I am “came out” of Heterosexism.
I did not “come out” of the closet”,
The closet or hiding space was a reaction to heterosexism. The reaction to heterosexism is homophobia. Homophobia is the response to the fear of being gay and others knowing that I am gay.
Gays are a smart and intelligent community who can embrace this truth. This statement needs to be learned and taught to gays so they can really understand what happened to them and to their families. The closet brings very little understanding compared to heterosexism. The closet is symbolic of the feelings of isolation and a place where nobody should be. But the closet is really talking about our internalized homophobia and fear of being a minority. Our response to realizing that one is gay is homophobia and the closet is safe place to stay until gays are ready to break through heterosexism. Therefore, heterosexism occurred first and is the root of the problem. Homophobia is the reason to someone coming out of heterosexism. The term homophobia refers to a fear. Being in a dark closet alone in fear is homophobia. The closet is homophobia but the creation of the closet is heterosexism. The well known symbol known is the closet where it is a confined space where people hide. The closet is very consistent with the definition of homophobia which is why so many people use the term homophobia. What one needs to understand is that closet is socially constructed and does not even exist. For some of use, it is the first time that we recognized the challenges of being a minority while others who are nonwhite, is another layer of prejudice that one has to face.
Embrace The Term?
Why not understand the term heterosexism? Yes, political gay groups and advocates for equal rights have been successful in battling heterosexism in the legislature without calling it what it is . Yes, we have victories that state in the laws books that we simply exist. This is a victory for heterosexism. Yet, Massachusetts is the only state that has full marriage equality For us gays gays who have gray hair find this current situation, maddening. We were once gay in our twenties smiling at our elders making it cool for us to be in a gay bar without the police. You know, those days. Did we ever think that it would still be this crazy? The assassination of Harvey Milk, Mayor Masconi, the AIDS epidemic, Torch Song Triology, Boys Don't Cry, Matthew Sheppard, etc. When is this going to be over? It is going to be over when society can understand that one group of people should not have other privileges over other people. That is type of inequality will be recognized as heterosexist behavior. People will start labeling things as heterosexist. The word would be learned as society learned about racism. This shit change in perception took a long period of time when the majority learned that their perceptions were wrong. Races knew they deserved equality and the fight still goes on today. Society needs to change its perceptions about racism the same way it changed for racism. Society needs an mind paradigm shift for gays to be seen as equals. Yes, television and movies are doing a much better job showing us as “normal” who is usually the friend of the bride or a sexual real life situation where there is a thin line between gay and straight behavior.
The problem that heterosexism is so ingrained and normalized that it is difficult for this change to happen. When I meet strangers on the bus, they figure out quickly that I am different and start telling me about their gay uncle. Before they start, I tell them about my straight uncle and how he is accepted by the family. I also state that his heterosexuality does not “bother me”. This ends this subtle and well intentional interaction which the straight person just wants to say that they have my back, I say to them that I have their back too.. I know that many heterosexuals have my back. Do you go up to black people and tell them, hey man, I am really against racism? I really love Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. If you did this Blacks folks might hit you up the side of the head. But, this kind of interactions actually happened in the black movement during the 1960's. During this time, blacks needed to know when they met a white person where they stood in the race issue. Whites realized what was going on and tried to show their support. This is the way society was socially constructed at the time. It is no different for gay people who are in the same para dime shift of the times. In progressive cities, most straights are so afraid of offending gays and do not know how to show their support.
I often make gay jokes and straights are not laughing. I like to talk about my Venn diagrams using fruit as an example. Apples and oranges are separate entities but they are both fruit. This is the easiest example to use when describing a Venn diagram.. As gays, we have to laugh at the language that was used against us and turn it into humor. Many straights feel guilty and want to help and understand the gay movement. The straights know that they playing field is unbalanced and it is their polite way of telling you that they are on your side. Can you imagine walking through daily life and getting acknowledged that people recognize that you are heterosexual. Think about how long your day would be if everyone you met, noticed and told you that you were heterosexual. The writer states that this is my square and I do appreciate your support but I do want my freedom to walk in public the same way straights walk in public.I do not take much space but god knows I listen and try to flip the situation around to an understanding. I too, have a straight uncle who is very much ed liked by the family and does not hurt any children. This statement stops the conversation of sympathy and makes the person asking the question, to think about how they view their perceptions..
