Asking People About Their Sexual Orientation

The article that inspired this post:

If You Think Tom Hardy Shouldn't Have Been Asked About His Sexuality, You're Dead Wrong. Here's Why.

Asking People About Their Sexual Orientation. No. Don’t do it.  Just don’t. Because it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t.

I’ve NEVER been asked my sexual orientation! I agree that people should not be asked that

My friend TLH said to me, “it’s probably because you are assumed to be straight, and that’s what’s problematic. You get asked if there are rumors or suggestions that you may differ from the norm, and the activism is about normalizing non-heterosexuality. No one is bothered or titillated by the announcement that someone is straight, and our society isn’t bothered at all by public declarations of heterosexuality… It supports and encourages them. It’s when you start talking about any other orientation that people go on about how it’s no one’s business and should be private.”

Maybe I should start publicly announcing that I am straight and that I would be totally willing to have straight relations in the future.  The existence of my son is at least proof that I’ve had hetero relations AT LEAST ONCE IN MY LIFETIME — well, I guess maybe it’s proof, I guess I could have had artificial insemination while being a virgin. This is an intriguing idea…a virgin birth…but maybe that is another post. Hehehehehehe. I guess  you are going to have to trust me that I have had hetero sexual relations at least once — about 9 months before June 1998. And yeah, no, he was not a virgin birth.

The article says “So, apparently, it’s not his personal life that he doesn’t want to talk about — it’s just his sexuality.” As far as I am concerned, people can pick and choose (and then change their minds) about what is personal, or not personal, or what they want to talk about in that moment or not want to talk about in that moment. This is their choice. IT IS THEIR CHOICE.

There is nothing wrong with, “Excuse me, I am not ready/ interested/ available/ focused on that issue on right now etc. Maybe some other time. Depending on how I feel at that moment. Fuck you.” PEOPLE TOTALLY HAVE THAT RIGHT. PLEASE RESPECT THAT. DON’T NECESSARILY CALL THEM A HYPOCRITE FOR IT.

Word.

But still, I was trying to think “what if someone asked me my sexual orientation?” This is offensive: it’s totally offensive: it’s none of their business!!! It’s like being asked when I last engaged in sexual relations, which is also a personal question.

My friend TLH wrote to me, “No one ever says, if a straight person simply mentions a romantic partnership ‘hey, that’s like telling me your favorite sexual position, stop it!’ Because it isn’t. The social norm of publicly announcing our relationship status is just that. People ask in casual conversation all the time if you’re married, it’s expected when you’re around the water cooler in an office setting that someone will say ‘my husband and I moved into a new house’, or to announce you’re having a baby. Every single bit of that is socially accepted and non-sexualized announcement and confirmation of heterosexuality and people don’t usually recoil and say that’s personal and shouldn’t be discussed. It makes it seem like all queer people do is screw all the time, not fall in love and have families and all the other normal things straight privilege lets you do without othering you about it, and that’s what makes it a problem.”

Yeah. Word.

A few weeks ago, a couple came in for the first time to our church. 2 men. 6 kids. 3 from each man. Not that the gender matters, but we do genderize on a regular basis. None of the children even faintly resembled each other. I did not ask, “Sooooo…..how did ya’ll get your children?” OMG. So many assumptions there, so many scenarios, so many <fill in the blank>. We do all make assumptions: the question is if you are going to be an asshole about it.

No matter what, though, regardless of how liberal we are — we do categorize.  *Sorry.* But how we deal with our categorization (I think) is a true measure of how we are.

This is my personal tactic: gee, behave/feel like you want to know the people. See them as people who have lived their lives and made some choices. Details can wait. People will tell you the details you are curious about in time, when the have made a personal connection to you. So I invited them out to lunch, chatted with them, sent them loving vibes. They are going out to lunch with me again today after church. They seem like really nice people, I did indeed connect with them. They are beautiful, the children are beautiful So much realness, so much love.

I am so happy to connect and a person’s gender and sexual orientation and “when they had sexual relations last” is irrelevant or even what position is their favorite.