Over the past several months, I have written posts about stereotypes associated with some of the major identities in the LGBTQ+ community; namely, stereotypes associated with identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual.
When I started this series, I planned for it to coincide with a number of big events this calendar year, such as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in June, but I had no idea quite how much this series would coincide with some other major events related to the LGBTQ+ community. For example, in July, Olympian Caster Semenya, an athlete born with intersex traits, was barred from defending her world title in the 800-meter race; that was part of why my post on intersex stereotypes weighed in on whether Semenya was being unfairly treated. I was also unaware that, before the end of this series, the United States Supreme Court would start yet another term where LGBTQ+ issues were up for consideration. There were probably other things that came up between the beginning of this series and now, but those two developments come to my mind.
If anything, these events show that understanding yet rejecting these stereotypes associated with different groups in the LGBTQ+ community is as important as ever. The rights, livelihoods, and lives of many people in the LGBTQ+ community depend on our rejecting such stereotypes.
As I said last month, I will be doing a series addressing
stereotypes for LGBTQ+ people—talking about people who identify themselves as
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, as well as people who are
intersex and asexual. I look forward to continuing through this series.
Even though I said that I would do a part in this series
about once a month, I decided that I would make an exception for the month of
June, which is LGBT Pride Month. But not only that—I felt that on June 28,
2019, the 50th anniversary of the start of the riots at a gay bar
called the Stonewall Inn, it was extremely important to write about and
confront stereotypes with gay people that has been brought to my attention by
friends, writers, celebrities, and others, so that we don’t see those
stereotypes (or other stereotypes associated with being gay) morph into another
With all that clear, a gay person is a man who is only
attracted to other men. They are never attracted to women—a man attracted to
both men and women is not gay but bisexual.
Now that we’ve talked about what it means to be gay, here
are a few stereotypes associated with being gay:
Gay people are and/or look feminine. Some
gay people may look feminine, but I also know of gay people who look quite
masculine. And, I must add that given this stereotype, a gay man who looks
masculine is no less valid than a gay man who looks more feminine.
Some people just “look” or “act” or “seem”
gay. See what I said for the previous stereotype. Yes, there are some
people who fit into the stereotype of what it means to look, act, or seem gay,
but I also know openly gay people who look or act or seem straight. There is
sometimes the thought that gay men “sound” a certain way, or walk a certain way,
or dress a certain way. However, the way that gay people look, act, and sound
is probably as diverse as the way people in general look, act, or sound.
Gay people just haven’t found the “right
woman.” And since gay people are only attracted to other men, gay people
will never find the right woman, as far as marriage is concerned. That being
said, maybe some people who identify as gay will be one day able to find the
right man (if they haven’t found him already).
In a parenting duo with two men, one of
them has to be the “mom.” If one were to follow the dictionary definition
of a mom and a dad, this is impossible—as a dad is a male parent, a parenting
duo with two men is a parenting duo with two dads. If one of the men in a
same-sex parenting duo wants to do more of the dad things while the other one
wants to do more mom things, that is completely up to them. Ultimately, though,
such a parenting duo has two dads.
Gay people like all men. This derives
from the thought that gay people are somehow sexually promiscuous. However, the
gay people I know (as well as many other gay people have standards, just as
anyone else has standards. So just as heterosexual people are not attracted to
all people of the opposite sex, gay people are not attracted to all men.
These, of course, are just a few of the harmful stereotypes associated with being gay. If there are other stereotypes about gay people that should be discussed and/or if anyone wants to expand upon the gay stereotypes mentioned here, please feel free to post a comment below!
Sometimes, this blog is a smorgasbord of social justice issues, and I’m fine with that. However, given this time in history with LGBTQ+ issues, I want to spend a bit more time on LGBTQ+ issues, and particularly stereotypes that go with being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual.
To elaborate on the time in history we are at right now
(just to give a quick summary for those who aren’t fully aware), here are some
important LGBTQ+ events going on, all at the same time:
The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is coming up at the end of June. For those who don’t know about this piece of LGBTQ+ history, these riots were a series of violent confrontations between the police and gay people at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. To read more, read this Encyclopedia Britannica piece.
Numerous governments across the world, including the federal government and some state governments in the United States, have tried to undermine or take away LGBTQ+ rights.
Several religious institutions, most notably the Methodist Church, are grappling with LGBTQ+ issues.
The United States Supreme Court is considering a case on whether current federal law bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Given all these events, as well as the fact that so many of
the bad things that happen are the result of some of these LGBTQ+ stereotypes,
it’s important to address those stereotypes here and now.
So, my plan is to dedicate a post a month (or so) to stereotypes with regards to a major group in the LGBTQ+ community. Many of the stereotypes discussed will be ones I’m aware of, but I would definitely encourage my readers (and especially people with firsthand experience of being LGBTQ+) to let me know of stereotypes that I should cover, as well.
This way, by the time the series is done, probably around
December by my calculations, we are hopefully all ready to confront some of
those harmful stereotypes, both within ourselves and others.
 The “q” in LGBTQ could also stand for “questioning.”