So, I managed to break the posting system, and Chris seems to have wondered off before he fixed it. So today's entry isn't going to happen today, but I will write it for the hell of it.
A while ago, a queer girl, I'm a friend with said (in reference to guy's impassioned argument for gay marriage). "He's white, he's rich, and everyone accepts him. It's "ok" for him to be gay." The implication in my mind, that because of his gender, race and class, his orientation choices were some how more acceptable. In a way that, women, people of color, and people from lower classes have a harder time coming out, because they face adversity for being women, of color, and poor.
That's what she said. And there's some truth to that somewhere, but let me process this down a bit.
I think this is dangerously close to asserting a "hierarchy of oppression." But it's a sneaky way of doing it. Rather than saying, racism is worse than sexism, this basically says that there are quantities of 'ism' that can be added to and subtracted from. Which allows us to quantify oppression. And that's not productive or correct. The only way to work productively is to say, we are all hurt equally by oppression, and reach out in solidarity to everyone. Even though I'm a white male, I would need to "own that" and learn how to work against or with that privilege for progress. Just as being a "gay man" means that I'm subject to oppression that I need to learn how to work with or against, to achieve progress.
But there's something more in this issue, because, if it were an individual thing, the quantity of out gay people would be incredibly diverse. And it's not. So there is some sort of additional factor at play.
In my high school there are three out guys—more or less—and seven to ten out girls/transfolks. Two people of color in the above sample. Now I realize that this is hardly the ideal statistical sample, but it does say something. That more girls come out in high schools than guys, and that more white folks come out than people of color.
The people of color thing, is unfortunately understandable, it's an endemic problem that the entire queer community must deal with. But the male thing is suppressing, because I have a certain feeling that my friend was right, about guys being 'more accepted/acceptable'. While guys still have to fight against the constructions of masculinity, the gay-male community is really masculine. Lets notice, that all of the queer characters on television are, male. Except for the L-Word, and two characters on Queer as Folk, and Ellen. While clearly not absolute evidence, it has to stand for something.
Women on the other hand seem to come out at a younger age, and come out in greater numbers as kids. Maybe the age-old, "girls are more mature" thing holds up, which I could completely buy. Here's another theory. Girls are more likely to form meaningful and supportive friendships with their peers, which might make it easier to come out. Guys, on the other hand tend to have friendships with their friends that are more based on parallel play. So guys probably don't have the same kind of emotional support that girls might have in the same situation at the same time.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that it's impossible to really generalize that groups of women will react differently than groups of men. The only possible thing I could put forward at this point, is that groups of male friends are more likely to reacact a long the lines of "fine be gay, just don't be attracted to me," my current theory on this subject is that sexuality is more fluid that most are willing to admit, and guys are 'easier' than girls, and they all know it. So they're a little defensive, which really needs to be addressed. Not that I have a good way to do that, but I think that's an underlying theme. I female perspective would be a great addition here.
Anyway, that's enough for today.
Actually, some of you may have noticed that TealArt has been down a little bit. I wrote most of this entry while I was waiting to get that fixed. It was a really stupid mistake. But, it's fixed now. And I found another reason why I have to write and post entries all in one sitting, which usually means I don't proofread. My attention span for the kind of writing I'm trying to do here, just doesn't stretch from session to session, in a logically, or what passes for logic in my mind, coherent method.