Dear Straight People,
It’s 2016, so in the name of progress, please stop “gay shaming.” I’m sure some of you may be confused as to what exactly that is, so let me shed some light on the term. You know those instances when you are in an argument with a guy and the two of you trading jabs, then you hit him with the “shut up with your gay a$$” or “stop being a queen”? Well that’s gay shaming folks. Or perhaps you’ve been guilty of accusing a man you don’t particularly care for of being homosexual because his voice wasn’t the deepest. Or he took too much pride in his appearance. Or he just wasn’t the epitome of masculinity. For the purpose of this conversation, that’s “gay shaming.” And to be honest, playing the “you’re gay” card is getting too old and too tired.
Listen, I have a problem with the whole concept of accurately or falsely accusing someone of being homosexual as a way to insult him, for a few reasons. For starters, what the heck is wrong with being gay? There are millions of people that proudly identify as individuals that like the same sex. Every time you gay shame, you are by default insulting all those people that take pride in their sexuality and who they are. You are consciously or subconsciously saying that being homosexual is problematic.
Let’s look at it this way, if a black guy and a white guy were in the midst of an argument, and the white guy yells “man stop being black.” Or the black hollers “stop acting like a white man.” Better yet, the white guy tells the black man “you’re such a Korean right now.” I guarantee both men, along with society, would feel some type of way. In the first two instances, a person’s identity is weaponized against them as if there is something wrong with being either race. In the last example, one person essentially thinks he is throwing a dagger at the other person, by calling him something he is clearly not. However, in the process of doing that, he mentions Korean like it’s a cuss word. Clearly there is nothing wrong with being black, white, or Korean. But hopefully you get the point.
Gay shaming is also wrong because it helps perpetuate a fear that keeps so men people stuck in the proverbial closet. Identifying yourself as gay and sharing that identity with those closest to you, takes a lot of courage and strength. Family members and friends aren’t always the most accepting. And that fear of not being accepted, is a tough one to wrestle with it. It leads so many people to depression and suicide. For those gay shaming, you are reinforcing a notion in the minds of many, that homosexuality is something to be ashamed of, and won’t be understood by those nearest and dearest to them. Feeling different and alone, is a bad combination for anyone’s psyche. Trust me.
Lastly, I’d like to point out how extremely lazy gay shaming is. To me, when a person does this, I think her tank of reads and witty comebacks is running low, and she is grasping at straws. She has said everything she could possibly think of without “hitting below the belt,” and rightly or wrongly accusing someone of liking the same sex was the logical move to make. Those straight folks in desperate need of immediate shade have to do better than “you’re gay.” It’s so lazy and worn out. Honestly, it’s as ridiculous as saying “yo mama.” Really!
In conclusion, I don’t want anyone to read this and think I was scolding straight people. Or being hypersensitive by writing this whole letter. I just want people to realize that sometimes words do actually have power, and in 2016 if we know better, we should do better. So now that you know better. Well you know the next step.