A little while ago I did a post about how a straight man had said his uncle was gay “but you’d never pick it in the street.” Some of the responses to that post are still troubling me. Before I get into it, I’m not actually criticising anything that was said in the comments but putting forward a counter point. I’ll address a few different points one at a time.
One of the commenters was saying that he sees being perceived as straight is a compliment because where he grew up it was a case of blend in or be in danger and I agree, that is a genuine problem in a lot of parts of the world and it’s sad that it’s still necessary especially in rural areas. My view on that is that if you are in a big city like Sydney, for the most part you are safe. If someone is camp or flamboyant in an area where being so poses no threat to their safety shouldn’t they have the right to be? Is it because it reminds some people that they didn’t have that freedom where they grew up? There are a lot of different sub groups of society who behave differently and dress differently to me but I pretty much just have to suck it up and deal with that, and maybe even broaden my mind. It’s not always easy. We all have a gut reaction to people, positive or negative but sometimes it’s more about ourselves than the other person.
Another comment suggested that “MANY” gay men are putting on the camp and flamboyant mannerisms. I think “MANY” is exaggerating it. Sure, it’s bound to be the case for some but I challenge that statement that the commenter who also said that he had to blend in growing up was doing exactly the same thing but in reverse and suppressing any outward expression of his sexuality to fit in. Altering your behaviour to fit in can’t be acceptable for one group but not another. Double standards aren’t acceptable arguments.
Flamboyant gay men make some people uncomfortable. I get it. But hearing from within our “community” that being camp is unacceptable makes me want to put on makeup and flap my wrists around. Just to challenge people. IN NYC in 1969 Drag Queens, trans people and gay men and women rioted. That was the start of the modern gay rights movement. In 1978 in Sydney a group of Gay and Lesbian men and women marched up the street in Sydney asking for rights at a time when it was illegal to be homosexual. If all of those people had thought being overly visible was unacceptable instead of standing out we would still be living in fear for our lives. Instead of judging those who are more visible, shouldn’t we almost be thanking them?
Remember, this is not an attack on anyone who commented. I can see where you were all coming from, I am just not agreeing.