You People And Your Quaint Little Categories (joanne_c) wrote in fandoms_bitches,
You People And Your Quaint Little Categories
joanne_c
fandoms_bitches

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No, I don't believe someone is out till they're out

Written in response to some of the debates in the LOTR_RPS fandom. Also, the first paragraph is partly lifted from an old post on a list I'm on that I didn't make - it set me off on the train of thought that led to this.

When I see a man dating women, talking about loving/wanting women, and never saying a word about sexual/romantic feelings toward men, or displaying any tendency towards same - I tend to think of that man as straight. I might be wrong about him, but until he tells me so or proves me wrong in some other way, that's where my head is, where my perceptions are.

I'm not saying that this precludes bisexuality or same-sex desire or heteroflexibility or any other variation. Or even the possibility of closeted gayness in some cases (but I would think that this was the least likely - I'd be more likely to see the possibility of closeted gayness in someone who *didn't* date or talk about themself dating anyone to the world at large).

What I'm saying is that the way he presents *himself* to me is straight. It's not homophobic to take surface impressions as right until or unless proven wrong. It's human. We can't read the minds of others, so how can we form any other impression if we're not *given* any other impression?

Could hugs, touching, etc towards the same sex be argued as displaying same-sex tendencies? I'd say that they perhaps make it *possible* that they have same-sex tendencies. I'd also say it was equally possible that they were just very friendly. I've seen enough of both sexes being cuddly to know that sometimes it means more, but in the vast majority of cases it doesn't - IME. But I would never presume to think seriously either way about it. I might think it was sweet, even wonder a bit in the back of my mind if it did mean more, but I'd never do more than wonder in the privacy of my own head.

I don't think I have the right to talk about anyone's sexuality that isn't my own. I don't presume anyone's sexuality who I meet, because I've actually quite often been wrong. I've presumed (in my mind only) women I met through m/m slash to be straight and have found out later that they were bi or lesbian. I also presumed the men I met through f/f slash were straight, and found out later that it was not always so. I presumed a woman I met through f/f was lesbian, or at least bi. And she turned out to be straight, she just actually liked the idea of writing f/f sex more than m/m because she felt that as a woman she knew how a woman, or two women, would react and feel, but she wouldn't be able to do the same when it was two men. And I've also presumed that men I've met through m/m slash are gay or bi. And there are *actually* a (very) few straight men into m/m slash fandom.

So, do I think it's possible our boys could have done something? Yes. Anything's possible, and I can't see why they wouldn't under some circumstances. Do I believe it with all my heart and soul? No. And I won't believe in it like that until I get some kind of actual confirmation from them. I'm not homophobic. I like the idea that it might have happened. But I won't believe it till they tell me in some way. Until or unless I hear differently, the way they present themselves is the way I see them. I'm assuming that people are presenting themselves as they are, or at least as they see themselves.

Because that's the way I feel people should be able to talk about their sexuality.

On their terms.

Let's put it this way: Would anyone *ever* consider analysing and interpreting the behaviour of Ian McKellen to come to the conclusion that he *could* be straight?

Of course not (at least most people would answer this way, I think - if not, go ahead - and send me the details, 'cause I could use them for fic *g*).

So why is it so wrong to hold the belief that yeah, maybe something happened, but I'm not going to insist it could have until or unless I get something a hell of a lot more concrete than speculation and cuddly public behaviour? And until or unless I get something from a source I can respect (reasonably reputable magazine/newspaper - and more than one, usually, would be my definition, btw), I'm not going to believe with all my heart and soul that anything happened.
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