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Have you ever wondered

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									                        Bagels can’t have sex!
                                                                                                     Have you ever wondered
                                                                                                    What does it mean to be “homosexual”?                 yourself how you feel about this and then           others are not. Gays define themselves from a
                                                                             By Katie Ralphs        Homosexuality is an emotional and erotic              discuss it with your friend.                        complex and individual set of feelings and
                                                                                                    attraction to members of the same sex. It                                                                 experiences. Some successfully work out both
                                                                                                                                                          Do gays and lesbians have ways of
                                                                                                    includes both men and women. The term                 recognizing each other?                             gay and straight relationships in their lives,
                                                                                                    “gay” generally refers to males, “lesbian” refers                                                         but only if they choose to do so. You cannot
                                                                                                                                                          Despite the prevailing stereotypes, gays and
                                                                                                    exclusively to females.                                                                                   make someone love you, and working out a
                                                                                                                                                          lesbians are as varied in their personalities and
                                                   like. First of all, you’re probably wrong,       What is “coming out”?                                                                                     mutual, heterosexual relationship with some-
                                                                                                                                                          appearances as heterosexuals. Sometimes gays
                                                   because these objects really aren’t homo-        Coming out is the process which starts with                                                               one who is primarily gay ranges from pain-
                                                                                                                                                          and lesbians can intuitively spot each other
                                                   sexual. Secondly, it makes people like me        recognizing oneself as a homosexual, accept-                                                              fully difficult to impossible.
                                                                                                                                                          through the usage of common gay figures of
                                                   feel really bad about being gay. Sometimes       ing a gay or lesbian identity, and acknowledg-        speech or by their appreciation or knowledge        Is it possible to be sexually attracted to
                                                   I also feel really bad about liking bagels.      ing that fact to others. Each individual has the      of gay cultural heroes (actors, athletes, danc-     both men and women?
                                                   Too many carbs.                                  right to decide to what extent-and to whom-           ers, musicians, writers).                           Adults often experiment with different types
                                                       Back to Ashlyn. Because of her, I            he or she will reveal their personal life. In fact,                                                       of sexual behaviour including activity with
                                                                                                                                                          What are gay or lesbian bars like?
                                                   thought for a really long time that being        gays and lesbians must make a decision every                                                              persons of their own gender. Bisexual behav-       Now that I know that my roommate is
                                                   a lesbian was a bad thing. When you say          time someone assumes they are “straight”              People dance, drink, talk, meet new and old
                                                                                                                                                                                                              iour, however, is different from a bisexual        gay, I’m not comfortable about nudity,



