A while back I was sitting with some friends and relatives and we were having a conversation. We were talking about creative people. Writers, actors, dancers, etc. We were remembering how it seemed like in the olden days actors all had to be able to sing and dance as well. Acting well wasn’t enough. You had to be able to do it all.
One of my relatives said, “I know a guy who’s both an actor and a dancer.” Good. Someone keeping up the tradition.
As a complete non sequitur, I said, “Oh, what are the odds he’s left-handed?” I thought the odds were pretty good because it seems like a higher than average percentage of creative people are left-handed. Not very scientific, and not really supported by evidence either, but a harmless pop culture conversation. So far, so good.
But I lied to you. That’s not what I said. What I said was, “Oh, what are the odds he’s gay?” Uh-oh. Not so harmless anymore, is it?
So, why am I saying this? Why am I outing myself as a completely reprehensible human being? Well, I’m not. I don’t think there’s any difference between saying, “What are the odds he’s left-handed?” and “What are the odds he’s gay?” And not just because it seems like a higher than average percentage of creative people are gay, too. Another pop culture observation, also unsupported and likely untrue, but reliable conversation fodder.
To me, there’s nothing wrong with saying it. To me, those two phrases are equivalent. What is wrong is that we think they’re different, and as long as we think that, then we’re not where we need to be as a society.
What do you think?