"I came out when I was 15, and I’ll be 23 soon. I’ve only dated 1 girl in that time, and I’m not really attracted to other girls as much as I used to be. I feel like I’m a bad gay. I hate cats and softball. I don’t listen to any "gay" bands; I don’t hook up and think uhauling is silly. Am I still gay if I don’t fit the stereotype?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Stereotypes are so interesting because we all fight and fight and fight to NOT be judged based on our labels, but then WE JUDGE EVERYONE ELSE BASED ON THEIR LABELS.
It makes no sense. I am totally a gay, but people think I’m so weird bc I’ve only seen 3.5 seasons of The L Word, I have no interest in The Real L Word, I only own 4 Tegan & Sara songs, I don’t go to gay bars, I’ve never been good at any sport, I would rather shave my entire head than just half of it, and I don’t own a pair of converse. BUT SO WHAT!?
The other day someone asked me if I owned the new Tegan & Sara album and I said “No, but I’ve heard good things, do you like it?!” and they LAUGHED AT ME….this human literally thought I was ridiculous for having not heard A MUSICAL SONG… Are you kidding me??
We are all so different and these differences need to be celebrated not judged. I don’t know what happens in our heads that makes us decide, “oh! we’re attracted to the same types of people THEREFORE, you must be exactly like me or you are kicked out of the club” … STOP THIS RIGHT NOW. If you are disappointed when someone is different from you, you are doing an injustice to yourself and everything we are fighting for: equality.
You, anonyMOUSE, are perfect just the way you are, anyone who says that’s not true is an idiot.
This whole situation drives me mad but also fascinates me to no end. So let me talk about it in two parts:
1) It drives me mad. This has most everything to do with what Dannielle said above; we shouldn’t require that other people behave just like us in order to fit any particular identity. When you like boobs it doesn’t automatically mean you like flannel. GET OVER IT, PEOPLE.
2) It fascinates the hell out of me. This has most everything to do with the fact that, as people who often feel “othered” in mainstream society, we have a tendency to create our own societal norms and touchstones. It is a means of saying, “Hey, I know this thing and you know this thing and we all know this thing and we have a COMMUNITY.” In that sense, I think it is pretty badass. It’s nice that Dannielle and I can make a joke about converse sneakers and lesbians and most everyone laughs hysterically – it makes all those people who are laughing feel safer, more supported, more understood, and less isolated.
So, based on those two feelings I will now move on to my CONCLUSION. No, Anonymous(e)… you are absolutely not weird or abnormal or anything except for a totally unique and brilliant person whose sexuality makes up one facet of a much larger individual. Own what you like and do not feel pressured to listen to music or wear clothes that you don’t like – we are all different and that is so important to remember. To all of you out there who love the cultural touchstones that exist out there for the identity that you claim, that is awesome and wonderful – but that does not make it OBLIGATORY. I am no less gay than you if I don’t understand the joke you made about Shane and Carmen. Stop putting up walls and making others feel like they don’t belong if they don’t identify the exact way you do. CAPISH?!