In a purely subjective sense, everyone we meet in life is a blank canvas before us. You may make automatic judgements or assumptions based on their outward appearance, but it’s only once you start to engage with others that you begin to shape them in your mind as whole, when you discover their opinions and aspirations, their preferences and phobias.
And if, like me, you’re gay, well that’s also something that people will undoubtedly use to fully form you in their minds. Because when you’re gay, meeting new people is a constant process of coming out over and over again, of being vulnerable.
Many people are curious about the whole “gay thing,” and some may treat you like it’s the most interesting thing about you, will make it into something that defines you. They’ll ask all sorts of questions, like what it feels like to be attracted to the same sex, the dynamics of a gay relationship.
I don’t usually have a problem answering these questions, mostly because I know they aren’t coming from a place of malice, but rather of genuine curiosity of “the other side of things”, of a life they themselves have never encountered, and thus, don’t know much about.
But it’s not until people start to questions why I’m gay that I start to draw a line in the sand, a boundary that I don’t allow to be crossed.
Because my sexuality is not yours to analyze just because I’m gay.
Over the years I’ve come across all sorts of inane and offensive comments, questions and statements in regards to my own sexuality. Some are involve my sex life, questions that include actual requests to describe the anatomy of how my girlfriend and I “do it”. And then there are questions that are intimate in a different way, questions that muse on what they think “causes” people to be gay.
So for everyone I’ve ever met who has asked me these insanely personal things and for those who I have yet to meet in the future, let me answer all of those questions that you feel ridiculously entitled to ask me.
No, there is no particular reason that I’m gay.
I wasn’t just “turned” by someone of the same sex one day, nor did someone of the opposite sex turn me off from guys.
I’m not gay because of my parents’ divorce, an event that did nothing to cause me to distrust heterosexual relationships. In fact, my being gay has absolutely nothing to do with either of my parents. Not my mother’s anger or my father’s distance; none of that did anything to influence who I would one day fall in love with.
I was not shaped into my sexuality because of a dysfunctional childhood or any sort of traumatic experience. I did not grow up straight only to one day “decide” to be gay.
Nor am I gay because I hate men or because I’m an “intense feminist”.
In fact, the hard truth is that there’s no need for you to worry yourself with coming up with the perfect theory as to how this could have possibly happened.
Because the truth is that there is no reason; it’s simply who I am, an essential part of my being. It’s who I’ve always been and who I always will be, a part of me that I would never want to change, even if I were given the chance to somehow magically make myself straight.
With that being said, you also in no way have the right to invade my privacy just because you’re curious. You don’t get to ask me questions about my sex life as if my relationship is some sort of novelty. You don’t get to share your theories about why you think people “become” gay. I’m not a human gone haywire; none of the LGBT community is.
Your own curiosity does not give you the right to weigh in on my sexuality. In any way. Ever.
Being straight is no longer the default in our society, so why do so many act as if the sexuality of others is something to be analyzed and broken down? It’s not a puzzle, there are no reasons. It just is. The same way that straight people just are straight.
So the next time you feel your curiosity getting the better of you, ask yourself: is this something that you would feel comfortable being asked?
If the answer is no, it’s probably better to keep your theories and questions to yourself.
Because I am not here for your analysis.