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Do You Embrace Gay Stereotypes?

It's Not a Problem if You Do!


Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken

Image (c) Amy Sussman

There are a lot of stereotypes about gay and lesbian people. As a result, GLBT teens sometimes worry that they are reinforcing assumptions when they like something that is stereotypically gay.

One reader wrote in the GLBT Teens community forums:

I'm scared to listen to Madonna because she such a gay-loved artist, that I'm somehow going to like her music and be even more of a stereotype!

But just because certain artists, or professions, or even characteristics have been associated with the gay or lesbian community, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them!

An example of this was when former America Idol American Idol, and Spamalot star, Clay Aiken came out.

Aiken had never previously publicly declared his sexual orientation. Yet a lot of people had long assumed he was gay because of the way he dressed and talked. Additionally, in interviews he gave elusive answers to questions about his relationships and love interests.

Often we try to explain that stereotypes about gay people aren't true. Then along comes someone like Aiken who seems to "prove" some of them. But this isn't automatically a bad thing.

That's because the qualities that are being stereotyped aren't necessarily negative. What is negative is applying those assumptions to an entire population.

Just like we shouldn't assume that all gay men are effeminate and all lesbians butch, we shouldn't dismiss those gay men and lesbians who do present in these ways.

While it is true that that certain stereotypical characteristics about GLBT individuals are often erroneously placed upon the entire community, if those characteristics or interests actually do apply to you, well, that's also just fine!

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