I’ve been told I don’t look gay, whatever that means. As a matter of fact, one woman’s exact words — and mind you this is from a girl I was crushing on at the time — were, “I just can’t see you being gay.”
Maybe it’s because I dress a tad bit on the conservative side. Maybe it’s because of my petite stature, standing at around five feet tall. Or maybe it’s because I look young for age, as I’ve been told many a time (I was carded for lottery tickets a couple weeks ago; I’m 30.
But the gist is that, apparently, I’m straight-looking. To some, I don’t look like I have girlfriends or could kiss a woman, among other things. It used to bother me back in the day, especially when I was single and looking. Whereas my former roommate could simply walk on campus and meet several new female friends at the drop of a hat, I was stuck with the perception that I just needed “a good man in my life.”
It also made it harder for my mother when I came out to her. In her head, she had seen me wear dresses and makeup (unlike my older sister) and have boyfriends. In her view of me, my mother could never imagine me as a lesbian. To this day, she still utters, “I just can’t believe it.”
It’s that age old debate lesbians have about which role has an easier time coming out – femmes or studs/butches. Lebron would argue that it’s better to come out as a femme because afterward, a feminine women can blend bend in society — and at least your parents hold on to the dream of you having kids. This is where I disagree, because as a stud there are no misconceptions about (usually) your role. Growing up tomboyish or even flamboyantly can almost always be detected at an earlier age. Haven’t you ever seen a boy who seems a little bit too interested in dolls, instead of Tonka trucks at age 5? Let me just say that it doesn’t guarantee he’s gay, but chances are likely. And in growing up stud, the idea of being gay is always in the back of someone’s mind. Nobody blinks when they say, “Hey, Mom and Dad. I’m gay.”
“Okay, pass the peas.”
Like I said, perception is everything.
I can’t say that being straight looking is a bad thing. Most people at work don’t know about me, and I’d prefer to keep it that way. Because the things they say to me about gay folks would make them feel like assholes if they knew about my sexuality. Like the co-worker who once said to me, “If I had a friend who was gay, I would drop them.” She was serious, yet this is the same one who will tell me all her business — about how many men she’s currently juggling — but can’t understand how being gay isn’t a perversity.
And I hear these lovely tidbits only because I don’t look gay. Cause like I said, perception is everything.