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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means
What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78259] Sun, 13 March 2022 16:56 Go to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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For those who haven't been following the nitty-gritty (or should I say, gruesome!) details of the so-called Don't Say Gay Bill that has passed both houses of Florida's legislature and is about to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, this isn't just another exercise in the culture wars. Which is to say, that yes, in some superfical ways it may appear to be, but there's much more to this than removing a word from the lexicon of school teachers.

As James Finn pointed out today in a Medium article (read here) about how Disney's CEO tried to hypocritically stay neutral while actually supporting the premises of the bill, the three major impacts are:
  • It prohibits public school teachers at the pre-kindergarten through third-grade level (students of about 4 to 8 years old) from teaching that gay or transgender people exist.
  • It prohibits teachers at all grade levels from teaching about LGBTQ issues or people in ways that are not "age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate," without defining "appropriate."
  • It empowers individual parents to sue school districts if they believe teachers have broken the law.


So, if you were wondering--yes, it it a blatant step backwards in that it aims through so-called legal means, to remove rights from LGBTQ youth. Which is to say, to remove rights from all LGBTQ people! To say nothing of the labels applied, such as pedophile!

https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5306&private=0

Still, it's easy to settle into a mindset of "this isn't so bad compared to all the other horrible things that are happening in the world,' and in a way that comparison may be valid. But when you consider that the horror of the war in Ukraine only started hitting home AFTER the war began and casualties started to accumulate and the physical damage began to happen, we should all be asking 'what's the damage that will result from this bill and others like it?'

A poignant insight to that questioni appeared in an Op-Ed in the New York Times today, written by a Florida teenager named Will Larkin. It translates the impacts in ways all visitors to this forum will understand, and through which all of us who are older experieinced ourselves, and until recently thrilled that today's youth could pretty well avoid.

He describes the feelings of "being broken" as he tried to understand himself and how/why he was different than other kids, and how only when a fellow student finally talked to him about being LGBTQ "The realization that I wasn't the only one saved my life." And more recently how after being harassed at a school function for being gay, it was a teacher who understood and helped him through. Read Will Larkin's piece here. If you have difficulty getting past the NY Times paywall, email me and I'll send you the piece in PDF.

So, this isn't just an exercise in culture war politics. This has real world consequences to the most vulnerable in the LGBTQ community.

[Updated on: Sun, 13 March 2022 17:02]




Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78260 is a reply to message #78259] Sun, 13 March 2022 20:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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We had this in the UK and fought it away

"Section 28"



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78261 is a reply to message #78259] Tue, 15 March 2022 20:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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There's a great Hollywood Reporter video of John Oliver's discussion of the Don't Say Gay bill you can see at this link:

https://youtu.be/q_nqa5uWTh8

The net/net on the bill? It acts as if gays don't exist!



Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78262 is a reply to message #78259] Wed, 16 March 2022 22:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

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There's a name for this - hermenutical injustice. It came from feminist theory and refers to control of the discourse.

Sounds all very academic, but in my life it was devastating. Coming of age in the early 70s suburban USA I knew only that my attraction to the same sex made me a homosexual, a pervert, and mentally ill. I knew no one that I knew was gay. I never heard of Stonewall or gay pride until the 80s. Never heard the word 'gay' until I heard Rod Stewart's song The Killing of Georgie, though I did know faggot since I'd had it applied to me.

By the time I became aware of the gay community I was in a (pretty happy, for the most part) straight marriage. I regret not being aware of all that the world held, and now that I have the freedom to pursue my feelings I'm an old man and again am limited in my options.

Not knowing what possibilities the world holds is a powerful way to control people.

I am fully committed to not letting the world go back to the way it was, and have worked to that end for thirty years.

Blessings,

   - Rick
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78263 is a reply to message #78262] Thu, 17 March 2022 14:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Rick;

Thanks for sharing your personal story and insights as well as giving us the name! I'm guessing most of us who are over forty, at least those over fifty, lived through much the same thing you did to one degree or another, and can't help feeling the regret of opportunity and experience lost!

The thing going on in Florida certainly appears to be not just an effort to make it ground zero in the culture wars, but also a key element in DeSantis' efforts to emerge as the most right wing conservative contender for the 2024 election. It goes without saying that the damage inflicted on people isn't part of the calculation, any more than the damage inflicted on Ukranians by the war is part of Putin's calculation!

Let's hope this is the last gasp of the culture war battles, but I doubt it. Too many right wing conservatives are responding to what they perceive as an existential threat by ignoring reason and science and doubline down on repressioin, as an insightful piece in Politico about a gay legislator in Florida showed yesterday. You can read it here.

