One of the things I’ve always felt is the hardest part of being gay is dealing with the perception of the gay community, within the gay community.
Stereotypes exist for a reason. That’s a given. However, at some point, you have to laugh at them and you should never take them seriously. Part of the definition of a stereotype is, “fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing”. Basically, that means, it isn’t a real representation of something you are applying a type too, it is simply a generalized idea of something. That almost sounds like something you shouldn’t do in programming … anyway, that’s my inner nerd coming out. You can ignore that last bit.
I make fun of all the typical stereotypes in the gay and lesbian community just like everyone else. A good joke will have me laughing my ass off. And heck, I’ll be the first gay man in the room to joke about the lesbian’s and their love of all things Subaru. But, it … is … a … joke. Perhaps not a good one, to some, but it is definitely not something I hold true. It’s just funny and amusing to me that someone could think that … it could be true.
What bothers me is how many gay and lesbian people, who’ve likely had to fight with some form of stereotyping in their own life, use stereotyping when dealing with others in their very own community. For gay men, this usually comes into to play with how you dress. Gay men tend to look down on other gay men who don’t dress to a higher standard. For instance, if you dare where plaid, you are forever lumped into the bear community. If only! I don’t have enough body hair to fit into that community! Well, that and … plaid doesn’t look good on me. But damn it, if I want to try wearing it now and then, I shouldn’t have to feel like I’ve broken a gay commandment.
Seriously though, the gay rule book says this about plaid: gay men wearing plaid are required to be either super trendy or the plaid wearer is a ‘bit’ dumpy looking. There really isn’t any in-between on the matter. And that brings me to the image on this page.
I loved this picture I found on Reddit. It so doesn’t fit the gay stereo type. And I can already hear the gay men out there rolling their eyes, or thinking it must be a lesbian. (You have heard? Lesbian’s only drive trucks, right?)
Another example, there is a cute couple on YouTube that I enjoy watching. Neither of them fit the gay stereotype. I actually started watching it because one of them came up as a suggestion and the titled said something like straight men something … something … something. The channel’s author looks like your typical trashy redneck that would have nothing but hate spilling from his mouth. However, looks and stereotypes be dammed. He is neither of those, and so much more. Then you meet his husband, a military kid who just looks like what you’d think some kid fresh from the military would be. AND again, not even close. Both of them are sweet, charming, and in love.
I judged them by their cover. Yet what I found was two people who helped me realize something that I already try not to do, don’t judge someone by their stereotypes. And as I judged them, I was quickly slapped by my own words.
So even though I hate it, I’ve gotten so us to it, I do it. It’s not a good thing. Gay people, just like everyone else, come in all shapes and sizes. I know gay men who are devout God worshipers. You’d think any gay person would run from scripture. It has been used against us for so long. However, not everyone views it that way, nor should they.
Anyway, all this dribble just to post that picture from Reddit.
P.S. There is no gay rule book, it feels like their should be one, further adding to my point.