The Importance of Recognizing Social Biases
by Lucas Witherspoon
This notion that gays purposely subscribe to stereotypes is an incredibly imprudent assumption, but, realistically, we as humans all feed into societal expectations.
Trying to mold ourselves into an image that feels familiar is a typically human trait. From birth, almost all of us are taught to conform in order to fit an image that’s bestowed upon us, so it’s not necessarily any fault of our own when we unconsciously accept social norms. The difference is people with a same-sex attraction know from a very early age that they are attracted to others of the same sex, but when you’re consistently battered with the perception that heterosexuality is “normal” (a highly subjective term), it really fucks you up mentally. It’s not even a matter of whether or not you grew up in an accepting household or not, though it obviously helps, it’s cultural. When you see yourself underrepresented on a large scale, you feel abnormal by default, because you don’t have an outlet to relate to.
That’s why I particularly loathe the femme versus masculine bias among gays. “Femme” gays feed into the stereotype that was more or less invented by heterosexuals in order to discriminate against us because we don’t act “masculine” enough, whereas “masculine” gays adhere to the societal expectations of how males are expected to act. We’re all equal when we use intrinsic biases as a faulty excuse to discriminate against each other. We’ve all gone and are going through the same shit, so drop the façade. You’d laugh at any Black person who discriminated against another dark-sinned person because they were “too light-skinned” (which, mind you, is an actual thing that happens), and the notion of discriminating against others within your same sexual orientation category is equally as ridiculous.
The bottom line is that trying to dictate how another person should act is both bigoted and antediluvian. I’m of the belief that, as long as you’re comfortable with who you are—which, let’s face it, far too many of us aren’t—you do you. It’s that simple.