Saturday, April 09, 2005

It's A Dangerous Lifestyle

When I came out to my dad, it didn't go that well. He had no idea it was coming, and it really took him by surprise. After asking for a few days to collect his thoughts, I went over to speak to him.

He had been to a local Baptist church (he is Baptist, but hasn't been to church in several years) to talk about this stuff. They told him the answer was simple- people change from gay to straight all of the time. Over the next year, my dad did his own research on both sides of the issue, and he has decided that he was misled about the possibility of change. He still doesn't agree with me being gay though.

Now, when we finally talked, he told me he didn't know much about being gay. All he knew, he said, was that it was a dangerous lifestyle. He went on to say that this lifestyle was full of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. I was kind of stunned by this. All of my life, I have been the good kid that didn't have sex, never did drugs, didn't drink at all until college and then only very rarely. Why now did he think because I was gay I was going to start doing all of this stuff?

So, I told him what I just wrote. He said that he knew from what he saw and people that he talked to that that is what gays did. I tried to explain to him that I had not changed as a person, that I was the same kid I'd always been. He tried to listen, but these imbedded stereotypes were hard for him to let go of.

No wonder people are so against gay marriage and gay rights in this country. If the stereotype can make my own dad think I had done a 180 degree turn and become this sex and drug-crazed monster, why would someone that didn't even know a gay person think any differently.

If being gay is a sin, let it be a sin. Why spread stereotypes as a way to dishonestly demean an entire group, and thus, individual people? It doesn't make sense.

2 Comments:

At 20/4/05 2:21 PM, Anonymous David Morrison said...

Brady, surely you must do at least a little reading in the self-identified gay press? How many ads are there for clubs and various types of circuit parties do you see there? How many of the ads have pictures of at least semi-naked men in them?

With Federal officials making worried noises about the rise of crystal meth in the self-identified gay community and the spread of disease it threatens could you at least acknowledge that there is a good deal of preoccupation among many self-identified gays (at least in urban settings) with drugs and sex?

 
At 21/4/05 3:31 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Hi David,

I just lost this comment when I tried to submit it, so I will try to recreate it.

It is accureat to say I read a little in the gay press, but just a little. I have never owned even one issue of a gay magazine, gay book, etc. I have been on gay.com maybe 2 times in the last year (and yes, both times I was actually there for the reading).

That being said, I agree that there is a problem with an emphasis on sex (promiscuity) and drugs within the gay community. But, that is certainly not to say that all gays have a problem with these things or that just because you are gay, you will have problems with these things.

Other communities have similar problems, but intelligent thinkers do not assume individuals of these particular groups will experience these problems just because they are part of said group. I wouldn't warn a black friend of mine that being black is a dangerouse lifestyle, even though statistics show much higher crime rates in that community.

But, for some reason the church and even society to some degree has decided it is ok to exaggerate what it means to be gay (putting all of the negatives in there) and extrapolate the problems of some in the community to individuals.

The point of the post is not to address sex and drugs in the gay community, but to address why my dad, going off of an implication from his church, assumed that just because I was gay, I had now lost all of my morals, I was using drugs and having promiscuous sex.

If being gay is a sin, let it be sin, but surely we should have some restraint in recognizing not all gays live a dangerous lifestyle, as is so often assumed.

 

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