Being gay naturally means that we end up having to deal with a huge number of gay stereotypes being thrown at us – many of them not true. It is sometimes fun to play with stereotypes among ourselves, but it is certainly not fun to be at the receiving end of those just plain ignorant stereotypes.
These are the gay stereotypes that really bother me most.
5. Being gay means you are promiscuous
Sure, so just because I like guys rather than girls must mean that all normal boundaries are dropped and life becomes a free-for-all meat market? I can say for sure that I am not promiscuous, and many of my friends are not promiscuous either. I agree that it might be easier for gay men to be promiscuous compared to their straight counterparts – but that doesn’t mean we are all promiscuous! It is up to the individual.
4. Being gay means you are a pedophile
I really don’t understand this stereotype. Why on earth would my interest in men lead me to have an interest in children? A person’s sexuality does not influence whether they are a pedophile, their mental soundness has the influence. Need I even say more on this one?
3. Being gay means you must be feminine
While there is nothing wrong with being ‘feminine’, and many gay men are happy to let out the inner feminine in them, it is not a requirement for being gay. Some straight men are effeminate, and some – in fact many – gay men are far from effeminate. I have met gay men that would win a macho competition against any straight jock. Being gay and being out is really about being who you feel comfortable being, and this is sometimes, but not always, a bit feminine. I previously wrote about whether you are afraid of being ‘the wife’ in your relationship and how we should not think of ourselves in certain roles, but rather to just be who we are.
2. Being gay means you will become HIV-positive
This is one of the top concerns that parents of a gay child who has just come out have. People think that now that you have come out as gay you are just going to ‘catch HIV’ like turning on a light switch.
Sure, HIV prevalence has traditionally been quite high in the gay community, probably due to lack of awareness, and the secret (and therefore promiscuous) life that gay people used to have to live.
But this can’t be true anymore. We have grown up. We know all about HIV/AIDS. And if some people want to be irresponsible, have unprotected sex, or generally put themselves at risk, then those are the reasons for them becoming HIV-positive. They do not become HIV-positive simply because they are gay.
1. Being gay means you will never be happy
Why does being gay make someone unhappy? Some people think that you will lead a lonely, shallow life. They think that gay people are not stable, and are unable to hold onto a relationship longer that one night. This is quite simply false, and it is based on a view of a promiscuous gay guy. All of my relationships have been quite long (over two years), and brought a completeness to my life. I really hope to settle down and be married one day, perhaps even with kids. And I truly believe that this is possible.
What are some of the stereotypes you have had to face? Leave your stories in the comments below!