Pop Culture LGBTQ

6 Ways To Be Cooler To Gay People

That one gay experience you had? Please don't tell me about it.

PayPal backing out of North Carolina because of their gay un-friendly legislation? Thank you, sir, may I have another! We live in this world together, and as society becomes more open and it becomes less and less necessary to hide our true identities and conform to what we are expected to be (see 8 Reasons You Don't Necessarily Need A 4-Year Degree) it becomes equally important to learn how to be cool in every situation. Here’s a quick cheat sheet for how to deal with the gays! Rule number one, don't use the phrase “the gays!” Well, only if it’s funny… yas, queen! 

1. .  Don’t Ass-u-me Anything

When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me. Example:

Doctor Giving Me an MRI: Are you on any form of oral contraceptive? 

Me: No. 

DGMAMRI: Is there any chance that you are pregnant? 

Me: No. 

DGMAMRI: Are you sexually active? 

Me: Yes, but I only sleep with women, so if I’m pregnant, it’s a MIRACLE!!!!

DGMAMRI: *silence* lie down on the bed, please.

That was a great joke, and she totally should have laughed. (If you think the MRI doctor is bad, try going to they gynecologist for the first time after you start being gay-sexually active.)

Same in real life: Don't ask someone if they have a boyfriend, ask if they’re seeing anybody. You won’t have to correct yourself if you guess wrong, and I won’t have to keep wasting my A-material in the doctor’s office. 

2. .  If You Make A Mistake, Move On

One time, my partner and I went on a romantic vacation to exotic Bora Bora. When we to our hotel, there was a little “honeymoon package” waiting for us in our room that included two t-shirts, one men’s, one women’s. When we returned from dinner that night, there was a new set of t-shirts waiting for us on the bed, this time, both women’s. Nice. No awkward moments, no effusive apologies, no making us feel like being gay is weird, and everybody gets a t-shirt that fits. If you make a mistake, or someone makes a mistake on you, be chill about it. 

3. .  Don’t Assume I Want To Hear About That One Time You Had a Gay Experience

Girl, we all studied abroad, so if you “kissed a girl and liked it” in college and then pulled a Katy Perry and denied any accusations that you actually enjoy kissing girls -- that doesn’t mean you have to use our first conversation to confess. What’s next? A conversation with your black friend about how much you’ve always dreamed of going to Africa? I’ll assume you’re cool with gay folks unless you prove me otherwise. No need to try to rack up cool points. 

4. .  Don’t Use Gender to Convey Hateful Language

From “that’s so gay,” to “don’t be a faggot,” to “stop being a sissy,” to “you throw like a girl, the history of using gender to insult someone is far from gay-OK. Not only does it reinforce gender roles, it creates a collective vocabulary for bullying that ends in the “It Gets Better” campaign. 

5. .  Don’t Try To Map Your Reality Over Mine

This is good advice when meeting anyone for the first time, but rather than asking questions in an attempt to make my life make sense against yours, opt for more open ended questions and go from there. The most obvious application is rather than asking, “so, which one of you is the man in the relationship,” which has long been a pet peeve of the gays. Don’t worry about how we pay our checks. Don’t try to figure out how we know who is going to propose. Let us all be specks of dust hurtling through space trying to figure it out as we go. 

6. .  If You See Something, Say Something

If you’re in the majority, stick up for the little guys who are often under-represented, not only in social situations where we are, indeed, a population minority, but also in government where the odds of public opinion may be stacked against us. You don’t have to join us for body shots at the pride parade (your loss) but feel free to stick up for someone when you sense that s/he could use a helping hand.

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Scout Durwood Pop Culture LGBTQ

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