6 December 2015

Those howlers in relevance to Queer issues!

Fads come, and fads go. What stays is the long list of offensive statements, derogatory words, and a few other things that might give you a headache now and then. So, we don’t expect queer issues to be any different. While the majority of the world is now boasting of being ‘queer aware’, a few things might leave you not only in a bizarre state, but might also make you uncomfortable enough, like a friend did, that I am writing this article. 

  • ‘I dressed so gay’ is probably one of the most stereotypical, heteronormative and judgemental things to say in this world. Clothes have no gender, and clothes have no sexuality. Any person in this world is welcome to fit oneself into the clothes of one’s choice, and therefore, as there cannot be any ‘straight’ way of dressing, there absolutely cannot be a ‘gay’ way of dressing. Most people might use the phrase to refer to a man wearing pink, or other colours which have (stereotypically again) been associated with girls and the feminine. While the colour might invoke different perceptions in different people, you have absolutely no right to label the style with a sexual identity. Moreover, the particular way of dressing might not relate to the sexuality of the person at all, given that sexuality and gender expression are two very different things. So next time, please stop using terms like ‘gay way of dressing’, because NOTHING of that sort exists. 

  • You don’t look gay’ is another of those terms that make no sense. How do you expect a gay person to be? Vomiting rainbows, dressed in rainbows, hair dyed in rainbow, and crying rainbow? Congratulations, you are topping the list for the most uninformed person of the year. Sex, Gender, Gender Expression and Sexuality are four different things, and should be respected as so. Moreover, I have heard many people, on more than one occasion; link a few characteristics like effeminacy to sexuality. This is not true, and therefore, this is the time to stop assuming people’s sexuality or gender without asking them. Either have the courage to go up and ask, or stop worrying about things that concern you the least! 

  • The press has already been criticized time and again for misusing, confusing terms, and not even caring to correct them. One such incident has been the unexplained confusion between gender and sexual identities. Multiple times we have witnessed ‘third gender’ being called an alternative sexuality, which is basically equating light bulbs and t-shirts (yes, like the analogy, it makes no sense.) 

These are just a few of the incidents where we see the face of latent unawareness and social misunderstandings. Next time you see people misusing terms, or using terms which should not be used, take 30 seconds out of your life, and speak up to explain why terms like ‘transgendered’, ‘tranny’, ‘ a gay’ etc. should not be used even in the wildest dreams. I am sure, a few would learn, a few would understand, a few would listen, and a few will not care. At least, do your bit, and, you’ve made justice to the headache you had. 


Sayantan is an active queer expressionist studying Biological Sciences in Presidency University. He is the editor-in-chief of ExPress Magazine, and also writes various columns for various other reputed magazines and blogs. 

No comments:

Post a Comment