hey so... I really respect you... but I'm straight? so like how can i as a straight girl NOT victimize the lgbtq+ community? i don't want to piss yall off and you seem informed on the matter
oh whoa big question uhh
any of my other fellow Gays can add on to this if they want but for me its like………. 3 main things: Don’t Fetishize, Don’t Minimize, and perhaps most importantly to me, Don’t Avoid
Don’t Fetishize: i’m a gay woman (ish), not a gay man, so i can’t speak to all sides of the issue and idk what your media consumption habits are, but fetishization of the lgbt community is a huge problem in movies, tv shows, and fandom. yeah, even (and especially) so called ‘gay allies’ in fandom spaces are hell bent on twisting gay love, especially mlm love, into something to jack off to and its nasty. heres some things to avoid and/or call out as they happen:
- phrases like “hot gay sex” in a post written by a straight person
- honestly any detailed descriptions/fantasies of gay sex written or described by straight people because it’s always through this lense of ‘oh em gee guys wldnt this be so Hot!!’ like no. shut up and let gay people exist for themselves u nastees
- straight people talking a LOT about their usually mlm ships wth this kind of detailed yet detached air, like theyre entitled to every second of a gay relationship yet dont quite see the participants as human
- all of this goes double if one or both of the people in the ship is a poc, because thats a Big Red Alert for intersectional bigotry right there
Don’t Minimize: this one’s sort of for more of irl interactions and its something ive encountered a lot, especially from more liberal people (of which there are a lot here in nyc). something that liberal straight people tend to want to do a lot is minimize the struggles of lgbt people. this allows them to turn a blind eye to acts of homophobia and ignore a lot of the pain that their lgbt friends and relatives go through, because theyve convinced themselves it’s not a big issue. ways to avoid this:
- don’t respond to descriptions of homophobia (irl or online!) with exasperated phrases like “UGH come on! it’s 2017 people we should be past this!” because any gay person on earth would be happy to tell you that no, we’re really not
- expressions of sympathy or support are welcomed, as long as they arent patronizing or dismissive. dont just pull a face and say ‘oh that sucks’ and leave it at that when you hear about homophobia in action. investigate, learn, research, critique. look deeper.
- but don’t expect any gay person you know to perform intellectual labor for you and tell you everything about the community without you finding anything out for yourself. google is real and it’s right there in your hand
- work to understand that homophobia is global and it is societal and the win for marriage equality did not change the quality of life or the mental health of many gay people in the country and especially the world. this is a huge issue, and it affects us every day
(sidenote writing all of this out for u could be considered unprompted intellectual labor so if you have a million followup questions maybe try…..googling it)
Don’t Avoid: ok so after reading all of that, you might be feeling a little…exhausted of it. maybe youre thinking “all of this is so complicated, theres so many ways to fuck it up, maybe i shouldn’t even try”. maybe youre tempted to retreat from this, to avoid gay media and gay discourse in order to avoid messing up or “pissing us off”. don’t do that. as much as i like to make jokes about straighties and shit, even i can recognize that we do actually kind of need your guys’ support on the social and political spheres. and for yall to do that effectively, you need to be informed.
- seek out gay media. seek out gay characters. learn to love them and care for them as people. dont avoid them because they might make you, deep down, a little uncomfortable
- seek out gay PEOPLE. lgbt focused blogs, lgbt icons and influencers, lgbt celebrities, lgbt friends. dont be afraid to interact with us or talk to us. the only way to improve and to grow is to try
- monitor yourself, monitor your actions. do you use gay as an insult? no? do you laugh with people who do, without criticism? do you avoid speaking up for gay people around you out of fear of being seen as ‘other’ or worse, gay yourself? these are a few of the questions you should be asking yourself, every day
honestly im really touched that you reached out to me about this. i know i wrote a lot, but honestly, theres million more things to be said. i really do encourage my lgbt mutuals and followers to add on to this IF they want with their own suggestions, and i encourage you and any other straight people to read them!