Disclaimer: I love my extended family unconditionally. HOWEVER, they occasionally do things that I find unconscionable, and this Mormon-sponsored Prop 8 disaster is probably the worst. Whether or not any individual family members gave money, I don’t know – but I do know they have a history of unbelievable bigotry towards gays. Even my beloved Auntie Donna once canvassed neighborhoods with some other women, in her misguided attempts to keep the “family” sacred in America.
One of my aunts confided in us recently, saying something akin to “I don’t care so much about the marriage, I just can’t get over the sex.” As I wrote to an old friend tonight, I think most gay men would be pretty horrified at the thought of a 70-something Mormon grandmother in the sack as well, so seems to me they’re even. Except that homosexuals don’t raise $43 million to strip Mormons of their civil rights.
But this brought up an interesting proposition: most people – and perhaps all Mormons – have NO IDEA what being gay really means. To them, when you discuss gay men, their thoughts immediately go to anal sex. Straight, no chaser. You talk about queers, they think rectal entry.
The truth is, a vast percentage of gay men don’t engage in any anal sex at all – when it comes to the primal, universal expression of lust, there are plenty of other ways to stoke your Vesuvius. But like every other human being on earth, sexual congress takes up .001% of their time, and the rest is spent in traffic, paying bills, writing emails, putting out fires at work, and flossing. And like most married couples, they’re probably not having sex at all.
Most of the straight world (and Mormons) know nothing of a “top” and a “bottom”, and the more complicated dynamic of “topping from the bottom”. They know nothing of the intensity and longevity of most lesbian romances, and they don’t know why many gay women keep their nails short. They don’t know the jokes about Chelsea boys or U-Haul girls. All they know is lisping, mincing, and maybe Judy Garland and Liberace.
Studies have shown that the only way for people to change their minds about gay people is to know one. If there is some personal connection to a homosexual, even the staunchest bigoted homophobe sees the light very quickly, and more importantly, changes the way they vote on the issue.
Problem is, none of my cousins in Salt Lake, American Fork, Orem, Provo or Pleasant Grove, Utah will ever meet a gay person, or at least a gay person who is out and honest. So I’m thinking I might set up a booth, or take private questions at our family reunion in August – I’m a flaming heterosexual, but I know enough about the gay lifestyle to answer 77% of the questions asked. Okay, so I won’t set up a booth, but you get the idea.
In that light, help me out. Whether you want to use your name or be anonymous, share some of your knowledge of the gay world that mainstream America would never know unless someone sat them down and told them straight-out. If you’re of the homosexual persuasion, what are some of the things you’ve noticed that might surprise folks completely out of your world?
It can be detailed, exact, vague or even mundane. Thoughts?