Why do gay people assert their sexuality as they do? Why is it that someone says they are ‘lesbian and are proud about it’? We see it in news pieces, hear it along the streets, and in social media. For those of us who really don’t give a rat’s ass (no pun intended) about who you sleep with, it can be quite unnerving.
But I usually go further and ask the question. Why assert it? Why say it? What’s the big deal? You don’t see me going around and say “I am _sexual and proud about it!” do you?
Here is one way of looking at it. It is known that being gay for aeons has been viewed at as a taboo, something shunned from society, something wrong. At this point in writing this I feel like this must have been written somewhere else but let me go on. I feel like straight people (which is assumed to be the majority, depending on your definition of straight – story for another day) have never needed to think about their sexuality. Only a handful have been involved in some form of same sex activity which (they say) somewhat made them settle into their heterosexuality. Because of heteronormativity, anything but heterosexuality, is viewed as ‘abnormal’.
So a gay person trying to understand their sexuality begins this understand knowing that they are abnormal, shunned and a taboo. They feel worthless and outcast from the rest of society who happen to be heterosexual.
In their reconciliation of their sexuality, they begin coming to terms with it and begin accepting themselves for who they are and it is in this acceptance that they feel the necessity to assert their sexuality and in some ways make the world know that they are okay with it.
This, for them, I figure, is one way of coming to terms with them being who they are and is also another way of trying to tell society that they may view his/her/their sexuality as a taboo/something to be shunned but they don’t have to because he/she/they are fine with it.
Maybe my analysis is not in depth, but it also helps me in some ways, come to understand why it is important to mention it.
But the so called ‘liberal self’ in me wonders, is it important? Why is it so important for anyone to mention their sexuality with such pride? Arent we all ‘proud of being who we are’? Maybe not. But I think this is something we as a society are yet to come to terms with.
We still live in a “majority rules and directs” kind of life. We have not allowed ourselves to be open to diversity and fluidity. Because of how we have been socialised, we are expected to to view the world in a “dichotomous, gendered, with specific roles, one sex” type of beings; heterosexual and heteronormative. We, for some reason or other, expect everyone coming out of a female womb is either going to be male or female and will be heterosexual; will conform to certain roles ascribed to their gender, and these roles include being sexually attracted to the opposite gender and nothing else. We even further expect that the female role and gender will be below and submissive to the male gender and role.
I still insist, this must have been mentioned elsewhere. I have just touched on bits and pieces of the broader topic. But these are things I feel need to be interrogated further, thought through and, be there any barriers, those barriers to be eliminated.
For me, I hope for a society where diversity and fluidity are a norm. Where being who we are is just that, being.