We Need To Support Women’s Choices

As some of you may know, I’m a dude. And I’m here to tell of the women here that you should wear whatever the fuck you want. You don’t even need my permission. Wear whatever the fuck you want every day! Repeat as necessary, until the patriarchy washes out.

I’m actually a gay dude, and I believe that women and gay men have a lot in common. But I think that there’s a lot more that we can get done together than just going shopping.

I know what it’s like to have people pass judgement on the way I express my sexuality, and most women know what that feels like too, unless they’re really big fans of heterosexual monogamous marital procreative sex in the missionary position. (Or if they’re on television, unless they’re under 5% body fat, bikini-waxed, under 25 and only interested in giving non-reciprocal blow jobs.)

The first casualty of rape culture is consent. The second is our sexual imaginations. The ability to say no is fundamental, but the ability to say yes is revolutionary. Even if we feel shame, or live in fear of violence, we can’t lose the power to discover things we might want to say yes to.

I’m going to tell you a secret — and please don’t tell the religious right this. Being gay is a choice.

Now, I’ve been attracted to men since well before the first theatrical release of Titanic, which in and of itself was a watershed moment in my process of self-discovery. But sexuality is way more complicated and fluid than just gay or straight, and whether and how I present my sexuality to the world is a choice. Whatever your sexuality may be, you have a choice, too, and the fact that expressing it is a choice doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

And who knows? You might be a little gay too, I don’t know, try it.

When I told my mom ten years ago that I was openly gay, it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my life. It was also a risk. I came out into a world with sodomy laws on the books in the United States, before any state passed a gay marriage law, and just five years after Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in a hate crime.

We live in a world where the #1 song in America glamorizes sexual assault, and a convicted rapist was sentenced to just a month in jail because the judge thought he had suffered enough.

I was able to take the risk I did because I had one of most supportive communities of queer people and straight allies that I could imagine.

Women can’t stop rape by dressing or acting a certain way, but if we create a community that supports a woman’s choice to dress and fuck how she wants without fear or shame, together we can stop rape culture.

As a man, even as a gay man, I’ve had a lot of privilege in my life, and that privilege is part of why I can safely be open about my sexuality. Today I want to use that privilege to come out in solidarity with anyone who’s ever been called a slut to work for a world where they can be open about theirs.

And if that means I’m a slut, too, then I’m proud to be one. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Graham Aden is standup comedian and writer from Chicago. In his spare time, he works full-time as a software engineer.

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