A few weeks ago, a Belgian media outlet that shall not further be named posted a rather questionable video. It had something to do with people getting 10 minutes to ‘find a gay person’ during a festival. Completely crazy. When people started calling them out on their bullshit, the platform reactied with a disclailmer, saying that the video was well meant, and even more important, that it was a gay man who coined the idea behind the individual. As if they were saying ‘The video was made by a gay male individual, it could not possible be homophobic or disrespectful!”
Newsflash: it can.
Gayness does not exclude you from stupidity
Gay people can be homophobic, disrespectful and stupid. Femme shaming, for example, is a perfect example of fragile masculinity in the gay community. Another example of gay people using their sexuality as an excuse to kinda just do whatever they want, is when it comes to touching women. This happens a lot, especially in going out/clubbing situations, but I can’t tell you enough: it’s only okay to grab/touch/… women if you have their consent, if you have some kind of understanding that what you are doing is fine by the two of you. It’s not because touching boobs does not give you a boner that it can’t be really uncomfortable for the girl you’re grabbing. Mutual consent is still important, your sexuality does not change that.
No gay starterpack
Let me set things straight: being gay means nothing else but that you’re a man who loves men, or a woman who loves women. I’ve said it before: being gay doesn’t come with a starter pack. You don’t come out and get an instant love for musicals or Céline Dion or tiny dogs (that love has always been there for me). You also don’t get a crash course on gay history or culture, none of that. The thing is that you have to find all of that out for yourself, along the way, as you grow up. With the help of others, of course, or the internet, or whatever floats your boat. ‘Being gay’ is not some kind of magical force field that absolves you from being problematic, or even just plain stupid.
You are part of the community, but you are not the community
Also important: it’s not because you are a gay man that you can speak for the entire community. One individual can never speak for the entirety of a group of people that large. Just because one gay editor on your team says something is ‘okay’ or ‘funny’ does not mean that every other gay man out there will say the same. It also does not mean that your gay editor should be free from criticism. It just means that your editor has a strange kind of humour. Of course people can have different points of view. However, if your point of view is offensive, rude or denigrating, you ought to expect some kind of backlash.
Your sexuality is your sexuality, and while I believe it has an impact on who you are as a person, I don’t believe you should be throwing it around as an excuse to do stupid things. You don’t want people to be prejudiced towards you because of who you love, but that goes both ways. You can’t take advantage of the “I’m gay” card when you’re looking for a cheap excuse. The only valid situation in which you can use that card, is when you’re caught in bed with another man. Easy enough?