It’s Not Alright

At the gym yesterday, my buddy Brian recognized someone that he knew. He instantly went into flamboyant mode, mimicking this person. I’m not sure if the other person was aware of it, but Brian was making fun of him. It seemed to me that the humor was done in a very degrading manner.

When the other guy walked away, I asked Brian what he was doing. His explanation and the way he justified acting the way he did was “we’re allowed to make fun of one another”. I told him that this other guy didn’t seem aware of the fact that Brian was indeed acting and that swaying his hips and and using the words “honey”, “babe” and “fabulous” as danglers for each sentence wasn’t part of his every day conversation. Brian blew me off by saying “oh relax, even if he didn’t know, he’s still one of us. It doesn’t matter, we’re allowed to poke fun at ourselves”.

Are we really allowed to poke fun at the stereo-types that we are trying to shake off? And even if some people do fit that stereo-type, is it alright to throw it in their face? Excuse me if I’m wrong, but is it alright to imitate the accents and actions of others while they stand and converse with us? I’ve only met  this guy twice at best and I’m certain Brian doesn’t even know his last name. I also wonder if he does know that Brian is poking fun at him and is just too polite to say anything (which then makes him the bigger person).

And alas, I also wonder if I’ve just got this stick up my rear that needs to be removed.

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10 Responses to “It’s Not Alright”

  1. Robert Says:

    If anyone’s act doesn’t fit quite right to you, then the person is most likely acting inappropriately in some ways. I poke fun here and there, I’m guilty of that, but not to a point I would hurt others… besides, I don’t do it much these days now that I’m older.

    So… you call that a ‘stick’ eh? See, I do poke fun! 😀

  2. Joel A. Says:

    Seems to me it’s only a joke when all parties are “in on it” and laughing along.

  3. Peter Says:

    I agree with Joel, all have to be involved when the person is in the same room or surroundings. What people do when their ‘subject’ is not around is their business.

  4. Jeaux Says:

    No, I don’t think dumping on someone is alright. Mocking somebody for amusement’s sake. It’s a kind of assault – it comes from the same place, even if it wears a humorous mask.

  5. Lemuel Says:

    My suspicion is that the guy is aware and is the better man here.

  6. steven Anthony Says:

    I think he is probably being the better man….making fun of someone (unless they are involved) never seems right to me, but then again, maybe I have the same stick up my rear as you do 🙂

  7. Larry Ohio Says:

    Does your buddy Brian read this blog? If not, perhaps it’s time to start. Reading your post and these comments carefully and taking them to heart will go a long way to making him a better person. If he reads this and sloughs it off, then perhaps it’s time to find another buddy.

  8. Greg Says:

    The guy may be aware of Brian’s actions, but Brian’s justifications seem so wrong to me. He’s almost playing into the stereotypes that everyone has of gay men.

    I’ve had fellow gays refer to me as “girl” or “she”, and when I ask them not to, they became offensive. Sometimes, our community baffles me.

  9. Stephen F Says:

    It’s so bizarre that our ‘community’ tells all of the straight people off for ‘labelling’ us and ‘stereotyping us, but we do exactly the same thing. I dunno if it was the gays or the straights that came up with the term dyke, bear, twink, bottom, fairy, etc, but it seems that for some of these labels more than others, we use em to identify within the community.

    But that’s one thing that gets me is: humans label one another in the hope of understanding. I’ve had people label me wrong before, so I’ve corrected them to a more suiting label. Often you can’t control the labels you’re given – ‘nice guy’, ‘drop-kick’, ‘fairy’, ‘wanna-be’ etc but i think it’s important to recognise that everyone uses them and If it’s possible for you to correct them, then you do so. Don’t get too upset and become a label martyr. We lable people simply by explaining who they are. And can one honestly say that one has never labelled someone they don’t really know all that well, and that if that person knew the label they’d been given by you, that they would be happy about it?

    When people ask someone who they live with for example (in my example I’m using my housemates), they have to summarise you down to two or three words. Often I’m referred to as ‘steve, he works in the city and is interested in art’, or more often ‘ steve, the gay dude’ or sometimes ‘steve, he used to goto uni with me’ – So I’ve been given the label of gay, likes art and was at uni. All in all these aren’t offensive. They’re just ways people know me. If i had gay friends that referred to me as a bear or a straight-acting guy, i wouldn’t care coz i suppose i look like that stereotype.

    It’s tricky, because when you’re labelled, you’re immediately thrown into a group of people with a certain set of standards and traits. For example, a straight housewife might see a bear as a big fat, hairy bearded man who doesn’t dance and frequents seedy bars. Then If I’m labelled as one, simply because i look like the label – but don’t have the supposed attributes, it won’t matter because looking like one will make her think I’m also not a dancer-ish guy and hang out in seedy bars. (Ps sorry if i offend about the seedy bars comment, I’m just using what i think a straight laced housewife type might THINK of the gay community). Ironic no, I just used a label myself for an example of how other people MAY think according to me.

    You can’t win with labels it seems. I think we all do it so much that we should just stop asking others to stop aswell. At least for the ones that are offensive. It just seems unfair, because a gay person may be offended by being called a fairy, but that same person may call one of their friends a slut or a loser, which are equally ( i feel) bad labels. How do you ever know what someone’s going through or why they do what they do?

    Rant Out.

  10. Stephen F Says:

    PS sorry for writing a comment longer than your original. Don’t mean to steal the thunder.

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