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Any other Queer bike tourists "out" there?

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Any other Queer bike tourists "out" there?

Old 10-23-12, 06:07 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Gotte View Post
I'm with you guys. No one should have to be who they are not.
On the one hand I get it, absolutely. On the other:

1) Nobody ever gets "you" or gets the real "you". They may identify with you, but it usually means something different to them.

2) There are thousands of years of people doing their best to avoid being real, from manners on. It is part of the self indulgent culture since the 60s that we assume people want to take us on for what we are. That lasted for a while as the pretence one cared was fashionable. The internet is a lot more raw, with a whole lot more about people coming out both nasty, and worse.

3) People don't know the real them, let along show it to anyone else.

4) 80% of people don't give a toss about you, and the rest actually wish you harm. Or it could be the other way around...
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Old 10-23-12, 06:24 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by striknein View Post
You're responding like it's a choice.

I have no view on this, but there are increasing reports in the popular press to which I am exposed, like Yahoo, I think, a few days back, of new research, that undermines the gay gene high five moment, which was pretty preposterous, and political, in the day.

1) The original picture was oversimplified, some recent arousal pattern studies indicate women are basically bisexual. Just to take one example. So that would mean both states are genetic and chosen? For women.

2) Gay gene was used to bully and pass through a lot of rights legislation here, but in parts of the world where it is illegal to be ****sexual, and may remain so for a while, how good is the news that there is a gay gene? The characterization would not be so life affirming, in those cases.

3) So lets say it is a choice, none of the recent politics really changes, demographically the changes are baked in. They aren't going back. Shouldn't people's choices be respected?

Do a search on new research on gay gene, we are talking the peer reviewed non-crazy stuff.
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Old 10-24-12, 03:41 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
On the one hand I get it, absolutely. On the other:

1) Nobody ever gets "you" or gets the real "you". They may identify with you, but it usually means something different to them.

2) There are thousands of years of people doing their best to avoid being real, from manners on. It is part of the self indulgent culture since the 60s that we assume people want to take us on for what we are. That lasted for a while as the pretence one cared was fashionable. The internet is a lot more raw, with a whole lot more about people coming out both nasty, and worse.

3) People don't know the real them, let along show it to anyone else.

4) 80% of people don't give a toss about you, and the rest actually wish you harm. Or it could be the other way around...
I see your point, and agree totally that people are much more complex than the character they project (whether they are aware of it or not).

I suppose a better way of putting my original point would be, it would be great to live in a world where such things didn't really matter, and not one felt pressure to be something they thought they were not. After all, if I were a Buddhist, I wouldn't like to have to pretend I was a Catholic whenever the subject of religion came up.

Of course, if the subject of religion never came up, I would be happy to leave it that way. But that's just me.

Also, I suspect it's a lot more than 80% of people who don't give a toss, and a tiny minority who actually wish you harm. I've read enough accounts of the kindness of strangers to our fellow cycle-tourists, even in places usually perceived as dangerous (Iran springs to mind) which is ever encouraging and inspiring. But despite all that, being gay in South America would make me very wary of revealing it. But then again, maybe that's just my prejudice towards your average South American man.

It's a funny old world, isn't it?
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Old 10-24-12, 07:38 AM
  #29  
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In my many years in the closet I learned that the question, "Are you married?" can be hostile or the start of a pass. It requires a quick assessment.
Good luck. A tourist in a foreign culture is vulnerable. Be careful.
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Old 10-24-12, 07:43 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Hey - I'm one of the viewers/not-posters. I'm a gay-friendly straight person, if it matters. I don't have anything particularly helpful or relevant to add, other than, man it SUCKS that you have to think about such things, and I hope the world keeps getting more accepting, that you can tell whatever truths you feel like, and no one gives you any grief for it.
+1. I am not gay, but I was raised by an interracial couple. On more than one occasion I have had to deal with racial prejudice on tour. It first popped up on the third day of my first tour, which was a group x-country trip. I was sitting around a fire with another member of the group. A couple of black kids were riding their bikes around the camprgound not bothering anyone. Their parents were close by outside their RV. The guy turns to me and says with a smirk "I guess we have to lock our bikes up tonight, eh." Then he pressed me for an answer by repating himself. I responded "I think we'll be o.k. when what I really wanted to do was shove his face in the embers. I remember thinking that I didn't want to have to deal with that [insert explative] for three months. He had some choice things to say about "Japs" as well. I ended up trying to avoid interacting with the guy unless it was absolutely necessary, like when we were paired to shop and cook, but the drag was still there.
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Old 10-24-12, 08:59 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
I have no view on this, but there are increasing reports in the popular press to which I am exposed, like Yahoo, I think, a few days back, of new research, that undermines the gay gene high five moment, which was pretty preposterous, and political, in the day.

