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That is SO gay!

by Marouschka Vink in Columns & Opinions , 22 april 2017


“That is SO gay!” “But you don’t look lesbian.” “Well, they did a great job.” “Don’t you miss penises?” Or: “Bisexual? Can’t you choose?” We are all familiar with thinking in boxes. If my best friend, who is also extremely gay - here we go again - says something about my dyke blouse, we all get the joke. I define the blouse as a “just went wood chopping in the forest” blouse. Or perhaps not wood chopping, as that is bad for the environment.

Let’s just say I photographed cute little foxes in the forest. However, we should wonder why it is still such an issue in our society. My straight friends are also guilty as charged. “Marouschka, lesbian, but you don’t look the part at all!” Well, no short snappy hairstyle, armpit hair and dungarees for me.

I also did some web research about stereotypes in the GLBT community. I read an article, “On Safari During a Party,” about recognizing the ten kinds of gay people at a gay party (yes, a very important detail of course). It wasn’t long before my sarcasm about the author took the better of me: oh, how touching, you must be feeling very tough now.

It is fairly speculative of me, but then again I am outspoken. Types such as the “rave bitch,” “gym gorilla” and “nagging chubby” - whatever these are - they all made an appearance in the article. We all get the idea when we hear the words “rave bitch.” In the article, that was specifically about gay people - I emphasize again -, the “rave bitch” was described as: emaciated stature, sweaty, loud and present. Perhaps a good tip for further explorations: go to a festival during Liberation Day and spot the differences. There are none. Yet the existence of gay people is not denied nor frowned upon, and we all know that this is not always the case.

I also stereotype. Self-mockery, putting in boxes, generalizing, oh how I love it. Perhaps I categorize it often under I’m-doing-it-myself-so-this-kind-of-humor-is-allowed. Let’s not forget that “our target group” is not even the funniest to categorize. In late February the opportunity came knocking: the Ideal Home Fair (also the theme of our introductory period at A.S.V.Gay) and carnival. When I visited the train station Amsterdam Rai on February 24th during the Home Fair, the giggles became a reality.

Stumbling across the trackless trolleys I paved my way to the other platform, where my eyes were blinded by all the brightly colored hairdo’s of visitors of the fair. Nothing is so entertaining as prejudices confirmed. But I always think: great, let these people have a good time and be true to themselves. And perhaps herein lies the difference.

Hurtful words, inaccurate statements, and a lot of negativity. They all go together when people are stereotyping. I realize that all too well. We can do it, they can do it, so everyone can do it. I think that just as long as everyone continues to joke with an undertone of respect and acceptance it should not be a problem.


Marouschka Vink is vice-chair of  A.S.V.Gay students.
See www.asvgay.nl  for more information.



 






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In the New Issue of Gay News, 314, October 2017

















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