This another great article by Pride Matters.
Stereotyping and the LGBT community.
Everyone in the lgbtqia+ community knows that sometimes people think they can tell your sexuality or gender by how we look. This is not the case, but it doesn’t stop people from trying anyway. What does it mean to be told you don’t look lgbtqia+? It means you don’t look like the stereotypes that are believed for us and that doesn’t mean anything, apart from you are being yourself, with your own style.I have been told I didn’t look bisexual, but what does being bi look like? We all look different. Everyone`s unique with their own style, so how can you say someone doesn’t look bi, or gay, lesbian, asexual, transgender, intersex or anything else?
Don’t assume every gay man is camp!
This was my first and only incident with this, but it infuriated me because this person had heard me talking about my ex-girlfriend and asked if I felt better being out of the closet. We look the same as everyone else, well if that’s possible, because we’re different but you can’t just look at someone and say, “Oh, they are lgbtqia+”. We don’t have tell-tale signs on us to tell the world our sexuality, because we don’t need to and it would be wrong if we did.
The lipstick lesbian flag was born out of frustration of stereotyping lesbian women in certain ways.
The stereotypes don’t just work against our community, but heterosexual people, as well. I have a male friend who is “camp” and acts like what a stereotypical gay man would, and this leads to constant questions about his sexuality, simply for being himself. I also have another friend who dresses like a “tomboy” and people assume she is a lesbian, along with my other friend with a pixie haircut, but they are some of the most heterosexual people you’ll ever meet.
I don’t understand how our stereotypes, specifically what we look like, can link to our sexuality because at the end of the day we are being ourselves regardless of sexuality.
Bromo is a term that was born out of frustration that all gay men are effeminate.
Here are a few more examples of stereotypes that our community face:
- A gay man is well dressed in expensive clothes.
- Lesbians ethier dress like a boy or dressed as a ‘girly girl’
- Aromantics aren’t pretty.
Acholol, drugs and promiscuousility have longed been automatically associated with gay culture, but let’s not presume all gay men and women have any of these issues because it’s only a small fraction.
I was told that I didn’t look bisexual, I had long hair, never wore makeup and was constantly in black clothes. When this person saw me in a college course, most of my class was lgbtqia+. We frequently counted by name how many lgbtqia+ there was compared to heterosexual because someone came out frequently. However we all looked the same; black t- shirt or vest top with black leggings, or tracksuit bottoms with black jazz shoes, or bare feet with hair tied back. None of us wore our every day clothes to college, so based off looks alone, according to this person, we must all of been heterosexual. She was very naïve. I know there are other people like her out there, it happens all the time. I think it’s sad that people think they know us by looking at us, when there is more to all of us than how we look.
More sinister stereotyping as appeared recently with the transphobic rhetoric of a link between transgender community using American restrooms and sex crimes carried out in such facilities.
If you keep breaking the stereotypes, especially when it comes to looks, we can finally show people that sexuality and looks have no correlation.
The Rainbow flag shows our different colors and diverse nature.