1) The original picture was oversimplified, some recent arousal pattern studies indicate women are basically bisexual. Just to take one example. So that would mean both states are genetic and chosen? For women.

2) Gay gene was used to bully and pass through a lot of rights legislation here, but in parts of the world where it is illegal to be ****sexual, and may remain so for a while, how good is the news that there is a gay gene? The characterization would not be so life affirming, in those cases.

3) So lets say it is a choice, none of the recent politics really changes, demographically the changes are baked in. They aren't going back. Shouldn't people's choices be respected?

Do a search on new research on gay gene, we are talking the peer reviewed non-crazy stuff.
I don't fully understand what you're trying to say and this is getting off-topic, but I want to raise an important point. Many people do not understand the difference between "genetics" and "biology". Also, recent research about so-called "junk DNA" reveals that it is not junk at all. Twin studies indicate that there is likely a significant genetic component to sexual orientation, but that other biological factors appear to be part of the equation. For example, one of these possible biological factors may be hormonal activity in the womb.

In any event, virtually all gay men will tell you that there is absolutely no matter of choice regarding emotional and sexual attraction. (Frankly, straight men would say the same thing, but some of them seem to find it hard to accept that it's innate for gay men, too.)

Emotional and sexual attraction in women appear to be different than in men.
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Old 10-24-12, 12:22 PM
  #32  
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So, since there have been others responding positively,
the 'are there others' question was answered..

now just go ride your bike and enjoy the bike trip.. be safe..

.. just don't feed the Bears [actually and metaphorically]
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Old 10-24-12, 01:31 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Dubzo View Post
"Turn down the flame..." Flame? Who mentioned flame? You wouldn't think I was queer if you met me. (And no, telling a gay man he "doesn't seem gay" is not a compliment.) "...expectation of affairs..." I have already stated clearly that this is definitely NOT about hooking up. This is about being able to be myself while interacting with others. The best part of these last six months has been the connections I have made with people, and I am not referring to sexual connections.

And blending in? I don't expect to blend in on tour in Latin America. I want people to stop assuming I am straight, or Christian, or rich, or whatever. I want to feel comfortable enough to correct people, very matter of factly and casually, when they assume I am straight, without fear of reprisal. That's all. I know, it's a lot to ask. I posted this hoping to hear from other queer bike tourists, if they have had similar experience, and learn how they dealt with it.

---------------------------
10-19-12, 09:42 PMjwbnyc
Your average Joe probably considers all bike tourists to be queer.



And no, being on a bike does not usually lead to the same kind of discrimination that being labeled queer often does. Equating the two, while I understand the sentiment, is insensitive and offensive to queer people.

Whew! There, I've said my piece.
These are two things that have caused me great confusion about your thread and comments.

In the first instance, you visit another place, another culture, then want those people in that culture to conform to your outlooks on life. That is a significant conundrum for me. You are a guest in other people's countries and you want them to change their attitudes because you have graced them with your presence?

Frankly, if you aren't comfortable with what people in other cultures think about you, maybe you should withdraw and go somewhere else where you are more comfortable.

In the second instance, just who is doing the labelling here? As I see it, the thread has the word "queer" in it and you started the thread. You cannot have it both ways. People get really tired of being accused of attaching labels to others who claim to shun those labels, but then use those labels themselves.

FWIW, women have been facing these same issues for decades... nay, centuries. They have had to manipulate the truth to maintain their sense of security. Read Josie Dew's books as an example. I haven't read Dervla Murphy's books, but maybe they contain some clues. Read journals on CGOAB by single women and see how they handle the situations they encounter.

Indeed, men, including me, have had to do some quick recalibrations of the truth when circumstances have felt threatening, whether they were in fact threatening or not. Sometimes that has meant missing out on some other more pleasant experience on a tour, but then that leads me to say:

Take notice of your gut feeling. If something doesn't feel right, it more often than not isn't.

It's advice that applies to any gender of cycling tourist.

By the way, out of eight or so years and touring and randonneuring in various places around the world, I don't recall getting into any conversations about my sexuality or marital status. I did, however, talk a lot about cycling, touring and where I came from.
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Old 10-24-12, 02:06 PM
  #34  
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Odd how many straight people (I am one) have zero empathy on this issue. To regard the reappropriation of the word queer by LGBT people as "labelling" does rather indicate a lack of understanding of the issues.

Having said that, OP, you need to resign yourself to doing what is necessary to keep yourself safe. Very many communities, including a great many in supposedly liberal and enlightened countries, don't subscribe to a "live and let live" approach to human sexuality, and don't take kindly to having their prejudices challenged. Look after yourself, and console yourself, if necessary, with the knowledge that most people live their whole lives in what Sartre would have called "bad faith", and don't even know it. At least you know when you're wearing a mask.
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Old 10-24-12, 03:01 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
These are two things that have caused me great confusion about your thread and comments.