Similar things are going on in other states (think Texas and Idaho), but there are hopeful signs, like the law passed yesterday in Colorado to legalize abortion even if Roe is overturned. 



Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78264 is a reply to message #78259] Fri, 18 March 2022 16:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

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Thanks, Bensiamin. Anti-gay measures aren't anything new, of course. Apparently they are now referred to as "no-promo-homo" laws, per Wikipedia. In 1992 the state where I live put a constitutional amendment on the ballot along the same lines. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Oregon_Ballot_Measure_9 )

At the time, I was happily married with young kids. The measure brought up a lot of feelings from my youth and young adulthood and I knew I had to be part of the effort against it. I came out rather publicly, including being interviewed for a documentary about the campaign. This came at a steep personal cost as my wife reacted as if I'd admitted to, well, I'm not sure what to compare it to, but something pretty bad. This was despite my honest assurances I had never had, wanted, or thought about any contacts outside our marriage. It has taken me years to work through the effect having my life partner utterly reject me not for something I'd done, but who I am.

These days I'm involved in doing what I can to build gay community and support those who are coming out, especially older men.

One addition to my story above: I wasn't passive, waiting for someone to open the door. I had a terrible crush on my best friend in sixth grade but when I kissed him he leapt up and ran across the room. Our friendship was pretty much over from then on. Even as a young adult I never managed to find someone who reciprocated my feelings despite the considerable risk of reaching out. Eventually I entered into a conventional marriage since that worked for me as well and I didn't want to be alone forever.

Being single and old hasn't been easy, but I've had a few opportunities to be with another man. I wish more men my age liked men my age as I do.

Makes me wonder in those bad old days just how much blind chance mattered. Had I connected with even one other guy it might have made a big difference to know I wasn't the only one.

Apologies for the long post, the topic is one that affects me deeply.
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78265 is a reply to message #78264] Fri, 18 March 2022 21:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Very heartfelt reply, Rick.

Thanks for sharing from the heart, and for the work you're doing for the gay community and those coming out.

all the best

Bensiamin





Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78266 is a reply to message #78259] Sat, 19 March 2022 07:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
William King is currently offline  William King

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The 70's was perhaps not the best time to be gay, but not the worse either. How one handled the realisation depended on you personally and your circumstances, where you lived, in what community. It is a reason why many gay young men left home and migrated to the big cities. Let's talk personal experience: in those years I was young and gay and I was in the closet, peering out, trying to find a way to open the door. I had one big advantage, I lived in a big city, London. I didn't do anything until I left school and left home, got a job and a roof over my head, even if I was on a low wage, shared the accommodation and only just managed the rent. I had my security, the next step was opening the closet doors. That is a whole other story which I would tell willingly, but don't want to fill up the forum with one gay man's story. I do want to say that for myself, from the day I realised my sexuality at about ten or eleven years old, it was not a sudden thing, but more coming to realise when I discovered the word homosexual, it described me. More or less after that I made two resolutions: I would stay safe and stay hidden. I knew being a homosexual was dangerous, illegal, and I might go to prison. I had to be careful, although it is not in the nature of young men to be careful. My second resolution was never ever to be someone I was not. If I had to live all my life in that closet, I would. What I would not do would be to deny who I was. I might tell lies, to survive, to protect myself, but I would not live a lie. That choice was the hardest, but for me it was no choice at all. I did not go to university, I went out to work. I left home, shared an apartment and struggled to pay the rent, heat the place in winter, and eat. That was my choice, it was determined by being gay, I do not regret having made it. There are some choices we make which later we regret and wonder about, but this was not one. I always thought of it as my emancipation. I was free, or as free as the world around me allowed, to be who I was. That was where I started the long, long, journey to being a free gay man.

That is my story, everyone's life and circumstances are different. One thing is evident, being gay in the 70's or earlier or later, involves some tough choices.


Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78267 is a reply to message #78266] Sat, 19 March 2022 19:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

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Thank you for sharing your story, William. I believe it's important for us now, and to the current and future 'different' folk to say what it was like living in oppressive times.

Never again.

As you say, we all have our own paths. Like you, I knew at a young age that the word homosexual applied to me. I also know an octogenarian who figured it out recently.

Another friend in his 80s had a same sex partner in the 1960s but broke it off and married a woman because he didn't want to live a closeted life which in most professions was the only answer in those days.

Never again. 
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78268 is a reply to message #78267] Sat, 19 March 2022 20:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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In love with a boy since 1965, lusting after many others pn the way,. I only admitted I was gay when I was 48 or so.

I was lucky, I married a girl for love. I am still gay and still married to her.

I woudl not have survived in any job. My first job was for the UK government. Queers were fired.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78270 is a reply to message #78268] Mon, 21 March 2022 02:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Oh, look! The core thesis of the Florida bill has spread to the Great State of Tennessee as well!

