Why is it that we are so accepting of gays who are flamboyant, open, and feminine, but are sometimes less accepting of those who are more introverted and quiet? At times, we allow ourselves to be friends with homosexual men solely because of that homosexuality. This sexuality is not necessarily a defining character trait, but sometimes it’s all we see: not that they’re people, but that they’re gay. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being flamboyant; on the contrary, people with personality are vital to my happiness and sanity, and none of this is meant to take away from exciting, loving people. (I like watching Sassy Gay Friend videos as much as the next person.) But society is starting to expect all gays to be the same sex-machine, cut from the same mold.
This goes both ways: people prejudiced against gays tend to focus solely on their sexual identities, completely ignoring their other qualities. But those of us who are “OK with Gay” (although we’re constantly saying “there is no one type of gay; everyone is different,”) still put them into molds. We want our gay friend to help us shop and giggle about cute boys with us. We expect him to have a super-sexy boyfriend and love Liza Minelli. We want him to act just like our girlfriends. But the truth is, gay boys are still boys. They aren’t always feminine, cute, tall and rugged, or fashionable. And though we think we’ve surpassed stereotyping gays, we haven’t. We still expect them to come in a gift basket along with Glee, valley-girl accents, and Lady Gaga. They’re constantly portrayed in movies solely as silly, hip-wiggling fashion consultants, even though there are probably a thousand gay businessmen out there who act and look like everyone else.
If we’re so accepting of homosexuals, why does everyone expect lesbians to have short hair and big muscles? I don’t see many straight guys looking to elevate their social statuses with lesbian arm candy.
We just have to understand we can’t only love people for being cute and fun and girly. Of course we should be friends with them; I have gay friends who I absolutely adore, but not because they’re gay. When we idolize a guy and accept him into our lives just because he likes boys too, we stomp on every step gays have made toward their goal of being accepted as human beings. We have to look past someone’s sexuality (and stop speculating on it for heaven’s sake: who even cares if that guy over there is gay?) and become friends with them because we want to know who they are, not who they like.