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  • Writer's pictureLisa Snow

"You Don't Look Gay!"

Updated: May 23, 2019

Especially when I had longer hair, a comment I got A LOT was "But, you don't look gay." It is so interesting now, because it has been years, and I haven't gotten told that in a long time (I guess I'm looking gayer these days)... until a few days ago. I was approached at the gym, and someone came up to me and noticed my rainbow Mickey Mouse cup. That of course started a conversation where they told me about their gay cousin, and followed it up with "but you wouldn't know, because he doesn't look gay." I just nodded and laughed because I didn't want to go there in the middle of enjoying my protein smoothie. Not taking the hint he took it one step further and told me that I didn't look gay. I then turned my attention fully back to him, and ask him what he meant by that, and then asked what gay looks like. Now- I am the first person to joke with my friends, and tell them that they look gay today. It is in a joking manner, and basically based on stereotypes that my friends and I already joke about. But, when someone tries to use- "you don't look gay" as a pickup line or a "compliment" I can't help but strike up a conversation and ask them to elaborate. I feel strongly about this, because when I was coming out to myself and going through that journey, stereotypes and "looking gay" were very confusing to me. I honestly didn't think I was gay because I was told for so long that gay was a certain look and demeanor. Stereotypes are around for a reason, and their is a certain style or pieces of clothing that do trend in the lesbian community, but "gay" can really look any way. Long hair, short hair, feminine, masculine, colored hair, piercings, no piercings- my point is, just like there is not one certain way to "look straight" there is not one way to look gay. Also, one isn't better than the other. Express yourself however you so choose, and take labels and expectations off of a piece of clothing or hairstyle. If you are joking with your friends and it is lighthearted and fun- carry on. But don't immediately assume someone is one way based on the shirt they wear or their hairstyle that day. You are all beautiful, however you choose to express yourselves. Keep being you, and keep rocking that look- whatever it may be!

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