The Final Frontier of Homosexuality Acceptance

Posted on February 27, 2011 by


[By guest writer Rob Bateman]

In Canada, it is legal for two women to marry; in Canada it is legal for two men to marry. It is also illegal, barring religious institutions, to be fired based on sexual orientation. We are the envy of gays and lesbians from many different countries, especially the ones that still criminalize based on sexual orientation.

Despite this, it is still taboo for two men to hold hands in public; it is still taboo for two men to kiss. It is still taboo for two men to dance together . . . unless of course it is some kind of joke. We can say we are gay but we still cannot show it.

Women can however dance together, hold hands and kiss. It is acceptable in society for women to show some level of intimacy which in theory would make lesbians more acceptive . . . it is true until the straight guys finally realize that the intimacy has nothing to do for or with them then it can turn ugly fast.

The final frontier of homosexual acceptance is on the sociological scale: gay couples need to no more have to hide the nature of their relationships. Gay men need to be able to hit on other men without fear of some sort of ‘retribution’. Society needs to learn that a man who kisses a man is not an assault, insult or harmful. Nor is it detrimental. Being identified as ‘gay’ is not taboo nor is it something less than being straight or whatever.

It is still a fuss when two men hold hands in public. Anything from some sort of stare, some snide/rude remarks or even worse. We at times are forced to ‘hide’ who we are by the heterosexist, heteronormative society we live in. Many queer men, myself included claim we are totally out: but are we? If we are out then we should feel safe to walk into Nicky Zee’s and hit on the first cute guy we see. I somehow doubt we have the nerve or the foolhardiness to do such a feat.

But we also need to take a look at ourselves. We, inadvertently, also try to keep public displays of homosexuality under wraps. Most gays that come to the bar hardly hit on other men nor do they dance with other men, they still dance with members of the other sex. We are still making ourselves invisible. Rarely do you see two guys kiss even at Boom!, unless they are drunk . . . aha! the ‘excuse!’. Of course I am just as guilty as the next gay guy.

But let’s not fool ourselves but at the same time let’s not fool others. Fredericton is not a safe place for gays. If it truly is then we should see gay couples holding hands in public. New Brunswick is not safe places to show that we are gay, if that were so then we should see gay couples kissing in the park in broad daylight like we see opposite sex couples do.

If Canada is truly gay friendly all across the board then we should be seeing two men dancing together rather intimately at Nicky Zee’s and Irock. Not the case!

So what should we do about this?

I put out a challenge to all gay male couples to hold hands in public, if you never then try for say a minute in the grocery store, and then two minutes, then for 5 then 10 make it an exercise. Expose society to two men holding hands. Perhaps a bunch of gay couples and perhaps even straight male allies can participate too and go around the mall holding hands. Have an exposure day in the mall at some random afternoon/evening were a bunch of same sex male couples are seen holding hands.

I neglect female couples as per the issues raised above: what to do when things turn ugly or if the perverted straight guys do not ‘get the message’? Perhaps make a buddy system with other queer and queer friendly people during exposure times so that should such a situation develop the perpetrating straight pervert gets gooned.

Single gay men should also not be excluded, such as yours truly. Perhaps try to ‘hit on’ another guy in places where this is ‘acceptable’ for heterosexual couples. Again make sure you have a buddy system in case things turn sour. Try at Boom! As it is a relatively safer place then the other locales. While gay dating sites can provide, they are by no means a replacement for the old fashion way of getting out there and meet up face to face. It’s a tall order but we can chip away at it one chisel at a time.

Exposing society trains society that the sky does not fall when two men hold hands. Sociological rebuttals get revoked as more and more people see two guys kissing at a dance. Society gets trained to accept visual displays of homosexuality in public. As we have accepted visual displays of heterosexuality we need to make society conducive to us gays and lesbians as well when we visualize ourselves. Pride flags, pink and black triangles while good are not good enough, the true acceptance lies from public displays of affection. Pride parades and pride weeks while also good in getting us started in the habit of showing ourselves in public are still not good enough..

To conclude: there is still much work to be done. Public displays of affection between two gay men are still loathed both within and outside the queer communities. These needs to be changed: expose society to two men holding hands, get a group together and randomly expose mall passerbys with a bunch of same sex couples holding hands. The more society sees homosexuality the more we get true acceptance of who we are and what we can do for society. And it breaks down the stereotypes.

In somewhat hostile situations set up a buddy system so there is at least someone who has your back.

This is my challenge to both me and you

Best of luck

The end



Posted in: QTC