Human Rights, Opinion

7 Things You Shouldn’t Ask Gay People

With Taiwan’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage and Jake Zyrus’ emancipation from Charice Pempengco to finally free himself from the shackles of the female body, as well as last month’s Pride Month that called forth Pride marches all over the world, it is accurate enough that we live in an age where the LGBT (or LGBTQQIAAP, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, and Pansexual) community is becoming a cultural norm, at the very least for the most part.

While the LGBT community struggles to have human rights, fit in and be accepted, it is an understatement that most people still live in a prehistoric pre-gender-accepting world. They are bound by their religious faith, their aged beliefs, or the simple resistance borne out of the self-righteous subscription that superiority and supremacy should be awarded to certain limited biological sex. However, just like in linear latitudes of acceptance and rejection, a huge number of the population is most likely just in a noncommittal zone over the issue simply because they are not well-verse enough in the language, politics, and interaction with gay people.

And sometimes, it is as if straight people walk on egg shells that turn into landmines whenever they try to communicate with gay people. This is simply because they do not understand the unwritten rules of basic human interaction. Thus, in the spirit of bridging these gaps, here are some questions that you shouldn’t ask gay people or all the pizzazz will break loose.

1. You don’t ask them if they are gay. At least not right away

With most gay people, it is simply a what-you-see-is-what-you-get-dynamic. However, you do not just assume right away. Some closeted gay people just do not prefer to flaunt their sexuality, and you shouldn’t ask them about it. Of course, there is nothing wrong about asking, but it can lead to pressure for those who are still trying to find their true selves. Do not ask their gender preferences right away. Take time to get to know them first by being there for them.

2. You don’t ask them to come out

As previously mentioned, gay people in the closet are there for a reason. They are still trying to figure themselves out. Being openly gay is a decision that would require sacrifice and adjustments, so don’t be the additional pressure that the society already gives. Let them take the time. Also, do not be the one to “out” them. That is a total no-no.

3. You don’t ask them who the “girl” or “boy” in the relationship is

Relationship in LGBT people does not have to be parallel to a heterosexual relationship right away. Gender is fluid. It is a spectrum. Do not expect gay people to still subscribe to the male–female dichotomy. Gay people do things their own way.

4. You don’t ask them if they are top or bottom

This is probably the most awkward question you can ask gay people, and sometimes, straight people ask this question in public. You simply just don’t. Again, it is an issue of labeling and stereotyping. Straight people usually right away assume that those who are bottom are the “girl” in the relationship. There is no such thing. In fact, you would be surprised to know how things work for gay people in the bedroom. Besides, you don’t usually ask people bedroom questions.

5. You don’t ask them to wear girl stuff

Just because a biological male is gay does not mean that he wants to wear female clothes. Just because a gay man wants to wear female clothes does not mean he wants to have a female sexual organ. Just because a lesbian wants to have coitus with another woman does not mean she suddenly wants to have a phallus medically attached to her. While some members of the LGBT community go the extra mile to completely unravel their true selves inside and out, some gay people prefer to maintain their biological body. Gay is not always equal to girl stuff, so if you are planning to make your gay friend wear drag for Halloween, just don’t push through with it.

6. You don’t ask them how they became gay

Even if expressing sexuality is a form of self-liberation that is really nice to feel in the heart, getting there is an uphill battle that still is a daily struggle. In this world, despite the successful fight for pride, to be gay is still difficult. Thus, being straight does not mean you can ask gay people about how they become gay as if you are a psychologist diagnosing what went wrong. Being gay is something that some people are just meant to be, it is not a choice.

7. You don’t ask them if they can ever be straight

This is like you are asking gay people if they can ever be “normal” or “fixed” again. The fact that gay people outed themselves and unleashed their true persona means that they are here to stay. Do not ask this because it seems like you are trying to correct them. Gay people love themselves, so if you are a straight person willing to accept the LGBT community with open arms, you should truly accept and love them in their entirety, for who they are and who they have always been meant to be.

About Cheeno Marlo Sayuno

For Cheeno, writing is a responsibility: a promise to offer perspective that opens readers to new possibilities of viewing the world. A writer of children's storybooks while teaching in a university in the Philippines, Cheeno finds passion in using the power of the pen to empower readers of all ages. He is on his way to obtain a PhD Communication degree and is an avid fan of Broadway musicals.

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