There have been a few more good comments added to that former post on Pasha and Marcelo and all that stuff. Since I don’t yet know how to have “recent comments” show on the side bar (I know, it’s ridiculous that I still don’t entirely know how to use my blogging software! Sorry!), I wanted to point them out to everyone because the comments are so astute.
I just want to say that, though I love the commentary and think this is obviously a very important discussion, it makes me so mad that we even have to have it, because if homophobic men didn’t exist we wouldn’t. When women (or gay men) ask about a guy’s sexuality, like the girls enquiring about Pasha, we’re simply trying to figure out whether he’d be into us — if a guy isn’t into your gender, you don’t want to embarrass yourself by going after him, obviously! Not that you still can’t flirt with a dance star who turns out to be gay, but you flirt in a different way. Bottom line: with us, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to know!
The problem is that we dance fans (particularly ballet fans, but all dance fans really), have ALL had that absolutely horrible situation where you’re talking to your male friend or maybe even boyfriend and you suggest going to a dance performance and he turns on you like a rabid beast. “I’m not going to see a bunch of —- in tights,” he screams at you. And what do we all say — WHAT DO WE ALL SAY??? “Oh no, they’re not all gay! So and so’s not gay, and so and so is straight, and look, so and so has a girlfriend and so and so’s even married!…” When what we should be saying is, “homophobia is wrong.” Period. End of discussion. And if he can’t understand what we’re saying, or replies, oh I’m not homophobic, no not me, I just don’t want to look at a bunch of ‘sissies, it’s just not my thing, I have better things to do with my time, etc. etc. etc., then we should ask him why he has such issues, is he confused? Why should he have such a problem seeing another man’s body if he’s at peace with his own sexuality?
I recently had this exact altercation with someone. It was so horrible I can’t even express (especially since this person is in the dance world). He asked me what my plans were for the coming week and I excitedly began chirping on about ABT saying that one of my favorite dancers would be performing the next night (not Marcelo but the other ABT guy I’m always on about). I asked him if he’d like to join me. Was I in for rejection. “Oh my god, that guy is so gay it’s not even funny … I knew the second I saw him. I’ll never watch any of that crap. It’s so unappealing to a straight man, you have to understand that, Tonya. It’s just … it’s just … ick,” he said as if I was a child who needed to be taught a life lesson. I’ll never forget that intense look of disgust in his eyes, and how awful it made me feel that someone could be so hateful toward a man who’s never done anything wrong to him, who creates such beauty, whom I have so much admiration for. I opened my mouth to reply but no words would come out; there’s no way to combat that kind of visceral emotion with appeals to logic and reason.
For me personally, I’m honestly not sure I really want to associate with that guy again. He then started making sexist remarks that really bothered me too. People who are filled with such anger and disgust over someone’s sexuality not only have problems with their own, but in general, I just find them to be uncultured, shallow, not very well-read, not very sophisticated, not very well raised — how could such a person expand my universe, make me think, be an interesting, kind, caring friend? What could their companionship possibly offer me? If someone is disrespecting your favorite dancer, your hobby, or your passion, then he’s disrespecting you. And none of us should put up with that.
Anyway, go here to re-view the post and new comments!