Some guy friends of mine are feminine. They wear make-up, have limp wrists, talk to me in the feminine form, and can be fabulously flamboyant.
Some girl friends of mine are masculine. They don’t shave, they wear baggy pants, have short hair, and can be impressively strong.
Every single time I run into one of these friends when I’m with someone straight, I hear the same exact thing: “Thank God you’re not like them!”
That comment frustrates me beyond belief. It highlights the homophobia that even the most gay-friendly people around me have. It says, we’re fine with you being gay, as long as you’re not too gay.
I was having a chat with a good friend last week. He’s about to get married to his boyfriend, and this has sparked some thoughts about gay assimilation, and our need to be as heterosexual as possible, to fit in to a world that will only accept us if we are like them.
But we’re not.
And I’m not comfortable pretending that we are. That’s dangerous. For me, for my feminine friends, for my masculine friends, for anyone that’s different.
Instead of embracing difference, we try to change people to be more like everybody else.
That’s not acceptance. That’s bullshit. And that’s boring.
To me, it’s the people that are clearly different that are the heroes. They’re the ones that create a space for us gays to exist. Without them, we would all be in the closet. They push the boundaries, refuse to assimilate. They scream, from the rooftops, that they refuse to blend in, to follow rules, to cave in to societal pressures.
They are the ones who make the fight worth it, because their everyday life is the fight!
They are the ones getting insulted, getting made fun of, getting beaten up, getting raped, getting abused, getting kicked out, getting stared at, getting teased, getting hurt, getting abandoned.
They are the faggots, the dykes, the sissies, the tomboys.
They are the ones who have to hear those words thrown at them everyday.
They have to struggle, push, surpass, ignore, forget, and build up their lives, alone and against all odds.
They are my heroes.
They are the ones who, if they were in my place when someone said “Thank God you’re not like them!”, would smile and say “If only everyone had the guts to be like them!”