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  1. #81

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    I've never been in the closet but am very offended by other gay people who think that because they themselves are out, everyone has to be, and that it's wrong of them not to declare their sexuality publicly. What right is it of theirs to make decisions for anyone other than themselves?
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzisk8tr View Post
    I've never been in the closet but am very offended by other gay people who think that because they themselves are out, everyone has to be, and that it's wrong of them not to declare their sexuality publicly. What right is it of theirs to make decisions for anyone other than themselves?
    From some people I've spoken to, they think that those who are not out are benefitting from the progress made by those who are out and tackling on the issue first-hand. I understand both feelings that it's a privacy issue and that not everyone is comfortable with being out (or can afford to due to family, social, or even professional reasons) and the other feeling that some think it's a bit unfair that those who choose to remain closeted are able to "safely" live their life without the risks many get by being out and serving as leaders or at least models. By leaders and models, I don't mean being a leader of a movement or anything, but simply not being ashamed of being oneself and living life and sharing one's personal life like any straight person would when they talk about their boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse or what they did over the weekend. Believe or not, small things like that really open the minds of many people who never thought about it before.

    Of course with any movement, there's always going to be a free-rider problem, so I don't think people should be too critical. I also think that people are not meant to nor should be forced to do something they are not ready to do. Some people may only be selfish and want the privilege of having a straight person's life but still enjoying homosexual activities discretely, but what can you do? Forcing people to come out when they don't want to is just a waste of one's time.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 05-15-2013 at 04:35 PM.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    From some people I've spoken to, they think that those who are not out are benefitting from the progress made by those who are out and tackling on the issue first-hand. I understand both feelings that it's a privacy issue and that not everyone is comfortable with being out (or can afford to due to family, social, or even professional reasons) and the other feeling that some think it's a bit unfair that those who choose to remain closeted are able to "safely" live their life without the risks many get by being out and serving as leaders or at least models. By leaders and models, I don't mean being a leader of a movement or anything, but simply not being ashamed of being oneself and living life and sharing one's personal life like any straight person would when they talk about their boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse or what they did over the weekend. Believe or not, small things like that really open the minds of many people who never thought about it before.

    Of course with any movement, there's always going to be a free-rider problem, so I don't think people should be too critical. I also think that people are not meant to nor should be forced to do something they are not ready to do. Some people may only be selfish and want the privilege of having a straight person's life but still enjoying homosexual activities discretely, but what can you do? Forcing people to come out when they don't want to is just a waste of one's time.
    My recollection is that back in the 1970's those who were activists for gay issues were advocating for the freedom to love, not the ability to impose one's own set of values on others. I do believe that ideal got lost somewhere along the line.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    My recollection is that back in the 1970's those who were activists for gay issues were advocating for the freedom to love, not the ability to impose one's own set of values on others. I do believe that ideal got lost somewhere along the line.
    Well, like any broad-based movement, there will be smaller issues that develop and will cause friction amongst people.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Of course with any movement, there's always going to be a free-rider problem, so I don't think people should be too critical. I also think that people are not meant to nor should be forced to do something they are not ready to do.
    Makes me think of the women's movement as well - while some fought for equality with passion, others cheered from the sidelines, and others didn't understand what the big deal was in the first place. Even today, I see women trying to impose their choices on others, all in the name of betterment for all.

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I understand both feelings that it's a privacy issue and that not everyone is comfortable with being out (or can afford to due to family, social, or even professional reasons) and the other feeling that some think it's a bit unfair that those who choose to remain closeted are able to "safely" live their life without the risks many get by being out and serving as leaders or at least models.

    Some people may only be selfish and want the privilege of having a straight person's life but still enjoying homosexual activities discretely, but what can you do?
    Understood, but no one is keeping the "leaders and models" from being out (or forcing them to stay "in"), that is their choice and, yes, I applaud them for it. But how is it appropriate for those who take more of an activist role to put pressure on those who, for whatever reason, are not publicly out?

    I myself have been out to those close to me for years, but I do not shout it out to everyone I meet. Some may call it cowardly, but the primary reason for my discretion is because my job involves working one-on-one with children (and older students as well). It's sad and disturbing, but we all know that there is a percentage of parents who would never, EVER consider letting their kids work with an openly homosexual teacher. My choice has nothing do with wanting the "privilege" of a straight person's life. I'm proud of my work and the successful reputation I have built. To that end, I am not willing to sacrifice and sabotage what I have worked for my entire life, in order to satisfy the desires of those who believe I should do so in the name of progress.

