Wise Guy (noun): a man or woman who thinks that it is funny, interesting and/or necessary to gossip about another’s sexuality.
There are some who love to find power and ‘intelligence’ within themselves when they say, “I always knew they were gay”. To them, they are the Olivia Benson of the LGBT world, solving the most pressing issues in the lives of others and commending themselves ten-fold for doing so.
I’ve had people’s parents, classmates, even employers use the question mark around my sexuality (pre-2011) as the most interesting thing they can bring to the table when talking to others. These are people who have nothing more stimulating to talk about than whether the quiet teenager from Surrey Hills will end up marrying a man.
The truth is, these people do not have the slightest clue about who they are talking about, and the gossip that they initiate not only damages the subject of the malice, but others around them more than they could know.
Just because I dress better than you, have female friends I don’t sleep with and listen to some damn good music, does not put me in some mould you have taken it upon yourself to create, that requires you to permanently affix a label to my forehead.
Why can’t people be who they want to be without having to look over their shoulders to the sound of incessant whispering? Let’s not stereotype coloured socks, pop music and female friends as a checklist for someone being gay – these are the choices I have made in my life, the things that make me who I am, but I am not every gay man. Like every other human, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’.
Besides, most of my clothes are my grandfathers, so I don’t know what you’re insinuating about that great man.
Calling someone gay, or airing your suspicions about someone’s sexuality for something as trivial as their dress sense, especially in the days of the metrosexual is just ridiculous and dated.
Besides, it is only going to do damage to the heteros, by taking them one giant leap back in the terrible dress sense stakes by instilling fear into those who want to dress well and not have their sexuality questioned.
And by the way, your girlfriend or any of the girls you are currently fawning over are desperate for you to take some styling tips from ‘a gay’ and start dressing like a decent human being.
From a personal perspective, knowing that people are gossiping behind your back about your sexuality before you yourself are even capable of confronting that thought in your own mind, is crushing to your self-confidence. Not only does it send you back deeper into the closet, but it kills your ability to comprehend a future in which people are going to be accepting of your sexuality.
The only time a person’s sexuality ever needs to come up in conversation is by the person themselves initiating it, or in an enclosed, safe discussion between family and/or friends in the hopes of creating a safe environment for their loved one.
For it to be used as the butt of a joke, or said in the form of a put-down is both backwards by society’s standards and extremely telling of said person’s character.
Your mates aren’t impressed by you calling someone a ‘poof’, and if they are – we all know that you strapping young lads are just starved for attention, inducing a heightened sense of your own masculinity…or probably just desperate for a root.
If you are lucky enough to have a girlfriend, and are both proudly homophobic in the ways you gossip and spread rumours about someone’s sexuality – congratulations! Please go away and breed children to whom you will give rat-tails, society will cherish you for it.
How someone leads their life has nothing to do with their sexuality, nor does their sexuality have anything to do with how they lead their life. Since when does clothing and music choices, or any other aspect of someone’s life impact your existence so dramatically? Who gave you the power to decide what is acceptable to do, and who it is acceptable to be?
I’ve had a group of strangers call me a ‘homo’ for wearing a pair of shorts on a night out in the city. At that moment, I was distraught. The attack sobered me up immediately and I was shaking as I got into the cab and chose to end my night right then and there. But looking back on it, why should I be the victim? If Joan Rivers were still here, I wouldn’t be the one getting owned on Fashion Police.
Now, with a more positive mind frame, I can’t help but think, ‘Cheers, pal. These shorts are Marc Jacobs, I bought them in SoHo, New York. Sorry ‘bout it. Love the Piping Hot tee by the way’.
Someone’s opinion of you is none of your business – I just wish I could have felt that way as a teenager.
The constant desire to know ‘who is gay’ or how someone is living their life is both embarrassing and hazardous. I’m sure there are better things that can be done with your time, and if it’s all you have to talk about – I have some bad news for you.
Making a joke out of someone’s sexuality amongst your friends can also be inadvertently damaging to them. It has become abundantly clear more recently that there is no cookie-cutter ‘gay man or woman’ in our world. Sportsmen, CEOs, Actors, Tradies, the list goes on, there is no set lifestyle for anyone in the LGBT community, so be careful who you share your homophobic potty-mouth with, it could be life-changing in the worst way for them.
If we instead devote our energy toward making the world a more accepting, loving place for people to live as they were born to be, without the constant need for gossip and spite, who knows how much better it could be.
It seems people who gossip or use others sexuality as an insult are the true victims here. Victims of fashion. Victims of an uneventful life. Victims of a loveless existence. Victims of having nothing interesting coming your way. Victims of poor social skills, and most of all, victims of not having a clue about how to be a good person in life.
So you knew I was gay when I was twelve, big whoop, so did I.
I hope it gives you just as much satisfaction to know that you telling everyone what you ‘knew’ kept me in the closet for another seven years.
Cheers, Einstein. The next kid might not be so lucky.