“It’s okay if you are.” The hidden insult.
“Are you sure you aren’t gay? It’s fine if you are!”
As society progresses to become more accepting, there will always be people who formulate ways to seem understanding but remain demeaning. Whether you do it, or you witness it from others, there is certainly someone around you that uses insults and covers them up by saying “but that’s okay.” Or the like. Our goal, as individuals, should be to avoid this however we can. You may think you refrain from this or that you don’t see it.
So here’s an example we’re all familiar with. Or I am anyways.
Have you ever heard someone say “are you sure you aren’t gay? It’s fine if you are!”? Probably. Maybe you have even said it yourself. I know I probably did in my youth. Something along those lines anyways.
See, the thing is: when you say that, more likely than not, you actually aren’t fine with it.
Why do I say they’re not fine with it? Because at the root of this comment is a stereotype. The person being called “gay” has done something that the other person considers to be something that, apparently, only a homosexual would do. A man dancing, a woman playing sports, you know the drill. The same tired categorizations. Now, are there any actions that only a homosexual would do? Yeah. Be sexually active with a person of the same sex. That’s it. Literally.
So here’s the problem:
First, we know the individual saying this has grouped what they believe are feminine and masculine actions. And that’s bullshit. But let’s pretend it isn’t, for now.
Second, they then misappropriate the femininity or masculinity of a person to their sexual orientation. They somehow surmise that a man who is affectionate and caring is attracted to other men. Now you’re thinking, wait what? Yeah. Exactly.
Third, and maybe most importantly, they vocalize it. The person literally feels as if it is appropriate to call someone “gay.” It doesn't matter that they’re using the word literally, as opposed to a synonym for “bad,” “stupid,” etc. And it’s not about the word, either. It could be gay, lesbian, or homosexual. Those are other arguments. This is about the associations. Which brings us right back to the first problem. It’s a cycle based on people’s basic, underlying assumptions.
So now tell me that the person “is fine with it.”
So why, suddenly, it is okay to call someone “gay” if you conclude it with “it’s fine though!”?
But what problem does it create?
It increases the stigma. Yet again people have to watch the activities they do, clothing they wear, and emotions they show. Why? In fear. In fear that someone may think they are physically attracted the same sex. Seriously? So what I’m saying is, unless someone doesn’t give one damn about what others think of them, they begin to feel self-conscious of every action. And the word “gay” continues to be a insult — when it’s anything but.
Is that fair?
Would you want your interests suppressed like this?
Actually, trust me. You wouldn’t.