So if you are just tuning in to my life, I feel like I should make something blatantly clear: I like dudes. Many of you are probably aware of this already, but if not I hope you were sitting down when I broke the news. I feel like we should talk about this today because there are numerous myths about gay people that need to be debunked for the sake of my sanity and the sanity of my fellow second class citizens. Let’s just start with a few easy ones that are near and dear to my heart:
Myth #1: “He’s gay. He must want me.”
Contrary to popular belief, having a penis does not mean that I am attracted to you. I feel like many straight men are uncomfortable around gay men because of the sheer fact that gay men are attracted to other men. I personally am confused by this notion. Think about it this way. Let’s say you are a heterosexual man for a minute. You have a thing for lady parts. They get you all hot and bothered in all the right places. Let’s say you meet a woman who literally looks like a dog with all the fixings: wet nose, floppy ears, and sagging skin. This woman has lady parts, but that does not necessarily mean you want to explore them. The same idea applies to a homosexual situation. Sure I like man parts, but that in no way implies that I want your man parts.
Myth #2: “Gay men are like women.”
Ok. I’ll openly admit that there are things that I do as a gay man that are characteristically feminine. Example: having sex with men. I can see how that one thing basically makes me a woman. After all, my sexual identity is the entirety of who I am as a person and it only makes sense that I would be compared to a woman. I say this sarcastically, but in actuality this kind of thinking really rubs me the wrong way. My sexuality is a small facet of who I am; only one piece of the puzzle. I think the real problem here is that we are so caught up in the gender roles that society has placed on us that we automatically become alarmed when someone doesn’t fit the mold. Why do we have to fit into society’s mold? And why is it so damn important to be feminine or masculine? Why can’t we just be? In my mind this need to be one or the other only propagates fear and ignorance.
Myth #3: “Being gay is a choice.”
I can honestly say that of everything I have discussed thus far, this is by far the most important to me. When I decided to come out I got into a mind-blowing argument online with a radical Christian woman who wrote a baseless article about homosexuality being a choice. It ended with undignified comments in a public forum (which I now feel somewhat apologetic about…but only somewhat). I cannot stress enough the fact that I, in no way, chose to be gay. It’s not like I woke up one day and thought to myself: “I’m really striking out with the ladies lately. Maybe I’ll get friendly with some man candy today.” It doesn’t work like that. I knew when I was twelve years old that I was gay after realizing that my awkward erections had nothing to do with the girls in my class. Sure, I didn’t tell anyone until I was twenty-two, but that doesn’t mean that at twenty-two I decided to switch teams. I didn’t choose to feel like a second-class citizen, denied equal rights because of my sexual identity. I didn’t choose to imagine my life with a man at my side instead of a woman. I didn’t choose to make my life any harder than it would have already been. The reality of it all is that I was born this way and although it took me a long time to realize it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
These three misconceptions are just the ones that immediately come to mind. I have no doubt that (given more time) I would have dozens of things to discuss. The fact of the matter is that these are commonplace and have no basis in reality. It’s narrow-minded and quite frankly idiotic to suggest that there is any truth to any of these things. The sooner we realize that, the better off we’ll be.
I’m sure you’ve had enough of me for one night so until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry
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