Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Queer as folk

So recently I was at lunch discussing Milk with a friend who is urbane, sensitive, fairly aware, who told me in a very matter-of-fact manner that while the movie is very powerful, there are many disturbing scenes. I asked her if she meant the sex and she said no. So I asked her if there was violence in the movie and she said no. So I asked her what she meant by disturbing. And she replied, “There are many intimate and explicit scenes between gays.”

Interesting, don’t you think? When straight people do it, it’s sex or glorified love-making. But when it’s a change in sexual orientation, you need guarded terminology to describe a basic human act.

It got better. She said how her boyfriend would never watch the movie because it’s about gays. On probing she told me how he thinks that gays are always in-your-face and always trying to put their sexuality out there by making out and acting weird in public.

Another girl I know who knows about my gay friends keeps asking me why I can’t have a sexual relationship with one of them. I said, “Ummm, the first thing that comes to mind is that he is gay.” And she looks at me in true bewilderment and says, “So what?”

Once people know that you have friends who are gay, you have to deal with a barrage of embarrassing and curious questions or get sucked into the I-know-gays-too line of talk.

So, tell me, have you watched him in action?

Does he let other people watch?

Does he really, you know, really, do a man?

But what can gays do, really?

Umm… does he tell you about it later?

Does he dress up like a girl and all?

But he’s gay, what do you guys do together?

When you guys go on trips and drink and all that, does he act weird with you? Does he try to, you know, convert you?

You know Kabir in college was so gay! He wore yellow shirts or even pink sometimes and used his hands to emphasize points. So gay, man! And thank God, I never let him talk to me too much, but he apparently went shopping with that girl he used to hang out with! Imagine that! So gay.

Oh yes, even I know a gay guy. He was always gay, you know, he behaved like one. But now I heard he’s seeing this new girl and he even exercises. Isn’t that cool, I wonder how he got out of being gay. Thank God, he did though. But he’s so gay sometimes still.

Hey, now even I know lots of gay guys. My boyfriend and I met them yesterday and we had such fun. Now I know what it is like to be with gays. Why, my boyfriend even shook hands with one of them and he hugged another one. Isn’t it cool? I felt a little weird but my boyfriend said, ‘It’s okay, babe.’ And it was and I had so much fun. And you know, those guys drank beer like us.

Oh even I want a gay friend, I was told by a friend that you can always go shopping with them.

And a response to the terribly tacky presentation of Celina Jeitly’s gay activism
on Times. ‘Did you read the story? It was so touching. Can’t trust these gay men, man, imagine, they beat women up. Poor thing, she must have been so scared and clueless. Scary.’

And this classic – "I’ll never have gay children. My God! No way, not I. It’s impossible."

Go figure. So queer, these straight folk seem, won’t you agree?

And while I normally keep away from any kind of activism, I thought it was time to stand up for the people who are here, who are queer (and in my life, thank you, God), and who are constantly teaching people (with intelligence, sensitivity, grace, and such class) to deal with it. Saying I’m proud of you or that I love you is just not enough, darlings.

Know about the IDAHO Challenge

Take up the IDAHO Challenge - Help fight homophobia and transphobia.

A global project to create a public awareness video for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17 has attracted the participation of 359 people from 48 countries across six continents around the world. The groundbreaking project is a joint undertaking of the Paris-based IDAHO Committee and the social network Gays.com, attracting 50,000 people to its website within a month.

Be proud of the many who've taken up the IDAHO Challenge in this video response.


Anonymous said...

Nicely thought and marvellously scripted. I read this loudly, the best part - read it like how you would speak about it and it obviously made me smile (laugh actually) but THINK (most importantly).. real good one..

Basically Blah said...

The only thing that is really queer is the way in which people talk about them like they're this curious other species! Who really gives a damn anyway as long as one is getting some in the way that one likes it, huh? ;)

Anuradha said...

I think it's a case of massive ignorance than outright malice. At least in the case of most youngsters. Unfortunately, being in anything other than a guy-girl relationship has been shrouded in mystery or not acknowledged at all until recently and even now the exposure to such a state is limited to gay sex. So only awareness and us not indulging in petty jokes or nudge-nudge wink-wink is going to help in the long run. That said everyone's got to laugh at themselves at some time, but it's gonna be funny only when everyone's treated equal.

Bhumika's Boudoir said...

Thank you, Anonymous. I'm very glad it made you think even as you enjoyed it. No greater pleasure. :)

True, Basically Blah, and it's very frustrating as well. And yes, so long as you get some and you like it, it doesn't matter.

That's what it is now, Anu, and massive ignorance is bad enough, but sometimes it's very hypocritical (the support) and malicious as well, which is scary. And I loved "everyone's got to laugh at themselves at some time, but it's gonna be funny only when everyone's treated equal." Well-said. Can you say very well-said? Well, there, I said it.

Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

Can I just say, very-well written?

If I had tear ducts, I would have cried.

Cheers . . .

Bhumika's Boudoir said...

Awww... thank you, Whippersnapper. That's indeed high praise.

Aman said...

Someone who is gay recently said, maybe the best way to deal with the stigma is to pretend it does not exist at all. Now that it is here, for us, make 377 a non-issue. I wondered if that made sense ... This piece came from you heart, from the sense of hurt, see it flows. :) Very nice.