Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Sometimes, when you hem and haw over a decision, it gets made for you.

I'm about to get more personal than I usually get on this blog, but since I think hardly anyone reads it, I don't think it matters all that much.

I've been uneasy about the "Why I'm An Ally" essay I wrote, which I first posted on this blog and then submitted a revised version to the local online magazine, Smile Politely.

I'm not uneasy about "coming out" publicly as an advocate for gay rights. That's easy. What worried me was that some people might doubt my sincerity at claiming to be a straight advocate for gay rights.

For reasons that are too personal to go into here, some people might argue that I am bisexual. I have good reason to believe I'm not (like wondering if I'm gay, I've wondered if I'm bi, but always come to the same conclusion: I overwhelmingly prefer women) so I don't identify as such, but if someone believed it, it would certainly weaken the points I make in the essay. For this reason, I felt that the article was not entirely honest, and I was hesitant to post it to my Facebook page, where I have many gay and bisexual friends who might think I'm just a closet-case in denial.

Meanwhile, this week I got into an argument on Facebook with some bisexuals over this article:, so I'm feeling even more sensitive about this whole issue. (The disagreement was that bisexuals think Dan Savage sucks, and I think he is awesome, even though he is snarky and disrespectful.)

So then, this morning, Joel Derfner himself, the author who I quote in my article, leaves a comment: "Tim, thank you for writing this—and thank you for reading (and, I hope, enjoying) my book!" Wow! Someone famous noticed me! This is thrilling news. The kind of thing I would love to share on Facebook, but, to do so would expose all my friends to this article I'm ambivalent about. What to do?

As I was agonizing over this, a friend of a friend who found the article on Smile Politely posted it to her Facebook page, and then tagged me in it. This means that, without me doing anything, the article has been published on my Facebook page.

Okay, I guess the decision has been made for me. So, that's that.


Sarah said...

I can't get on facebook, being at work, so I don't know the arguments for and against whatever. . .

But as a long-time bisexual, I can tell you I think Dan Savage sucks.

asplenia said...

You can untag yourself on FB you're uncomfortable with her post -- I often do and I don't care if someone feels hurt. They should have asked first.

I know what you mean about wondering if people will question whether you swing both ways. To me it's easy (and also irrelevant). I think it's based on desire. You come across to me as a dude who desires women, but I like that you support civil rights. It means you're compassionate and magnanimous. Those are the larger parts of you that people will see and hopefully crowds out the smaller awkward parts that we all have.

Tim said...

Sarah, I didn't know you were bisexual, which is cool, but I'm sad that you don't like Dan Savage. That seems to be common among BIs. I understand if you don't like his style, but it pains me when people call him a "hater" after all he's done for gay rights. As he says to bisexual activists in the article, "if I'm the enemy, you're in real trouble."

asplenia, yeah, I know I can untag myself (and have done so before), but I like that this decision was made for me. Also, I'm not sure exactly what my friends can see of this post.

Thanks for your comments.

Sarah said...

Yeah, he does the activist thing and the standing up for the LGBT community thing. . .but I still think he's a giant douchenozzle.

I guess to me, saying I like or admire or whatever someone who I think is a jerk just because they've done some useful things is like the people who, after some terrible person dies, remembers them as being wonderful. They're not awesome just because they're gone, and I don't think Dan Savage is not a jerk because of the work he does.

The guy just gets under my skin, what can I say?

Oh, and I didn't ever "come out" per se, because I think "coming out" is something people shouldn't have to do (if you're a dude dating dudes, I'm pretty sure people will figure it out eventually), so people are often surprised when I reference exes who are female. ("But you're marrying a guy!" "Yeah. . .and?")

Sorry for the Epic Long Comment!

Tim said...

No problem, Sarah. All Epic Long Comments are welcome. (As long as they're relevant.)

You don't have to admire Dan Savage or even like him. We all have people who get under our skin. He's not for everyone.

What bugs me is how unreasonable and immature the response was to his article. You can accuse Dan Savage of being a lot of things: arrogant, obnoxious, combative, snarky, offensive... but one thing he isn't is a "small-minded hater" of sexual minorities.