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28 June 2011 @ 09:28 am
In which I ask a hypothetical question  
This was actually one of my prompts for ysabetwordsmith's fishbowl earlier this month, but it interests me, and so I thought I'd drag it over here to a slightly different audience.

What would society be like if we didn't care about people's sexual orientations, if someone's orientation was just another piece of information to keep in mind like "allergic to cats, loves pizza, can talk intelligently about abstract math"?
browngirl on June 28th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
On the one hand we wouldn't have the overweening stereotypes of "You're GLBTQ so you must be effeminate/pseudomasculine/immoral/intoshow tunes/weak/rapacious/and so on", and the idea at the root of them that this facet of someone's identity necessarily subsumes all the rest and for the worse.

But on the other, we also wouldn't have being LGBT as an identity with the culture and communities that have developed. So it wouldn't be an unmixed good either.
siliconshaman on June 28th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
Well, there'd be a whole lot less stress around for a start...

Lets see though:
Marriage would be for everyone, which would be good.
Male gender stereotypes would be different without homophobic elements, there'd be more 'bromance' and less machismo. I'm not sure how different female gender stereotyping would be, given that there's a fair amount of inclusion of bisexuality already.
There'd still be cross dressers and drag queens, given that there are straight ones anyway it's not an inherent part of the stereotype. They'd just be really flamboyant personalities...
Without certain colours/styles being associated with homosexual orientation and therefore off-limits to mainstream clothing designers, fashion would be radically different! [there'd be a lot more kilts!]

Edited at 2011-06-28 03:10 pm (UTC)
rickvs: !coughrickvs on June 28th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
The jackasses who only wish to initiate conversations with people they stand a chance of getting into bed would have to find something else to act like jackasses over :/
Bladerunnerbldrnrpdx on June 28th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
It would be Saturday night at my place. Anywhere from just us watching TV to having folks over and having a good time.
Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Catpernishus on June 28th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Well, much as I hate to say it, I expect the world just wouldn't change all that much -- there's an enormous inertia to the world as a whole... and I do rather imagine that them what finds s.o. something they care about will find another S.O. to take its place...

So many lovely uses for "SO" -- "significant other", but also "Sold out" and even the "ESSO - so so so" from Elizabeth Bishop's "Filling Station" -- it ends with that perfect "Somebody loves us all"...
The Broad Majestic Shannon: love-is-lovems_interpret on June 30th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
I dunno. That is kinda how I view sexual orientation. And in the circles I run in, it's like that too. My church, my neighbourhood, my friends, even my sons' autism treatment centre, they're all very blasé about the gay.
Elizabeth Barretteysabetwordsmith on July 3rd, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
I have some fictional settings where sexual orientation is less explicitly defined.

The Whispering Sands desert is fascinated with gender, but much less concerned about sexuality. They don't have a lot of vocabulary encoded to cover sexual orientation or relationships. Some of the bandit tribes kind of frown on same-sex pairings but others don't. Waterjewel is open to anything consensual. They don't tend to fight over religion or skin color either. But they do find other things to fuss about -- territory, magic, and gender roles are favorite points of contention.

Over on the science fiction side, the Freedom System was settled by the alternative sexuality front. There's no pressure to have a *particular* sexual orientation in any part of the field, but it is information that people like to know about each other because it's so salient to their cultural background. They're very casual and open-minded about sex. But they can get bitchy with people who aren't -- not so much if they're traveling out of the system, but in their home territory they expect visitors to be tolerant.