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Anohito

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I usually have no need to know anyones sexual prefernece or what have you. I don't refer to my self as straight or heterosexual when I talk to people it is something that is my business and no one elses and I don't feel I need to classify myself with a special or politcally correct name or label. I would never use the word gay to infer that it was regarding "gay" men. Fag, which is used for a cigarette in the UK to me sounds derogatory. We never said gay to mean a homosexual, if that was what was meant, kids would use fag or homo! Really I don't want to start a thread on what names to call people. We are all humans and thats that, it doesn't matter race, color, creed or sexual orientation. I'll like you or not by who you are, not what you choose to call yourself. :)

First, strictly speaking, sexual orientation is not a preference, it is hard-wired. The word "preference" may be applicable to certain bisexuals who are attracted to both men and women, but its use to refer to gay men & lesbians is too often done to imply that "those people" choose to be the way they are.

We seldom use the term gay to refer to ourselves unless we are among other gay men and/or lesbians. However, we do not hide our relationship. If a conversation warrants it, we do not hesitate to refer to "our house" or indicate in other ways that we are a couple (12 years this past Feb).

Heterosexuals have little or no need to refer to themselves as heterosexual, because (at least in American society) heterosexuality is considered the default, or the way things "are." Also, an opposite-sex couple are clearly saying something to the world at large about their sexual orientation even if they never utter the word "heterosexual."

It's nice to say "we are all humans" (which is not really a compliment, if you think about it), but it is not so nice if people around you expect you to keep your sexual orientation hidden. Some do.
 

Sarapva

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When you think that there are so many heterosexual couples that are not happy together, I think it's wonderful that a couple would want to be together enough to do so even if it's not "socially acceptable".
 

Goldiegirl

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I'm happy to see you got to start a thread with my words. Hooray for you! If your heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual I don't care. I just find it odd that some people feel such a need to define themselves. I personally don't need people to "hide" who they are, but I certainly don't need someone to tell me who they are sexually. I will like you or not, for your personality not who you live with or have sex with or make a life with. If your happy with life that is what matters most. We are all humans...
 

Kinsao

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I have same feeling as Goldiegirl, that I don't need to know someone's sexual orientation, I don't assume anyone is gay, straight, or bi but rather am aware that they could be any and don't have preconceptions... the way I see it, their sexual orientation will become evident to me if we spend enough time together/get to know each other well enough - through things they say or who their partner is or whatever. It's really neither here nor there to me.

I was going to type something like 'ideally we would live in a society where it made no difference to social interactions', but then I realised that there is a pretty good reason why someone's sexual orientation does and indeed should make a difference to the way people react and interact socially... it's obvious when you think about it... because it affects whether you see them as a 'potential partner' or not! Of course, the majority of people aren't constantly actively 'on the prowl' for a partner (lol), but someone's sex, gender, sexuality, orientation (call it what you will; I'm not sure what word is correct) does affect the dynamic between you. For example, the dynamic between me and an unattached straight man will be different than if he was homosexual even though I am not looking for a sexual partner at this point in time. And of course, the dynamic between me and another woman will be different depending on whether she is straight or lesbian, regardless of either of our 'status'es or whether or not I'm straight.

@ Anohito : In your first post... I don't think it's incorrect of Goldiegirl to think that a 'preference' can also be hard-wired. I mean, I don't think that a preference does always equal a choice. I have a preference for apples over bananas but nothing has happened to influence or 'shape' the reason I make that choice... it's a matter of taste and I assume (perhaps wrongly, I don't know!) that my preference for apples is 'hard-wired'. :)

As regards gay people referring to themselves as gay... I know at least one person who does - but I fully take your point that this is not likely to be common - in fact someone randomly came up to me in a bar once and introduced himself as being gay; for him it was a way of striking up a conversation without me assuming he was trying to chat me up (and yes, he was telling the truth!).
 

Anohito

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I have same feeling as Goldiegirl, that I don't need to know someone's sexual orientation, I don't assume anyone is gay, straight, or bi but rather am aware that they could be any and don't have preconceptions... the way I see it, their sexual orientation will become evident to me if we spend enough time together/get to know each other well enough - through things they say or who their partner is or whatever. It's really neither here nor there to me.
[snip]

I have learned to be on my guard whenever certain statements appear. True, "I don't need to know someone's sexual orientation" can simply mean "I don't pry into that sort of thing,' but in my experience, too often it means "If you are not heterosexual, I do not want to know about your yucky sexual orientation. Ewww." Too many people act as though they need to be "protected" from knowledge of non-heterosexuality. I do not think there is any legitimate reason why I should have to hide my sexual orientation if it is relevant to the discussion.

