I had a conversation about this only yesterday. On paper this country is pretty progressive. It is governed by a small unattractive woman with a PhD in quantum chemistry who "lived in sin" with her second husband for many years (she´s a conservative); second in command is a gay man who just married his boyfriend. When he had his public coming out (shortly afterboth the governor of Hamburg and the candidate for governor of Berlin were threatened to "expose" and both had publicly embraced their orientation) the general reaction of the public was a major yawn...who gives a damn? I think he had planned it to be a publicity stunt - look at me! - but seriously nobody found it worth mentioning. Only later when he became foreign minister and vice chancelor did people joke about him. I have never seen any negative coverage on gays and lesbians in the media, there is a general consensus. A handful of conservatives complained about gay marriage (well, actually it´s a "registered partnership"), but it was never a big issue.
On the other hand, gay and lesbian teenagers are often still mobbed by their class mates. Especially young male muslim immigrants are often still set on a very traditional macho concept of gender roles. "Faggot" is often used as an insult, though not necessarily towards somebody gay or metro or effeminate but towards anybody who happens to be the target of ridicule. It is used much in a similar way to the expression "Du Spasti!" ("you spastic!", a completely ridiculous wannabe insult that has absolutely nothing to do with people actually suffering from spastic attacks (which isn´t exactly somethinfg to ridicula either)). There are suspiciously few open gays in pro sports. Much more among artists, entertainers and, as I said, even politicians. Sports, male sports, is the last bastion of macho heterosexuality and I can´t wait for the day when one professional soccer player after the other comes out of the closet. Oh the tears that will be shed at the pub around the corner where the real guys meet!
So yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with insecurity and conforming to group behavior.
As for Forever Young: get the hell out of that cave men ridden snowy hell hole of yours and move into civilization!
As for Ming: Good luck with getting your environment used to the idea. When a friend of minde married, two of her friends from Spain (two guys) came to the wedding. They came across as so gay that I immediately assumed they were a couple. When I could conclude from the conversation that they were not, I thought, okay, so they are two friends who just happen to be both gay. It turned out later on that one of them (funnily enough the even gayer one of them) had never officially come out and even said "my girlfriend" when he talked about his boyfriend back at home. He only came out a year or later and now has very interesting pictures of himself in speedos at the beach in his facebook profile. Apparently he was afraid of the repercussions until it turned out that his environment was very supportive (and probably knew all along anyway, seriousl!)
It may sound like a cliché, but really, this is the 21st century and those still living in the 19th century shouldn´t stop the rest from living their lives as they damn well please (as long as nobody else get´s hurt, which obviously isn´t the case here). Also, I have several friends living in Barcelona which is not only very LGBT friendly but a city that worships metrosexuality and a few of these hetero friends would probably get beaten up in Forever Youngs village from hell (or Saudi Arabia or many African countries for that matter, also a lot of homophobia in the Carribean. It´s sometimes used as the modern day version of "the jews poisoned the drinking water")
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell A herring's blog Johari / Nohari
Now I realize it may be unfair to ask this to people who live in more progressive surroundings, but do you encounter a lot of macho bullshit in your life?
Yes, it's happened. These guys are protecting their territory. You make them insecure. It's sad that you get beaten up. But that is how it is. As you are part of their group, but don't conform, you disrupt.
In essence it's probably a few in that group that feel they have the right to attack you based on their perception of reality(as in you hurt them). The rest in the group are too mentally weak to stand up against the leaders(probably a few that don't share the feelings) The rest indifferent, as they are not on the line. So you really don't stand a chance if you try to set things right. These guys are not interested in learning, expanding their horizon. You are like a knife that twists in the wound. They want things to be as it has always been.
It's classic group mentality with the ones on top cleansing the territory. It's going on everywhere. Homophobia etc are excuses. They want you gone as you make them uncomfortable and disrupt their harmony. Or just someone to abuse. They probably don't quite know either. But they do know that they don't like you.
^ I do think it's much different as an adult for me though. If I had not been bullied so much in high school, I'd probably be a total push-over as an adult. Being bullied in high school hardened me up and made me realize that it can't get any worse than what happened to me in the past. Now, I really do give off that "You can't push me around, dude. Find another approach" vibe.. I didn't realize that I do, but I really do!!
Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.
Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
prplchknz: i don't like it
Yeah men were going to college long before women...but yeah...I think a lot of what you're witnessing must be from a specific culture, since you won't verify where you're from - but it sounds like a less educated, working class mentality which I've witnessed more amongst redneck types in the South, or some Latino sub-groups in Las Vegas or California. There are plenty of other cultures or sub-groups where this kind of mentality reigns, and I'd take a wild stab in the dark that the dudes who beat you up were most likely STPs who get thrills out of public beatings or misguided SJ males who have known absolutely nothing but that ignorant sub-culture for their entire lives.
I dunno, I've always told people to fuck off unless I felt like I was actually in danger. There was a redneck football player named Bobby Varney (yes I swear that was his name...who but a redneck would name their child such a thing) who tried to pick on me in one of my math classes, he was inches away from being a drooling moron, and I just went off on him one day in class, the expression on his face was priceless because he wasn't expecting me to retaliate. Of course the teacher took my side, and if it had gone any further I could have reported him to administration. I also used to stick up for others who would get picked on, verbally at least.
Unfortunately being on the street is much more dangerous than getting picked on by some doofus in high school, so I'd start carrying mace or some other weapon if I were you.
"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." - Edward Abbey