When I read the article "Why Passing as Straight Is Not a Privilege," I couldn't agree with the author more. I can so see where he's coming from. Being mistaken as a straight person at the bar or on the streets? Tots the worst thing ever! It just isn't safe for them anymore. Gurl, people might literally single you out in public and beat the crap out of you. Just look at that guy who got bashed in San Francisco recently. And what about that Philadelphia couple who got attacked by a big group of drunk homophobes? OK, wait. My bad. I'm totally pulling out the wrong examples.
But anyhow, my point is this: Life's so much easier when people can tell your sexual orientation right away based on how you look, dress, speak or even walk.
I can still remember there was this one time when I was at the mall, window-shopping with my best friend Lynette, and there was this group of teenagers who were walking towards us. When they passed us, one of them casually commented, "He's so gay," and the rest began giggling. When Lynette realized what was going on, she quickly tried to pull me along and told me to not care about the remark, while all I'd wanted to do was to turn around and say, "Yes, bingo, you're right. And thank you, I really appreciate that."
Well, what can I say? I do prefer it when people tell me straight in the face that they know, instead of judging silently from afar. Honest, unwarranted verification of my gayness doesn't cause me any anxiety or distress at all. It doesn't make my heart skip a beat, turn my throat dry and my palms clammy, or cause my body to break out in cold sweat. In fact, whenever someone comments that the way I dress or act is #sogay, I feel great, like it's actually helping me cement my homosexual orientation and identity. Yes, I'm a sissy. Yes, I'm a cocksucker. Yes, I'm a fucking faggot. Yes, yes, yes.
I think it's actually a privilege to be able to pass as a "fucking faggot," or a "fucking dyke" because the lack of mystery and ambiguity brings no confusion to nobody. Which means you won't have to constantly come out to people and be like, "Surprise, bitches." Can you imagine that? To come out to people over and over again? Can you imagine how hard that would be?
For those of us who can so easily pass as nothing but the gay-est, the lesbian-est and the trans-est of them all, we don't even need to try to "come out" to people. Because by simply being our usual self -- the way we sway our hips when we walk, the way we flick our hair, the way we pose for a photo, the way we talk so animatedly with our hands, the way we like to spike our hair into a perfect mohawk; the way we like to wear our favorite low-cut LBD without anything else to conceal our protruding Adam's apple or our veiny arms -- people would immediately know.
We don't need to say a thing. We don't have to deal with people's confusion or ignorance, or face the dilemma of whether we should correct them or not when they treat us like we're straight. And that's our fucking privilege there.
That mall incident is but one of countless cute little moments that I've experienced in my life that so beautifully illustrates how passing as gay has been and will always be a privilege that I can't be more thankful for.
Now that I know better about this "privilege" thing, I think I should start cherishing how lucky I am, and perhaps also try to put myself in others' shoes, like those people who always get mistaken as straight, or have their gender expression conflated with their sexuality, so on and so forth. I urge you to do the same.
Check your privileges. Accept them, acknowledge them, and most importantly, don't take them for granted.