This is important.
I know you don’t mean to be offensive. I know you’re just trying to connect with me. But even if I’m a little stereotypical, I’m not just a stereotype churned out of the factory of Sex and the City's tokenism. And if you really want to be friends, I would appreciate it if you never said any of the following:
1. “I have the perfect guy for you. He’s so cute!”
We just met. You literally know nothing about me except that I’m gay. And let’s be real, your friend is probably not actually that cute. You know that stereotype about gay men having impossibly high standards? It’s not completely wrong.
2. “Gay guys love me!”
The girls who say this sort of thing are usually hot messes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a freakum-dress-wearing, binge-drinking, big-hair-don’t-care wild child as much as the next guy, but there’s something a little scary about a woman who thinks of herself as the gay equivalent of catnip.
3. “I’m like a gay man trapped inside a woman’s body.”
I know you’re trying to connect with me, but what does that even mean? Does that make me a straight woman trapped inside a gay man’s body? Trust me, there’s a lot more to being gay than enjoying nice clothes and hooking up with dudes.
4. “How do you know you’re gay if you’ve never been with a woman?”
Did you need to experiment with women to know you were straight? What about porcupines? How do you know you wouldn’t enjoy sex with a porcupine if you don’t at least try it?
5. “I would never have known you were gay. You seem so straight.”
I know you think this is a compliment, but it’s really not. This is not meant as a dig against guys who do “pass for straight,” but it’s not the kind of thing any of us should be striving for. Being our own authentic selves should be the goal. I haven’t “passed” since I was nine and I’m good with that. In fact, I’m great with that. Besides, it takes a lot of courage to be out and proud.
6. “I wish I had your body. You are so skinny!”
I don’t want to be “skinny.” I want to be hot. Man hot. Not woman hot. Ok, so some guys want to be skinny, but don’t please don’t assume I am one of them. I want muscles — big, hulking, roid-raging muscles.
7. “Come to girl’s night!”
If I’m invited then it’s not girl’s night. Stop calling it that! I’m not a girl!
8. “I wouldn’t want my son to be gay, just because life would be so much harder for him then.”
You know what would be really damaging to a kid? If he was gay and he heard his mom or dad say that being gay was a disability that would only make his life harder. Imagine how freaked out that would make him. Besides, I’m amazing and so are all my gay friends.
9. “Boys suck. Why can’t you be straight?”
Again, you probably think you are paying me a compliment, but you’re sort of creeping me out. You’re making me feel like the only thing stopping you from jumping me right now is that you know it wouldn’t go anywhere and that adds a whole new dimension to our relationship that I’m really not comfortable with. Maybe don’t try to hold my hand right now.
10. “Why aren’t there any pretty lesbians?”
I actually know lots of pretty lesbians. Gorgeous even. You probably do too, you just don’t realize it.
11. “You should take me shopping!”
Should I? Even if I liked shopping — which, ironically because I’m a fashion editor, I don’t — following you around to a bunch of stores while you try on clothes is not exactly my idea of a dream weekend. Maybe if you agreed to try on whatever I told you to, no questions asked, and bought me dinner afterwards, I would be more inclined to say yes, but even then you’re looking at a hard sell.
12. “My boyfriend isn’t homophobic, he’s just uncomfortable around gay guys.”
Some guys have never spent time with an openly gay person and just need to be educated on what gay men are really like. That’s fine. But if your guy cringes when a gay man looks at him or thinks gay guys should act more like “straight” men to make themselves more palatable, then he’s an asshole and, honestly, you’re kind of an asshole for dating him. The truth is, his attitude says a lot about you and how much you really value the gay people in your life.
13. “There is no way (insert actor’s name here) can be gay!”
Really? Why not? Because they seem so “macho?” Because they’re married? They’re actors! Is it too much of a leap to think they might be acting off-screen as well as on? They’ve got a lot riding on your perception of them. Besides, what do you know about what goes on in in someone else’s head? In their private life? Just because you see someone on TV and read about them in magazines doesn’t mean you know who they are. The same thing goes for non-actors. I’m never shocked when anyone comes out of the closet. If anything, I’m just sad they felt the need to stay in it for so long in the first place.
14. “Wanna see my vagina?”
No, no, no, no, no. God no! Keep your clothes on. I’m good. Really. I swear.