In the first instance, you visit another place, another culture, then want those people in that culture to conform to your outlooks on life. That is a significant conundrum for me. You are a guest in other people's countries and you want them to change their attitudes because you have graced them with your presence?
The OP would like to be treated like a human being even though he's in a foreign land. What cheek! Right, Owen?

Edited by Moderators

Last edited by Juha; 10-25-12 at 07:15 AM. Reason: Off-topic content removed
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Old 10-24-12, 03:31 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
The OP would like to be treated like a human being even though he's in a foreign land. What cheek! Right, Owen?
Funny how you pick and choose only certain passages from Rowan's post. One of the points made by Rowan is that when you visit a foreign land you should not try to impose your mores on the people there. That is an excellent point and one that we should all keep in mind when we travel to other parts of the world.

BTW, I also agree with Rowan in one other area: I have been riding my bikes forever and have logged many 1000 of miles. In all that time and in all those miles no one has ever quizzed me about my marital status, sexuality or other related subjects. If they had, I imagine that a polite but firm, none of your effing business, would suffice as an answer.

It's all about the bike!

Edited by Moderators

Last edited by Juha; 10-25-12 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Off-topic content removed
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Old 10-24-12, 07:19 PM
  #37  
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I don't understand this whole thread. For anyone to expect anyone to accept them as they are seems pointless. You accept me or you don't. I have no control over that.
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Old 10-24-12, 07:54 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
BTW, I also agree with Rowan in one other area: I have been riding my bikes forever and have logged many 1000 of miles. In all that time and in all those miles no one has ever quizzed me about my marital status, sexuality or other related subjects. If they had, I imagine that a polite but firm, none of your effing business, would suffice as an answer.

It's all about the bike!
For me, it's not all about the bike. I enjoy interacting with people when I tour. I often tour outside my home country because I especially enjoy experiencing different cultures, different foods, and different landscapes. I speak 4 languages to varying degrees and like to use them when I travel. Some of my touring has been with friends, and some has been by myself. I have been asked many, many times about my marital status or if I have a girlfriend. My two most recent trips to Latin America were off the bike. I was visiting Mexico with a female friend, and we were often off the beaten track. We traveled on local and long distance buses. The type of questions I was asked were often very different from when I've traveled alone or with another guy. Nobody ever asked me if I was married or had a girlfriend.
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Old 10-24-12, 09:45 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
This from the smart guy who didn't catch that Rowans name is not "Owen".
Sorry to Rowan for getting his name wrong.

Last edited by Ekdog; 10-24-12 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:25 AM
  #40  
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ok boys and girls, here's the deal. you go on tour, you get questions. you're something out of the ordinary
and unusual to break up the monotony of the day-to-day same-same in some exotic location.

the locals don't have (or maybe they do) much in common with you, so they ask the typical questions when
you make a pit stop for water or snacks. "how far ya go in a day?", "you get a lotta flats?", "how much did
yer bike cost?", and "where ya sleep at night?"

they're just making conversation - your basic chit-chat. it don't mean nothing. they don't actually CARE
how many flats you get. it's just something you would normally say to a cyclist. you've heard it a thousand
times, but you can't let it annoy you.

same with the more personal questions. they're just making small talk to pass the time. they're asking
questions they would normally ask of normal people. problem is, some folks aren't normal. that's not a
judgement, just a fact. 99.999% of the world's population is straight. others not.

in the normal world, a healthy 20-30 year old would be gittin' hitched, starting a career, and makin' babies.
that's normal. cycling across the country is not normal. 'alternative lifestyles' as well. not normal.

the locals can't tell. if you don't have a cornucopia of rainbow stickers, and don't seem like the human
torch, they'll naturally assume you're, ummm, normal. longer conversations will have them asking "how'd you
get so much time off from work?", "what does your family think about this?", and (oh my lady gaga!) "are
you married?"

if these questions are starting to bug you too much, then you need a break from cycling. return to wherever
it is that you feel comfortable for a while to cool off, and you can continue the tour later.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:39 AM
  #41  
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I have an experience that in some first, second and third world countries people aren't really prepared to face that sexual orientation might be different from theirs and that it means nothing. It doesn't mean that they are true ****phobes, but you need to invest time in discussions and they might change their opinion afterwards. Clearly most of them would prefer to have a queer nice neighbor than a straight but aggressive idiot. And since you probably don't have time for this sort of discussions with each and every guy who actually doesn't really care, why waste the time and nerves and not just cut it?

Sorry if i'm saying/repeating something obvious.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:54 AM
  #42  
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This thread is closed for a moment for clean-up. Thanks for your patience.

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Old 10-25-12, 07:42 AM
  #43  
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OK, we're back online. If you find you're post edited or missing, it's because it was out of Guidelines, in reply to an out of Guidelines post or grossly off-topic. If you think you had an important on topic message removed, feel free to re-post it. Just take some time to reformat it to keep it civil and respectful to other members.

