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4-16-2010 @ 4:27PM
This is some good advice, but I think more info is needed, because treating this like any other couples situation involving hetero players is kind of hinky and smacks of straight privilege. This can be a million times more complicated and can open entirely different cans of worms, depending on any number of variables. I think it's important to acknowledge that.Are the guys in question out as gay or bisexual to the rest of the guild, on an individual basis? Is it a majority LGBT guild, or the guild LGBT-friendly/indifferent but mostly hetero? Or is it a homophobic, hetero majority guild? This stuff's important to know. As any LGBT person will tell you, coming out is a continual process rather than a one-time event, and even the most open of us are out at varying levels depending on the social situation.On my original server, my then-boyfriend eventually became raid leader in our small casual raiding guild. Everyone knew we were a couple, but they didn't know we were both bisexual. It wasn't really an issue because we didn't have a loot policy per se, we just /rolled on everything, and people were generally mature enough to pass on loot if it was a bigger upgrade for someone else, etc. But it was a VERY (one could even say painfully) hetero guild, and though we were mostly 18+ there were a lot of immature dudebro types, including our GM, and I can guarantee the situation would have been much different had either one of us been a different gender. I would not have been comfortable being out as a couple in such an environment. As it stood, only a couple of trusted friends in the guild knew that I wasn't straight, and only one other person knew that my partner and I were poly and in a triad with someone who didn't play the game. Privacy concerns, while important to everyone regardless of orientation, become much, MUCH more important for LGBT players, and I think it's crucial to point that out. Especially for younger people who may not be out IRL.My current server's an entirely different kettle of fish, being that I'm in an LGBT guild, on an LGBT server, and in that case I think the standard advice for all raiding couples would apply without comment.
4-16-2010 @ 4:33PM
I just wanted to add that I do think it's laudable that you're giving the same advice as you would regarding straight couples. I appreciate that, a lot. Unfortunately, much like the "color-blind" method of dealing with race, not acknowledging that things are slightly different for those of us lacking hetero privilege is not terribly helpful in the long run.
4-16-2010 @ 4:47PM
Thank you Thank you Thank you for this comment. I appreciate your insight because simply ignoring the LGBT variable is absolutely an example of straight privilege at play. I agree that this should be examined more closely.
4-16-2010 @ 4:52PM
How would you change the advice in accordance to the answers to any of your questions or concerns?
4-16-2010 @ 5:00PM
I'm confused, if there is no loot unfairness currently associated with the couple then why would you want to alter the advice given by the drama mama's (which was basically have a coke and a smile and don't worry about what hasn't happened yet).If the couple isn't out that's their business and extra bureaucracy isn't needed.
4-16-2010 @ 5:10PM
@ Robin: Honestly, I probably wouldn't have changed a whole lot--it doesn't sound like there's been loot drama in the guild so far, so I don't think it needs to be brought up.About the only thing I would have added would have been an emphasis on respecting the couple's privacy and their comfort zone about being open. I'm really not comfortable with the idea of outing a gay couple to a mostly-straight guild without their permission, even in the service of full disclosure to prevent loot drama. All it takes is one person being hostile about something like that to completely poison a guild atmosphere for everybody involved. I would really suggest the letter writer talk to the dudes in question and get their feelings on the matter before doing anything. They may not have disclosed because they feel like it's no one else's business or that it doesn't really make a difference to their presence/contributions in the guild, or even that they just haven't gotten around to it yet. Or they may not be out because they're terrified of people finding out. That's why I think it's important to talk to them before opening that can of worms.
4-16-2010 @ 5:18PM
@KylenneAs you state, "They may not have disclosed because they feel like it's no one else's business or that it doesn't really make a difference to their presence/contributions in the guild". Nothing more needs to be stated.
