Offending Straight Allies; Looking Season Two; Mark Schultz and Foxcatcher

Offending Straight Allies

I think I come to this topic from a different POV because I’m so familiar with book circles and places where discussions about feminism, equality, and racism take place. I don’t always participate, but I learn a great deal by lurking. Not a day goes by on Twitter where I don’t learn something new about rape culture and the way women have been mistreated at the expense of those who come from a place of privilege. So with all that in mind, I found this article to which I’m linking a bit self-loathing in tone and far too apologetic in nature.

The gist of the piece revolves around whether or not LGBT people are offending or alienating their straight allies by expecting them to know everything about LGBT people and for them not being PC enough. Evidently, it’s mean of us to point out that a straight person is wrong if he asks who is the man or woman in a gay dating relationship. While several of the points are valid and I do think we’ve become an overly PC society in many respects, as a member of the LGBT community who gets a punch in the face almost daily I don’t think it’s too much to ask for the same respect…and political correctness…we give all other minorities.
 
3. Remember the big picture.
Pick your battles and keep the bigger picture in mind. When discussing difficult or touchy topics, give people room to voice their opinions. Let them say their piece, and rather than formulating a retort for every problematic assertion and microaggression, step back and listen for the bigger picture. What is the most important part of this discussion?

I think that statement is way off base and it should be the other way around. I would like the same respect afforded to all other minorities as an LGBT person. And that’s because it’s so rare when I actually do get it. When I say that I experience a different brand of discrimination daily, even from those who considered themselves allies, I am not joking around.

You can read the rest of the article here. As you’ll see, there are very different opinions on this one.

To put this into perspective, think about how Michael Sam has been treated as a pro athlete. The ridiculous questions he’s been asked by “allies” about gay men in locker rooms, not to mention the idiotic conversation this topic has spawned in the news, should not be happening at all. It should not even be mentioned, not even by gay allies. And we as a community should be proud enough to make this clear to our straight allies without worrying about whether or not we offend them.

Looking Season Two

Here’s a piece about the second episode of season two’s, Looking. I’ve posted a lot about Looking since it launched and everything’s been positive. I love the show. But I’m starting to wonder where the storyline is going, because at this point it looks as if cheaters are winning and infidelity is something to be proud of…because you’re gay, living in SF, and can do anything you want. I’m thinking they might be making a statement about the Peter Pan Syndrome? And that’s how they’re going to wind it up somehow? 

See, Pat isn’t snuggling cozily with his boyfriend: he’s engaging in a little post-prandial banter with his partnered boss in a motel so sleazy that even Agustin wouldn’t touch it. The soft golden glow that they’re basking in isn’t the rising sun, but the glare of the sky during lunch break filtered through curtains that need the regret scrubbed out of them.

Of course this happens in real life. People in relationships/marriages meet other people and cheat all the time. However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation like this treated so lightly in a long time. The one issue I have about it is I can’t help wondering if Patrick is really that dumb…or rather is he too old to be that dumb? He’s bouncing around SF, fooling around with a man in a supposedly monogamous relationship, and he’s treating it as if it’s nothing…and telling his BFFs all about it as if it’s prom night. I could buy into this storyline if Patrick was in his early twenties, maybe, but he’s clearly old enough to know that cheating sucks, cheaters suck, and what he’s doing is really up the alley of douchebaggery whether your are gay or straight. And don’t tell me this is part of gay culture, because it’s not part of the gay culture I know. In a gay relationship, infidelity is as serious as in a straight relationship and I’ve never met a gay person who didn’t take this seriously.

In any event, I’ll continue watching just to see where this is all going. But in their attempt to make old enough to know better Patrick appear naive what they are doing is really making him come off worse than the most horrible stereotype of the other woman. The biggest worry Patrick had last night was whether or not he got an STD or bedbugs instead of worrying about the fact that another man’s partner is pounding his more than willing ass into the next month.

You can read more here.  

Mark Schultz and Foxcatcher

I posted about the movie, Foxcatcher, a short time ago here. It’s a film about the misguided heir to a huge fortune, John du Pont, and his obession with pro wrestling…and hot pro wrestlers. If you’re interested you can click the link to find out more. I’m curious about the movie because it happened here, locally, in the Philadelphia area. I remember the case in detail, even all these years later. And mostly because of what was NOT talked about at the time to cover up the gay angle. You know, to protect the innocent.

The film is based on the life of Mark Schultz, a retired wrestler, and he originally slammed the film because he was worried people would think he had a gay relationship with John du Pont. God forbid. You know, you can do anything but don’t have a gay relationship.

Now he’s changed his tune:

Schultz had previously lashed out at the film on social media: ‘Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between duPont and I is a sickening and insulting lie.’ 

He said director Bennett Miller told him the scene was meant to give the audience the feeling that duPont was encroaching on his privacy and personal space. 

Since it wasn’t explicit, Schultz had said he didn’t have a problem with it until reviews interpreted it sexually which was ‘jeopardizing my legacy.’ 

He now feels badly about the public rants against the movie which was nominated for five Oscars last week – including a directing nod for Miller. 

‘I apologize to you before the world Bennett. I’m sorry,’ he tweeted. ‘I think the problem I had was the context of the movie. It’s what happened was so hard. My brother’s murder. My career ruined.’

I can’t comment because I haven’t seen the film yet. However, I can comment on how sick and tired I am of straight men claiming that there is nothing worse than when someone accuses them of being gay. It’s time to get a little PC about this one, too. I know John du Pont was CLEARLY no bargain, however, I’m not taking insults for John du Pont or anyone else anymore.

