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Green Room - Week 39 - Day 6

I learned about something this weekend, which means it was a success.

Because any time you can come out of something knowing more than you walked in with is a good thing.

Of course, it's less of "Here is this knowledge" and more "I now have more questions". Which, hey, that can be a success as well.

Rather than "checking the internet", I figured that I would start by asking here - because there are a lot of folks here. (Not sure how many are actually, you know, reading and participating in Green Rooms, but I know a lot are at least scanning)

We volunteered with Equality Florida at the Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition Conference 2015.

In theory, this would have involved a lot of signature gathering. But we were the last shift, so everyone attending had already signed. So, instead, it involved going to the panels! There were a lot of good ones, I wish we had the time to attend more.

Old(er) white heterosexual cisgender male hanging out at a conference, listening to people tell their stories. It was pretty awesome - and I have to say that I felt extremely welcome in a way that I know they wouldn't feel in a room of people who fit my own basic profile. (Which, of course, is bullshit. They *should* be welcomed there as much as anyone else. But that's a different tangent)

The thing that I learned, was that there is a huge controversy (to the point that one of the participants in the group got *really* uncomfortable and tried to change the subject when someone asked about it saying that he had "seen it tear a room apart") about Allies using the term "coming out" when it comes to telling people about their support for the community.

Would have never crossed my mind to use it. But apparently there are people quite vocal on both sides of the issue.

So - what about YOU? Is this "coming out"? Or should people be using another term?

***

Of course, the only *real* transition here is this one - where I ask you who are YOU "coming out" to support in this week's poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/842453.html

It is TIGHT this week.

Any of the remaining contestants want to advocate for themselves?

Heck - any of them want to say why people *shouldn't* vote for you? :) ("I can't take anymore!!!")

Comments

( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
roina_arwen
Mar. 2nd, 2015 03:29 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a cool conference. As an old(er) white, bisexual cisgendered female, I have no comment or opinion on using the term "coming out" as opposed to any other. I have already done my poll duty, so yay.

We are currently on our long drive back home after spending the last six days in your sunny (except for the day it rained) state, having spent three days at Universal and one at Disney. A good time was had by all! The only down side was not being able to visit with my aunt, whose 88th birthday is tomorrow, as she had a fall recently which required a hospital stay and a procedure on her back (which I'm told she fractured), which of course being my family I was not told about until the day she was to be released from the hospital (Friday). Sigh. But she's back home in her assisted living community, and is a tough old bird, and will be getting some PT and OT therapy as needed.

Also - First!

Edited at 2015-03-02 03:32 pm (UTC)
crisp_sobriety
Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:45 pm (UTC)
Grats on frist!

I hope your aunt gets well.
bewize
Mar. 2nd, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
Using the term "coming out" if you're not actually "coming out" as LGBTQ seems like appropriation to me. I would not do it nor would I condone it - not that anyone ever asks my permission. :)

In southern USA terms, it's tacky, in my opinion.
veronica_rich
Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:53 pm (UTC)
And bless their hearts! ;-)
kandigurl
Mar. 2nd, 2015 04:32 pm (UTC)
That is a thing I have never considered and never seen discussed despite the number of LGBTQs and SJWs I'm friends with. I'm kind of surprised I haven't heard this particular gripe, actually.

I think if it's a challenge to admit to your friends and family that you're supportive of the community, so much that it could LOSE you friends and family nearly as much as actually being gay/bi/trans/what have you, then "coming out" is an appropriate term. But I can also see why people who connect very strongly to the phrase for personal reasons would take offense (the same way straight people who connect very strongly to straight marriage take offense to gay people also getting married - I suppose they might argue that's a form of appropriation as well - upshot - people are weird and I've used too many hyphens here).

As a bisexual who leans ever so slightly toward the straight end of the Kinsey scale, I haven't felt right using "coming out" to describe any announcement of my sexuality. I used it when I finally told my mother, but everyone else just sort of...knew. I will comment openly and frequently about how hot I find certain ladies, or the times I made out with certain ladies, etc., but I've never really felt I had the right to "come out" since I wasn't "gay enough", if that makes any sense.

I feel the fact that I accidentally married a trans woman gives me a little bit more Pride Street Cred, so to speak. :P

Anyway, those are my thoughts.
clauderainsrm
Mar. 2nd, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC)
I like the idea that you accidentally got married.

"Wait - I thought they said 'Do you take this free pizza?" So I said "I do! Why are you putting this ring on my finger???"

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kandigurl
Mar. 2nd, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC)
I posited the question to my FB, and the people I expected would take issue with it are, unsurprisingly, taking issue with it.
kathrynrose
Mar. 2nd, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC)
As a pretty old label-complex woman, (spent most of my adult life as a lesbian, and went through the bi-curious phase from the opposite direction. Yeah, I'm weird like that.) I "get" the outrage, even though I don't feel it personally. Maybe it's because I just don't get riled up as much as I once did, but it's kind of like the addiction people who get pissy about people saying they're addicted to chocolate or addicted to a tv program - like it dilutes or minimizes or lessens the impact of what it actually means when an LGBT person comes out.

Things are a lot better than they were thirty years ago, but the truth is, when someone comes out as LGBT, it is entirely possible for them to lose
their job
their home
their kids
their family
their church
their actual physical life.

I have personally known multiple people through my life who have actually lost these things. Each of them. I was luckier than most, but when my mom found out about me, she cancelled an out of town trip because I was supposed to have gone home for the weekend to watch my little sister. (I was in college. My sister was elevenish).

It's all kinds of awesome to have allies, and I think they should be supported and appreciated all over the place, when they're actually doing things. (besides saying, "Hey, I have gay friends.") But it's pretty unlikely that any older straight white guy is going to lose any of the aforementioned when he says, "I support gay rights."

