Don’t be surprised when I bring up current events related to the LGBT community.
I read LGBT news because it covers issues that are important to me. I need to know about changing laws around marriage equality, and which Washington scumbag is currently attacking other members of my community for political gain. If one of those stories pisses me off enough, I am probably going to bring it up in our conversation. Where you might complain about the inflated costs of fuel, I will complain about how the Republican party still embraces gay conversion therapy.
Don’t be surprised if you hear me playing music by a gay artist.
When I hear that a pop singer has stepped out of the closet, I might purchase their album as a show of support for their bravery. I also might buy it just because I realize there are many others who won’t for all the wrong reasons.
Don’t be surprised if you see me watching a gay movie.
There aren’t many positive examples of same-sex relationships in mainstream Hollywood movies. Imagine growing up without seeing your crushes or romantic interests reflected on the big screen. When the entertainment industry offers me a chance to see LGBT relationships – good or bad – I jump at the chance to support their efforts. I once drove over two hours to get to the nearest theater that was showing Brokeback Mountain.
Don’t be surprised if I act defensive sometimes.
When you grow up knowing you are inherently different from almost everyone around you, it makes it downright impossible to not view yourself as an outsider. While that can deeply affect a person, it can also alter their perspective of the world around them. I see my own world through gay-tinted glasses, so to speak. Because I know the first thing that crosses someone’s mind when I walk in the room is “Brian’s gay,” everyone I encounter gets quickly judged. Any perceived hostility is almost immediately blamed on homophobia – regardless of whether that is the actual reason. It’s just the first thing my brain jumps to. Dealing with that on a day-in, day-out basis would make anyone cranky.
Don’t be surprised if I want to talk about my experience.
The easiest way to change a person’s opinion on something is through back-and-forth conversation. I have had countless people tell me that getting to know me has changed their views on gay rights. They never knew a gay person in real life, or they just never had the opportunity to talk with an openly-gay person before meeting me. Sometimes all it takes is learning that the person you thought you feared is pretty much just like you. The only way to learn that is through conversation. That is why I am more than happy to discuss my life experiences and sexuality with others. I know I am being provided with a chance to challenge or even alter their opinions.
Don’t be surprised if I act super-gay sometimes.
When I know you aren’t judging me and I know I can completely be myself, I might act really freaking gay. It’s just that I spend so much time repressing that part of myself for various reasons that knowing it won’t cause you to detest or attack me means I can really let my hair down. I might act silly. I might dance my butt off to some gay music by a gay artist. I might just really queen out. Just understand it means I trust you and I can really be myself.
And try not to act too surprised.