A few weeks ago, I watched an interesting documentary. In "Pray the Gay Away", reporter Lisa Ling examines the lives of gay Christians. She poses the question: "Is it possible to be gay AND Christian?" She also brings watchers closer into the inner workings of certain "ex-gay ministries", including Exodus International, one of the most well-known of these hate groups disguised as a religious organization.
I'm not going to discuss the documentary itself. If you would like to watch, I gave the link to the episode above. Instead, I'm going to focus specifically on one major issue I had with Lisa Ling's documentary...
She said it several times. Over and over and over again.
The first time I heard her use the term, I did a double take. I looked from the TV to my lovely partner sitting next to me and back again. I posed the question to nobody and everyone in the room at the time, "Did she just say gay lifestyle?" And then she said it again.
After the hour-long documentary had concluded, Lisa Ling participated in a live, question and answer talk-type show where she interviewed several participants from the doc and took questions from the at-home audience. I jokingly said to UncleR, "I should call in and ask why she continually used the term 'gay lifestyle'." Turns out, someone asked for me. A listener tweeted in wondering the same thing. Lisa Ling's response? She was attempting to relate to the ex-gay activists by speaking their lingo. I wonder if she would have thrown around the n-word to make a group of KKK members more "comfy"?
I wasn't the only one upset by Ling's use of the archaic phrase. The gay blogosphere blew up with harsh critiques of her documentary...not only for her use of the term I'm discussing here, but for her very "soft" look at hate-filled, ex-gay ministries.
Lisa, if you're reading this, and to anyone else who may be wondering...
There's no such thing as a "gay lifestyle".
I'm a lesbian. Calling the life I lead a "gay lifestyle" only serves to differentiate me from others and further perpetuates that I, and my family, are different, wrong, an abomination...etc., etc., etc....
We need no other terminology to separate us from the heterosexual masses. And nothing chaps my hide more than hearing other gays and lesbians using the term "lifestyle" when referring to their own life and/or sexual orientation. We spend enough time fighting those that fear us as "different" to play right into their hands by separating ourselves into a different and unique "lifestyle".
I'll put any and all questions regarding my "lifestyle" to bed, here and now.
I wake up in the morning at 5:30 AM.
I wake up my 14-year-old son.
I shower and dress, putting my pants on one leg at a time. (I did once try two legs at a time and ended in a faceplant on the carpet)
I send the child off to school.
I drive 45 minutes to my place of employment.
My work day begins at 8 AM.
My work day ends at 4 PM.
I drive 45 minutes home.
I kiss my partner hello.
We discuss our day.
One of us makes dinner.
We watch TV and help the child with his homework.
We send the child to bed.
We watch more TV and relax, enjoying each other's company.
We go to bed.
Rinse, wash, repeat...
Sometimes, we go really crazy and we sleep past 7 on the weekends. And when we're really looking for a good time, we spend all weekend cleaning and doing chores around the house.
There's no such thing as a "gay lifestyle". I'm a lesbian, not a vegetarian.