Friday, 30 July 2010

Spark of Wisdom: Flaunting My Sexuality

This piece originally appeared at Womanist Musings where Renee has very generously allowed my random musings to appear on her excellent blog

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve heard it or versions of the same thing said. “Do you have to flaunt your sexuality?” It’s amazing how many times I go around ramming my sexuality down people’s throats (insert innuendo here).

And I’ve always been a little surprised by this, because I always thought heterosexuals were champion flaunters. Indeed, for every time I’ve been accused of flaunting my sexuality, straight people have been doing exactly the same thing and more. As far as I can see, heterosexuals are the masters at flaunting their sexuality.

Do heterosexuals really have to flaunt their sexuality with pictures of their loved ones on their desk? In their wallets? In lockets round their neck? Oh gods that man has his wife and kid’s names tattooed – he just has to wave his sexuality around for everyone to see!

Do they have to talk about their partners? Do they have to talk about their kids? We’re talking about our weekend plans, did they really have to bring up their family? It’s like we can hardly have a conversation without some part of their heterosexuality coming up!

Her husband has a new job and she just has to tell everyone about it. His wife is having a baby and we all have to hear about it. His wife’s ill and her husband took her out for her birthday. They just take any excuse to insert their sexuality into every conversation don’t they?

There’s a woman down the hall, she’s getting married in a few weeks and she won’t shut up about it. It’s like every topic is about her heterosexuality – you think she’d stop ramming it down our throats, right?

And him! He’s all about plans for his anniversary. Man, not everyone wants to hear about your straightness. And he wants special allowances, time off because his wife is ill, time off for his kids – why do they always want special considerations?

There were literally dozens of couples walking down the street today – standing so close together, touching each other, even holding hands. Those 2 even have their arms round each other! Right there in front of everyone! Kids could see! Do they have to do that in the street? Can’t they keep it to themselves?

And in the park, a lovely place to relax and eat lunch (hah, lunch breaks, I remember them) but it’s completely ruined by all these heterosexual couples messing with each other, even kissing! Do they have to do that in public? Get a room guys, stop ramming it down my throat.

It’s all over the place. I don’t mind straight people – but can’t they keep it to themselves, right?

What? Is this not flaunting? It’s not unreasonable? It’s not out of line?

Then is it when I do it?

ETA And sadly, this is the point. None of these things are bad. The planning about the anniversary, the excitment over marriage, talking about families, the kissing, the handholding - the love, the families, the joy, the children, the pregnancy. This is not flaunting, this is not a bad thing to see - these are part of the wonderful patchwork of our lives, the wonderful joyous things so many of us share and they should not be hidden or concealed or restrained.

It is sad that I have heard this language, all of this language in one form or other, used when it is patently and obviously unreasonable, unfair and a downright odd objection. I look forward to a world, albeit not likely in my lifetime, when all of these things can be celebrated for all of us