    As mentioned, I don't hide my sexuality to those who are close to me. VIETgrlTerifa, I don't believe you meant this offensively, but the part of your message I bolded seems off, somehow. While some gay people may wish they were straight, many do not (including myself). Being gay is who I am and I consider that a great privilege. I enjoy being a part of the community and living a gay lifestyle. (We have way more fun than straight people anyway, because we celebrate EVERYTHING! I think straight people are just jealous... )
    Last edited by skateboy; 05-16-2013 at 08:58 PM.
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

  7. #87

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    Love the direction this thread is going. I love these two sayings that have helped me out (albeit when I was younger) Being gay is what I am not who I am, and it's absolutely none of my business what other people think of me.
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


  8. #88
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    If someone wants to stay in the closet while benefitting from the positive changes that gay activists make happen, I'm okay with that. But at least donate some $$$ to gay charities to show appreciation for how your life is better due to those who put themselves on the front lines. I ran a Gay and Lesbian Library for a decade as a volunteer and usually the only money we had to buy books and supplies came from late charges or donated books that we re-sold. I did not have a car, so I had to take heavy boxes of books on transit to the used bookstores. If even a handful of people had donated small amounts of cash to our library, things would have been SO much easier.

    P.S. We are really off-topic here, aren't we?
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  9. #89

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    So, to go off topic a bit more ...

    I don't think it's less risky for everyone to stay in the closet. It can present risks, just different ones. My best friend was hospitalized twice due to anxiety in her late teens due to her hiding her "secret" (as she called it). It's been years and years since she's been out, but she describes that time of her life as the worst time of her life. Recently, she dated a woman who was out only to her closest friends and family, but not work or work-related folks for reasons not unlike those skateboy discussed. She describes it as extremely difficult, and my friend said she didn't want to continue to date her because she can't be a part of anyone's secret (because her own nearly destroyed her). This woman wants her and her partner to share the same types of activities that everyone else does, but she is too afraid of what will happen if she comes out.

    It sucks.

    O-
    P.S. I have lots of gay friends to celebrate with, so I'm not a jealous straight girl

  10. #90
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    It's his business not mine. I just want to watch him skate!

  11. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by duane View Post
    I felt Michael Weiss did this throughout his career "My girlfriend Lisa...", "My fiance Lisa...", "My wife Lisa...", "My wife Lisa and kids...", "Yes, I'm the only skater married with kids...", "It's tough when I'm on the road and away from my wife Lisa and the kids...", "Oh, did I mention my wife Lisa and kids?"...

    I guess it's understandable, considering many do consider a straight male figure skater an oxymoron.
    Ah yes, the lovely sexy Lisa with her long blonde locks - I remember her in a tight pink swear in the K&K - got a lot of press during Mike's career. I remember a fluff piece that showed Weiss in his home, and he took the interviewer into his bedroom, remarking that 'this was where it all happened'.

    Personally, I found it all rather silly. Then Weiss went and proclaimed that he would win worlds in 2003, after seeing a hypnotist and renting a Hummer to celebrate his victory.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    I remember a fluff piece that showed Weiss in his home, and he took the interviewer into his bedroom, remarking that 'this was where it all happened'.
    Eww. I'm really glad I missed that!
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

  13. #93
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    Wow, I leave the thread for a little while and the direction it has taken is indeed interesting and in the spirit of conversation. I may have jumped back in a little late, but on the subject of "coming out" .....

    I must mention that "coming out" is not a term or behavior that has a set of "rules" or "standards." It can mean many different things to many different people at many different times.

    For example, a person can "come out" to themselves but no one else. A person can "come out" to people who know them and more discreetly. A person can also "come out" to the world, as Jason Collins did by proclaiming his sexuality through the media.

    What is MOST important, really, is that the person "comes out" to themselves, i.e. recognize and accept their sexuality and live with it in a healthy manner.

    My point is, "coming out" is a manifesatation of a person's accepting who they are sexually. Whether they tell no one, others they know or the world doesn't matter, what matters is the person's own acceptance of self and living with it in a healthy manner.

  14. #94

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    I agree that what matters most is a person's own acceptance of their self and living with their sexuality in a healthy manner.

    I wouldn't, however, advise anyone who doesn't want a secret inadvertently shared to use the expressing "coming out" or "out" if they only mean that they've come out to themselves. Most people think of the "coming out" definition in the broader sense, i.e., to people other than themselves.

    O-

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    I am amazed by the "who cares?"-type posts in this thread. There are a hundred threads on this board that these same people could justifiably post a nasty or dismissive "who cares?" in, but do not. The Off the Beaten Track forum must have hundreds of topics discussed that seem unworthy of discussion to large numbers of people. The Trash Can has plenty. Why does a simple, respectfully worded question about a gay skater get all this attitude?