4-16-2010 @ 5:23PM
Sorry to tell you this, but your sexual orientation doesn't matter to me. I'm not going to consider it at all when dealing with you, if it's an issue... it's because you're making it an issue.As the drama mamma's said, orientation has absolutely nothing to do with this scenario.Sorry, but you will be treated just like everyone else... I say this because your post seems to say that people of different sexual orientation deserve special consideration, which I do not agree with. At the end of the day, straight, gay, bi, whatever... we're all still people. Just as you wouldn't want a hetero bias, I won't condone a homo bias.
4-16-2010 @ 5:31PM
@ Fierna: Because a straight couple that hides their romantic relationship from the rest of the guild does not have to deal with the same kinds of issues as a gay couple doing the same thing. The playing field is not level, because of hetero privilege. Yes, in both cases there could be a fear of the appearance of nepotism. We've all heard stories about the wife/husband who gets carried in a raid despite mediocre play, or gets undeserved loot because they're married to the RL. Or the girl in the guild who gets tons of freebies from dudes wanting to get in her pants, and nearly every female player being exasperated by that stereotype. And lots of couples regardless of gender make-up worry about being perceived in that light.But gay couples in a mostly straight guild might also hide their relationship for social fears, on top of all the practical concerns. PDA on guild chat may not be as tolerated as with straight couples, or if we're women, harassment of the "hurrr girl-on-girl is hawt" variety might skyrocket, often in the guise of being "accepting" (a friend of mine just left a guild over that not too long ago). Almost everything we do is colored by the fact that we're in the minority. If we make an issue of something, or even if we just talk about our relationships/weekend activities the same way straight people do, we're often perceived as "shoving our lifestyles down people's throats" or "being political". While WoW is not much worse in this regard than the world in general (and sometimes surprisingly *better*), all I have to do is step into a random LFD group with my server and guild tags to be reminded that there are some really hateful people on this game. And as an openly queer person, I can tell you that there are few things in life more depressing than watching a friend that was totally cool with you when they thought you were straight completely freak the hell out when they find out you're not. A lot of times the fear turns out to be unfounded, but it happens enough to make even the most well-adjusted of us wary sometimes. So yes, advice that ignores all of that is not sufficient.
4-16-2010 @ 5:46PM
BTW, for all of the people saying that I'm demanding "special treatment" for LGBT people, or that "treating everyone the same" is what they'd do, I urge you to read the following:http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~hyrax/personal/files/student_res/straightprivilege.htmIt's not about asking for special treatment, or demanding people care about my orientation (whatever that's supposed to mean). I'm just saying that the reality is that no, it's not the same for all of us. I probably know that better than most, given that I've been in both hetero and homosexual relationships, and know first hand how differently the two can be perceived and treated by others. The point of my posts is that even the most tolerant and accepting of people are still raised in a homophobic society where heterosexuality is considered the default setting for humans, and that kind of conditioning colors all of our interactions, even in a video game. Ignoring that won't make it go away. Acknowledging that, then working to change it will.
4-16-2010 @ 5:49PM
I've personally only ever been in gay guilds so I don't know what the het guilds get up to. Are you suggesting that the gay couple who aren't public about their relationship will be reluctant to roll on gear for fear of the appearance of nepotism? This will only be an issue if they use loot council and loot councils are councils so I would assume officers outside of the couple are handing out loot.
4-16-2010 @ 6:31PM
"The point of my posts is that even the most tolerant and accepting of people are still raised in a homophobic society where heterosexuality is considered the default setting for humans, and that kind of conditioning colors all of our interactions, even in a video game."So even if I respect and love all people, and I am in my heart and my soul not a homophobic person in any way.I'm still a homophobic person no matter what because I'm straight?No matter what?It's things like this...that makes me want to cry.
4-16-2010 @ 7:05PM
"a homophobic society where heterosexuality is considered the default setting for humans"That's not homophobia. Heterosexuality is 'the default' simply because of procreation works.
