I never though my has-been status would create so much interest. I have considered revealing my secret – but Clark Kent didn’t just come out and admit he was Superman to everyone now did he? It’s all part of my allure – not telling you when I was a fat c-status celebrity who advised women on how to decorate their homes and bake cakes with sweetener…
You wouldn’t remember it anyway.
It was a lot of fun, but being recognised in the middle of the grocery store wasn’t my idea of fun, so I’m not sure how real celebrities (with talent) handle it.
So let’s change the subject shall we… and move onto more interesting things than my has-been status.
The 17th of May is National Hand Holding Day – or something like that. It’s part of a campaign to promote equal rights for gays and lesbians (GLBT) and they’ve asked that all gay couples hold hands in public so as to highlight the awareness of our plight for equal rights.
I’m not anti-public affection. I’m very aware of it though. In all of my relationships I have never encouraged public affection and never walked through the mall holding hands with my boyfriend. FJ and I hold hands a lot. He’s what you might call a “digit clasper” – he holds my hand whenever he can. We’ll hold hands in a cinema, but never stroll through the foyer clasping each others paws though.
You see, holding hands in public – if you’re gay – is more than a statement of being together. It becomes a political statement, and generally gets a response. Some people point at you, talk behind your back and some friends I know have even been insulted by people as they walk past. Two men holding hands (out of a cultural context i.e. some cultures allow men holding hands as a symbol of friendship) is seen as disgusting to some, and an offence to them.
Two women seem to get away with it. The assumption is that it could be a friendship gesture and the natural response of the viewer isn’t to associate it with a homosexual relationship.
My point, and I have one, is that I’m not ready to hold hands in public. I don’t want to make political statements. I don’t want to rub another person’s nose into the fact that I’m gay. I don’t think holding hands should ever become a political statement and why I won’t be a part of it.
Gay liberation has moved on since “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” – a popular gay pride slogan chanted for years. They know we’re here. They had to sit through eight seasons of Will & Grace. People don’t need to see us as hand holding couples walking through malls to understand that we deserve a chance to be seen as viable couples.
I agree with Harvey Milk’s stance – I think gay men and women should come out and live responsible, mature and productive lives – actively adding to the lives of others and the communities in which they live – that generates acceptance.
I remember sitting with a friend, who I met though this blog (and hope she won’t mind me using this as an illustration). We were having a very pleasant lunch and had spoken before about her struggle with homosexuality in a church and biblical context. She sat looking at FJ and I and commented that she really felt the Bible wasn’t speaking about what FJ and I had. Because, well, we were pretty normal (my thinking – not hers). We are a regular couple who integrate well with others as a couple. We just happen to be two men.
But seeing our humanity, and not us as “type”, changes the idea of what a gay person is in many people’s minds. Two men walking in a street through a mall represent “type”. A gay man or woman adding to your life is humanity. That’s gay pride for me.
Gay men and women need to stop demanding for it all now by trying to make radical statements to force people, especially more conservative folk, who have a strong belief in the perceived biblical view of homosexuality to accept them (us). We need to ease people into accepting us. As couples, as friends, as people. By showing them that we’re just like them.