I’m not Gay but …

We’ve all heard someone say it, you can even buy t-shirts brandishing the slogan I’m Straight, but I support gay marriage. It’s supposed to be a statement of opposition to bigotry and prejudice, a statement  of support and solidarity with the gay community but those who bandy it about betray themselves with their urgent needs to crush any suspicions that they might be a homosexual themselves. Even worse are those who say I’m straight but I STILL support gay marriage, as though they’ve had to battle great trials and adversity to overcome this powerful, heteronormative predisposition towards homophobia. What a soldier, sit down whilst I make you a cup of tea and you can tell me all about how hard it was for you to not be homophobic.

If you really want to show your solidarity with those who have been victimised for their homosexuality then perhaps don’t be so defensive about people suspecting you might be one. I don’t pretend to misunderstand where the motivation to say this comes from. I’ve been there myself, in high school. I was of course of the view that discrimination was wrong and that therefore marriage equality was right but I was still quite scared of being presumed woofter  until proven otherwise and thus  finding myself on the receiving end of some good old fashioned high school prejudice. So I qualified my support for marriage equality with assurances that I’d never even heard of Dorothy. I’m not proud of my actions but my younger self has little to recommend it, I was weaker then and I was less intelligent. Crucially though, this was an immaturity which I grew out of whereas many of those maintaining the line are significantly older than me, showing cowardice where they’re in a position to show leadership.

One justification I’ve encountered from several corners is that they want people to know their advocacy is not motivated by self interest but by a generosity of spirit. Silly me thinking the advocacy was based on a commitment to equality and compassion, both symbolic and tangible when it reality it was merely a vehicle to feed their vainglorious need to be seen as a progressive person. There is nothing commendable about exploiting homophobia to promote your own middle class moral narcissism.

In short if you seriously want to reject discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, one of the best things you can do is be a sexually ambiguous as possible, as indeed I have tried to be.

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