A friend of mine, we’ll call him Gus, started to mimic the stereotypical gay male; super lispy, bent wrist, very valley girlish. As Gus kept at it, I grew more uncomfortable, but wasn’t able to identify why exactly. I just knew I didn’t like it.
I told Gus I was uncomfortable, but it persisted anyways, resulting in me leaving. Truthfully, I just wanted to preserve a little of my pride. Because as he went on, others joined in thinking it was all a big joke.

It wasn’t until I asked another friend of mine who was black his opinion that I actually felt validated in being a little hurt. I asked him if someone did that to him, instead talking like a stereotypical black man; a whole group of people doing it right to your face in jest. I asked him if he would be offended. 

The answer for him was a resounding yes.

We broke down the details of why it hurts and why my friend still doesn’t see how what he did was hurtful. The conclusion was this; he felt like he was the “norm” and that everyone is like him. Being a straight, white male is his idea of normal and he knows nothing else. 

Growing up in a trailer park and being poor isn’t the same as being naturally and visibly different. Something like skin cannot be hidden and sexuality is potentially harmful to the psychy if suppressed. Though, I will admit that being LGBT is different than being black (or any other race for that matter) our desired outcome is the same, despite our different struggles.

Being a straight, white man has been the “standard” in so many aspects of life for so long. Making fun of someone else’s stereotypes just doesn’t seem harmful because they have been doing it for so long it too seems normal. What’s the problem now, why all of a sudden? Like saying something is “gay,” everyone says they don’t mean it “that way” but I would argue, how else can you mean it?

The reason I care now is…I recognize it finally that it hurts and I am no longer afraid to stand up for myself. That’s why now, I am tired of being put down by those around me and if it doesn’t stop, I will find new friends, real friends, that’s why now.
Now I realize how much it hurts. Especially when you express it out loud, finally recognizing how uncomfortable it can make you (because it doesn’t always) and your concern goes ignored as if you were the one at fault because yourr to sensitive! When this happens it becomes an issue of basic human rights to a happy and peaceful life. A world in which a gay man is normal, a black man is normal because in our world…this is already the case, we are the “norm.” 

With Love