June 19, 2010

Yeah, but it IS about sex.

There’s something that’s been bothering me for a while about homophobia.

It gets mentioned here and there in writings—someone notices how inappropriate it is that as soon as people think of same-sex couples, they picture two guys getting in on and are immediately disgusted, whereas with straight people, that’s not the case.

I’ve always been careful to make a distinction between homosexuality itself and any particular sex act. Being Catholic, I have a hard time with the “love the sinner, hate the sin” mantra, but it helps me keep the two apart—something I think more people need to do.

See, it shouldn’t matter, but there’s a huge difference between being gay and having sex with people of the same gender. They can’t be the same thing because they’re not even in the same category. Gay is an adjective, a descriptor, something that people might happen to be. And sexual activity is none of anyone’s business. That’s it. Case closed.

The video posted on the blog a few weeks ago about homophobia and anti-gay violence in Uganda was deeply disturbing. But it bothered me primarily because the tactics being used by these politicians and religious leaders are awfully misleading. Whether or not the activities like “eating poo-poo” in gross-out videos are common among the community is none of anyone’s business. The problem is, Uganda is debating sex when it thinks it’s debating homosexuality. If the law is against homosexuals, then they need to be talking about homosexuality, not sex, and those videos have no place in such an argument.

Now let’s talk about progress. Stateside, the issue of whether homosexuality is moral or immoral, largely, doesn’t matter. All reasonably reasonable people agree that there’s no issue there (I mean, sure, this is contentious, but my point assumes this, so if you have issues here, let me know, but I’m moving on). But if people don’t find being gay problematic, then what they really find problematic is gay sex—and it strikes me as though if people find this problematic, it tells me two things about them: [one], that they’re really breaching the privacy of gay couples every time they think about the issue (weird, isn’t it?) and/or [two], that there’s really an unhealthy level of obsession with gay sex, even among the homophobes. People say that homosexuality is the issue, not sex. But I don’t agree. If you have a problem with The Gays (and Lesbians and Bisexuals and the Queer and Transgendered communities), it’s because you’re violating our privacy by picturing us in bed together (or, God forgive your dirty mind, in bed with you).

If you don’t like it, don’t think about it. Pretty simple solution. If you can’t do that, then figure out what makes you so obsessed with gay sex and get past it. Homosexuality != (does not equal!) gay sex. It’s a fact. It’s no business of anyone’s whether I’m sexually active or not. If I have a boyfriend, is it reasonable to assume we’re having sex? Well, no, but we dont think about these things with straight couples. Why should we for gay ones? It just doesn’t matter, folks! Move along!

Everyone agrees that friendship, intimacy, and love are all pretty good things, regardless of gender. So, homophobes (especially the ones in my extended family), just honor me this request. When you fondle, kiss, or otherwise show affection in public, I think it’s great. I am an enormous fan of PDA and, generally, seeing examples of love in the world. But I do not, and will not, picture you having sex. It doesn’t (and shouldn’t) happen. When I see your babies, I don’t picture you conceiving them. All I ask is that you do the same for me.

If you find yourself disgusted by thoughts of gay couples, then get your prying mind out of the bedroom and expand your definitions of love.

(note: I just realized I posted this as BDU, rather than my account. I’ve already multi-linked here, so I can’t change that now, but know that this post comes from/represents Matt Lyons and not Blue Devils United)


  1. I was struggling to express this to someone I was talking to today. And you said it 10 times better than I could. I am sending it to him right now. Thank you so much for writing this Matt. And I hope you keep writing! We miss you.

  2. great great post! so interesting.

  3. Such a good point! A good recent example of this might be the "te amo" Rihanna video that was banned from U.S. airwaves: http://www.eurweb.com/?p=27023 . I'm pretty sure there are loads of heterosexual music videos that go beyond that level of intimacy on screen, but the girl-on-girl surprise factor counts for a lot, apparently!

  4. My thoughts on this topic are not complete...I just thought I should preface my comments with that statement.

    It irritates me as well that people immediately jump to gay sex when they are confronted with gay people.

    Interestingly, my parents seem MUCH more comfortable with the idea of me having "gay sex" than they are with the idea of me being in a "gay relationship." My parents may be a unique case - when I came out to them my dad said he couldn't blame me because he liked to lick them too and my mom went on about how she had oral sex with a family friend twenty years ago. My dad jokes about taking me to a strip club and sending my porn. Furthermore, my mom's mind was blown when I told her I don't think of myself as butch and no...me having sex with women wouldn't merely mean me topping a girl with a strap-on.

    I guess my point here is that I wish they would go beyond the sex stuff on occasion. My dad seems more understanding...my mom means well but only focuses on the sex insisting that "every day is a new day" so I can't rule out falling in love with a man and "it is wrong to be prejudice" so I shouldn't say I'm not attracted to men. Overall, they are very accepting of the sex part (though a little misguided)...they have a harder time with the relationship part. Interesting considering this may be out of the norm.

    - Brandy

  5. Not that this helps your argument, Matt, but I'm just going to take this a step further and say that sex is HOT, whether it's straight or gay. I ain't ever heard of no lovin' that ever hurt nobody, so - as far as I'm concerned - if you're being safe about it, GET IT. 'nuff said.

  6. People are just obsessed with sex, gay or straight. That's why it's the firs thing that comes to their mind.