Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Lesbian IHOP saga continues & I contemplate the horrors of affection

By Diane Silver

We're back today to the lesbians-thrown-out-of-IHOP story via Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks. He discusses the reaction to his first column and IHOP's defense, which boils down to: Hey, they kissed more than once! And, oh yeah, we only asked them to cool it. And, hey, did we say they kissed each other; isn't that yucky?

When asked to respond, the women accused of all that unseemly same-sex kissing say IHOP's comments aren't even close to the truth.

There is no way to tell exactly what anyone did or didn't do. I wasn't there. Hendricks wasn't there, and I have yet to hear from anyone who was. As far as I know, there isn't any video of the incident.

However, I find this all very interesting because I have sat through many restaurant meals, concerts, meetings and assorted other gatherings where young heterosexuals were pawing each other, and I'm not talking about just a kiss. I have seldom (actually, can't think of ever) seen straight folk asked to leave anywhere for expressing any kind of affection.

I have seen lesbians and gays hassled, threatened, beaten for doing nothing more than holding hands. Actually, I've known of gays who were beaten for doing nothing more than walking out of a gay bar.

As a lesbian, I never reach out to hold the hand of my honey without first checking to make certain I'm in a place where I think/hope/pray I'll be safe from physical assault. I have yet to hear of a straight couple who even thought twice about doing the same thing. That's because people react differently to affection shown between straights and gays.

Gosh, I feel like I'm saying something that is blindingly obvious. Is this really news to anyone?

So, what really happened in that Grandview, Mo., IHOP may well be in the eyes of the beholder. For a straight person who thinks any kind of affection between lesbians or gays is awful, even the smallest peck, even the sweetest hand-hold would have been repulsive.

For those of us who are gay, the lesson will be what we've always known: Reach out to your loved ones at your own peril.


Anonymous said...

For 32 years of my life I have been married to and have dated men. For the first time 6 months ago I let go of what I did "because it was the right thing" and embraced what I WANTED to do my entire life and I got a girlfriend. Because I have been in a hetrosexual relationship my entire life, the whole same sex relationship was new to me, as was the does and the don'ts so with that being said I treat my relationship just as I EVER treated my other relationships, I hold my girls hand in every public place, I kiss her in Wal-mart or the courthouse or the street for that matter....I am proud of who I am and if I get beat up or kicked out for it then so be it...I will no longer hide behind or do what other people "think" I should. Kudos to these girls for not carrying and kudos to them for letting the world know what was done to them!

Diane Silver said...

Congratulations on allowing yourself to be authentically yourself and being true to your soul. And hearty hoorahs for being so open and proud!