A Straight Guide from a Gay Guy

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Henry Mueller, Staff Writer

DONT’S
Don’t say “oH mY gOd i WaNt A gAy BeSt FrIeNd!” OK, I get the message; who doesn’t want wonderful people around them? But, saying things like this implies that you want a gay friend just because they’re gay — and I’m certainly not your pet, honey.

Don’t believe every gay stereotype you hear. Many still think gay people are cross-dressing, flamboyant queens who wear make up, gossip and dance all day. Personally, that depiction describes me to a tee, and if you want to help me out on my drag journey, the link to my Venmo is www.hopefullyyouknowthatisajoke.org. Truthfully though, stereotypes damage the reputations of several cultural and societal groups and should not be perpetuated.

Don’t say “That’s so gay!” This should go without saying, but I hear it all the time from repressed, toxic straight boys — you know the type. Anyway, saying something is gay shouldn’t be an insult, periodt (Read “periodt” in your best Jonathan Van Ness impression for comprehension purposes).

DO’S
Do go to pride events and support your gay friends. Going to a pride parade is an amazing experience and it’s a great way to become immersed in a group that you might not know much about. Be an ally. Support those who aren’t widely represented as much in the media.

And yes, compliment my crop top. And sure, you can say “yas queen” because honestly, I am a queen thank you very much, and commenting on my glowing midriff will just remind me.

Do remember, when a friend, sibling or anyone else comes out to you, your response should be simple. Every situation is different, so I can’t tell you what to say. But, from my own experiences, this person has gathered up the courage to share with you who they truly are. It’s an onerous, complicated and stress-inducing part of being gay. All I can say is try to make whoever is coming out to you feel comfortable and loved. Be respectful and thank them for deciding to share this news with you. Just try to put yourself in their shoes. Imagine how much pain, second guessing and self-doubt this person endured to tell you their truth.The fact that they shared this with you not only shows you their self-confidence, but their trust in you as well. It’s a beautiful thing; this person accepts themselves enough to finally live their honest, authentic life, regardless of any repercussions. Moreover, they’ve allowed you to be a part of their journey as well.

I initially intended to write this article as a satire, but the main takeaway is serious: Be inclusive, be open-minded and, most of all, be kind — no matter what your story is or who you’re listening to.

And to all the people out there who are struggling, whether you’re out and proud, or closeted and questioning, know that you’re not alone. Whenever you’re ready to embrace everything that you are, know that there are people here to welcome you with open arms.