Quick question for the crowd

Okay, so I am going to try to make this quick. 🙂

Remember the craigslist ad? Yes. Remember how I said we met a couple from it? Okay, this is about them.

Male/Female couple. She’s bi, he’s pan. Nice enough. No instant friend love match but that’s okay. We met them first for beers with Gus and then they came and played a game after Gus went to bed a few weeks ago. Something that happened when they came over bothered me.

They brought a bottle of wine and a bottle of port. The port was strong, fruity. Lady of the couple took a drink and said, “Whoa, that is fruity. No offense to present company but it is quite limp wristed”.

What do I make of that? They’re queer so it’s okay? It was just a joke so lighten up? Or first signs of homophobia and maybe move on? I’m not quite sure. It was unsettling to me – am I being overly sensitive?

What would you do, bloggers?


Posted on March 22, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. I think it was very likely just awkward/poor word choice. I really doubt it’s a symptom of homophobia considering a) their sexual identity and b) no one was forcing them to go hang out with a couple of lesbians. Perhaps they’re not well equipped in the ways of politically correct speaking, but I think it was an honest slip. I’ve had the most well meaning friends say something is “gay” before… they do it without really thinking about what it means. My hackles go up. I call them on it. They apologize. We move on. The same with the word “retarded.” Only time will tell with these two, though… but my vote is that you try not to dwell on it and give them another chance.

    • Thanks. I’ve been thinking we need to just move on from it but something about it really just stood out to me. I didn’t say anything at the time because they are queer identified so reclaiming words? But they are in a relationship that has hetero privilege so is that their place? And then i overthought myself out of having friends.

  2. They lost me at ‘pan sexual’ and at a straight couple calling themselves queer. But that’s probably my uptight Midwest roots showing 🙂

    • I was trying to move past those things…. trying so hard.

      • You gotta give everything 3 tries before giving up, so they should get one more shot to be awesome

      • Does your better half like them?

      • Yeah – same kind of feelings – not friend love at first sight but nice enough. She wasn’t as bothered by the comment as I was. But she also is not the one to manage the social calendar meaning so it’s on me to reach out and I felt hesitant.

      • I’d give them another shot, can’t hurt. They will never live up to your blog friends, but it’s someone to pass the time with, right? 😉

      • Um, identity and behavior aren’t the same, so being in a heterosexual relationship doesn’t mean you’re not queer. I agree that folks who benefit from heterosexual privilege by being in a straight coupling Neff to be aware of their perceived privilege but as a hella queer girl who has dated men (cis and trans) I’m feeling a little weird that y’all are saying these things. Sexuality is SO complex and maybe those of us who deal with society’s bullshit on the daily can try and not replicate those systems?

      • You are totally right, Andie. I think it’s just something that a lot of us struggle with, especially those of us who identify strongly as lesbians, not queer. But, on the other hand, I do think that when you are queer and in a hetero relationship (for lack of a better word – I do get it is not hetero if you are queer but forgive me as I can’t figure out a better word and am having a truly shitty day) you do have to recognize you have that privilege. Something I struggle with a lot is that in this new open world of queerness everyone ends up on the same level so yeah, folks like these folks can make these jokes because they are queer too when they don’t face any of the same struggles we do for being lesbians. (Different ones, like invisibility, yes.) I think that so many of us, especially us who are not queer identified, struggle with losing our place. I see how this sidenote was hurtful but I think it was just guards let down knowing that others understood the struggles we feel. I’m sorry.

      • Thanks for the apology, and I also get it. I think it’s a fine line, because people totally DO need to acknowledge that just identifying as something doesn’t mean your experiences are the same. Your experience as an out lesbian is totally different than the experience of a queer identified cis guy in a hetero relationship. And that’s why the joke was definitely in poor taste, and you’re justified in feeling weird about. I just wanted to remind folks that while there are folks benefiting from IDing as queer while also benefiting from heterosexual privilege, there are also some of us out there who don’t. Thanks for always being thoughtful and responsive! You prove again and again that we should be real life friends once Laurie and I get to the PacNW. 🙂

      • There are so many ideas about gender and sexuality that are complex and I don’t know, some of it is harder for me to come around to than others. The nice thing about you is that I know that while the complexities of my thoughts can get lost in blog land I know that in conversation over many beers you and I would understand each other even if we don’t always agree.

