Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Great new columnist up at Bilerico

Michele O'Mara, a therapist for the LGBT community in Indianapolis, has started a letter-advice column over at Bilerico. Her first column just went up today. I really look forward to reading what she has to say.

One thing, though:
I've been thinking a lot about this whole, "heterosexuals don't advertise their sexuality, why should I" mentality. And in thinking about this I've decided that it's true. Heterosexuals don't really actively promote what they are. It seems to me, that the way it works is not so much about advertising what we are, it's all about announcing or shall we say, advertising, what we are not. In most cases, a heterosexual is unlikely to announce their sexual orientation unless they are being perceived as gay.

I'm thinking that she and I interpret the concept of "advertising" differently. All I see, all the time, is straight people advertising their sexuality. I see them having huge weddings, announcing it in the paper, chatting with Oprah about an hetero-sex lover, holding hands in the movie theater, making 99% of movies, TV shows, and songs about heterosexual love (and 99.999999% of those media directed at kids radically heterosexual), having their heterosexual partner give speeches while campaigning for public office, or even having sex on a sidewalk (I've seen that one). Those aren't necessarily bad things, but heterosexuals are constantly advertising their sexuality, throwing it in my face, if you will.

And much of it is intentional. Like that one episode of Seinfeld in which the pro-shop owner Milos, upon becoming insecure in his ability to provide financially for his family, yells: "Jerry's not a real man! He's not even married like I am!" There are a lot of heterosexuals who are so insecure about their sexual orientation, sexual prowess, attractiveness, or masculinity or femininity that they need to yell and scream about their heterosexuality.

So correcting someone who accidentally refers to your partner as a roommate isn't all that much of a dramatic situation. Really, it's a drop in the bucket compared to what heterosexuals do.

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