Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Down Memory Lane

I haven't heard this sort of thing in a while:
nobody cares about u and what u do in the bedroom... get a life!!
That's the complete text of an e-mail message I received today, with the subject header "ur so messed up".

If the writer doesn't care, then why is he reading my blog? Not that I have much to say about what I do in bed, if I recall correctly. Should I change that?

If he thinks that nobody cares about gay people generally and what we do in bed, he should think again. Why are so many straight boys, often the most flamboyant ones, so obsessed with faggots and what we do in bed? Why do they insult and tease each other with accusations of anal penetrability? Why were some of C. J. Pascoe's straight high school boys afraid to go to a dance with just one faggot in attendance? Why are so many conservative Christians more concerned about what faggots do in bed than about poverty and social injustice generally? Why did so many American states have laws criminalizing what we do in bed until the activist Supreme Court overturned them in 2003? And contrariwise, if heterosexuals think that people's sex lives are of no interest to others, why do they announce their impending sexual partnerships (often solemnized in church) in the press? Why do they introduce their sexual partners to you as their sexual partners ("my husband", "my wife") -- do they imagine that everybody else as obsessed with sex as they are?

If we ever reach the point where nobody really cares about other people's sex lives, then I'll be satisfied. We're still a very long way from that day, of course; meanwhile, the insistence that nobody cares about a person's or a character's sexuality rings hollow. And when equality comes, gay people (including me, if I live so long) will be every bit as reticent and discreet about our sex lives as straight people are.