Pink and Blue and Lavender
So if you take away the closet, and society learns that when a baby is born, they are not born into heterosexism. That this child could be gay,straight,or intersexed, male or female. Nobody knows, so we should not try to enforce heterosexism on our society because we know it creates a situation where people have to fight themselves and others to break through this social construction. Lets not create the closet. Lets just change how we think and not put people through homophobia. Things are better and people are coming out at younger and younger ages. Yes, heterosexuality is the predominate race but heterosexuality is not guaranteed. The fact is which I want posted in delivery rooms in hospitals, that one in every 250 births are intersexed.I want to see the color of violet. These babies are born with both male and female anatomy. Most hospitals call this a social crisis. They bring specialist into the picture telling parents that they can put their child in a binary box of pink or blue. I am saying that there is pink and blue but why not add violet? What they do not tell these parents, that as their genitalia grows, they will need surgeries to keep up with their growth. I watched a film about an intersexed man who had 19 surgeries due to the fact when he was born that his pee hole was at the base of his penis. He now has sexual dyfuncion and urinary incontinence for the rest of his life. Why?. They also state that many intersexed children are predominately nonheterosexual. Don't expect your child to be straight. Just love your child. What choice do you have? Are you going to put you r own family member through operative therapy,surgery, shock treatment, etc....? When is society going to learn that gays are on every continent in every color and class of people? Many gays will say that we are a race because we do something very particular. For the most part, we do not procreate. We do something particular that humans do. I would say that we are a subculture of race. Race is defined as something that one cannot change, something that someone is born into. Many gays will say that they were born gay and that it is not a choice or a sin. Is heterosexuality a choice? I do not believe that I am a mistake nor that I have chosen this lifestyle. I believe that gays will some day be considered a subculture of race. Gays often hear from straights that they must have faced some incest or childhood abuse. If this was true, then the population of lesbians would be 65-75 percent. This percentage of Lesbians in America is estimated at 6-10 percent. There is no correlation of childhood abuse and sexuality or alcoholism at the time of conception. I was asked by a psychiatrist, if I knew if my parents were drinking at the time of my conception. There are a lot of people bringing children in the world after a night out in the town. These theories do not have any weight. Yes, there are people looking for the gay gene. Many gay people like myself know what will happen if our technology finds this piece before our humanity grows. Us gays know that they will try to create an antibody and get rid of us. I believe gays are an important balance in nature and the issue of overpopulation and the green house effect has never been such a real issue. Imagine if the entire world population was heterosexual and everyone procreated. If one thinks that there is an overpopulation problem in the world now, imagine what the world would be if everyone procreated. I believe we play a significant role in society. Studies in the United States have found that many gay siblings in the family take on the responsibility of elder parents compared to their straight siblings. These facts are often overlooked and ignored to encourage the social construction of heterosexism.
History and politics of the word heterosexism
In the month of June in 2006, the Iraq war was obviously going sour. The President could only do one thing “correctly”, which was to speak out against Gays! He actually tried to change the United States Constitution. He spoke publicly about changing the constitution to separate the gay population from the Constitution.. This mandate obviously did not pass. Even conservatives who were against gay marriage did not think it was acceptable to change the Constitution. There is something powerful in the statement, We the People. Yes, many people did not want gays to have equality but did not want to change the Constitution. Even the Christian Right saw this change was as sacrilegious. Imagine, we the "Straight" people of the United Statesof America in the pursuit of joy and happiness. This sounds rediculous. This attempt to change the Constitution created a backlash. Organizations and powerful churches started to make statements about the term heterosexism. Bush was not sucessful and he will go down as one of the worst Prseidents in American history.
Not a Good Queer