From: (Stephen M. Palmer)
Newsgroups: soc.motss,alt.homosexual,
Subject: Suffocated by the Straight World
Date: Thu, 04 Apr 1996 10:00:53 GMT

	Right now, I am feeling very tired of living in a world dominated by
straight people.  I feel I have little space to breath familiar, queer
air.  I turn on the television, and I see straight people on every
channel.  They are reading the network news, hawking dish soap,
solving crimes on PBS, crying for a lost love on any number of soap
operas and evening dramas, jumping in and out of bed with the latest
thing on prime time, hosting talk shows in the mornings or in the wee
hours of the night, and presenting music videos on MTV or VH1.  When I
leave my house, I am bombarded by straight people engaged in all
manner of everyday activities.  They dominate my college classrooms,
pervade the local malls and shopping centers, and ever-present in both
public and private business offices.  Most of the magazines I look at
have straight people on the covers whether they are directed toward
straight or gay audiences.  Cereal boxes, text books, fiction books,
music on the radio as well as on CD, and movies with noted exceptions
are covered with or directed toward straight people.
	I understand this picture is but a projection of mine.  I am fully
aware there exists a number of queer people in all of the arenas I
mention.  Yet, it cannot be forgotten most of the definitions of these
situations presupposes a straight persona.  Yes, the VJ announcing the
videos on MTV could be gay or lesbian; yet, this is never clairified
in the same way a presumably straight VJ clairifies his straightness.
Yes, the actress hawking dish soap on the television could be lesbian,
but the commercial is rooted in a straight context. (I.E., thank God I
have X brand of dishwashing soap, otherwise my husband would never
get the dishes clean.)  The same can be said of movies, television
serials, talk shows,  and music.  They could be gay or lesbian.  The
lyrics are ambiguous enough to relate to anyone.  Straight and gay
alike state,everyone deserves their privacy.  If they want to come
out, they will.  In the mean time just remember we are everywhere.  I
mean, you cant blame them.  If they want a job, they must remain in
the closet.  All of this serves the purpose of maintaining the status
quo.  The world remains unbearably straight.
	I want things to change.  I want to be able to turn on the TV and see
images I relate to without doing the mental gymnastics to alter the
sexes and the dialog of the actors.  I do not want to see images of
straight people playing gay and lesbian roles; I want to see images of
gay and lesbian people playing queer roles.  I want to see well-known,
gay and lesbian people on magazine covers, especially those designed
for the gay and lesbian communinty.  I do not want to see straight men
and women on gay and lesbian magazines.  I want to go to the grocery
store and the local mall or shopping center and see gay couples as
well as straight couples.  I want to go to the movies and see gay men
and women in dramatic roles for and about queer people.  I want to
hear queer-themed songs on the radio performed by gay men and
lesbians.  In short, I want to live in a world that I can relate to
and that invites me in as an equal member.
	Before anyone becomes too sick of reading the miscellaneous gripes and
bitches of some fag living a minority existence, let me assure you I
realize the best I can expect is a ten percent turn out in the world.
It is simply that I am overwhelmed by a society that appears to have
been quite satisfied before being exposed to queer people, and who
would rather we all went away now that they have had the displeasure
of making our aquaintence.  I am tired of trying to make space for
myself in a closed society.  Why do I always want to talk about being
queer?  Why do I always talk about my sex life?  Why do I want it to
be obvious I am not straight?  The answer to these questions is the
same: I simply want to be me in the same way straight men and women
want to be themselves.  Unfortunately, I am a minority and do not have
the luxury of making the rules for the mainstream.  The consequence of
this is a world in which I feel like an alien.  The straight world
cannot give me the space I need because the straight world is almost
completely blind to my needs.  I and the rest of the gay and lesbian
community continually need to educate the world on the space we want
and claim as our right to share on this planet.
Right now I feel tired of trying to make room in an unwelcome world.
Yes, it will pass, but, for now that is how I feel.
Return to Gay:Stories:Gay Life
The Bibble Pages, Christian Molick,