Being gay doesn’t give you an excuse to be sexist
Stop touching my boobs
You’d assume that the LGBTQ+ community is a tolerant one. It would be counterintuitive for a group that’s had to fight for its own rights to be intolerant of others.
However, most LGBTQ+ women can tell you about multiple experiences of sexism on the scene. And I am one of them.
I have had my boobs groped, I have been followed into toilets by male bouncers, I have had my opinion dismissed just because I am a woman, I have heard vile things said about vaginas, and I have been told that the only reason someone is friends with me is because I am a woman. All of these incidents have happened at the hands of gay men.
To clarify: this is not to say that gay men are any more sexist than straight men. Of course they aren’t. However, by virtue of being gay, they often think they are given a free pass to behave with impunity towards women.
Just because you are not attracted to me doesn’t mean you can’t objectify me. This is something that is often unacknowledged. And yes, it is better than the harassment I get from straight men – but that still doesn’t make it okay.
I get that my boobs don’t turn you on, but they are still my body and they are still not yours to touch. And please, stop talking about my vagina. I know it doesn’t do it for you, and genitals in general aren’t the most attractive thing – but comparing vulvas to stuff like ham sandwiches, claiming that they smell fishy, or saying they make you feel sick is just insulting.
Plus, as someone who has probably been up close and personal with more of them than you – I can tell you, you are making a big deal out of nothing. Why else would Georgia O’Keeffe have done so many paintings of them?
Gay men face oppression, certainly, but I often feel that other groups in the LGBTQ+ movement can feel more sidelined. Lesbian bars across both the UK and the US have been closing at an astounding rate: there are so few left, and lesbian-specific nights are near impossible to come across outside of London. We are having our spaces taken away from us, but there have been no efforts to make gay bars and clubs more accessible to women and non-binary people.
Just one example of this is Queen’s Court in Leeds. When one person called them out for playing Blurred Lines – a song which reminded them of their rape – they were told: “If you don’t like what I have to say you can fuck off somewhere else”.
When a quarter of women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime and when this number increases dramatically for lesbian and bisexual women, LGBTQ+ spaces need to be welcoming of this.
This misogyny within gay culture doesn’t just hurt women or people read as women, it hurts every feminine presenting person. It is not uncommon to hear feminine men derided or preferences for “straight-acting only”.
This femmephobia has got to stop – check your history, check who was leading the fights. The gay rights movement has been led by feminine people, whether drag queens, trans women, or lesbians.
We are fucking fabulous – and if you are excluding huge swathes of men because their voice is too high or they like Beyonce just a bit too much for your liking, it’s your loss. But please, think about why you are shooting them down. If you actually questioned it, you’d probably realise it’s just misogyny.
So from one gay person to another: stop with the sexism – this is our movement too.