Attention Gay-identified, Cis-gendered Men
Attention Gay-identified, Cis-gendered Men:
Read. If you are someone who does the things below, I am giving you a hard stare. If you don’t, then continue breathing and living out your day. Maybe you know someone who does these things, then howsabouts doing the work of changing that script.
Okay, here we go. List of things many gay-identified, cis-gendered men do that are “acceptable” (but are not).
*Announce that women’s breasts, vagina and menstruation cycles are disgusting.
And this announcement is offered as some sort of evidence for same sex attraction.
Your right to be gay does not equal your right to shame women’s bodies. Women’s bodies are hated enough already, don’t add to that hate. A lack of sexual attraction does not equal revulsion. I am not attracted to my chair in any way, but I do not find it gross. You are using your perceived and identified sexual orientation to justify a certain dialogue about women that has been used to violate and police her in all kinds of way. Stop.
*Claim to be “scared of” women who have strong opinions or who talk a lot.
Now that that’s out of the way.
Your problems, your issues dominate and define what queer people fight for all over the world, seemingly everywhere. Even an epidemic as critical as HIV/AIDS is being defined and narrated by you — never-mind its impact on transgender communities, women, people of color, poor people…
Your discomfort at hearing women voice opinions and thoughts makes you an asshole. It is hateful and changing the language to “feelings of fear” does not make it less powerful or less contemptuous of women.
*Touch or talk about my body in ways that I never authorized*
I understand that many women are very comfortable around you. Since you are not seen as a threat for sexual violence, we are able to re-draw our boundaries on our physical and sexual spaces with you. But it doesn’t mean, we have no boundaries. That’s a bridge we build and figure out together — not assumed to exist as a default. In other words, never tell a woman you just met what you think of her breasts or any part of her anatomy. Just don’t.
If and when you choose to display effeminacy, it is surely a beautiful thing. You are beautiful when you do it and I love you for it. And if you don’t want it to mean you are transgender, it doesn’t. Simple.
But let’s get a few things clear. Along with my experiences with lipstick, jewelry, dresses of all kinds, haircuts and strutting; — lies also the lived reality of existing in a patriarchy that does not think I am very smart or worth much of anything. Along with my experiences with my breasts, butt and periods; I also live in a world that values my ability to become pregnant and take care of that child above anything and everything else I might have to offer. Violence, the threat of violence and the fear of violence has been used to make sure I understand this and accept this with minimal fussing. Please understand that my lived reality as a woman does not stem from my make-up bag. This is why you cannot speak for me and therefore should not.
I think that’s all for now. Hopefully, I won’t feel the need to add to this list.
Sidenote to cis-gendered, straight women:
Will and Grace is an American sitcom making fun of the neurotic problems of a white woman and her manly gay best friend. Their relationship white-washed sexuality, gender, race and culture for a mostly straight and white audience. They should be laughed at. They are not a model for straight-gay alliances, or male-female friendships. Please stop saying, “He’s my Will.” or that “I need A Will in my life”. It’s done, tired and makes you seem dim.