I see a lot about mansplaining (definition links below) these days, but never too much about straightsplaining. And I think that's because most gay people don't even know there's a word for it. They know what the concept is. Like me, they experience straightsplaining on a daily basis, but don't know there's an actual term they can now use in defense. So I thought I'd do a very short post about it for those who don't know what straightsplaining is.
In short, straightsplaining is when straight people coming from places of privilege talk about gay people as if they know everything there ever was to know about being gay. But it gets more complicated.
There are several different degrees of straightsplaining. That word, inspired by the increasingly common "mansplaining," describes the practice of straight people explaining how gay people are, or what gay people do, or how gay people do what they do, or why. This second-hand information can range from being virtually benign to chronically malignant. It is detailed below in that order, more or less. Come, let's explore this discursive cancer.
There are detailed examples, here. As I said, I experience this almost daily. There's an excellent example of how a review of HBO's "Looking" goes wrong when it's written by a straight reviewer.
Well, if you're going to take to task a gay man's assessment of gay culture, you should at least know your terminology. Positing that first sentence the way that he does, it seems that Seitz is pointing out a contradiction in Lowder's work, which would mean that Seitz thinks that being a "queen" is somehow tied to promiscuous sex, which... what? And just why exactly does Queer as Folk's more explicit handling of gay sex invoke "hounds of hell" in Seitz's eyes?
I love when straight people review shows like "Vicious," and they don't have the first clue, but think they do.
I've actually learned to be very polite about straightsplaining. I rarely get upset. I think most straight people who do this aren't aware they are doing it...even though they still think they know more than the gay man about being gay. However, you get the wrong gay man and you might be in for a few shocks you didn't expect. He could bury you :)
Manspreading, unlike mansplaining, is when a man sits down, spreads his legs almost as wide as he can, and sits back without a care in the world. Most men don't even realize they're doing this. People...not me...complain it takes up too much space on public transportation and some men have allegedly been arrested for it.
However, there is hope for it...
Now thanks to a dedicated team of researchers we now have a greater understanding and our sympathies have shifted. These poor men have been diagnosed with a genetic condition known as “manspreaditis,” which causes them to walk with their legs permanently divided past the point of comfort. So next time you see one of these poor unfortunates, show some sympathy instead of scorn and shift over.
There are a few excellent examples of good looking men spreading their legs, here. And there's a video. As you can imagine, this article is more about the comments than anything else.
But more important, as you would also imagine there are dolts who actually take this shit seriously and have no idea that it's meant to be funny.
The nation is getting really stupid with everything needing to be discussed and named nowadays… but spreading your legs this wide is ridiculous and childish. No one’s sack is that big and if it is they need to get checked for a tumor. I hate little overcompensating idiots who spread their legs that wide like they’re wearing a damned diaper. There’s just no need and it’s clearly a lack of empathy for those around them as well as a total lack of class and decency. Look at some of those pics, just plain silly. Kudos to the people who got them arrested, maybe they’ll grow up a bit. Other people need space to sit too, wannabe alpha males with tiny sacks spreading like there’s a mattress in your panties.
Photos of Past NY Pride
Here's a piece with images of past NY pride events that capture the times and the expressions of those who lived them.
It’s high holy days for the gays. Pride is being celebrated all across the country. From Tampa to Chicago, Boston to Honolulu, cities large and small are getting into the rainbow spirit and drawing crowds of historic proportions.
As we approach New York Pride, the city that started it all back in 1970, we thought we’d take a look back at Prides past. Based on these photos, most of which are from the 70s and 80s, one thing is abundantly clear: Pride never goes out of style!
Here's the link. They're actually very good. And I think like most people around my age, I look at these things with a retro sense of pride even though I never experienced it first hand.
The Rainbow Detective Agency
Box Set Series $5.99