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The fallacy of "alternative lifestyles"

 The best way to make me run a mile (in almost any context, though especially in writing) is to say you are "accepting of alternative lifestyles".

Alternative? Alternative to what?!?!?!?!!!!! 

Being something other than 100% straight is NOT A CHOICE.

Not eating chocolate, that's a choice, being a vegetarian, pretty much a choice, religion, a choice, most bloody things, a choice!

Something you're born with? Something that is part of your intrinsic make-up. NOT. A. CHOICE. 


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valarltd May 17th, 2011
I see that and I want to send them stories of nudist, tattooed polyamorous kinky heterosexuals.

Alternative to white, heterosexual Christian nuclear families, of course. Don't you know that's the default and all the rest of us are just perversions for titillation?

chris_smith_atr May 17th, 2011
Ah yes. I like being a pervy tit (for short ;) )

lee_rowan May 17th, 2011
Yeah. As far as I'm concerned, living in a hay-bale house you built yourself is an 'alternative lifestyle' (and a damned good one.) Vegetarianism is an alternative lifestyle in most of the Western world. Being a professional athlete, an on-the-road performer... these are alternative "lifestyles."

I'd like to kick the idiot who came up with that term for being GLBT. It's so condescending, stupid, and simply wrong. It isn't a 'lifestyle,' it's our lives.

chris_smith_atr May 17th, 2011
Yep. That would be what I think of as alternative lifestyle too.

Precisely, it's LIFE. No fucking pretensions with it!

tiggothy May 17th, 2011
I completely didn't understand what you were going on about at first - I was thinking "What's wrong with being a hippie (or whatever)?"

Why can't people use language properly?

chris_smith_atr May 17th, 2011
Hippies are just wrong. *(joke, I like hippies)*

People think it is somehow not offensive. I'd personally find it more offensive than if you insulted me to my face. Patronising PC-ness.

stevie_carroll May 17th, 2011
Ack! Who said that this time?

Then again I'm having an interesting time writing a scene along those lines at the moment: Matt is trying to work out why Cynthia's father rejected her. Not wanting to join the family business would be sort of understandable, as would jacking in a well-paid city job to first work for a charity and then weave wall-hangings. Turning her away because she realised when she was 30 that she was female and mostly fancied women, well that's not a good reason at all.

I love my characters, even when I'm struggling to keep their accents from converging somewhere in the East Midlands.

chris_smith_atr May 17th, 2011
A publisher, which is why I'm not linking. Though I hear it at work too.

Aw, I like Matt already. And I agree - sister is reproducing in most backward country in universe (imho) and I've already informed her that if perchance the kid is not straight, to send it to us, because then it has a chance at a normalish life.

Have them converge on the SHINY UNIVERSITY OF DERBY. NOW WITH FLASHING STAIRCASE. (I enjoyed working on that)

stevie_carroll May 17th, 2011
Flashing staircase? I demand pictures.

Matt and Cynthia are having happy adventures (and occasional angsty discussions) somewhere that isn't quite Hebden Bridge. Somewhere in the next 1,000 words I really need to introduce the fairies...

Grr at publisher, though.

chris_smith_atr May 18th, 2011 there you go - the lights are programmable to change colour. And we turned the tower blocks into things that looked less... hideous?

Isn't quite hebden bridge? LOL. Love it!

stevie_carroll May 18th, 2011
That's a pretty staircase.

I keep chickening out of explicitly stating that everything's happening in Hebden Bridge, because I haven't been for so long. On the other hand, I have the large communities of lesbians and artistic types, the lack of supermarket and plastic bags, the pretty station with its busy car park... and I spent a while on Google Maps working out how much of a serious conversation they could have while driving to Leeds.

On the other hand, the fairies, the feed merchant/agricultural supplies place and the Turkish-owned ironmongery are entirely my invention.

I need to find a beta who can tell me yes or no to naming the town, like I did with my Hay-on-Wye story.

[ETA:] Argh at the typo.

Edited at 2011-05-18 07:27 am (UTC)

belleweather May 18th, 2011
I always thought this was an Americanism, so I'm surprised you're hearing it on your side of the pond. American English has a hard time calling a spade a spade. It's like American Doctor Who fans who nearly made my tear out all my hair by calling Freema Agyeman "African American", because they either were stupid or didn't know anything else non-offensive to say. I think folks over here say "alternative lifestyles" because they're not sure if they're gonna offend someone by saying "gay". It DID used to be the preferred/correct term... like 15 years ago, when I was in high school. Get with the program, Publisher. *eyeroll*

chris_smith_atr May 18th, 2011
Unfortunately, a lot of american corporate-speak is migrating its happy little way over here. That includes the PC stuff. Bad enough to have English understatement, but without the ability to call a garden implement a garden implement... just ARRRRRGH.

Can't believe that Freema Agyeman was called "African American".

It's just mental. I am still confused at why calling something what it is, is offensive. *pulls out hair*

belleweather May 18th, 2011
Oh my god. The Freema thing happened ALL THE TIME. I know that it's an enormous pet peeve of mine and I may possibly be overreacting, but I was seriously going to lose my ever lovin' MIND over it.

And living in a company where they're corporate to the nines... I'm so sorry we can't keep our murder of the English language to ourselves. :( helps me get through the day on a regular basis.

chris_smith_atr May 18th, 2011
I work for an Aussie multinational - so you have everything from the "I can be extremely rude in the name of being frank" to the american pc-jargon (and yes, unsuck-it WILL come in useful, I sometimes have NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS!!!!!) to the British "Oh we'd never DREAM of telling you what we're thinking to your face... instead we'll just be over here, explaining to each other why you're not *quite* the thing"

If nothing else, it makes work about 200% more intellectually stimulating than it would otherwise be.

Btw - ADDRESS. I keep seeing hobnobs and not buying them, because I have sweet FA idea where to send them. :) And they've invented double dipped chocolate cover with a cream sandwich hobnob. Which is just very very wrong, and very very right.

belleweather May 18th, 2011
Oh good lord. I may NEED those hobnob things in order to continue to exist. Just as a warning.

februaryfour May 18th, 2011
Maybe they're talking about nudism, poly, BDSM, etc?

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