Thursday, August 16, 2007

a PSA for straight people

Dan Savage has this advice to two men who write to him essentially saying, “Dear Dan, I’m terrible with women and can’t get any action. Am I gay?”:

If being an inept heterosexual made a man gay, then gay men would not compose a measly 3 percent of the population…. You're not fags…you’re socially maladapted straight boys.

Thank you, Dan, on behalf of a queer girl who has heard a few of her straight female friends say, “I’m so fed up with men. I wish I were a lesbian” or “If I don’t meet a guy soon, I’m going to start dating women.”

Ladies and gentlemen, consider the implications of what you’re saying. 1) That dating your own gender is what people do when they’re not attractive or charismatic enough to draw a member of the opposite sex (even if you pose it as an “I wish I were a lesbian” compliment, it’s still insulting). 2) That dating your own gender is easier.

Of course it’s easier when you’re actually straight. There’s a very low possibility that someone you’re not emotionally invested in will break your heart. Dating someone you don’t care about is always easier than dating someone who brings out the crazy in you. All you girls who are fed up with becoming giggling, I-hope-he-calls losers over some guy, guess what? I’ve become a giggling, I-hope-she-calls loser over many girls in my life. And I’ve been surprisingly good at playing cool and hard-to-get with boys.

I will concede that if dating the opposite sex isn’t working and you’re attracted to folks of your same gender (or have weirdly intense friendships or find yourself terrified-by-yet-fascinated-with gay culture), you can give the “maybe I’m gay” theory at least a little credence.

Otherwise, follow Dan’s advice, get a makeover and read the dating tips on (Well, maybe not the latter. I’m not sure anyone of any sexual orientation should take dating cues from Dr. Phil.)


Claire said...

I hadn't really considered the implications of those comments, but I haven't really heard them IRL that I can recall. Your take on them seems right on.

In tv and such, I just dismiss it as a joke rooted in desperation or a person not knowing him/herself.

Cheryl said...

I can't say I hear people say stuff like that all the time--just enough over the course of a few years that it's become a bit of a pet peeve.

thelastnoel said...

Ha, ha! You're right. If you're not getting it as a het, you're not going to get it as a gay person. Don't join this team and become a loser on it, too.

ER said...

Amen to that.

Cheryl said...

N: Not that there's anything wrong with losers.

ER: Hallelujah.