Sometimes this unwillingness to know can take strange forms, such as the conservative on a news discussion forum who said, in effect, "If homosexuals stay closeted, I might condescend to protect them against violence some time."

At other times, the unwillingness can be pretty crude, as in people who wallow in self-righteous indignation over those dastardly people who "flaunt their sexual orientation." Well, avowed straight people "flaunt their sexual orientation" routinely. I don't know for sure about Britain, but in the USA, opposite sex couples can usually even get away with sucking face in public. That sort of thing ought to be considered "flaunting your sexual orientation" anywhere.

Furthermore, even such positive-sounding statements as "Live and let live" can take on an ugly meaning if "live and let live" actually means "Don't let me know you're a fag, and I'll let you live," as is shown in The Laramie Project (about the murder of Matthew Shepard).

Finally, in common with many gay men and lesbians, I have learned to be wary about a variety of statements, particularly when people start throwing out right-wing buzzwords and catch-phrases. One intellectually dishonest way of dealing with such wariness is to dismiss our concerns as "being too sensitive." I find that especially offensive considering how many of those on the right seem to go out of their way to find things about which to be offended, so they can portray themselves (falsely) as victims.
 

Goldiegirl

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Maybe the problem is here that you seem to think most people have problems where there are none. I will say that some of the things you say can be true at times, you can't judge every one. There are so many cliches...I was going to tell you that I have a few freinds who are homosexuals, but that sounded so well fake or something like that. I do though, however, my friends are my friends because I like them. I can also say that as a vegetarian most of my friends aren't, yet they are still my friends because I don't care what they eat or don't. I don't care who you date, marry, or have as friend, it's up to you and if you are happy that is what matters most.
 
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Uncle Frank

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**************1969**********

Remember Stonewall ! We had THE big parade here in Portland this weekend with a large turnout.

Uncle Frank

👍
 

Kinsao

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True, "I don't need to know someone's sexual orientation" can simply mean "I don't pry into that sort of thing,' but in my experience, too often it means "If you are not heterosexual, I do not want to know about your yucky sexual orientation. Ewww."

Yeah, some people do have the attitude you're saying in your second statement. But that's not what I meant when I wrote my post (I know you are not accusing me personally of meaning it that way, just clarifying :)).

Of course there should be no need for anyone to feel like they have to hide their sexual orientation. That just makes life more difficult and unpleasant for everybody.

Furthermore, even such positive-sounding statements as "Live and let live" can take on an ugly meaning if "live and let live" actually means "Don't let me know you're a fag, and I'll let you live," as is shown in The Laramie Project (about the murder of Matthew Shepard).

Again, as you have pointed out, this statement can indeed be interpreted in that negative way. However, I don't see the value in 'assuming the worst' and reading negative meanings into statements that people might not mean negatively. Of course, you will know if someone is being prejudiced and just trying to cover that up with fancy words. But bear in mind also that some people say that kind of thing (like 'live and let live') and actually mean it.
 

MummyMia

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If you are not planning on having sex with someone what does it matter what their sexual orientation is? I personally get on with gay guys really well cause to me there is no threat from them. I have only been out as bi sexual for a few years and my hubby is bi sexual too. what has amazed me is how many people, since finding out that i'm bi have also admitted to me that they are bi!!! why oh why does society make people feel they have to hide what they really feel??????
 

Anohito

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[snip]Again, as you have pointed out, this statement can indeed be interpreted in that negative way. However, I don't see the value in 'assuming the worst' and reading negative meanings into statements that people might not mean negatively. Of course, you will know if someone is being prejudiced and just trying to cover that up with fancy words. But bear in mind also that some people say that kind of thing (like 'live and let live') and actually mean it.

Believe me, I have a lot of experience with negative meanings thinly disguised with superficially reasonable language. And I know that there are places where people pretty much mean "live and let live" when they say it. Key West, Florida is one such place, and is why we liked it so much (haven't been back since 2001 mainly for financial reasons). People sometimes explain the attitude/philosophy with observations along the lines of "This island is only two miles by four miles, and we have to get along here."
 

Anohito

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Remember Stonewall ! We had THE big parade here in Portland this weekend with a large turnout.

I didn't learn about Stonewall until 1992. In June 1969 I was still in the Philippines, preparing to transfer to Washington, D. C.

The following joke has nothing to do with Stonewall, or the topic in general, but the "Remember..." reminded me of it. Also, it concerns a 1969 event.

Those who say they remember being at Woodstock were not there!

Young folks might not get that joke.
 
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