The heteronormative society has moulded minds from an early age to fit into rigid binary boxes of masculinity and femininity. After the journey of unlearning and self-discovery, many people become comfortable to conform to certain labels to identify with. Yet, those labels come with misconceptions. In this article of the Decoded series, we converse with millennials, who identify as cis gay men. Here’s a report by The Millennial-Hub, to understand the prevalent misconceptions about gays and how it affects them.
What are the common misconceptions about Gays?
We caught up with Suresh Ramdas, Mr. Gay India 2019 and LGBTQIA+ Corporate Inclusion Advocate. He points out that the prominent misconception is that gays should to look feminine. Be into fashion, and fit homosexual relationships into cis heterosexual binary relationship roles. Suresh says, “Firstly, being femme is absolutely fine. We need to get people to be more aware of the spectrum. Many cis gay men who are femme are often discriminated and told to become a woman. It’s the bias that we [as a society] have about how a man and woman should behave. Every relationship should be steered in a way we want it rather than the society. This way people get to see and be aware of the various kinds of relationships.”
Let Us Be!
Riju Roy, an IIHM graduate, says gay men become victims of bullying because of their feminine behaviour. He says, “When you say that you’re gay people expect you to be femme. That’s the problem.” Akanksh S, a teacher, explains how misconceptions stemming from femme negativity affects gays. “Many gay men try to portray themselves as more masculine because of this even if they’re not comfortable with it. It also leads to feminine gay men excluded from dating preferences and even bullied by members of our own community,” he states.
This Misconception about Gays Is Pricky!
When asked about the ‘gay best friend trope’ in media, Akanksh says, “People just assume that I’ll be their gay best friend as soon as I come out to them and violate all my personal boundaries. It becomes frustrating when they start seeing me as this caricature of gay best friend instead of just treating me like another human being. Instead of being shown as a sassy comedic sidekick, good queer representation in media will help us.
A non-existent Guilt!
Besides this trope, the cis-het society tends to look at gay men as sexual predators. Akanksh shares, “Whenever I find someone attractive I start feeling guilty because a part of me is associating homosexuality with being a pervert. This [misconception] also leads to alienation and abuse of gay men as people are scared of us because of this twisted view they have of us.”
Why So Harsh?
Suresh makes a strong remark on cis-het men who consider gays as ‘sexual predators’. He says that he thinks they use this phrase more often because most of them are sexual predators. Suresh adds, “To be honest, most of the cis gay men are exploring their sexuality that they’ve contained within them for decades. But, what is seen by the world is that we are only looking for sex. Actually, we are exploring and trying to figure ourselves, who we are, what are our likes/dislike.”
Inputs By Aatreyi Bose