    • It bugs me when straight people identify as queer too, while taking advantage of hetero privilege. I realize that is unfair of me but some part of it just chaps my ass, a little.

    • This uptight Midwestern mom has a hard time with straight people calling themselves queer, too. I’m not down for gay jokes like that. It wasn’t even funny. My spidey sense says they have different intentions than you do.

  3. Dumb joke, bad timing. I would hate to think it’s indicative of who they are as people but I think this is one of those situations where, if you’re comfortable, seeing if this is a bad one off or a pattern of behavior you don’t any to involve yourself in. 🙂

    • Don’t want* to involve yourself in, I swear this iPhone is messing with me, I proofread for effs sake.

    • I feel better getting the sense from folks that they would have been a little alarmed too – but let’s still give it a shot as it’s not so alarming that it should speak to their character yet.

      • I have had people say these foot-in-mouth things as a way of trying to show us they are “super cool” with The Gay and it’s dumb and off putting but it comes from a non-malicious place? If that makes sense. I sometimes think intent is more important than words because lots of people kind of suck with words. If you think the intent was weird, I’d back off because it’s not worth it but if you think intent was pure but the words were dumb, offensive, and obtuse, stick with it.

  4. While it probably not ill-intentioned or homophobic, I understand why it bothered you. I wouldn’t have liked hearing that from straight people either (or bi/pansexual or whatever, they still have hetero privilege).

    If your gut is telling you there’s something off about them (even if this comment prompted that feeling), then go with your gut.

  5. What if it was a racist joke? Would you still brush it off? Or a joke about rape or child molestation? Meh, if you aren’t feeling this (possible) friendship, then I’d let it go?

  6. JFulbright7987

    I agree with most of the comments above. I also don’t find the joke funny. While I’m not offended by it, it’s just plain weird. It’s like they were sitting at home rehearsing what they were going to say to make them seem “cool” with the gays. Go with your gut. —B

  7. I’d assume it was an awkward joke and an attempt to prove they’re cool and “down” that failed. If it happens again, I’d call it out directly and ask WTF they mean/make it clear that their heterosexual privilege is showing.

  8. It would’ve bothered me and I probably would’ve said something. If I hadn’t said anything in the moment – and if everything else went alright, they were enjoyable to hang out with – I’d probably keep developing the friendship. But if they didn’t have any other redeemable qualities or we didn’t click or anything else about them bothered me, I’d be apt to cut them loose. I give more leeway to lesbian/female queer couples with foot-in-mouth events, but not to straight queer couples. Maybe that’s not fair, but in truth, I value female queer couples more.

  9. I am saddened by some of these comments.
    Being queer and being in a relationship that is cismale/cisfemale doesn’t make the person less queer. Being bi and being in a hetero relationship doesn’t make the person less bi.
    I am a lesbian but married to a non-binary person. They use ‘they’ pronouns. I formerly identified as a lesbian, and if I weren’t married I probably still would. Now I just say I’m ‘queer’ because my saying I’m a lesbian makes my partner uncomfortable as by proxy they would be seen as female.
    Gender and sexuality is complicated. Yes, there may be privilege underlying one’s particular relationship at a given time, but it is an individual’s right to claim his/her/their own sexuality and gender identity, and not other people’s right to criticize.
    I have encountered, of late, some sad comments from lesbians against bisexual and trans* people. I don’t understand why.

    Anyway, rant over. I think I probably would let it go once, and if it happened again, call the person out and say that I don’t like to hear those kinds of comments. If it turned into an issue, then that would be my answer.

    Sorry for ranting, but I think it is an important conversation to have in the queer community.

    • I got your point, Ant, and overall my thoughts (and I’m guessing other’s thoughts) and a bit more complex than I’m going to go into in blog comments but I do see your point. I also think it’s an important conversation to have and am, 90% of the time totally eager to have it because I think us lesbians are sadly misrepresented and coming from a very important place but, in my experience, the conversation rarely goes well and I’m not going to chance that in this space at this moment.

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