So, for people who carry a lot of emotional weight on the difficulties of actually coming out, it can seem like an ignorant and unsupportive use of the term. Or maybe just thoughtless (meaning literally - not thinking it out.)

Sometimes people get fixated on some tiny piece of real estate in a great big world of wrong. But like I said, I just don't get as riled as I used to.
kandigurl
Mar. 2nd, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
"Sometimes people get fixated on some tiny piece of real estate in a great big world of wrong."

I really like this metaphor. I think it's pretty appropriate.
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kathrynrose
Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC)
In unrelated news...

Someone, somewhere on the internet recently said something about wanting to learn to crochet. This popped up on my FB feed today, so I'm passing it along, in case that person was in here.

https://curious.com/crochetwithstyle/series/introduction-to-crochet?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=CPM&utm_campaign=Both-Crafts_Crochet&utm_content=28to65CraftsyEtsyCrochet&utm_term=CrochetWithStyle_Pattern
beeker121
Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
It wasn't me, but I have a friend who wants me to teach her how to crochet, and I've discovered that I've been doing it for so long that I'm not very good at knowing what needs to be taught or how to explain it. I may watch a few of these just to get a handle on that.
kickthehobbit
Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC)
I have to say, as someone who generally IDs as queer—it bugs me. "Coming out" as being an ally doesn't carry the same risks that coming out as queer does. Saying that you're "coming out" as being a decent human being, as though it's a similar process...no. Just no.

Being queer means constantly coming out lest you get read as being default straight. There is a lot of stress and heartbreak associated with it, even now. Being an ally, even somewhere queer-unfriendly, doesn't carry the same kind of risk.
ryl
Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
The phrase "coming out" tends to get Diana Ross stuck in my head so I try to avoid it. Personally I like the phrase "jump the fence" as used in this conversation that actually happened:

ME: I'm going to go to Friend's parents' house for Thanksgiving with him and his girlfriend.
BOSS: Wait, I thought you said Friend was gay.
ME: He was. Now he has a girlfriend.
BOSS: *brief pause* So he jumped the fence.
ME: *snicker*
crisp_sobriety
Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:43 pm (UTC)
I'd actually come across this issue just recently, but in terms of internet creators. There's a bit of a 'thing' on YouTube where people with millions of subscribers will title a video 'Coming Out' (and, in a few notable cases, include a thumbnail of them kissing someone of the same-sex), but the actual video will have nothing to do with it. Sometimes they'll be 'coming out' as a robotlololol, or as 'the owner of this new merch store!' --or yes, as an ally.

Personally? I say this is not cool. I just keep thinking of some poor young subscriber coming online and seeing a video called Coming Out from their favorite YouTuber, thinking they might actually be getting some representation, and then clicking on it and finding out it's a joke (and it's FUNNY because coming out would mean you're GAY and that's FUNNY lolololol).

The people that do this have admitted they do it for the clickbait.

In a way, I think allies who do this might have a similar idea, although with more altruistic intentions. If they Come Out and make a Big Freaking Deal about it, they get more attention, which means the issue gets more attention, right?

But like others have said, no straight or cis ally is going to be facing the same danger and difficulties as an actual LGBTQ+ person, which makes the whole exercise in poor taste, if you ask me. I'm not going to lynch anyone who's done it, but I would ask that anyone who's thinking of it, don't.
kandigurl
Mar. 2nd, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC)
You know, it's funny because I'm all over YouTube, and the only videos I've seen with "Coming Out" in the thumbnail have been from YouTubers I already knew were gay, so I just assumed they were videos talking about their experience with coming out. I had no idea it was becoming a click-baity thing!
veronica_rich
Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:48 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I've seen a lot on Tumblr and other social media (but mostly Tumblr) about how "coming out" is not really applicable to people who have nothing to personally lose from their affiliation. Like, I'm an ally of just about any sexuality, but being straight and cis, I have practically nothing to lose by simply saying "I'm a decent human being who supports consenting people's right to love each other." (Also, that the "A" in LGBTQA is for Asexual, not Ally. You didn't mention it, but that's what I overwhelmingly read. Being mostly asexual myself, I don't much care, but I bow to people with stronger feelings on the topic than I harbor.)

Edited at 2015-03-02 08:50 pm (UTC)
clauderainsrm
Mar. 2nd, 2015 09:03 pm (UTC)
I had to scan up to make sure that I didn't type any letters.

I was going to - and knew that as soon as I did, I would forget some. :)

Actually, thanks for reminding me that I wanted to email the organizer of the event to remind them about the "A", and that we definitely have someone local who can add to that discussion!
halfshellvenus
Mar. 2nd, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
It seems like appropriation and insensitivity to me. The stakes can be so high for actual LBGTQ people, and this just smacks of something like going to a support group for rape victims and announcing that someone had ogled you on the subway. It's kind of a, "Wait, why isn't this all about meeeeeeeeeeeee?" behavior.
crisp_sobriety
Mar. 2nd, 2015 10:39 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised no one has taken Gary up on the 'anyone here want to advocate for themselves' thing.

Should we start a thread for it?
jexia
Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:29 pm (UTC)
Bags not.
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clauderainsrm
Mar. 3rd, 2015 12:26 am (UTC)
*looks at poll*

Damn, you people are crazy!!

Remember though - to encourage people to READ everything.

Also, if there are any *new accounts* that pop up when I audit this thing, I better be able to match them to an actual person who didn't want to use their facebook/other account (and who *did not* use it.)

I haven't seen anything that pops out when I've scanned everything. But something tells me tonight is going to be one of those "go through and triple check*
crisp_sobriety
Mar. 3rd, 2015 12:32 am (UTC)
This is not at all a scary thing to read.
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