Here are some thoughts I had recently, on stereotypes about GLBTs (bein' that I'm a "B" in that alphabet soup), and that seem to get picked up on pretty easily, even by many who aren't intending to perpetuate stereotypes. Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might benefit by any of it.
You want to see what real GLBT people look like? Go to any mall, any blue-collar factory, any white-collar office, any sports game (in the stands and on the field), any sports bar, any church, any military installation, any warehouse, any shipping dock, any hospital or medical office, any school, any neighborhood (urban, suburban, rural), any anything anywhere really, and look around at ALL the people you see there. THESE are what real GLBTs look like, because at least 80% of everyone you see IS bisexual or gay (even if some of them aren't completely honest, even with themselves, about it). (There have been a few research studies, in case you were wondering, that indicated that.)
No one can look, act, or sound "gay", nor is there "gay" music, nor any "gay" (nor "lesbian", nor "bi", etc.) lifestyle at all. If you don't recognize them, it's because the vast majority don't fit the stereotypes that get perpetuated (including by those who may actually match those stereotypes --- in fact, those are some of the worst offenders, because they act like what they are "is" GLBT, so it's no wonder everyone else picks up on that assumption).
Even if you went to a typical "gay" bar, or a "Pride" event, and saw people that fit stereotypes you may have been given, that's only because most GLBTs do NOT go to such places or events in the first place, anyway; they usually can't stand them (nor anything to do with that "scene", as it's often called). And most of what you might see on "gay" TV shows or channels doesn't represent them, either; in fact, far from it. If these other people have been pretty much invisible to you, it's because they are, for all intents and purposes, everywhere and everyone. (Okay, up to 80% of everyone.)
Now, if any of that is a new idea to you (hopefully, it isn't at all!), please take every impression you may previously have been given about "what GLBTs are like", and toss it into the landfill --- and, like Jesus indicating that ALL the people around him were his real family --- maybe hear him also saying: "See all these around you, everywhere? THESE, most of these --- fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, parents, children, neighbors, coworkers --- all whom you think of as 'just regular people', THESE are my GLBTs."
(Written by Roger Smith, a featured blogger for The Christian Left. He also blogs, whenever he gets around to it, at Roger's Shrubbery.)
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