They Love To “StraightSplain” To Us
This has been one of those weeks where it seems as if every time I turn around another straight person is telling me what gay marriage is all about in the typical condescending way. It happens to all gay people, not just me. They’ll not only tell you they know it all, they’ll swear they are experts on gay marriage. And then they’ll tell you what it’s like to be gay and married. The best one so far I’ve encountered is the so-called “gay tolerant” conservative straight person who thinks it’s okay to compare gay marriage to gun control, especially if you take the “human” aspect out of it. I guess we’re not humans to her.
In any event, here’s how it happens all the time.
As a radio host and commentator, and as a gay man, I’m used to conservatives calling in or writing me to straight-splain the world to me. I apparently shouldn’t be defending Muslims against bigotry nor support allowing Syrian refugees into the country, for example, because ISIS throws gays off of buildings. “How could you defend people who want to see you dead?” It’s not always as simplistic, wildly inaccurate and ridiculous, but it is always just as condescending.
You can check this one out, here. Frankly, I’ve lost patience with it and I simply distance myself from those straightsplaining people now. And that’s because once it happens (and it only has to happen once) you simply can’t go back for more.
StraightSplaining In Disguise
Here’s another one I think all gay people have encountered…even when they didn’t know it was happening. Honestly, many times I didn’t know myself. It took years to realize why some comments were not sitting well with me.
It’s a sentiment I’ve been handed countless times as an out gay man: “I’m so happy for you.” That may sound swell, but it’s made me recoil with its unwitting air of condescension. It’s often delivered by past acquaintances from high school, whom I’ve caught up with or bumped into after graduating into my grown-up world.
You can read this, here. It’s an interesting piece that mentions how straight people are so used to thinking about queerness as inferior.
StraightSplaining and Being Totally Ignored
If you’re gay and you haven’t experience this one, consider yourself truly blessed.
In a group of my colleagues, I made several attempts to contribute to discussions about homophobia and reparative “therapy”. I thought disclosing my sexual orientation would give me instant credibility on these issues. Instead, I was surprised to find my voice would largely go ignored. I would feel excluded, confused and frustrated, but to avoid offending others, I would walk away from the conversation.
That’s usually what most of us do…we walk away. I know I usually do that. This is why I still keep this blog after 10 years. I get the last word here, and I honestly don’t care what anyone thinks about that.
Here’s the rest of the article.
Side Note: Not all straight people straightsplain to gay people. I know many, and I’m friends with many, who don’t treat gay people this way.