I’ve been out of the closest so to speak for about 2 years now, but I still feel like I’m hiding the real me. I mean people know I’m gay, but I feel like I have to pretend sometimes. I like to listen to Nicki and Beyoncé, love to twerk, and Bravo is a mainstay on my television. However, if I share that with people, especially in the gay community, people throw labels at me like feminine and bottom. And the truth of the matter is, I consider myself masculine and am a strict top. I guess what I’m asking here is how to deal with people misjudging me and making assumptions?
Book Judged by Cover
Dear Book Judged by Cover,
Thanks for writing to me. First off, congrats on coming out. In my book that’s always a big deal. Theoretically when a person comes out, he feels a sense of freedom and liberation to live life to the fullest and be the person he was meant to be. However in reality, one often finds himself out and yet still operating within the confines of social constructs.
It’s ironic that the very community you were hesitant to announce membership in, is the very community that will be quick to pass judgement. Liking Rihanna and Lady Gaga makes you a queen. Liking Madea movies and Oprah makes you a lady. And liking Project Runway means you can’t possibly be anything other than a bottom. Reading these things aloud I know sounds a bit ridiculous, but people make these dumb conclusions all the time. I’d like to tell you there is a sure fire way to shut this type of chatter down, but honestly there isn’t. You just have to get to a place where you’re comfortable to live out loud and write of false judgements as false judgements.
Going forward here are my suggestions.
- Don’t ever be afraid to be you. People will always have their opinions and make assumptions about you, and you can’t allow them to dictate how you live your life. Have you ever heard of the saying “what you think about me is none of my business”? Well if you haven’t, trust me, it makes great sense.
- Next time you are twerking in the club to Beyoncé and someone assumes you are a power bottom or something, let them. Heck if it’s another “strict top” and he makes the assumption, twerk on him and get him excited. Then when you are done dancing and he’s all aroused, walk away and tell him you two like the “same thing.” LOL! In the words of T-Pain “he’s officially been chopped and screwed.” LOL! I’m really kind of joking with this suggestion, but heck if the mood strikes.
- Now if the people closest to you are making inappropriate assumptions about you, sit them folks down and tell them what gay means to you. I will say it over and over again, it’s important for people to define “their gay” for loved ones.
As always nothing but love,