In the shoes of others

Are you gay?

As I was outside with my question "What would you like people to understand about you?" on a board, someone looked at me from afar, reading the question. After giving them a few seconds to read it, I invited the person to come closer, which they did. Once closer to me, this person asked me straight away « Are you gay? » in a calm and interrogative tone. Surprised, I replied « What makes you think I might be gay, when you look at my board? ». The person looked away, said « I don't know... » and left slowly.

I was hesitant on whether I should share this or not, and after a few days thinking about it, took the decision to do so (stating the obvious here, as you're reading it now).
Assumptions around people's sexual orientation is indeed a very common one, you have read about this several times in this project already, and most certainly knew that before anyway. It can be quite frustrating when someone assumes and mistakes our sexual orientation and that, both for non-heterosexual and heterosexual people. Behind the listening of people's stories, deconstructing assumptions is pretty much the main intention of this project here, so it made sense to share this anecdote with you all here.

The thing is, this kind of comments isn't neutral at all, it doesn't come out of nowhere. Despite not being directly discriminatory (the person just asked a question after all, there's no insult or anything of that kind), I feel like it illustrates how for some people, still today, it might affect the way they will interact with a person if they have this information, even in a context where it should absolutely not matter. In this case for instance, knowing about my sexual orientation isn't relevant at all, it absolutely doesn't help answering the question, the question being about the person's concerns and not about what gender(s) I do prefer to be romantically and/or sexually involved with.

As an active ally of the LGBTQ+ community that has spent quite some time thinking about all of that, I could rant a 50 pages thing about the topic so I might as well simply stop there for now. If you feel like sharing anything about this, of course feel free to! 😊

#areyougay #gay #sexualorientation #heterosexual #nonheterosexual #homo #lgbt #lgbtq #assumption #assumptions #assuming #mistake #mistaking #discriminatory #discrimination #question #comment #comments

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What is this about?

This is a participation to a social project to promote empathy and fight discrimination.

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How to follow the project?

You can follow the project on the usual social media, Instagram being the most active one. There, you can read the stories while I'm gathering them and be informed if/when the book will be out. 😊

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