What's most interesting in this analysis is both the scope of the intended impact, but also the motivation on the part of the legislators!

Wait for it... the part about the authoritarian play book!

The commentator here is named Beau of the Firth Column, and while he looks like a redneck he's a well educated and read military veteran who calls it like it is.

https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5307&private=0

You can watch the video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/UKQGop2r_5g

[Updated on: Mon, 21 March 2022 02:28]




Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78271 is a reply to message #78270] Mon, 21 March 2022 08:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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I am afraid that your prior president emboldened dictatorship.

I did spend some time arging against someone im the UK who said Drumpf was not a fascist, but it;s impossoble to win an argument against an idiot



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78284 is a reply to message #78271] Fri, 01 April 2022 20:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy

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I come from a background of a gay boy reaised in an evangelical christian culture who grew into a man trying desperately to fit in to that same culture. It worked, sort of, for awhile. 

The thing that bothers me in all of this is trying to puzzle out what it is, exactly, that the people who support these discrimnatory measures find so threatining about us. Their lives must be one of constant torment and fear of the boogey man. It must be awful to live that way. Very Putinesque, if you ask me. He's a very insecure man who keeps everyone across the room from him. They do that figuratively with their liste of evildoers. It must be torturous. 

[Updated on: Fri, 01 April 2022 20:09]




“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78286 is a reply to message #78284] Mon, 04 April 2022 17:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Teddy;

Points well taken. Unfortunately we've got the role of toxic religion at work in America, but beyond that it comes down to partisan politics.

Here's a very good explanation, though the specific topics are gasoline and insulin prices. However, the strategy is the same.

https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5312&private=0

You can watch the video on YouTube here

As Beau points out, the Republican plan is to hurt you (and LGBTQ youth) as much as possible so they can benefit themselves!



Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78290 is a reply to message #78286] Sun, 10 April 2022 15:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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The reaction to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill has begun, and this one is a classic (and humorour) example of passive resistance!

https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5313&private=0

You can watch the YouTube video here

[Updated on: Sun, 10 April 2022 15:41]




Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78291 is a reply to message #78259] Wed, 13 April 2022 15:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

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Just to emphasize the plight of LGBT teens, this chart is from an article in the Atlantic, Why American Teens Are So Sad.

Makes me sad to see that 75% - a large majority - of LGBT teens feel persistently sad or hopeless. Beating them up with this kind of legislation certainly won't help.

   - Rick, remembering his teen years in the dark ages that unfortunately are coming back.


https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5314&private=0
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Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78292 is a reply to message #78291] Wed, 13 April 2022 16:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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I saw that chart and it made me very sad too! 

However, there is a silver lining to the cloud, and though one that requires a long term view, and that's this:

https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5315&private=0

The fact is that those writing the laws are right wing which Christian nationalist OLD PEOPLE, and they soon will age out and be gone.

According to the Gallup study from whcih the chart comes: Now a much greater proportion of Gen Z, but still not all of it, has become adults. The sharp increase in LGBT identification among this generation since 2017 indicates that the younger Gen Z members (those who have turned 18 since 2017) are more likely than the older members of the generation to identify as LGBT. [/font-family][/font-size]Should that trend within Gen Z continue, the proportion of U.S. adults in that generation who say they are LGBT will grow even higher once all members of the generation reach adulthood.[/font-size]

The damage is being inflicted, but those doing it will be gone within a generation! You can read the Gallup article here.

[Updated on: Wed, 13 April 2022 16:44]




Bensiamin
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78293 is a reply to message #78292] Thu, 14 April 2022 19:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

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Thanks for including that chart, Bensiamin. I've mentioned it to people as it bears on my life.

I do hope that things will get better, but for example DeSantis is a young GenX and has a lot of years ahead of him. If he gets his way there will be more like him as well. There's still work to be done.

The thing that hit me when I first saw the data that graph is made from is the line that includes me (second from the bottom). Fewer than three in a hundred people in my age cohort will identify as gay. No wonder I haven't had a date in five years Razz. There aren't many of us to begin with and when you take out those already in a relationship, those who have given up, and those who only are interested in someone decades younger there aren't a lot left.
Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78294 is a reply to message #78293] Fri, 15 April 2022 06:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
James K is currently offline  James K

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https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5316&private=0

All the stats here:  https://www.statista.com/chart/6466/europes-lgbt-population- mapped/)

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Re: What 'Don't Say Gay' Really Means  [message #78298 is a reply to message #78294] Tue, 19 April 2022 01:24 Go to previous message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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James: Thanks or posting this current graph. Very helpful to contextualize the extent of the rabid partisan fervor that now characterizes the USA!



Bensiamin
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