We live in a society where labels are placed on people. We pre-judge in order to feel at ease. That’s normal human behavior. We want to identify the unknown or give reasons for being to things we don’t understand. We want to place a square peg in a square hole. It’s an automatic response. It’s great if it’s for the positive.
There’s also the human need to place a square peg in a round hole. And we force that peg until it breaks. That negative aspect of this labeling and prejudice is what we have learned to say because we are unsure or we want to identify and not be lonely. We are taught this from childhood. What is not normal, is the automatic assumption that people are gay for having different characteristics than others that have nothing to do with homosexuality, or gender, or affinity. Assumptions that someone one is gay or lesbian because they’re being sensitive or assertive is very un-PC.
When did a man who is sensitive automatically mean he’s gay? If a man looks good in pink, does it mean he’s gay? What happens when you see a man who is clean cut, well dressed, hygienic become the symbol for gayness?
When did having feelings, characteristics, styles, hygiene, fashion, friendliness become a sign of homosexuality? These are questions we should ask ourselves and not pre-judge on characteristics.
When did a woman who is assertive, automatically mean she is a lesbian? Why do we think that a woman who does not wear a dress is a lesbian? Hairstyles come and go, so why do we assume that a woman with a mullet is a lesbian?
In order for these prejudice remarks to stop, we need to stop doing them ourselves. I’ve caught myself a couple of times doing it. I’m no angel, but I do recognize my error. The funny part of this is that it was brought to my attention by a heterosexual friend. She pointed out that I was being a bit homophobic. I didn’t know what she meant at first. However, she was right. I was prejudging her ex-husband because he smiled at me. Imagine that. He smiled at me and I was flattered. He is simply a good overall man, who respects me, and is not threatened by his own sexuality.
Times have changed. I think that so must we.