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Friday, September 10, 2004

Very little knitting talk today... I've been knitting a mohair scarf for my grandmother for Christmas, spinning the red merino/angora that I dyed at Jen's, and coveting this set of sheets.

But I feel the need to get something off my chest.

I don't care if you're gay. I think love is a beautiful thing in all forms, I think lust can be a sinful thing in all forms, and I think the government should keep it's big fat W-shaped nose out of it... but I don't personally care.

That said, I find the question "do you think he's gay?" to be very offensive. Is it just me?

I don't spend a whole lot of time wondering who someone else is sleeping with, or in love with, or whatever. I'm generally happy when anyone else finds love. But I don't think it's really my business unless they personally choose to share it with me.

This is on my mind because my annoying coworker just walked into my office and said, of two talk-show hosts on our station, "Are they gay?" followed by the obligitory "I just have a feeling. I'm pretty good at picking up on that, you know." (I have, in my life, met one person who claims to be lousy at telling if someone is gay. Everyone else thinks they are pros. Whether or not they can actually surmise someone's sexual orientation successfully, the fact that so many people spend time considering the sex lives of others is disturbing to me.)

First off, no, actually, the hosts aren't. They're both staunch republican conservatives who have lived such sheltered staunch republican conservative lives that they've had limited contact with anyone who was an "out-to-them" homosexual. They've said things like "you know, I had someone come into my office the other day and he was gay, but you'd never know it, he was just as nice as could be" (apparantly his previous image of homosexual men was cross-dressing heathens just leaving their veritable den of iniquities.) But that's not the point here. Why would AC care? Why would he think it was his business? Why would he think I would care? And why is it acceptable to ask?

Now, sure, this particular AC has come into my office dribbling food from his mouth because it was stuffed so full of food and simultaneously asked a question, spewing crumbs everywhere the eye could see. Not exactly the cultural elite. So my standards for him are not overly high.

But it seems that many people in society feel that's an okay question. We ask it of celebrities, we ask it of coworkers, almost always done behind their backs.

Really is there nothing more important than who someone else is sleeping with or in love with? We have a war going on, over one thousand Americans have died because Bush told them something we have yet to prove accurate. People inside our own country are out of work, hungry, under-educated. And somehow whether or not someone is gay is of such a national concern that Bush wants to defend marriage against it (oddly, my own marriage has never been affected by any two others being committed to each other, but maybe George and Laura are different) and the caveman AC thinks the business of some guy he's never met is his business, too.

Because I'm really not even talking about the politics here, although I apologize slightly that it did slip in. But it's a matter of common manners, being polite, not being nosey. Why can't someone say "it's none of your business" without someone else deciding that means there's shame involved. It's not always shame. It's just not always your business.

What a weird world.
Soapbox
Now, could someone help me off this soapbox, please?

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I have taken to you so strong... I'd say it's clear we're going to get along

;)

Amanda
thedishclothqueen.typepad.com

12:30 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Having read about your AC previously, is it possible, that no matter what he does, he will irritate you? I ask this because I know I am at that point with a certain co-worker of mine. To me, everything she says is the wrong thing. To me, everything she does is offensive. Now, I know I'm particularly sensitive, but I also know that her behavior really is inappropriate at times. Sometimes, though, when I find myself getting really upset, I have to stop and think "Would someone who doesn't know her be as upset by this?".

Having said that, I still think you're right. :) I think people can ask that question without the sense of entitlement that your AC has, but, when I really think about it, it doesn't really matter what the intent is, it still isn't anyone's business.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Right on!

1:55 PM  
Blogger itgirl said...

The same question has always offended me too. Why does it matter if someone is gay? Nobody walks around saying, "Do you think s/he's straight?" in hushed tones. They don't walk around questioning racial or ethnic background, and hopefully they don't do the same with religion.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well as long as you need me, I know I'd do anything, for you dear, anything, because after all, you mean everything to me :)

Amanda
(i'm enjoying this already! my degree isn't in it, but it's still addicting!)

4:50 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I am definitely awful at telling whether a person is gay or not! I wondered once if a guy was gay...but it was because I wanted to date him and if he were gay, he would definitely not have been interested in me. LOL!

I'm not sure why people care whether or not someone is gay, unless the person in question is dating someone they want to date, is dating someone they know--like their sister, brother, etc.

Another reason I could see for wondering is if you think you know someone the person might like to date. Usually it's good to just let people choose dates or their own but sometimes match making working.

That being said, Rose, I applaud your stand on this issue.

6:41 PM  
Blogger mayeve said...

I don't know if you've ever heard that speech that some straight people like to give to gays about how really really OK the straight person is about the gay person being gay... but it's very annoying. Like I'm waiting for the other person's OK on my sexual behavior! Once, I even had a neighbor guy, in the middle of such a speech, tell me, "I mean, actually, you're very pretty..."

Oh really? Does that make it more OK somehow for me to be gay? Guess I must've worked better in his fantasies than I would if I were a big butch dyke. Ugh.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are smiles that make us happy, there are smiles that make us blue...

But of course, when I see you smile, I can face the world, you know I can do anything.

Amanda

10:17 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

It's a very weird world. I have never been able to figure out why someone else's sex life is my business - I don't want mine to be theirs, so shouldn't I extend the same courtesy? I don't share the fascination with what other people are doing in bed. I DON'T CARE. Personally, when people worry about these issues I think it stems from a deep-seated insecurity that everybody else is getting more than the worrier, and that's probably true. ;-)

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there is anything intrinsically wrong with the question, it's the motivation behind the question. Same thing for me with a very large and public birthmark I have...some people asking me about it strike me as rude and nosy, others strike me as friendly and just curious. The former I growl at, while the latter I am happy to be able to make comfortable with a brief explanation of it. Sounds like this guy falls more into the rude and nosy category.

Rachel (from KR)

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always figure it's none of my business unless I'm interested in sleeping with them. Maybe that's your answer.

Stephanie
(Yarn Harlot)

2:29 PM  
Blogger xmasberry said...

a friend of mine (who recently got married, btw and i got to go to her reception this past sunday) writes an article for an online magazine called 'slmetro'. she had a great one about many people being against gay marriage because they are thinking about what gays do in bed. Her argument was, 'if you are going to judge my realtionship by what i do with my partner in bed, shouldn't you be examining heterosexual relationships in the same manner?" and with that in mind, do we really want Dick Cheney to be married to anyone?
plus, why did he ask you and not them? if he is so curious, and if it is okay to ask at all, shouldn't he be talking to them and not you?

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best reply I've found so far for those questions/comments is " Oh.. I thought you were hot for him", then duck and run. Just makes me feel better to give someone like AC a taste of his own back.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best reply I've found so far for those questions/comments is " Oh.. I thought you were hot for him", then duck and run. Just makes me feel better to give someone like AC a taste of his own back.

5:40 PM  

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