Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Are you implying that I might or might not be gay?

Now, this is basically a follow up on my earlier post and the use of "partner" (which I used to avoid typing out and specifying boyfriend or girlfriend) and my dislike for that word.

First of all, one reason I dislike it is because unlike the word "lover", "partner" gives some strange cowboy or police detective vibes, of a couple working together to herd cattle or catch crooks and not that of a couple in love.

There has been a number of times when I have been asked by English speaking foreigners something in the vein of "so what does your partner do?" which in my ears is a slight implication that I might or might not be gay and they don't want to take any risks in guessing whether it's a girl or a boy I am with. I feel that this is a pretty cowardly way of avoiding a potentially mildly embarrasing situation in case the target would reply with a "in fact I'm gay".

My former, openly gay boss was often asked at official events with potential customers here in Japan whether he was married or not, open as he was with his homosexuality I think he always dodged that bullet since being officially a gay man could limit business opportunities from Japanese individuals...


john turningpin said...


ThePenguin said...

The way this post very quickly attracted a spam comment extolling the virtues of Prada, Gucci and high-heel shoes is very telling, I must say.

However, putting on my Captain Serious hat and cape, I suspect English speakers have been subjected to a constant stream of political correctness over the last couple of decades and can no longer call a spade a spade for fear of being branded racists, sexist, homophobic and / or playing-cardist.

jlpt- said...

That is the first time I have seen someone wear sandles on their genitalia.

Me said...

Ah, Penquin - the problem with the word homo-phobic is that it infers that we are afraid of them. Personally, I prefer "homo-disgustic."

Enjoy the marraige salaryman, when you find time away from the office.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Now now, let's be nice here, it's cool to be gay, maybe we can settle for something like homo-notsomethingthatIwannagetinvolvedinbutpleasegoaheadandenjoyyourselfasmuchasyoulike?

jaredinnakano said...

To "homo-disgustic Me" and other readers, you can be certain us gays are plenty disgusted by your intolerance and discrimination. If you were more satisfied with your own life, you'd have less time to criticize something you clearly know nothing about.

I am not sure it's "cool to be gay," but we would just like a little freedom and equality, ok?

As to the original post, particularly in Japan, I deal every day with assumptions that I am straight. It makes me frankly uncomfortable and more than a little queasy. I've tried the "spouse" word but it still leads back to the discussion about the "wife" I have never desired.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Hey there Jared! Now, there are probably better and more serious forums to discuss intolerance and discrimination than here.

From a personal stand point, I have no problems with homosexuality at all and if you want to know more about what I think about this subject you can send me an e-mail.

Please take any discussion on the topic of "Me"'s statements you might have directly with "Me", I think you can find his e-mail address in his profile.

... and yeah, Jared, I apologize in advance for this, but you totally opened yourself up for this... ... ...:
How about calling your husband (under the assumption that you are married to him) your... ... ... "partner" thus avoiding identifying the sex of the spouse...?

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