Ten things I’ve learned from having “queer” friends

Note: in university, I was taught that the word “queer” has been re-appropriated as a sort of catch-all for any sexuality that is not “heteronormative”. But since normal doesn’t really exist (it has to do with Derrida, or something), then we’re all a bit queer! I guess you can also use LGBTTTQ, if you want to include certain groups of people specifically, but they keep adding letters and honestly, it doesn’t roll off the tongue like “queer”.

  1. I don’t believe you choose who you are attracted to. The heart wants what the heart wants, you know?
  2. If I could choose my sexuality, I would have chosen “bi”. It really opens up your options.
  3. You should not make assumptions based on stereotypes…but there is a reason that they exist. When I lived in Vancouver…it wasn’t that every Commercial Drive lesbian wore red baseball caps, hoodies, and cargo pants. But if I did meet a woman who wore a red baseball cap, a hoodie, and cargo pants, 9 out of 10 times she was a lesbian.
  4. Sexuality is fluid. Most straight people I know have had some kind of gay or lesbian experience at some point in their lives. Lots of gay guys have had girlfriends. I’ve fooled around with the occasional lesbian, and the occasional gay man. Most people are “mostly” something; very few people are 100% straight/gay/lesbian/whatever….and people who insist that they are, are lying.
  5. One of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in my life was at the Pride parade in Vancouver. I was hanging out in this huge crowd with my friend David, who is hilarious and SUPER gay. I think at the time he was shirtless and had sparkles all over his body? Anyway, I don’t know if he had allergies or what, but he was sneezing a lot. After one particularly loud sneeze, he shouts “Ah!! I think I’m allergic to faggots!!”
  6. I don’t know why straight dudes are so petrified that every gay man is trying to hit on them. Just…think about yourself. Are you attracted to every woman you see, even if they are balding and old and have potbellies and smell bad? Ok then. Get over yourselves.
  7. Even though television and movies tell us otherwise, gays and lesbians are actually just like you and me! Amazing! Not every gay man is a design whiz, relationship expert, incorrigible flirt, or fashionista. Not every lesbian is grumpy, sarcastic, or works in construction.
  8. We straight guys like to point out that gay men often have a particular speech pattern, and it’s like…how come so many gay men have this speech pattern? But, you know…we do too. We learn how to act, dress, and talk like dudes in the same way. There is a very specific code…and honestly, it is one I still don’t fully understand. But when I’m playing basketball with jocky guys, I do my best to man up and be all like “yo, man…sup?” and do the hand slap thing.
  9. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a drag queen who told me I was “straight, but not narrow”. 
  10. Humour is the best way to break down prejudice and build bridges. I believe Ellen and Dan Savage have done so much to break down hate and ignorance, and it’s because they are funny and charming and people want to watch Ellen and read Dan Savage. I understand that we need to talk about these issues academically too, but really…unless it’s understandable and well written, 99.99999% of the world could care less about what Foucault had to say about power and sexuality.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Ten things I’ve learned from having “queer” friends

  1. Your blog continues to explore fascinating territory. This post reminds me that I really must post the story on my blog about an evening we spent in Nelson BC a few summers ago. It involved a group of motorcyclists (us), the people who took part in the Gay Pride Parade, the lone religious protester, the people who were attending a wedding reception, plus the normal tourists visiting the town. It was a shining example of curiosity, respect, and general good will. Lots of straights, but no narrows from what we could see.

  2. KPR

    Ah, man! I totally disagree with the last part of point #4. I really don’t think I’m “lying” when I say I am, or view myself as being, 100% straight.

  3. For 4 and 6, I don’t know why you needed to generalize that much. Just like it’s ok to be gay, it’s also ok to be just straight, so there’s no reason to call someone who knows they are a liar nor is it ok to suggest that straight guys think that gay guys are into them or are weirded out by it. Each time I found out that a gay guy was into me I was surprised, because I think it’s rare as I assume that they should be able to tell that I’m straight, nor was I weirded out by their interest because I had no interest in them sexually and I’m pretty sure that they’d see that it was obvious.

    Otherwise, good post.

    • Thanks man, but what I am really saying is…you know…”methinks he doth protest too much”. I’m not saying that some people aren’t 100% straight. But I am saying that people who go out of their way to say “yo guy, I’m 100% straight no homo” etc. are often really intent on proving how straight they are, and the question is…why? Why aren’t straight guys more secure in their sexuality? Why do we care so much about proving how straight we are? It’s ridiculous, and I feel like a lot of the time, it’s a way of proving yourself to other guys, and a way of denying any feelings you have or might have had that you would rather repress. Sexuality is fluid. That’s what I believe.

  4. I really enjoyed this blog!! You made some great points! My boyfriend doesnt believe that being gay is natural, but he will hang out and actually likes one of my gay friends. He doesnt like the fact that their into their own sex but if they arent overtly flamboyant he is fine with them. I love my gays and even though I haven’t had any girl on girl anything, i have had my thoughts! Just havent found any woman attractive i9n that way …yet. lmao I’m an open minded person, to each his own!!

    • Thanks for reading!

      I think you could debate what is “natural” until the cows come home, but at the end of the day people are who they are. I think that as straight men, we often have our own internalized issues about homosexuality, but that’s on us. There was a time when white folks saw inter-racial marriages as unnatural (and there are still many people who do). We evolve culturally and socially over time.

  5. Gahhh, I love this blog. #8 was a revelation.

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