I'm not seriously heterophobic. If such a thing even exists. Let me start with that.
There are a lot of men in the gay community that espouse disdain for straight people and the lifestyles they live. I think this is farcical for the most part. Obviously there are some things about what is commonly referred to in societal vernacular as the "straight lifestyle" (remember, before "politically correct" became an issue, when we could just talk?) that are a little silly... football, for instance. The men I am referring to, though, are the ones who use words like "breeder" and refuse to go to weddings. That's just stupid. Everyone knows we need straight people; if there were no straight people, I'd run out of eighteen year old boys in eighteen years.
Interesting side note: that comment will be extremely off-putting to people who would find it amusing if I were straight and referring to eighteen year old girls. That's HOMOphobia -- which is not the topic of this entry.
I was on FaceBook today, and good ol' FB invited me to see Darren Criss, Blaine on Glee, which, as we all know, is my favorite show at the moment, perform at The Roxy, I think it was. I didn't have to think about it for thirty seconds before deciding not to go.
Why? He's good-looking, talented, on my FAVORITE show, and performing at a venue close to me! Oh, right. Because he's straight.
I mean it. I don't want to go because he's straight. If he was gay, I'd totally want to. Not because I think I'd have a shot (I'm not THAT vain... well, maybe I am, but I'm not that stupid) and not because I think the crowd won't be full of queers and girls(I mean, who ELSE would go?). I'm just not interested in going to see this straight performer, and the only reason I can think of is because he's straight.
I just can't imagine that his show will be remarkable enough on its own to interest me... but if he were a young gay performer, I would want to go. This is very confusing to me, because it points out a prejudice that I wasn't aware I possessed.
I expect more from heterosexual men than I do of gay men -- except, of course, for the ones I date and befriend personally. I think I'm more willing to give something new a shot if I know it's gay, or gay produced, or gay owned, or gay sponsored. I'm not so sure that's right.
But then, I think, that's hardly unique to the gay community. How many Christians intentionally shop at Christian-owned establishments? African Americans? Jews? Russians? Latinos? I guess it happens everywhere.
It seems to me that we, as people, are a lot more willing to give someone a chance if they have something really important in common with us. -- Hang on a minute. Race, religion, sexual orientation, country of origin... these aren't IMPORTANT! Of course they're not! How did I, a self-professed liberal, get into the mindset that any of those factors contribute to what sort of person... a person... really is?
Because we all do it. Liberals, Conservatives, Satanists... whatever our political affiliation is, whatever our dogma, we all, deep down, are willing to cut a guy a break if we see just a little bit of us in them.
I suppose the key is to look closer at everyone until we can finally see it.
(Geoffrey Ian Bara is a writer and performer in Los Angeles.)