The alphabet people have been feeling “more distressed” since the law changed to allow same sex marriage.
Spoiler alert; questions not asked in the article include, “measured how?” and “are all LGBTQ+ people equally distressed?“.
Those missing questions do seem somewhat pertinent, however.
How “distress” might be objectively measured would be fascinating to learn. Sadly, the Social Sciences haven’t made this breakthrough yet, and simply fudged the issue with a questionnaire on SurveyMonkey.
A slight digression and a useful heuristic; if your chosen academic discipline has the word “science” in the title, it probably isn’t. See also, “Centre of Excellence”.
The more interesting unasked question is how this fuzzy “distress” is broken down by the letters and symbols. Are gay men more or less distressed than the plus sign people? And if so, what is the favoured explanatory hypothesis?
The SMH article offers the example of Mitchell (photo below) as an illustration.
Mitchell is so distressed and concerned about the general public’s reaction that he has to hide his true self from the world, and daren’t let others know he’s not a heterosexual man.
This is the year 2020. Why are we still fighting the battles of the 1970s?
Is there really anyone left who seriously gives a shit about who other people choose to have sex with?
In an earlier generation, Mitchell might well have been an extremely repressed man living a daily lie. He may even have been stuck in a passionless marriage of convenience to avoid scrutiny and reduce the risk of imprisonment by the authorities.
In 2020, presumably he doesn’t feel so distressed that he can’t walk the streets of Darlinghurst sporting green hair and lipstick in constant fear of being physically or verbally attacked.
It’s seems to me this is a massive improvement, exponentially so, in fact.
This is not to deny there aren’t places or individuals who are victimising others on the basis on their sexuality, but that’s not the situation where the vast majority of us live and work.
Actually, most residents of those places where homophobic attacks are common, when given a choice and a travel visa, choose to move here, regardless of whether they are gay or straight.
In the real world, the non-Twitter, non-media bubble world, most of us haven’t heard an anti-gay statement or a disparaging joke said with unkind sentiments since disco died.
So why are we still being berated in hand-wringing articles like the one in the Sydney Morning Herald about our falling short as “silent allies“?
One hypothesis, and the one this organ considers most likely is, “projection” on the part of the authors of this fantasy.
The rest of us just don’t care who other people shag. We really don’t.