“I’m Gay & proud about it!” Ummm, So?

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.

One common version of a Heterosexuality symbol

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.

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16 Responses to ““I’m Gay & proud about it!” Ummm, So?”

  1. eastlandah Says:

    To be gay and shout about it, or not, that is the question. In the 21st century? do I have to shout I am straight? some things are really unnerving. Be gay, and shoot on someone else, and leave my peace intact- I think should be the mantra. but problem..society has stereotypes, expectations and delusions. And that is the real problem.

  2. Jahkie Says:

    LOL how interesting considering i was talking about this juzi. Yeah that am gay and proud can get uncomfortable for some people, and to be honest not everyone is comfortable with you being gay or not. Straight people don’t go having to shout they are straight, but truth be told pride parades, are the bomb and the parties even better. I personally find gay people to be very friendly, sweet and entertaining, i don’t jua if it’s a personality trait but that is a storo for another day. About heteronomartive behavior among the larger population, i do agree with you that gender will continue to be ascribed no matter what, and heterosexuality will always be the sexual preference. In my honest opinion, it’s people who are not comfortable or honest with their sexuality that have issues with other peoples sexual orientation, as the wahenga said a long time ago “pilipili usio ila ya kuashia nini”.

  3. pitzevans Says:

    i only mid gay people when they strut their gayness before me, do what you want in closed doors and leave us to be in peace.

    • Joliea Says:

      @pitzevans, Please explain to me further what you mean by “strut their gayness”

  4. Ghafla!Guy Says:

    Great post. I think I speak on behalf of a lot of people when I say most of us are still scared of the gay fraternity especially homosexuals. It has something with the feeling of some random dude staring at your behind when alighting from a mat,,,shrieek!!!

    • Joliea Says:

      @GhaflaGuy, What do you mean by “especially homosexuals”? Aren’t they the same thing?

      • Ghafla!Guy Says:

        @Joliea, ??? for me gay represents both the males and females who engage in same sex relationships. you the expert though with this great post 🙂

  5. kbaab Says:

    I don’t really care whether someone is gay or not. Whatever once decides to do behind closed doors is their biz. What really annoys me is the way gays and lesbians feel the need to justify themselves about their status. I don’t go around ‘shouting’ that I’m straight and what not, so I don’t see why gays should hold parades, conferences, and ish trying to assert their existence. It’s not like they’re some endangered species. In my opinion those little acts are the ones that make the heterosexuals ‘despise’ them.

  6. Odhis Says:

    Me thinks fear of defying norm’s compelling em to shout-out their sexuality so as to fit in or just a bravado stunt. 😉

  7. OtienoHongo Says:

    I think the important thing is the context in which they say it, I am not sure whether gay people walk up to a person randomly and say they are gay, there must be a context. Any group which feels itself marginalized, stigmatized or targeted in some way will always assert their presence and draw attention to their plight, hence the need for HIV+ people awhile back to publicly declare their status. They needed the public to see them and understand that being HIV+ did not make them less of human beings. So I don’t mind, in the context of spewing homophobia, if someone declares that they are gay and proud of it, that is how activism works. On the other hand, if someone turns to be in a matatu and tells me they are gay, that is something different. It is all about the context

    • Joliea Says:

      Well said Otieno! Thank you!!

    • birdie Says:

      I am going to bring my facebook tendencies here and say, How can I like Otieno’s comment!? because here is an opinion I respect.
      Great post, Joliea!

  8. bi Stander Says:

    i guess heterosexuals don’t advertise their orientation because they have never felt the need to. every aspect of life is in their favour. i even find it a little arrogant that they feel there is no need for sexual minorities to speak out. it is similar to the struggles women went through as they fought for their right to vote, right to equal pay etc. at that time women had to articulate that they were “women!”, proud and distinct from men. they were not an extension of men in society so that if a man voted his wife was represented or if a man earned so much his wife couldn’t earn the same or god-forbid more?! and they had to loud about it because saying you are a “woman” did not merely represent you sex but also your needs and desires, inpirations and aspirations, hopes and despairs etc…
    so i agree,

  9. bi Stander Says:

    i guess heterosexuals don’t advertise their orientation because they have never felt the need to. every aspect of life is in their favour. i even find it a little arrogant that they feel there is no need for sexual minorities to speak out. it is similar to the struggles women went through as they fought for their right to vote, right to equal pay etc. at that time women had to articulate that they were “women!”, proud and distinct from men. they were not an extension of men in society so that if a man voted his wife was represented or if a man earned so much his wife couldn’t earn the same or god-forbid more?! and they had to loud about it because saying you are a “woman” did not merely represent you sex but also your needs and desires, inspirations and aspirations, hopes and despairs etc…
    it is the same for homosexuals and bisexuals right now. so i agree, untill recognition and consideration is given to all and the heteronormative way of thinking is shelved, it remains important to say it out loud

  10. Kenne Mwikya Says:

    Pride remains an extremely performative thing among LGBTIQ. It is tied to other stuff like coming out of the closet, notifying all your friends that you are transitioning or even notifying your friends that you are dating someone. It is symbolic and powerful and its negation here by heterosexuals is an abhorrent thing, especially because pride has become so political in response to challenges of homophobia and transphobia, heteronormativity and sexism. But also, I think pride has become too mainstreamed and has completely changed to something that is much like heteronormativity, homonormativity.

    In the US, where pride is really big, it is because people are “positively divided” along a large set of identity markers. People are proud of coming out of migrant families, of being black, of being Native American, of being women. I am cool with all this, it does the work of looking at white patriarchy in the face and being who you are. I, for one, don’t go telling people that I’m homosexual and I have the privilege of being masculine but I have hang out with femme gays and butch lesbians and it’s a whole different experience. People look at you like they know your secret and that who you are is disgusting and difference. Homophobia works on turning identities into markers with which people can discriminate against each other. So when someone says that he is LGBTIQ, especially in public and to potential homophobes, it is a subversive and important challenge to the society to realise that LGBTIQ exists, they are human beings (though this doesn’t make itself apparent immediately) and that they need legal and social positive acknowledgement.

    People should be proud for who they are, especially in response to people, even here which is a safe online LGBTIQ space, who try and say bad things about LGBTIQ humans. Thanks for this platform, Joliea

  11. janestree Says:

    YOU KNOW HOW GAY’S HAVE THEIR “GAY PROUD PARADES”… THIS OF COURSE IS THEIR ‘RIGHT’ FOR THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN AMERICA. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO HELP GET STARTED A ‘HETEROSEXUAL PARADE AND PROUD OF IT’ – WOULD THERE BE ANYONE INTERESTED IN HELPING TO GET THIS STARTED IN AMERICA….. ? I AM HETEROSEXUAL, BELIEVE IN A MAN WITH A WOMAN, AND MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED OVER 34 YEARS AND WE EVEN WAITED TO HAVE SEX BEFORE WE MARRIED – AND I AM PROUD OF IT…. WHAT DO YOU SAY? WOULD ANYONE BE WILLING TO START IN AMERICA A DAY FOR ‘HETEROSEXUAL DAY AND PROUD OF IT’….


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