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But you don’t look gay?!”
What does this sentence remind you of?
Who wants to showcase narrow-mindedness and prejudice to others? I don’t think anybody does. But in case you want to try, here is what you can do. When one of your friends or family members comes out to you as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and you find it necessary to point out that he/she “does not look gay” do not get frustrated with a possible reaction.
In modern society, and especially in countries like Canada, being gay is your right. In Canada, any form of discrimination based on your sexual orientation against you is considered illegal. Although some of us understand the legal aspect of this, de-facto some people still struggle to overcome and ruin all of the stereotypical “left-overs” that remain in their minds towards gay people.
I am gay, and personally, I don’t consider myself as someone who “looks gay.” I don’t think I look any different from straight men, but that’s not the point. When somebody tells me, “You don’t look gay,” my first instinct is to ask: What does it actually mean to look gay? Is it the shape of your face? The colour of your eyes? The amount of facial hair? What is this judgment built upon?
In my opinion, one of the worst things that you can say to a gay person is that they don’t look like they belong to their community.
Albeit it’s very offensive, it’s not the point. It’s just very annoying as this judgment simply confirms a bunch of wide-spread stereotypes that are far from being true. These stereotypes convey the idea of gay guys looking or behaving in a feminine way or adding up some sort of feminine tone to their voice when they speak.
Also, there is this bias that lesbians cannot stand pink, high heels, and long hair; that all of them should only wear black jeans, hoodies, and Converse shoes. And yes, how dare I forget about Demonia Gothic shoes.
Anyway, the fact that some individuals ask this question or make such statements itself suggests we are yet to get rid of the bias and prejudice towards the people of another sexual orientation. These stereotypes are tied to us by people who interpret this world in “black and white” only.
There is more to sexual orientation and identity than just dressing up a certain way.
There is a number of people who may tick some of the boxes that come to mind when it comes to how a gay/lesbian/transgender person should look, but there is a great number of those who wouldn’t tick a single one.
Just remember, by spitting out a judgment of,“but you don’t look gay,” you’re judging someone based on your own narrow-mindedness and prejudice towards the natural diversity of this world.
The beauty of the world lies in our differences.