Fellas, Is It Gay? (Or: Internet Responses Show Us How Fragile Heteronormativity Really Is)
LGBTQ history is filled to the brim with joy, perseverance, unfairness, strength, and resilience. Our lives and identities have been denied, questioned, ostracized, and put into danger; and in many parts of the world, they still are. Sometimes, however, we need a little levity to balance out the bizarre societal norms that have decided sexuality is a means of “other”-ing us. And one of the best ways to do that is by laughing at fragile heteronormativity. Case in point: a fun game of “Is it gay?”
Enter straight men.
Reddit u/ma_damn_blueberry asked, “Straight men of Reddit: what’s the strangest thing you’ve been told not to do because ‘that’s gay.’”
And the answers did not disappoint.
Let’s look at the wide array of things that — after some thought on “Is it gay?” — now (apparently) belong to our community, all in the name of fragile heteronormativity:
1. Reading: Is it gay?
What, I ask you, is more gay than a book? u/RJ1337 knows. “I was reading a book and a couple dudes called me gay. Not for reading a book, but because I was using a bookmark.”
2. Wearing clothes: Is it gay?
u/buttsmcgillicutty, the wife of a man, says: “My husband was called gay by his dad for wearing red shoes one day, and another [time] for wearing red shorts.” And don’t even think about making clothes. u/BattleFerrett writes about this gay hobby: “I sew renaissance type costumes as a hobby. I’ve been told I should stop doing it because sewing is either gay or women’s work.”
u/jumpstart58 goes one step further, writing about the inherent gayness of being able to tell time: “I wore my watch on my right hand. Apparently when i was in high school that was gay as fuck.”
3. Food: Is it gay?
This is an important one, because seeming gay while you’re doing everyday necessities to survive might possibly be worse than not surviving at all. Pay attention to these very specific off-limits items so that you’re not accidentally being gay in public. u/millertime52 cautions against phallic shapes: “I had a buddy that wouldn’t eat foods that resembled the shape of a penis. Hotdogs, bananas, cucumbers, none of it, even if it wasn’t in its original shape.” u/Pixar_ agrees, writing: “I have a friend who breaks a banana down in his hands before eating it. He says that’s the only way men should eat a banana.”
Drinks can be dangerous, too. u/Glubmerrow explains: “I went on a date with a guy who wouldn’t drink cocktails because they were gay. So he’d only drink beer to be more masculine.”
4. Enjoying things: Is it gay?
Things like “wear[ing] a band’s shirt to their concert” (u/JadePotato), “greeting people entering a party” (u/TyCamden), and “enjoying female singers” (u/Der_Gelbe04). All gay.
5. Being straight: Is it gay?
Not to get all meta here, but there are a number of things that you can do in your straight relationship, as a straight man, that are gay. u/Belteshazzar98 reminds us of this, explaining: “Go dancing. On a date with a woman. Apparently dancing with your girlfriend is gay.” So beware! The next time you decide to dance with your new wife at your heterosexual wedding, you’re actually committing homosexuality. Straight sex with women, too, can also be gay. u/SporkOfThor writes: “my girlfriend was confused by how much I enjoyed cunnilingus – I wanted to do it every time we had sex – and asked if it was because I was gay.”
Oh, fragile heteronormativity, you crack us up.
Your turn. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been told is “gay” due to fragile heteronormativity? And is it? Is it gay? (Hint: the answer is “It is now.”)