Odd Man Out
Feb 06, 2013
Sorry, readers, I’ve been stuck somewhere at the junction of sick and lazy. I’ve spent the last few days mostly in bed, something I unfortunately needed to do. At the same time, I’m grateful that my station in life is such that, if I need to, I can spend a few days in bed. When my sister or my spiritual director gets a horrific cold, there are still babies to be changed and Masses to be said. So.
I’ve also been thinking about (1) the site redesign and (2) the tagline. I think I agree with many of you, that it’s a bit unfriendlier and a bit harder to read. So it’s back to the old page for the moment. As for the tagline, it or something very like it will be coming back to stay, too. The consensus seems to be that, perfect or not, the word “gay” works well for my purposes here.
Speaking of the word, Odd Man Out has an excellent post on the topic. A couple of excerpts:
I don’t think there’s much to learn from comparing my experiences as a gay Christian to those of a Christian who struggles with greed or dishonesty, simply because I don’t want to downplay how drastically my experience seems to differ from the experiences of my straight peers. I don’t say this out of a masochistic desire to dwell on how strange I am, and I’d be the first to tell you how much more drastically my experience synchronizes with my peers’ in the most significant ways. But if sexuality is so centrally tied to who we are as people and how we connect with other people—I mean, people all across the spectrum of belief get that sexuality is a big deal—then living as someone whose experience of sexuality is atypical suggests my life is going to differ in some fundamental ways, and it’s helpful for me and for the people in my life to keep those differences in mind as we seek to connect with one another.
He goes on to describe some of those ways. These are things that, in an effort to avoid self-pity, I’ve sometimes tried to downplay — but they’re real, they’re big, and I’m grateful to him for pointing them out:
like how how my well-intentioned interactions with women have often done harm because I did not consider the perceptions they might naturally generate; or how those gender-specific environments that provide a relaxing, head-clearing respite from sexual temptation for straight people (like locker rooms or all-male Bible studies) are sometimes the most confusing and charged environments for me; or how my earliest feelings of romantic attraction were sources of fear and confusion rather than delight and thrill; or how a compliment from a man is more likely to flatter me toward vanity than is a compliment from a woman; or how the Super Bowl commercials that make me uncomfortable may be different from the ones that make straight men uncomfortable; or how I feel an increased risk of misreading demonstrations of affection from both men and women.
The whole post is here. I was grateful to the author for saying a lot of things I’ve been unable to say, and for reminding me of a lot of things I’d like to pretend were otherwise. I think it’d be a great post for the straight folks in the audience to read, too.