Germy, gay panelist extraordinaire

Thursday, March 15, 2007

As part of the gay and lesbian group at my current workplace, I was invited to participate in a GLBT panel at a local community college. I was intrigued about the event, we were to be asked about our backgrounds, our coming out and our lives as adults. Germy loves talking about himself, so this promised to be fun.

The panel was for a sociology class that was studying sexual diversity. The panel was composed of another gay guy, a lesbian, a lesbian mother of two, a straight gay activist (mother of a gay son) and yours truly, Germy. Each had an interesting twist to their story. My "angle" was that I was raised in a predominantly Catholic country (Mexico).

We each gave a brief intro about who we were and such, then came the questions. I was really curious as to what regular American youths thought of GLBT people. The questions were actually pretty regular: "Are you born gay or did you become gay?", "Does your fmaily know?", "How did you come out?", "How will you raise your kids?", etc.

The straight woman turned out to be quite the semantics-nazi, she scolded a girl for using the term "sexual preference", she said that the term denoted a "decision" and that being GLBT is not a decision but something you're born with, that "sexual orientation" was more correct. It thought it was a little harsh (I mean what if my orientation is that I prefer guys? huh? haha), but in a meeting like this you kind of really have to stress correct terms. So in a way you're a little torn between being completely PC or being completely honest. To her credit, the straight lady was incredibly well informed about GLBT issues and political agendas.

This one girl asked a question about how gay men tended to be more effeminate, and I took the question and didn't think much of it. The lesbian mother of two balked at it saying that her assumption that all gay men were effeminate was insulting. I was a bit surprised because I totally had bought into that assumption and didn't even notice, and it was not the best example to set for the kids. It still stung to see another GLBT think of effeminate men as insulting, but this is how it goes I guess.

We talked about stereotypes and how there are a lot of boring gay men who have nothing to do on a Saturday night, about how the ban on gay marriage had affected the immigration goals of us foreigners, Catholicism's view on homosexuality, etc. All in all a very enlightening afternoon.

The most positive thing I got out of it was that it was comforting to know that the topic is openly addressed in classrooms. I think it was also important for the students to know that, just like in every community, people who are GLBT don't always agree on everything. And that's the way it goes.

Ties that bind

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I love my mom, I really do. It's just that sometimes she annoys the hell out of me. I know everything she does is thinking for my best interest (in her mind at least), but sometimes she really hits a nerve.

She has this habit of hearing any negative news about homosexuals and directly associating it with me (yeah, the only homosexual she knows well). She once heard of this guy in Mexico City who took guys to him home and killed them. She called me all worried, hoping I wouldn't be doing "bad stuff". I lived about 2hrs plane ride from Mexico City, btw.

The last one she pulled was that she heard some marine in Tijuana went berserk and killed some guy he had hooked up with. She got all worried and wished I wouldn't do anything like that. If my life was half as interesting as my mom imagined it (or as busy), I'd be so busy fucking I'd have little time for eating and sleeping and such.

And it's not just my mom being overprotective. It's the indirect way in which she tells me. She never explicitly says "Don't sleep around". She rather says "Oh, I hope you never do that, oh I hope, I hope". Very annoying. What kind of stung this last time also was the fact that she knows me and The Guy are back together, but it somehow didn't register with her and she warned me about sleeping around anyways. Maybe my mom knows more about men than I give her credit for. I have been unfaithful to a guy or two (or three) in the past, but it annoys me nonetheless. In a more recent conversation she warned that I should be careful with The Guy, that I should always be aware that he may just get up and leave one day. It always hurts to see right-wing fanatics profess how unstable and inadequate homosexual relationships are. It hurts on a whole other level to hear it from your mom. I didn't protest or challenge her, I just said "Ok, mom, sure".

Anyways, on to other less depressing news... it pretty much looks like Psesito is moving to Seattle! Cool, huh? It will be really nice to have a good college buddy in town. We totally have to do a bar crawl when he arrives, hee hee. Seattle nightlife is actually pretty decent. Till then...