There’s a recurring phrase I see in a lot of discussions to do with sexuality. People say things like “I don’t object to gay people, I am just sick of them shoving their sexuality down my throat.” That phrase, or close variants of it, shows up over and over.
It’s a code phrase. So far as I can tell, in practice, it means “not taking sufficient steps to hide one’s sexuality.”
For instance, say two people are holding hands as they walk from a movie theatre to a restaurant in a mall. If they’re a straight couple, this is normal. If they’re a gay couple, they are shoving their sexuality down everyone’s throat. They’re forcing people to consider their sexuality.
Here’s the thing. What’s making their sexuality a big deal there is not anything they’re doing, as such. It’s that gay couples are less common, and thus stand out more. It’s like interracial couples; when they were really rare, they were a big deal, and people complained about them calling attention to themselves. But they weren’t; they were just being there and being unusual.
This comes up a lot in MMOs, in no small part because MMO communities end up with a lot of the teenage male gamer community, which is spectacularly homophobic as a whole. And we see the same thing; people think that gays are making a huge deal of their sexuality, but they’re not. It’s just that people don’t notice straight couples, or people who mention something that reveals them to be straight, because no one cares. It’s normal. It’s no big deal.
I would be interested in seeing an example of this phrase being used where it is not clearly a code being used to denote “doing things that everyone else takes for granted and no one thinks anything of”.
Date: 2012-01-06 23:29:43 -0600
Just came across this from the RIFT forums. The title of the article startled me, but everything turned out better than expected.
I do believe that some “gAyMeRzz” do sometimes flaunt their sexuality. However, I believe it is only out of self-defense…in a way. They expect that other players will have a problem with it and so they make others know that they are proud of it, not ashamed.
Anyway, as a gay man, I want to say thank you! It is good to know that there are wise men out there who are willing to support the LGBT community. It’s also great to know there are some in RIFT!