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    I am amazed by the "who cares?"-type posts in this thread. There are a hundred threads on this board that these same people could justifiably post a nasty or dismissive "who cares?" in, but do not. The Off the Beaten Track forum must have hundreds of topics discussed that seem unworthy of discussion to large numbers of people. The Trash Can has plenty. Why does a simple, respectfully worded question about a gay skater get all this attitude?
    This thread discussion is very interesting for the views, information and insight provided, personal as well as anecdotal. But personally I don't think it is appropriate to be questioning whether a specific person is gay or not. It is not asked if a person is straight or not and it does not change who the person is and what they do. So why does it need to be asked? There are skaters that are "out" among friends, who definitely do not wish for the information to be general knowledge nor do their coaches wish it to be known.

    JB is a great guy - straight or gay - so who cares, and why care and why the need to know?

  17. #97
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    Everyone has the right to tell or not tell, it still shouldn't matter. What should matter is what kind of a person you are, what kind of a character you have. I'm a Muslima, in fact the kind who is busy with religion quite a lot actually and not just by name or tradition, yet I'd rather be in the company of gay people who have a kind and honest and generous character than with hetero religious people who have horrible characters. How you treat each other and animals is more important than being gay or hetero imo.

    Sometimes I am interested to know if someone is gay or not though, in the same way I'm interested in other aspects of that persons life, such as a hobby or favourite colour or what that person thinks is important in life, but that person certainly isn't obliged to tell me anything at all. None of us are, hetero or gay, we don't owe anyone an explanation of how we chose to live.

  18. #98

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    I think many think that on the most basic level (not taking into account safety or privacy issues), saying people have a right to be out or not be out is sort of recognizing that there is some sort of shame involved with being LGBT. If there wasn't shame, then why would people need to not be out in the manner almost everyone is about their family life? We don't have these sorts of attitudes regarding heterosexuals because society is already hetero-normative, meaning that everyone is assumed to be straight unless otherwise told or when people start speculating about someone based on stereotypes (or even animosity).

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I think many think that on the most basic level (not taking into account safety or privacy issues), saying people have a right to be out or not be out is sort of recognizing that there is some sort of shame involved with being LGBT. If there wasn't shame, then why would people need to not be out in the manner almost everyone is about their family life? We don't have these sorts of attitudes regarding heterosexuals because society is already hetero-normative, meaning that everyone is assumed to be straight unless otherwise told or when people start speculating about someone based on stereotypes (or even animosity).
    Not sure I entirely agree with this. I personally don't care if someone is gay or straight. I have known a number of people over the years who are gay/lesbian, and they are great people. I don't assume anyone is straight or gay. It's just not something that enters my mind when I meet someone for the first time. I don't categorize people by sexual orientation, gay or straight. In fact, I tend to have more respect for people who don't make their sexual orientation the most important thing people know and recognize. With Jeffrey Buttle, and a number of other people, it's his skating that does the talking, and I love watching him skate.

    Not everyone shares this view however, and in Canada gay people still get beat up. Furthermore, the stereotype that all male skates must be gay is still way to prevalent. I've met fathers who will not allow their sons to figure skate because they are afraid they might become gay. Boys in school will still get beat up, teased and bullied if their classmates and schoolmates discover they figure skate. There was a boy in Canada a year or so ago that committed suicide because of the bullying he received because he was a figure skater and gay. Battle of the Blades took this up in one of their episodes. And I have to say that show is doing wonders for perception and attitudes about figure skating. It's likely why Michael Weiss took the approach he did regarding his wife Lissa: "see? I figure skate and I'm straight!" As many Kurt Browning, Scott Moir, Charlie White, Andrew Poje, Patrice Lauzon, David Pelletier, Dylan Moscovitch, etc. etc. in the skating world, too many people point to the Johnny Weir and Tollar Cranston and even Shawn Sawyer's of the skating world and say "this is all male skaters". It's stupid, but it's going to take awhile for attitudes to change. Skating should just be skating. It shouldn't matter one's sexual orientation.

  20. #100

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    Why is it that some people who think other people who are "out" or at least more "open" about their sexual orientation that they're making it the "most important thing people know and recognize"? Shouldn't LGBT people be given the same latitude as everyone else? The only reason why sexual orientation is more a center of discussion for LGBT people is because straight people never have to think about it because they have the privilege of it being a part of life.

    It's like when an acquaintance or someone at a party simply asks someone if they're seeing anyone. I know it sounds a bit invasive, but that seems to be a common question for social situations even amongst people who are only friend-of-a-friend. For most people, it's just a yes or no answer with maybe some small talk follow-up, while it may be the case where some LGBT people have to assess who they are talking to and make sure that person would be ok with them or maybe evaluate whether they want to bother saying anything that might give away their sexual orientation. Yes, they can answer a simple yes or no, but by answering, they open themselves up for more questions. Of course you can just tell that person that it's none-of-their business, but that would make for an awkward situation.

    I don't think anyone is saying that one's sexuality is the only or most important part of their life, but where does one draw the line as to where a person is being "normal" about it and where a person is making it "too important"?

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