Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 9, 1973)
if HJNIL homosexual tulles about life and p
Joe Creason is a member of the Lincoln Gay Action
Group (LING AG) and the UNL Gay Action Group.
by Joe Creason
I have a lot of problems with people who can't accept
my gayness as positive, but at least I know who are my
enemies. Persons have no qualms about letting their feelings
toward "queers" being known.
For the most part, however, I've been fortunate. I've
never been physically attacked, despite the fact I've held
hands with my lover in public. I've never been arrested by
the police. I've never been fired from a job, although I've
had to keep many happy things to myself to keep other
individuals from "finding out" I've never had to tell Uncle
Sam I'm unfit for service because of a high draft number.
I consider myself lucky because I have been spared much
of the oppression that confronts many gays. One good
point about my gayness, however, is the opportunity to
look objectively at straight people and how they treat one
another. It's one of the greatest and saddest comedies I've
had the good (or bad) fortune to watch.
Because I do not choose to take part, I'm offered a
balcony seat to view the antics of a society beset with the
highest divorce rate, but unwilling to examine its
conceptions of marriage and families. The society also
considers sex as a commodity to be acquired with the
proper deodorant or cologne, but it believes sex is not
worth serious examination. This society constantly
complains about the suburban rat race, while at the same
time it is afraid to deviate from prescribed norms. In short,
society is so guilty about not living up to the Puritan
forefathers' expectations that the thought of alternatives
are undermined by the rapidly failing institutions of
I pity straight men who are terror-struck when they are
with men that they know are gay. While I realize such fears
are taught by culture, I cannot ignore the problems that it
causes. By commitment to such rigid roles a straight man
hardly has the freedom to relax. ' rv
I consciously reacted against these roles in junior high
school when "good" boys talked about sex and "making it"
with girls. Most of it was talk but it still seemed disturb me;
the bull sessions between guys who described how far each
girl "went" and the double standard between the "stud"
who made it with girls and the "easy law" who submitted
to his requests. I could never quite make the connection
between this sexual sterility and "love."
I did manage, however, to "adjust." I even dated and
played the games of my friends, but not so seriously. I
always have assumed that I was going to be a bachelor.
Although I hadn't formulated the reasons for not marrying,
I look back on those feelings as the beginning of my total
rejection of the "straight" lifestyle. Each time I tried to fit
into that niche, I felt stifled. I doubt whether I would have
rejected those roles as readily had my sexual orientation
been more conventional.
The fact that a gay person can't fit into the traditional
sex roles, such as families and children, makes it easier to
look for alternatives. Many gay people are just as sexist as
the rest of society, but the potential exists.
For example, instead of two ready-made roles in which
to fit, two gay males must make their own arrangements
concerning who cooks, who washes dishes or who makes an
employment change when a move is contemplated. They
even have the freedom to choose who will be in their family
through communal living or adoption of children.
Although these decisions may be difficult, gay people at
"After writing this article," Creason
said, "I was faced with the agonizing
decision of whether or not to allow
my name to be printed with it.
However, to print it without a name
would decrease its impact and, in
effect, endorse the status quo."
least can feel proud that they've chosen their own lifestyle
freely, and not because of social pressure. They also know
that they're together because they love one another.
Gayness gives freedom to enjoy life more completely. A
person not bound by traditional sex roles, is more able to
free himself. When these inhibitions are forgotten, it's easier
to release a person's creativity. It also instills an
appreciation of diversity in others and an increased
consciousness of other minorities' problems.
While I apprecaite the freedom gayness gives me, I resent
the straight values that are forced down my throat. I'm not
talking about the harassment that could be cured by
legislation. Since I don't conform to the stereotype of a
"faggot," I seldom receive direct harassment anyway. It
does happen, however, to many persons and oppression
remains constant shadow for gays.
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