4-16-2010 @ 8:03PM
I really want to second, Kylenne's point. For me, it isn't about giving this issue special treatment and blowing it all out of proportion just because the couple is gay. I think that everything the Drama Mama's mentioned applies to both gay and straight couples equally. For me personally, the ability to disregard the LGBT variable in and of itself is a privilege, which is why I believe that it deserves at the very least acknowledgment and respect for the possibility that there may be subtle differences in this situation, differences that hetero individuals raised in a hetero society don't have the faintest hope of understanding.
4-16-2010 @ 10:56PM
Al:"That's not homophobia. Heterosexuality is 'the default' simply because of procreation works."This, in a nutshell, is what social scientists and social critics mean when they talk about straight privilege.There is no default state for human behaviour, genetics, or identity.
4-16-2010 @ 11:32PM
I must agree with Nick, here... unless the article was edited after your post, but before I came here and began to read it, it already advises Morton not to out the couple, even if loot issues DO arise. I completely agree that outing them would be completely inappropriate. Their relationship is their business, and should only be made public to the guild if the couple decides on their own to tell them. Unless I'm misinterpreting your post... you're arguing that it's harder for LGBT couples than hetero couples to be accepted, even in WoW, correct? While I certainly won't argue against your point, it seems wholly irrelevant in this case since Morton was advised NOT to out the couple.
4-16-2010 @ 11:51PM
The only problem if the Drama Mamas concentrate on addressing the ramifications of the couple in question being gay is that it narrows the field of people to whom the advice could be relevant and useful.The solution to the question is the same whether the couple is gay, straight, or a couple of asexual beings from another planet. If people don't want their relationships disclosed, they should have the right. Gay couples do not have "more rights" than straight couples.The discussion of hetero privilege is an important one, but by bringing it into dialogues where it does not belong, you risk desensitizing people to the issues.
4-17-2010 @ 12:08AM
"This, in a nutshell, is what social scientists and social critics mean when they talk about straight privilege.There is no default state for human behaviour, genetics, or identity."Notice how I had default as a quote. It's widely seen as that, simply because it leads to procreation. Yes, homosexuality is coded from birth, but it doesn't lead to birth.
4-17-2010 @ 2:13PM
@op and robinSpot on.Robin, while it's noble and honorable to approach the couple with "color blindness" as it were, the ability to do that is a hallmark of straight privilege. In fact, while I'm glad no one else views them as a "gay" couple, I bet they spend most days of their lives dealing continuously with the fact that they are a gay couple.I would suggest googling a bit about a color blind racism to see how "I don't see color/I don't see sexuality" actually functions.@ Lisa The nature of their relationship isn't quite irrelevant. If it were a man and a woman, you could probably bet that any fear of them being outed as a straight couple wouldn't include threats/insults based entirely on their sexual orientation. No one will straight bash them. No one will try to save them from being in love with who they are in love with. That happens to gay couples. It happens a LOT. It is an entirely relevant and realistic issue that they have to deal with. You cannot treat a gay relationship like it's nothing but a straight relationship with two boys in it because it is not.Spot on with not outing them, though. Outing is a personal decision. Being outed by someone else is a horrible, horrible feeling.
4-17-2010 @ 3:17PM
I still don't understand how any of this would affect the given advice. It doesn't strike me as a instance of "orientation blindness" that the Mamas didn't touch specifically on the couple's relationship -- just that in this situation, the nature of the relationship doesn't seem to have significant ramifications as far as proper conduct goes. If the article has erred by lack of detail, what do you think is missing? It's true that in any given community, a homosexual couple might face bigotry if discovered, but it might not be necessary to point this out in the article itself, especially given how little we know about the guild's dynamics.Yeah, it's naive to simply ignore sexual, religious, or racial identities, but I really doubt that's what's happening here; it just wasn't touched on in great detail because it doesn't really affect the advice the Mamas had to give. It's roughly the same reason we haven't touched on the couple's ethnicities or religious affiliations.
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