Things Gay Men Hate Hearing After Coming Out

When I came out, there was a mixed bag of reactions from those I told. I had friends tell me they’ve known since the first time I insisted on dancing around to Britney Spears instead of playing wiffle ball outside. I also had people tell me they would never agree with my lifestyle and slowly, I was phased out. Each presented a different emotional hurdle, each presented a different reaction that I was meant to deal with. Overall, I remember feeling relieved; that a part of who I am was no longer a secret. Not everyone has the best coming out experiences though, so in respect to that, i’ve compiled this list of things you should avoid saying if someone comes out to you.

I Knew It

Even if someone spends their days listening to the Hairspray soundtrack on repeat in a tutu, you should never act self-satisfied if they come out to you. In a way, it is dismissive and rude. You should as least pretend like their closet was powerful enough to keep away prying people away from their private life. Saying things like, “duh” only makes us feel even more vulnerable.

O-m-g I Had, like, No Idea!

On the other side of the coin, acting falsely incredulous also isn’t a good feeling either. These two extremes make the person you’re coming out to feel polarized from you. It’s the difference between feeling like their facade was obvious, and feeling like the person they’re telling never really knew them. It’s a difficult balance to strike the middle of both of these, but if you achieve it, the person who is coming out to you will feel so humbled by your friendship.

Yes! Now We Can Go Shopping Together!

What if I hate shopping? What if I have zero fashion sense and often look like I left the house in a rush? Not all gay men are born sentient of what is in vogue. When people jump to conclusions based off of stereotypes, we can’t help but feel like we’re being reduced to a commodity.

So, Are You Like The Boy Or The Girl In Relationships?

We’re actually both the boys or both the girls or whatever the hell combination of people we are. Gay couples don’t get into relationships to fall into traditional gender rolls. When I’m in a relationship with a man, we’re both the men. That is the point…

You’re Not Going To Start Wearing Make-Up Now, Are You?

Even if I started wearing dresses and lace panties, that wouldn’t be indicative of my sexual orientation. There is no sure way to tell someone’s sexual orientation from how they choose to dress/ present themselves. So, ‘fuck outta here with that.

You’re Pretty Cool, For A Gay Dude.

I hate being told this, as if gay people by nature are socially awkward or strange. Why can’t I just be pretty cool?

Aw, I Wish You Were Straight. You’re Such A Waste Of A Man.

When girls say this to me I want to face-palm so hard I knock myself out. Just because i’m not interested in sex with women doesn’t mean i’m a waste of a man. If my value we’re based on my ability to love a woman, i’d be fucked. But, it’s 2014 and anyone with a brain would realize that I do have the ability to have sex with women…I’d just prefer not to.

I Have This Other Gay Friend You Have To Meet, You Two Would Be Perfect For Each Other

As sweet as it is when people want to set me up with other gay men, I think there is a misconception that just because two people are gay that they’ll hit it off. I always appreciate the thought, because there is such a limited dating pool– but don’t be offended if I don’t immediately hit it off with your gay friend just because we have the same sexual orientation. If you’re straight or some other sexual orientation, you understand that you’re not immediately attracted to someone just because they’re the same orientation as you.

Society Will Never Accept You

I stumbled across this tumblr the other day entitled Texts From My Homophobic Mother and it just breaks my heart. It would be impossible for me to fully capture just how hopeless and emotionally raw someone feels when dealing with the reality of their sexual orientation, and how society may not accept them. It hurts like hell to be told that you will always be the outcast. Children are claiming their lives at a rapid rate because they’re being told that they’re unworthy of love. Making someone feel like less of a human with visceral emotions is the cruelest thing you can do. TC Mark

Read another essay from Shawn Binder in Thought Catalog Books’ new anthology, Boys, here.

TC Site

eBook ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ out in 2014.

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