Sunday, 10 June 2012

Why does everyone assume....?

Was reading a post on a blog about a beauty event today where the icebreaker for those attending was something like '... .....which celebrity man you'd most want to have with you on a desert island...'.

Er, I wouldn't want a man. I'm not that way inclined, thanks. Is it impossible for the organisers of such an event to imagine that gay women might use cosmetics? Are gay women all so damned ugly we hide behind the sofa crouched into a foetal mass with a bin bag to protect the sensitive from being appalled by our appearance? Is there a law that states gay women can't buy lipgloss? Or be invited to events where lipgloss is promoted? They couldn't have just said "man or woman"? Too much trouble?
Portia de Rossi - with cosmetics

Are all gay women mingers? I know you probably think this is a tedious subject and why do gay women harp on so much about alleged discrimination and prejudice when they live in the UK in 2012 and there are laws against homophobic attacks and it's not as if we are executed for it as men and women still are in other countries?
Not getting at benefit particularly. I do hope other companies are a bit more inclusive but I'm not holding my breath.

Ellen and Portia

Well, partly because I've had anonymous abuse and rubbish posted through my letter box. Partly because my kids had other kids follow them around shouting at them (and it wasn't a 'bad' area). I moved house. Partly because I get fed up with the assumption that I must be straight. I know most people aren't gay but we're not so rare that we ought to be completely ignored. Partly because I have to be careful not to out myself at work in case I offend someone and they then find they can't/won't work with me. Oh, even my new neighbours see fit to mention to their friends over drinks on their patio that they'd hate for their daughter to be gay. Loudly. Hey, it's better than the last place.

Vegetarians must get this too. "Oh, you don't eat meat?, I suppose I could rustle you up a mushroom .....". Mumble, stumble, make the vegetarian feel awkward for being so 'difficult'. Assumptions.

I know there are far greater injustices being perpetrated in this world. But, in the same way we try to stop ourselves assuming lawyers and doctors are male because in so supposing we do women (ourselves, our daughters) a disservice, could we try to allow gay people the opportunity not to make that troubling decision to either a/ be silent ("Well, I'd better not stick up my hand at this point and say I prefer women. Too embarrassing.") or b/ have to be militant standard-bearers for the gay community ("Hellooo! We're not all straight, you know!") by just assuming for once that there will almost certainly be some gay people at most events. Except maybe, I can't actually think of a gathering when you could be 100% sure everyone was straight.



  1. Oh Jen, I'm so sorry you've had to deal with so much crap. Generally speaking it's 'better' now than it used to be - my cousin's daughter has not once been teased or bullied for having two mummies. But there will always be people out there with prejudices.
    I don't think there's one person in the blogosphere who would think differently of you knowing that you're not straight. This 'which man on a desert island' thing, I'm 100% certain that it's just oversight and unintentional ignorance, not malice. Not that that makes any difference I guess.
    I applaud you for this post - I'm sure there's DOZENS of bloggers who are gay but have never 'come out' to their readers. Completely got your back!
    Lots of love x

  2. i'd be (and am) put off by that crap, gay or straight. in this day and age i think advertising and such should be a little more open minded.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment. I agree with you about advertising too.

  3. It's a shame that it probably was just a badly-thought-out idea of the event organiser, and yet the little things can often be the things that hurt so much. It is ridiculous that it either doesn't occur to people or they actually genuinely think that because a lady is gay she might not wear cosmetics, how silly. Agree, assumptions are awful. And how awful for you to have had to have put up with what you have (does that sentence even make sense?) with the moving and abuse etc., it makes me sick that any kind of discrimination still exists in this day and age. Why should you ever have to guard something if you don't want it to be a secret, for fear of being discriminated against. How brave of you to write this post, I really admire you. Sorry for my poorly articulated comment, I apparently don't know English language :s love xxxx

  4. I can only imagine it's an oversight rather than an intentional snub against gay women but I can totally understand how annoyed you feel about such a crass and outdated advertising campaign.
    I'm horrified to hear about your new neighbours' behaviour and what you've had to put up with in the past. It must be a complete nightmare having to keep your relationship under wraps at work, too.
    Some people must be pathetically insecure if picking on a minority group makes them feel better about themselves. I've had abuse via my blog about being "evil and selfish" for choosing not to have children and 25 years ago it wasn't uncommon for me to be spat at in the street and refused entry into pubs for daring to date a British Asian.
    You'd like to think things will move on but after today's furore by the Church of England over gay marriage I do wonder. x

  5. It hurts my head that your neighbors are so badly behaved. As for the blogger event, I'm choosing to believe that like Vix said, it was an oversight, but seriously, just saying "celebrity" would have been enough. Things are better than they used to be, but not yet good enough.