Originally Posted by Annie
Actually it depends on which gay person you talk to. What about people like Anne Heche? She said first she was "completely straight". Then she was Ellen's girlfriend and said she was "definitely not bisexual, definitely gay". But now she's renounced that period in her life and is "totally straight". She's not the only one who's made comments like that (some famous/ some not people, too). If you can swing back and forth from those two extremes and not miss a beat....most would call that *choosing*.
I know this is off-topic, so I won't pursue the matter beyond this one post - but, since it's been brought up . . .
Heche's answer to the issue of "is she gay or straight" is pretty much summed up by the quote: "You fall in love with a person, not a sex." She's also gone on record as saying: "I have been very clear to everybody that just because Im getting married does not mean I call myself a straight. Call me anything you wantI dont call me anything. The labelings about what makes you
feel comfortable." And finally: "I have a right to love who I want to love. I understand many homosexuals believe it's not a choice, but I made a choice out of joy."
In other words, she's basically a bisexual woman, albeit one who seems to lean more towards the heterosexual end of the Kinsey scale; she's also a woman who dislikes categorization, hence the "I'm not gay straight or bi I just fall in love" attitude towards sexuality.
Heche has acted in bizarre fashion at some points in her life, but her attitude towards sexuality is, imo, enormously sane. It's also, unfortunately, a position still somewhat ahead of its time, living as we do in a world that likes to pigenohole people. Implying that choice with regard to sexual behavior automatically negates the value of declaring a specific sexual orientation confuses the issue at a basic level: the declaration of where one stands with regard to gay/straight/bi orientation is fundamentally a political act; the behavior one actually indulges in is a private matter. Conflating the political with the personal in public fashion is what puts Heche somewhat "ahead of her time," imo.
I think Kerry's reference to Cheney's daughter, and people's "outrage" with it (the scandals involving US occupation of Iraq, amongst numerous other blunders committed by the current administration, apparently not being nearly so problematic) involves the same issue: Did Kerry have the right to conflate, without permission from the party involved, the political with the personal in a public format? Since Mary Cheney's sexuality had already been invoked in the political arena, both by Ms. Cheney herself and by other members of her family, I personally can't see Kerry's remarks as erring in anything other than taste. And, since we're talking about the Republican party's desire to constitutionalize second-class citizenship for gays, that error, for me, dwindles to the point of nonexistence.
To quote from the article posted earlier in this thread by Thalia: "...Much of the gay population is incensed. At the media. Let's get one thing straight. It is not an insult to call a proudly public lesbian a lesbian. It's an insult to gasp when someone calls her a lesbian. That's how all the gays I have spoken to the past 24 hours perceived the press response. You're embarrassed for us. And it's infuriating." As a gay man, all I can say is: Exactly. Precisely. Absolutely.