When I changed the direction of But Not Yet, I said to myself “Self, you probably shouldn’t write about LGBT issues until you’ve built a little capitol with your new audience”. But, I thought about it and decided that if I didn’t write about these things, I wouldn’t be true to myself. And, if I’m not being true to myself, I’m being true to you, beloved. So, I’m ignoring that (probably good) piece of advice and writing about LGBT issues.
I don’t ever remember having strong feelings about gay people one way or the other. It’s not like I’ve never known people who were gay. Several people I grew with came out later in life, but it never really occurred to me that they might be gay. And, when I did make a friend who didn’t hide his sexuality, it didn’t really matter: he was my friend and that was that. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know quite a few other LGBT folks and, guess what? They’re just like us straight folks.
One thing that amazes me is the utter mundanity of my LGBT friend’s lives. After the way TV and movies have protrayed them, you expect a lot more FABULOUS!!! and lot less parent-teacher conferences, stopping by the store to get milk or any of the everyday crap we all have to do. I guess that’s because all the gay people in the media are of a certain type: the men are flamboyant, they all dress extremely well and excel at interior design, while the women are all tortured artist types that look like Janeane Garofalo. I know a lot of gay people and not a single one of them fits that stereotype. They are as varied as any of the straight people I know. It’s a little disappointing, to be honest. Just once, I’d like to meet a Jack McFarland type.
A friend once said there are plenty of gay people out there, so there must something to it. For my part, I will admit to some curiosity about the whole gay thing. Not so much about the sex part (well, maybe a little), more the relationship end of things. I wonder if gay people have to deal with the whole “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” bit. Actually, I wonder if a relationship with a man might be easier because, being a man, I understand them. Women, on the other hand not so much. I’m almost 52 years old and I know as much about women as I did 30 years ago. In other words, not a whole lot.
I hear people say that gay folks choose to be that way. I just don’t see it. I didn’t wake up one morning and say to myself “I think I’ll be straight”, it’s just the way God made me: hopelessly straight. Everything said up to now should point out that LGBT people are no different than straight people in any way; in other words, they are also just the way God made them. Because of that, the idea that anyone chooses their sexual orientation doesn’t make much sense to me. What about you?