The reviews for this film have been interesting. Every single mainstream hetero publication seems to be praising it, while this one catches the main point I can’t help over looking. And you won’t find this review with a simple search. What’s most interesting is how straight people coming from a place of privilege seem to find nothing wrong with this portrayal at all. And I mean interesting because I didn’t see the film and can’t comment yet. I will make of point of doing that soon.

This, in part, is what I read in OUT.

Switch the title Foxcatcher to what gays used to call “Chicken Hawk.” Miller’s homophobia is all in code—what his hypocritical admirers might call “discretion.” But as in Capote, it’s really just Miller’s suspicion of sex; his desiccated hatred of eroticism. These meaty athletes are non-sensual. Mark and Dave’s Of Mice and Men relationship seems quasi-incestuous and du Pont’s claim, “I do not share my mother’s affection for horse flesh,” is surely a tortured double-entendre. For dirty talk, du Pont and Mark repeat the words “ornithologist, philatelist, philanthropist” at each other—a failed SNL skit.

New Adult Love Story


 

 



Cheaterville: A Web Site for Adultery


Someone told me about this web site called “Cheaterville,” and I figured I’d post a link. I don’t know much about it, so I’m not commenting one way or the other.

Except for this: Last week I linked to a post written by this guy who not only knocks the romance genre, but also feels as though he’s somehow above it. I’m not mentioning his name in this post. I don’t want to give him that kind of attention again. But check out the post, and below is a quote from his post.

After my last post about, not only the dreadful writing associated with romance novels, but the often deadly message they bring glorifying everything from adultery to incest,

Once again, I find it interesting to read something like this, especially when most romance novelists and readers stay away from books with adultery.

In any event, check out “Cheaterville.” And if you know someone who is cheating on his or her spouse/partner, you might want to examine it even further.

Someone once asked me if gay couples consider it cheating if they’ve been together for a long time and they aren’t legally married. I had to laugh, as if being legally married is where the line is drawn for cheating. I replied with the question: Do straight couples who aren’t married and consider themselves in a monogamous relationship consider it cheating when one of them has an affair? What about engaged straight couples?

Unless there is some kind of an open relationship with an agreement where everyone is happy, it works just the same way for gays as it does straights. The sad fact is that people who cheat were wired that way from birth. Most go to their graves this way. I have no problem with open relationships and anything you want as long as both parties in the relationship agree to it. But I have very little tolerance for cheaters and sneaks.

What Do Romance Writers Have in Common with the TV Show, Glee?

Absolutely nothing.

Don’t get me wrong. I watch Glee and I enjoy the music. But as far as the storyline goes, I’ve never seen such absolute poetic license in my entire life. The things these TV writers get away with leaves my mouth hanging open.

This past week I worked on edits for a book that’s due to be released before Halloween. It’s an LGBT take on the old book and movie, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.” The book I’m working on is a contemporary, paranormal romance. The main character is a former child star who moves to Provincetown to start a new life. In the original manuscript, I left his financial status open and ambiguous. He was the star of a successful sitcom; he has plenty of money; he doesn’t have to work. I thought that was enough. But the editor thought it was too ambiguous and I revised this part of the book with more valid details that were believable. The editor was right, and I think the character’s history is more believable now.

This sort of thing happens all the time. When a romance book goes to an editor, everything is triple checked to make sure it’s believable. We take a certain amount of license, but we try hard to get the facts right. We do this for the readers, and we never assume anything.

Last night, during Glee, one of the characters got a job as a school nurse. She never went to nursing school, had never worked near a medical environment, and her general background was in retail. But she got a job, on Glee, as the school nurse. If I were to write this in a romance, the romance reviewers would be off to battle and my blond hair would be flying all over the Internet. But more than that, I can say for sure that no public school system in this country would ever hire a retail clerk, in only one day, as a school nurse. School nurses, especially these days, are vetted and interviewed. And it’s not a simple process.

Now, this character on Glee could have been written into the storyline as a school cafeteria worker, which would have been fine. It would have blended with her past experience and they still could have worked her motives into the plot. It just leaves me wondering if these TV writers are stupid, uninformed, or they just don’t care.

Another one of the many things that make me wonder about Glee, is their approach toward infidelity. If I wrote a romance with blatant infidelity, the readers and reviewers would be ready for battle again. I’ve taken a few chances in the past. I wrote about a character who had affairs while he was on a break with his lover, and I’ve taken flack for it. In a romance book, infidelity in any form is a definite turn off.

But in Glee, they don’t seem to care about infidelity. One single, flaky school teacher is getting seriously involved with a married school teacher, and the writers make the married guy look like a saint. They portray this guy’s wife as a total creep who deserves to be cheated on. And they make the single school teacher appear as a vulnerable, wise angel, with a few unrealistic quirks. The wife really is a creep. But wouldn’t it be nicer if they made the husband realize this and leave the creep before he started to get involved with another school teacher on the sly?

On another level, I’m really tired of seeing school teachers portrayed as these pathetic, downtrodden types. In both Glee and Hung, the writers give the impression that school teachers, in general, are nothing more than poor slobs looking for something better in life. It’s misleading at best. I know a lot of school teachers. A dear friend, Joanne, is a school teacher in a public school in Brooklyn. She and the teachers I know love what they do and they are far from being poor slobs. They aren’t making millions, but they are making decent salaries, with good benefits, in very hard economic times. I know that teachers’ salaries vary in different parts of the country, as do living standards. But I also know that most teachers love and respect what they do.

I’ll still keep watching Glee. Partly for the music, and partly to see how far they will go. I have a feeling that they are going to raise infidelity to a much higher level. Higher than any steamy romance novel ever written.

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