Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lesbian/Gay - check

I received a survey in the mail regarding the purchase of my Nissan Cube a few months ago. It is an extensive 9 page survey that covers the factors leading to my purchase, driving habits, brand loyalty, etc. It seemed to be legitimate; so, I filled it out.

At the end of the survey was demographic information: Age, marital status, education level - and then this question
Which of the following best describes you?
[ ] Heterosexual/Straight
[ ] Lesbian/Gay
[ ] Other
[ ] Decline to answer
I had to put my pen down and consider how I should answer this question. It may seem insignificant to others - but it is a big deal to me. The reality is that my gayness may very well be a factor leading to the purchase of a Nissan Cube because, frankly, a lot of straight guys wouldn't be caught dead driving it, especially those of my generation. It's cute and more popular with teenage girls than those of the male persuasion.

I set the survey aside to attend to other errands while I thought about how I should answer. It's supposed to be anonymous - but then it did come addressed specifically to me. It also requested contact information in case someone wanted to contact me regarding some of my answers. And, to many, it'll seem contradictory as I already answered that I'm male, and married (to a woman). Plus, I'm still deeply closeted - am I ready to stick my toe out of the closet?

On the other hand, I'm not ashamed of who I am. I'm gay - so what! If it bothers you then that's your problem so get over it. (I can be quite militant in the privacy of my closet)

Later in the day, I picked up the survey, checked "Lesbian/Gay", answered the remaining questions, and put it in the pre-paid return envelope to go out in tomorrow's mail.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring. Perhaps I'll chicken out and toss it in the trash rather than the mailbox. But, for today, it is empowering - my first "public" declaration. As recently as a year ago I very much doubt I would have answered the same.


Quiet Song said...

So, we are having similar experiences with surveys I see. So do you think there is a marketing executive somewhere figuring out how to market to lds married to opposite sex LGBT people? Viva la cube!

Philip said...

Proud of you.

Alan said...

Don't you dare trash that survey. You post it and be proud of yourself.

Evan said...

Put an HRC magnet on the back and then drive it to church!

J G-W said...

Just a thought... If the survey is truly anonymous (doesn't have any, say, bar code encoding that would allow them to associate the data with your name in a database), I suppose checking the box has little significance beyond how you feel about it personally.

But if it is possible that this stuff goes into a database (after all, you just purchased a car, so some greedy marketing exec out there is probably wondering what else they can sell you), questions like that may be designed to determine whether you will be susceptible to gay-themed advertising or interested in gay-themed products (such as a subscription to The Advocate or Out magazine). The kind of stuff our household is inundated with on a regular basis because some time, a long time ago, we stopped worrying about checking "gay/lesbian" on marketing surveys.

If you don't mind getting that kinda stuff in the mail, not to worry...

Abelard Enigma said...

The mailman came and took the survey with him.

J G-W said...

Let us know if you start getting the "International Male" catalog in the mail. :)

MoHoHawaii said...

Let us know if you start getting the "International Male" catalog in the mail.

And if you don't get this fine publication, a simple Internet search will show you how to sign up for a free subscription.