Asinine Assumptions

I dance to “Unpack Your Adjectives” during the school matinee of SchoolHouse Rock: Live alongside Zachary Bradshaw, 11, Daley Browning, 10, and Isabella Infante, 12. Being on stage allows me to act as flamboyant as I want to without the fear of what people think. I loved my outfit for the show, but I could never wear platform heels and bell bottoms around school. However, I had no fear doing it for the musical (Photo by I. Williams).

I dance to “Unpack Your Adjectives” during the school matinee of SchoolHouse Rock: Live alongside Zachary Bradshaw, 11, Daley Browning, 10, and Isabella Infante, 12. Being on stage allows me to act as flamboyant as I want to without the fear of what people think. I loved my outfit for the show, but I could never wear platform heels and bell bottoms around school. However, I had no fear doing it for the musical (Photo by I. Williams).

Remi White, Bronco Design Editor

I am gay. Despite having been out for three years now, that’s a statement that I still struggle saying in public. Just about everybody knows, but I’m always worried about how people may treat me. 

That’s not to say that I’m not confident in myself or that people are unaccepting. Despite living in a smaller, more conservative town, I don’t think I’ve ever been bullied for being gay, barring when I first came out. 

I came out at a school dance on March 23, 2018. I was in seventh grade. It probably wasn’t the right time, seeing as I had a girlfriend and was at a school dance, but the few friends I told took it well and were proud of me. However, when I got back to school on the following Monday, everyone knew. I could feel everyone looking at me. Whispers followed me in the hallways. For the first time in my life, I felt like an outcast. 

This torment luckily only lasted until the end of the year. After coming back after the summer and starting eighth grade, everything got better; as I said before, people were – and still are – pretty accepting. However, there are various situations when I can just sense an uncomfortable feeling in the air. I can feel the eyes back on me, and I go back to the place I was in at the end of seventh grade. 

The strongest and most obvious example of this is PE class. I enjoy sports and physical activity, but I always dread going to PE classes. Boys would be running around the locker rooms, half-dressed and rough housing, but their cheery dispositions disappeared as soon as they noticed me in the room. This always confused me. Even if I did find a guy attractive, which happens rarely, why is it any different than a girl finding them attractive? 

As a homosexual, I do not find women physically attractive – it’s kind of the definition of being gay – but if I were to catch a girl staring at me, or if a girl complimented me, I would be flattered. In fact, it would probably make my day. It would not be the same if I were to be caught staring at or complimenting a guy. That would make me weird. I obviously just want to get in that dude’s pants, right? Surprisingly, no. This may be shocking, but people regularly ponder if someone is attractive with no ulterior motives. 

I remember a day in seventh or eighth grade when the fact that I was gay was brought up to the boy sitting next to me. I was on the wrestling team with him, but we never really talked; all I knew about him was his name. When he heard that I was gay, he immediately asked me if I was just on the wrestling team to “perv” on my teammates. The answer was obviously no, and the fact that I was a better wrestler than him should have been evidence of this, but I simply didn’t know what else to say to his question other than “of course not.” Interactions with multiple team members with the same assumption as this boy was probably the leading factor in me quitting the sport despite how much I enjoyed it. 

The assumption of an ulterior motive to my actions just boggles my mind. Are people really so conceited to think that because I like guys, I must automatically like all of them? This is comparable to a man assuming a girl likes him just because she is straight. I know it does happen, but these men are labeled as conceited, while nothing really happens to those who assume that I’m attracted to them just because I’m gay. It just becomes a joke between “the boys.”

This mentality has made me avoid making a lot of guy friends. I’m afraid of people drawing conclusions based on my sexuality. Just because I am breathing in someone’s direction does not mean that I want to have sex with them. 

That’s not to say that all guys treat me like this. In fact, there have been many who have tried to include me, and I do have some straight friends. There are even a golden few who I feel comfortable talking about being gay with, and everything that it comes with (the struggles, the cute guys),  but they are as the term suggests, few. This may be due in part to my own personal barriers, but the fact still stands: sexuality should not decide how you act around someone, their character should. If a person doesn’t like me because I’m obnoxious, or they find me annoying, that’s fine. But if the reason they don’t want me around is because I’m gay, they might want to find a better excuse. 

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