Let’s talk about lifestyles…?

As the movement towards marriage equality picks up steam…and in response to Caitlyn Jenner’s new birth…I am hearing a lot of people expressing concern about “the gay lifestyle”. So let’s talk about  lifestyles…

I’m a straight female married to a bisexual male–happily and for 46 years. What’s our lifestyle?

  • We’re both retired, so we have time to do the things we want–and one of those things is to spend time with our grandchildren.
  • When we were working, my husband worked in elementary education as a teacher and later a principal; I worked as a teacher, editor, writer, musician…
  • We grocery shop and do laundry.
  • Because I have MS, he often does more of the cleaning (which was never my favorite chore, anyway!).
  • Sometimes we get sick and go to the doctor.
  • We do need to eat, so we cook. Again, since I did much of the cooking for the first 40 years or so of our marriage, he has begun doing more of it now.
  • We go to church. We’re both ministers in our faith tradition, so that’s an important part of our lifestyle.
  • We enjoy playing games.
  • We take out the trash.
  • We pay our bills.
  • We enjoy spending time with friends.
  • We travel sometimes.

You get the idea.

Now let’s talk about something else. I have a gay brother who is now happily married to his husband. What’s their lifestyle?

  • My brother spent many years as an elementary principal (now retired); my brother-in-law is an oncology nurse.
  • They are currently the primary care-givers of my brother-in-law’s mother, who is dealing with dementia.
  • They enjoy spending time with their children.
  • Sometimes they get sick and go to the doctor.
  • They love to cook.
  • They enjoy going to concerts.
  • They grocery shop and do laundry.
  • They pay their bills.
  • They love playing games.
  • They have lots of friends they enjoy spending time with.
  • They travel.

Are you getting the idea?

I have other friends who are members of the LGBT community. Their lifestyle is very similar to mine and my brother’s.

I know…that’s not what most people mean when they talk about “the gay lifestyle.” They mean…gasp…sex! As though that’s all that interests “those” folks. Really?

If you’re straight, is that all that interests you? I don’t think so. I think there are lots of other elements of “the straight lifestyle”…elements that are very similar to “the gay lifestyle.”

And quite honestly…it’s none of your business what my sexual relationship is with my husband…or my brother’s with his husband. If you think it is, then think again…because that gets into being a voyeur (one definition of which is “a person who likes seeing and talking or writing about something that is considered to be private”).

“Lifestyle” is simply the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture. We all have a lifestyle…so let’s quit using it as a pejorative term.


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