes could get away with it as many women were dancing together, but even they felt unable to participate in fun dancing.

While I don't experience much in the way of homophobia at home and keeping in mind our boat is nearly all Australian, when I and R can hit the dancefloor among straight people and feel comfortable doing so, then I will know homophobia is a funny old expression. I so much wanted to dance.

38 comments:

  1. The generation travelling on those river cruises - and as you know I was one of them - is still a bastion of conservativeness. Some still find the notion of GLBT people distasteful unless they have had family exposure to learn we are not a different species.

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    1. As always Victor, wise words. The demographics of river cruise travellers is an interesting subject, for sure. But I just wanted to dance and for once in life, leave my self consciousness behind. The timing and mood was right, the circumstances not. I know you understand.

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    2. Oh dance for gods sake
      Fuck em

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    3. agreed Victor. Cruising is the best way to see another country and most relaxed way to travel, but top end cruises tend to attract the well heeled and older passengers, and the more conservative!

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    4. John, that is what one voice in my head was telling me.

      Hels, all quite true.

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  2. That's a pity, Andrew. The reservation against same-sex dancing must be partly within you. You never know what will happen unless you call them and yourself out by just doing it. That's how change happens for these things.

    OK: I know it's not as simple as that and I doubt if I would be dancing either. But it does raise the spectre of how gay people can live once they are forced back by the circumstances of old age into "integrated" society. And what are we going to do about it then?

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    1. Marcellous, of course it is partly me, but we all felt in the mood and none of us was brave enough, which I guess is the point. We shouldn't have to be brave. Old age hey. I used to push boundaries when I was younger, much to R's embarrassment at times, but I don't feel I can do it now.

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  3. Hello Andrew:

    In our view, just do your own thing!! If you and R want to dance, then go for it. Give those who disapprove something to disapprove of.

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    1. JayLa the theory is good and I know if you were in my shoes, you would. But....

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  4. "I so much wanted to dance".
    So go ahead and dance!
    Damn the naysayers. If they don't like what they are seeing, let them look elsewhere!

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    1. But River, we are on the boat for another week or so with these people. I just feel too old to push boundaries now.

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    2. Bock, Bock, Bock.(..that's chicken...)
      Age is what gives you permission to push boundaries, age makes eccentric acceptable, age makes other people roll their eyes and say things like "I wish I could get away with doing that".

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    3. River, perhaps I have not quite reached that stage yet.

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  5. That's something I will admit I would never have thought of. (straight privilege). Shouldn't be an issue these days you'd think - but you're right, homophobia will only be gone when these things are not given a second thought, and I guess that's not yet.
    A few weeks ago walking down Exhibition Street at lunchtime I saw two men walking down Exhibition Street arm in arm and then give each other a kiss; it took me a minute to realise that this is something I wouldn't have seen (at least in the CBD) only a few years ago. It seemed nice and ordinary now.

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    1. Well Jackie, I see the same thing and all I think is good on you guys. It is not for us. We don't even do such things in private often. But I would like the comfort to do it. I was on a St KIlda Road tram and one guy got off and kissed his partner? goodbye. No one batted an eyelid, except me, haha.

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    2. Well everyone's different - I'm not a hugely touchy-feely person with my partner in public either (or even in private lol)

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  6. So true. People will argue that we can dance if we want to and the hell with "them." But why should it be a political statement (and a possible provocation) when all we want to do is dance?

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    1. Pretty much as I thought Mitchell, and I thought of you while I was writing the post. You seem well accepted where you live, but could you push such a boundary comfortably?

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    2. With most of the Spanish people we've met? Yes. Unfortunately, living in a community with so many expatriates from less enlightened places, it's not the same. But we do touch each other, hug each other, and will give each other a kiss in public here and not one Spaniard has EVER indicated surprise, discomfort, or disapproval. So, if there's an expat who doesn't like it, he or she can just go right back home.

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    3. I'm impressed Mitchell.

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  7. Go for it . You might be pleasantly surprised at how open some of those supposed close minded conservative people actually are. I mean even in Oklahoma, guys dance together.

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    1. In one way you are correct Rubye, go for it. But I should not have to go for it. I should not have to think about it.

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    2. Exactly!
      Don't think, just dance.

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  8. Andrew, I believe most European are not as modern as Australians .I have experienced it during my trips. People here are less tolerant than in your country

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    1. Gosia, that would be aside from the 'stop homophobia' signs we saw in Budapest, and the rainbow flags on the trams in Vienna. I am not talking about Europeans, but the fellow Australians who are on our cruise.

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  9. Andrew you should be at that age now where you just dont give a damn about what anybody else thinks. You have all paid for the cruise to enjoy it as you see fit. So get up under the mirror ball and shake your booties off. Like John said 'F em'.

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    1. I know Allan, I know. Somewhat of a moot point because I expect I would have lasted about five minutes on the floor.

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  10. That is a shame that you can't relax and enjoy the moment. Wouldn't people on board have twigged by now and probably would not be surprised to see you dancing.

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    1. No doubt they have Diane and would not be surprised, but.....

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  11. Aren't you sharing a cabin, A?

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    1. Yes, and we had to get the bed separated as it was a double when we arrived. Now we get two lots of all paperwork. Staff are terrific.

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  12. I feel far less threatened by un-gays now than I did decades ago, but in "closed" communities still get the impression that it's okay to be gay so long as you don't scare the horses - people can tolerate almost anything if they can take comfort in denial. I quite understand why you were reluctant to dance, and why the hesitation lingers.

    "Bugger them all"? Probably not the way to think in some situations.

    Of all the cruises in all the world, this is the one I would most like to do... but probably wouldn't unless travelling with a mob of friends.

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    1. Precisely FC. We are travelling with another gay couple, so we have their company. I would not advise a gay couple to do this cruise unless one of them is very outgoing. I may well be the second youngest person on the boat too. Our friend is certainly the youngest.

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    2. There was a gay couple on our cruise who we met on the first night. One was younger than us and the other noticeably older and a little frail. They never sought out the dance floor - as much for the older man's frailty I suspect - but I'm sure no one else on the cruise doubted their sexuality and they were very popular with the other passengers.

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    3. No one is reading now Victor, so did you do the younger one? Somewhat later into the cruise, fellow passengers are quite accepting but my point stands, I would not recommend it to a couple like R and myself, no matter how terrific the cruise is.

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    4. Andrew, if there was any sex on our cruise - and I assume there must have been; if only amongst the crew! - I was neither a participant nor an observer of any of it.

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  13. Don't be too sure that no-one is reading....
    okay, bye now.

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