As far as I know, this thread topic is unique in our Touring forum which is why I would like to keep the thread open. Your help is appreciated. If you find an offensive post, please don't reply in kind. Just report it and let us deal with it. Any questions or comments, PM me or post in my Visitor Messages. Thank you.

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Old 10-25-12, 11:32 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
problem is, some folks aren't normal. that's not a
judgement, just a fact. 99.999% of the world's population is straight. others not.

in the normal world, a healthy 20-30 year old would be gittin' hitched, starting a career, and makin' babies.
that's normal. cycling across the country is not normal. 'alternative lifestyles' as well. not normal.
Wow. Where to start with this one? I suspect you are using the word "normal" in place of "prevalent in the majority", but just because most people aren't something, doesn't mean that that something isn't normal, in terms of being something typical in human behavior across different populations. You should be more careful with your words.

Also, your 99.999% figure is at least four orders of magnitude off: Studies vary, but rates of ****sexuality are typically estimated to be between 1% and 5%, so a better number would be 95%, not 99.999%. I.e., if you're in a room with 20 people or so, odds are pretty good that one of them is gay. Higher if you're in Rio or at a roller derby. That sounds pretty "normal" to me.
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Old 10-25-12, 12:54 PM
  #45  
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I did a 7 month tour through South America, I was regularly asked if I had a girlfriend or was married. I'd say at least 50% of conversations that were longer than, "where is this place", they asked. Dudes also asked me many many times what I thought of the women in their country. I took a cab ride with a guy that beeped his horn at almost every woman on the street, giving me a "am i right!" look. I can see how that would be difficult to deal with. I always just sort of play along in those situations, even though it makes me uncomfortable. It's very different than when touring in the US.

I'm vegan, and I do have a similar issue of when to bring it up in touring situations. People often offered me meals, so it could get tricky, not wanting to offend anyone. I think it's much easier to tell someone you don't eat meat in Latin America than you are gay though, unfortunately it is not widely accepted outside of certain cities, as I'm sure you know.

Maybe it's because I was speaking Spanish (not my first language), but I never felt quite like myself on that tour, I was always adapting to the people around me. Usually it was less of a headache to just roll with things. It was great to come home and be able to just be myself again. I think that's a component of traveling in a foreign country regardless of who you are, you're always out of place in one way or another.
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Old 10-25-12, 07:15 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
I took a cab ride with a guy that beeped his horn at almost every woman on the street, giving me a "am i right!" look. I can see how that would be difficult to deal with. I always just sort of play along in those situations, even though it makes me uncomfortable. It's very different than when touring in the US.
That sounds pretty uncomfortable. Just wondering if this experience was the norm or if you usually ran into people who were pretty much the opposite. I've only traveled in Mexico, but found most people to be pretty reserved and respectful.
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Old 10-26-12, 08:33 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
That sounds pretty uncomfortable. Just wondering if this experience was the norm or if you usually ran into people who were pretty much the opposite. I've only traveled in Mexico, but found most people to be pretty reserved and respectful.
No, this guy was an extreme case, he certainly doesn't represent all the people I met.
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Old 10-26-12, 12:23 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I took a cab ride with a guy that beeped his horn at almost every woman on the street, giving me a "am i right!" look. I can see how that would be difficult to deal with. I always just sort of play along in those situations, even though it makes me uncomfortable. It's very different than when touring in the US.
That sounds pretty uncomfortable. Just wondering if this experience was the norm or if you usually ran into people who were pretty much the opposite. I've only traveled in Mexico, but found most people to be pretty reserved and respectful.
As a straight male, I don't think I'd enjoy that situation either. I'm glad to hear (as I expected) that isn't very common.

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 10-26-12, 02:10 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
By the way, out of eight or so years and touring and randonneuring in various places around the world, I don't recall getting into any conversations about my sexuality or marital status.
Aren't you married to someone you met on tour?
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Old 10-26-12, 03:31 PM
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udisku
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There are definitely pockets of queer-friendly spaces in Latin America. The trick is finding them. I totally empathize with you- as a young woman who's often traveling alone in Latin America. Marriage it's always the first question that comes up and I always feel threatened. I started out lying- saying I am married. But recently I have just come out and said, No, not married. I live with my boyfriend. (Not as scary and difficult to say as coming out, but I'm still breaking a bunch of cultural norms by having an inter-racial relationship and living together before marriage.)

I've found that the conversations go better when I'm honest. I feel better about it, they feel better about it, and if they disagree they usually keep their opinions to themselves.

One thing I can say, maybe not all of Latin America but at least Guatemalans- they are OVER polite. They will take a million routes to try not to offend you.

If anyone is looking for LGBT spaces in Guatemala I can point you in the right direction!
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