 W
               hen I was in grade five, the        that bagels are gay, you risk making people      (heterosexual). Considerations in coming out          friends, play pinball or pool, (pretty similar to                                                      dressing or showering.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              orientation. A number of people report that
               cool swear word was “lesbian.”      around you feel uncomfortable; especially        include the possible loneliness of being differ-      heterosexual bars). Gay or lesbian bars are as
                                                                                                                                                                                                              they do not identify their sexual orientation as   Perhaps, you’ve been living together long
               Our class went horse-back rid-      those who not open about their sexual-           ent, job and housing discrimination, and reac-        varied as bars for heterosexuals and range
                                                                                                                                                                                                              either heterosexual or homosexual, but rather      enough to trust each other. There is no reason
 ing, the horses were all lesbians. When           ity. I realize that this probably isn’t your     tions of family, friends and colleagues.              from neighbourhood gathering spots to sin-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              are attracted to both men and women.               for the trust to diminish now; your roommate
 our mechanical pencils ran out of lead,           intention, but unfortunately that is almost                                                            gles bars and everything in between.
                                                                                                    What should I do if a friend tells me he or                                                               Bisexuals who feel they don’t fit in to either     has been gay or lesbian all along! However, if
 they were lesbians. We had a pop quiz; our        always the effect of your words. I remember      she is gay? What does that mean about                 What people do in private is their own              straight or gay/lesbian communities may find       you do not feel comfortable about continuing
 teacher was such a lesbian. I don’t think         when I wasn’t out in first year, and every       me?                                                   business, but I saw two guys walking                social support systems difficult to find.          to live with your roommate, you are welcome
 Mr. Bowes was a lesbian. But I also didn’t        time I heard something called gay I felt like    Most gay people who “come out” would like             across campus holding hands. Why do                 Hence, bisexuals may experience even more          to speak to your advisor, or the Residence Life
 know what a lesbian was then, and it’s fair       the whole world was looking at me. I still       the same sincere acceptance and encourage-            they flaunt their sexuality?                        isolation and rejection than gays or lesbians.     Manager about the situation. They will help
 to assume that most of my peers didn’t            feel like that sometimes, but now I’m pretty     ment you might need when you tell a friend            Curiously, it is called “expressing love” when                                                         outline the options available to you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              If I accept my gay or lesbian roommate,
 either. But if Ashlyn said it, it must be cool.   sure it’s because I wear crocs.                  something personal about yourself. Because of         heterosexuals hold hands, but “flaunting”           will he or she bring in lots of gay and
     One day I asked my mum what a les-                Self-acceptance of one’s sexuality is an     homophobic attitudes, fear and derision of            when gays and lesbians express their love.          lesbian friends and push me out?                   CAMPUS RESOURCES
 bian was. She told me. I was shocked, but         insanely difficult process, and to be com-       same sex relationships, many gays are afraid of       How would heterosexuals react if they could
                                                                                                                                                                                                              A formerly taboo subject will be out in the        Wellness Education Outreach
 more so impressed that Ashlyn knew that           fortable with your sexual identity is usually    rejection by their friends. You might ask your-       not hold hands, kiss, dance together, go to
                                                                                                                                                                                                              open. You may feel uncomfortable from a lack       604-822-4858
 her horse was a lesbian… how can you tell?        taken for granted. The ability to comment        self how you honestly feel about this news and        romantic dinners or be married? Gays and
                                                                                                                                                                                                              of experience dealing with gay people who are
 I mean I still can’t even tell when girls are     on your attraction to a member of the same       then discuss it as a friend.                          lesbians who are open with their affections are                                                        Counselling Services 604-822-3811
                                                                                                                                                                                                              not “closeted.” Your roommate’s gay friends
 lesbians, so how Ashlyn knew the sexuality        sex, to talk about your girlfriend/boyfriend,        Some people who find out a close friend is        not trying to shock others, but are just doing
                                                                                                                                                                                                              should respect the not-gay people just as the      Speakeasy 604-822-3777 info
 of that horse is incredible.                      to show affection in public, to assume your      gay wonder “What does that mean about                 what is natural to them and others.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              gays expect to be respected. Nevertheless, be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 UBC Equity Office 604-822-6353
     I remember thinking that if being a           family supports your decision to be in a         me?” This is a natural reaction; what it prob-        My friend is gay, and I have always been            cautious about presuming that all your room-
 lesbian was such a bad thing, why would           relationship – they might not seem like a        ably means is that your friend trusts you.            curious about gay sex. Should I try having          mate’s friends are gay or lesbian. His or her      Student Housing and Hospitality Services
 anyone do it? Janet, my wonderful mother,         big deal to you, but can be difficult and        Liking someone who is gay does not make you           sex with my friend?                                 best friends may be straight.                      The residence life staff are available if you
 told me that you didn’t really have a choice.     alienating things for a lot of people.           gay any more than liking someone who is tall          The question is not a simple one to answer.                                                            have any questions or need a referral to one of
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Won’t my friends or parents think I’m gay
 Then I thought, what if by some horrible              The best thing you can do is to be aware     makes you tall.                                       Implicit in the question seems to be an                                                                the campus resources. Just ask an advisor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              if I have a gay roommate or friend, or if I
 mistake I end up like that horse? And then        of this, and to make an effort to use inclu-     If my roommate “comes out” to me, does                assumption that gay sex is “casual.” This is        defend equal rights for homosexuals?
 Ashlyn and I couldn’t be friends anymore.         sive and less gender-specific language. For                                                                                                                                                                   Pride UBC
                                                                                                    that mean that he or she thinks that I’m              no more the rule for homosexuals than it is
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Defending equal rights for gays is often a cou-
 In grade five this was a huge deal.               example, instead of asking someone if they       gay too? Is it a proposition for sex?                 for heterosexuals. You should give your friend                                                         Location: AMS Resource Centre, SUB
                                                                                                                                                                                                              rageous stance to take. Others may conclude
     Skip forward to last week. I hear some-       have a boyfriend/girlfriend you can ask          There is a big difference between “coming             the thoughtful and responsible consideration                                                           second floor in room 245C
                                                                                                                                                                                                              that the defender must have a vested interest.
 one say that bagels are gay. Are bagels really    them if they are in a relationship. I know       out” and “coming on.” As discussed above,             you would give anyone with whom you                                                                    Telephone: 604-822-4638
                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is up to you whether you feel that the people
 gay? Do you really think they have sex with       this becomes difficult when you want to          most homosexuals who come out are just                would consider initiating a sexual relation-                                                           For any of you who are concerned, your
                                                                                                                                                                                                              you are defending are worth the risk of occa-
 bagels of the same gender? I won’t leave you      express your dislike for bagels – but I vote     seeking acceptance, not hassles. Sometimes a          ship.                                                                                                  phone conversation is 100% confidential.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              sional accusations or assumptions made by
 in suspense. Bagels can’t have sex. Neither       that we all pick on a different minority, like   gay person might “come on” to you, tell you                                                                                                                  Don’t worry! Give them a call!
                                                                                                                                                          I’m in love with a homosexual of the                others. Remember that a word from hetero-
 can fire alarms, midterms, curling, or flip       an endangered species. Next time it would        they are attracted to you, or want an intimate                                                                                                               email: prideubc@interchange.ubc.ca
                                                                                                                                                          opposite sex. Can I “cure” him or her and           sexual friends and allies in defence or support
 flops.                                            be nice to hear “bagels are such beluga          relationship with you. You can handle it in the       make him or her love me?                                                                               Email lists are available, just email Pride
                                                                                                                                                                                                              of gay rights can go a long way to help change
     So there are two very good reasons why        whales”, or “this fire alarm is so black         same manner that you would handle a hetero-                                                                                                                  UBC or visit their website www.prideubc.
                                                                                                                                                          Being gay is not a disease, so it can’t be cured.   people’s attitudes.
 you should refrain from using the term            rhino.” I know both Ashlyn’s horse and I         sexual approach. Gay love is as legitimate as                                                                                                                com to subscribe.
                                                                                                                                                          We do not know why some people are gay and
 “gay” to describe things that you just don’t      would really appreciate it.                      heterosexual love. Again, you should ask

32   Residence Life at UBC                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Connections 2010–2011       33

								
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