Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Everything is beautiful in its own way

Some high school kids did a small study to determine the Gay Comfort Level of their classmates. It's HIGH SCHOOL, so I shouldn't be surprised by the response. I was only a little surprised. It does make me wonder about the revulsion some grown-ass adults still feel when it comes to same-sex intimacy. I'm not talking butt sex or anything. Kissing.You can only chalk so much of it up to latent homosexuality. Not EVERYONE is queer. OK, actually I think everyone is, but that's another post. Anyway, where does it come from? Do you feel it? I like to see images of love no matter what the form, but I've never walked in a straight person's shoes. Is it just unfamiliarity? Or what?


freakgirl said...

I vote unfamiliarity. People fear what they don't know.

My husband is one of the most open-minded and tolerant people I know, but he gets uncomfortable with men kissing and whatever sometimes when we see it on tv or in movies. I don't know why he does; he can't articulate it, either.

Luckily he is watching "Torchwood," so he should be getting some exposure, eh?

Michael said...

I think you're probably right. When you really consider it, until the last 10-15 years, you didn't see these images in mainstream media. Take it from someone who looked. Constantly. When you're a queer kid growing up, especially in a conservative, rural area, you're desperate to find some ME depicted somewhere.

Still, I wonder if that's all there is to it...the unfamiliarity.

And, yeah, don't get me started on Torchwood. It's killing me that I don't have BBC America, but I couldn't see upgrading my cable right before I move. DVD, come to me soon!

Michael said...

PS Can I ask how you feel about two dudes kissing? Two women?

For me, I like to see two women kissing. Does it make me hot? No. But warm. As for discomfort, there's none. Lesbian porn or straight porn don't bother me either, but they do leave me kind of flat. I end up getting kind of clinical and checking their moles, or I get distracted by the decorating or what kind of pumps she's wearing. But not uncomfortable.

freakgirl said...

I don't really care who's kissing. Generally I don't really care to watch people on my television making out or whatever, but if it's a good romantic story, who cares?

I remember watching the first season of the US version of Queer as Folk and thinking, "If I have to watch any more men screwing, I am going to shoot myself." Not because they were men, but because, jeez, people, get out of bed every once in awhile, huh?

freakgirl said...

Also, there are a lot of men who are afraid to see other men kissing because what if they get a boner, OMG THEY ARE THE GAY!!!!!!

Michael said...

Oh, darlin', I felt the SAME WAY about Queer As Folk, and not just the first season. Enough already!


It's really only a question of HOW gay. ;-)

And thanks for sharing!

The Other Andrew said...

The boys in the bottom pic are doing a misaligned kiss. I hate misaligned kissing, you know? When you end up with, like, one of their lips only in your mouth, or whatever. Now that makes me uncomfortable...

Michael said...

Oooh, I like it, but then I'm exceedingly oral. I want your chin in my mouth and I wanna lick your eyeball while we're kissing.

The Other Andrew said...

Jesus, you want to lick my eyeball WHILE we're kissing. Just how long is that tongue?...

Yeah, that works. :)

jason said...

I wonder if in a few years, after more and more exposure, if that "revulsion" will decline.

I don't know, but I think it will. I think it has a lot to do with social conditioning.

(and, well, of course, the fact that everyone in the world is really gay)

Sherri said...

There's also the issue of conformity. I mean, what's the one thing on every teenager's mind? How to be DIFFERENT from whoever it is they are trying to be different from while being JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. You act like you THINK all your friends act, the way they indicate that you SHOULD act. You are constantly worried you'll be rejected for being different in some unacceptable way. You mimic what you think will get you accepted. Sometimes, teenagers are really assholes because that's what they think they should be -- they are trying to set what's normal, and anything not 'them' has to be weird.

I think that's at least a portion of the reason for the response reported.

The first time I saw two guys kiss, I was 16, and I was waiting in the living room to go see Tron (yes, it was the early 80's). Rich and Tony were in Tony's bedroom (door open) snogging away on the bed (visible from the couch where I sat). I looked, rolled my eyes, went back to watching TV -- not because they were kissing, but because they were driving and we were LATE. Tron was big doin's when I was 16.

Maybe 3 hours later I realized I'd seen two guys kissing. It completely passed me by. When I clicked on it and thought about it, it just became another part of my reality. They were my friends, my adopted family. They took care of me. So, what they were, whatever that was, was normal to me.

Was the same thing the first time I saw two women kissing. It was very 'eh, so?' and it became a part of reality. First time I ever kissed another woman was pretty good, but I liked guys better, so that's where I went. I REALLY like guys.

You can identify with that, I'm sure.

Michael said...

Jason, word. At least a lil' bit.

Sherri, I'm sure you're right about teenagers. But adults? I suppose we kid ourselves that we're so very different from teenagers. All you have to do is look around at how the adults all ape each other when it comes to clothes/cars/houses to realize not much really changes.

So as a queer kid, at the same time that you're barraged with images of straight sexuality, you're actively seeking out ANY images of what you are....so it all ends up pretty to look at, the loving. Also? I wish I'd grown up in an environment more like yours.

Sherri said...

Michael, scary but true. Of course, I suspect highschool scars for life.

As for upbringing, there are always trade offs. The people who took over as my family did so because I had a part time dad, an abusive stepdad, and my mother died. It was 4 years before my dad stepped up to the plate to be a parent to me (by which time I was legally an adult, but he made it up). So, Rich, Tony, Roy, Rachel, John, Hugh, Nancy and JR adopted me for those four years.

And, yeah, I completely identify with the search for images thing. Some day when you are feeling really, really bored, we can exchange notes on the things twistings of the teenage mind. Feh, my mind is STILL twisted.