Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Words Matter.


 Having been raised in the wilderness where most of your neighbours are cows, I have slipped up from time to time with some of my sayings, phrases or view points. I have repeated phases that I often heard without really thinking about the meaning behind them. I say this to point out that I won't pretend to be Mr perfect when it comes to being respectful towards others. I have made mistakes, I try to learn from them, I try to do better and I'm not going to judge someone else for a slip up.

 I say this because of something innocently said to me in a text yesterday that stung me when I read it. I kept thinking about it yesterday and this morning, I was wondering if I was being over sensitive but I don't think I am, if it's brother me, that tells me something. I know the person meant no harm so I'm not angry "with" her.

 It was when I was texting back and forth with a good friend of mine yesterday. We were discussing her nephew and his boyfriend and about me picking them out in the photo. She was wondering how I "knew" and I was joking back that "we can sense our own kind". I made the comment about how good looking he is and about the nice shape he keeps himself in. That's when she text back, "yes gay guys are always so good looking...  what a waste"! That phrase stung like a slap on the face. Now before people jump on my friend, I know she was just repeating a joke that straight women often used to say, she loves her nephew and has always been supportive of me so she didn't realize what she just said.

 Still it was an internal ouch, I often heard that phrase but didn't pay much attention to it when I was younger. I haven't heard it used in a long time and now it felt really hurtful because it means that I am a waste to society, I am not straight therefore I am taking up valuable space that could be used by a straight man. It also means that our relationships have no worth, that the only value is the potential of a future relationship of a straight person. Love is love is love as long as it's between two straight people, anything else is just a funny joke.

 I will text with her tonight and let her see the error of her comment. I am upset with the phrase and not actually the person who said it, I would like to help make this phrase become extinct.  I know she will feel awful, that's why I will wait until after work, she is a sweet person and might actually cry if she thinks she hurt me. I will do it not to scold her or argue with her but to help her, as people helped me when I (often) put my foot in my mouth.

26 comments:

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Ha! Well, I’ve been heard that one before. I feel you.
I think most people really don’t think when they say these things. It’s just part of their repertoire and what’s supposed to be funny or praise ends up being a backhanded compliment. Totally sure this person didn’t mean to make you feel bad.
But yeah, I’m with you on that ruminating these things. And I don’t live in the countryside

😉

XoXo

Bob Slatten said...

Texting, which I don't do, is hard because she may have meant her comment completely as a fun joke and yet you don't get to hear that tone in her voice because it was a text.
Still, I would have responded:
"Not for gay men."

Deedles said...

I always figured it's only a waste if it's spewed on the ground, but that's just me. I'm offended on behalf of the butt ugly gays out there! I know it happens, there are too many people out there for it not to. That's a clunky sentence, but I don't care! It sounds like she didn't mean any harm, so be gentle.

Old Lurker said...

I am relieved that Deedles is offended on my behalf.

I don't interpret the joke the way you did. I presumed it meant "It is a waste because straight women would enjoy such specimens" as opposed to "It is a waste because gay people are a waste to society". But I agree that if it hurt your feeling you should let her know. I also know that by its very nature humor is dangerous -- often funny things are funny because they straddle the line between what is socially acceptable and not acceptable. So I am glad you will be kind to her.

Deedles said...

I've got your back, Lurky!

mistress maddie said...

"Honey, in my house a queen always beats a straight." Lol!!!! Will Truman

Mike said...

I never took that comment as anything but a compliment, that there are guys unavailable to girls. On the other hand, if one person is hurt by an expression then maybe we shouldn't use it. What would have hurt me was 'it takes one to know one.' If you mention it to her you can use it as a learning experience and accept your part in the hurt -- you joked about a stereotype of gay men that many of us don't live up to. Whatever you do, don't say it in a text message!!

anne marie in philly said...

I have often wondered why my gay friends are so damn cute and many str8 guys are so damn hideous.

I think it's because all y'all are special magical people who deserve to love and be loved.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

My interpretation of that pretty standard remark is the same as the Old Lurker's. It is heterocentric, yes, but not homophobic, in my opinion. I've known gay men to say the same thing about handsome straight men who are out of reach.

Mike said...

Then there's the flip side. I know a young woman, daughter of my college girlfriend, who is getting married this year. Around 30 years old, the bride and groom have been living together several years. The boyfriend is hot! (see what I did there?) and completely fits the gay urban stereotype. Cute, fit, dresses well, scruffy beard, great smile. Gay guys often hit on him. Happily he doesn't take offense, just laughs it off, says he's flattered. Other men might be offended for whatever reason. I hope I get invited to the wedding....

Cali-Boi said...

I never took that as a insult or get upset when women say that. I always took it as gay men are much more hot and considerate of women that straight men. They also seem to connect and have more fun with us, and don't have to have their guard up with us. Many of my girl friends tell me this.

Michael said...

Text messages are sometimes hard to decipher. Maybe she meant what Cali-Boi is suggesting, that gay men tend to be more considerate and fun to be with...she sounds like a nice person from what you describe, so perhaps she meant no harm....I hope so.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Sixpence, ruminating, countryside, cows as neighbors, did you say that on purpose, because if you did I'm really impressed lol!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Bob, yes it's meant as a joke, I can hear her laughing while texting that. Your response is excellent, I'm stealing it!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Deedles, don't worry I'm not going to go all "Anne Marie" on her and scare her half to death, HAHAHA! (Just kidding Anne Marie) Maybe this is clunky but you made sense. :)

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Old Lurker, I love her, simple as that. I see your point and you are partly true, but look up the definition of waste, there is nothing positive in the definition.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Deedles, you know he is probably hot and just likes to whine.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Maddie... really? What do you mean when you say you like to beat straight guys? You're not violent so that means...

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Mike we are allowed to joke about ourselves, we have earned that right and there is no malice behind it. I think it's a backhand compliment. There is a difference to the meaning, "he is handsome but he's gay".
"What a waste".
Compare that to, "he is so handsome but he's married".
"That's too bad" or "happily married"? You don't hear, he's married or he's taken, aww what a waste.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Anne Marie, because we are picky, too many women let their guys get away with just doing the bare minimum in a relationship. Guys with a beer gut in gayland are called single. No offense meant to beergutted gay men. :)

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Debra, we are saying it just to cover up the pain of rejection. I totally made that up to try and take away the good point you are making.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Mike, it's ok to feel flattered if a woman finds you attractive, it not ok for her to associate you with something wasteful because of your sexuality. It's not meant to be homophobic but it's not fully a compliment.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Cali Boi if you are ok with it then that's fine. I can see you getting that a lot, actually I am laughing inside at the thought of every woman who meets you with boyfriend intentions and the moment they realize you play for a different team! ;)

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Michael, no she would never mean it as harmful. I know it's a joke and not meant to hurt anyone. I think Bob's response is the best one to use, it's funny and turns the thought back on them.

Richard said...

I agree with Old Lurker.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Richard... I don't know you!!! Lol, that's a dangerous thing to do.
Let's try this angle, you see a beautiful sports car, sleek, fast expensive... your dream car, suddenly you see the driver is a woman and a guy next to you says, "a woman is driving, what a waste"! I have heard this, now isn't there a negative there, or do you say that he is not putting women down, he is just saying the car is not available to men?