Letter to the Editor: ‘Coming out’ too stereotypical

By on October 3, 2006

There are lots of different people in the world, all within the same category. There are people from upstate New York, New York City, and Long Island, and although all of them are technically “New Yorkers,” they all have a different background and identify themselves as separate parts of a similar whole.

I’m still trying to figure out why last week’s feature article “Coming Out” was even newsworthy, but what puzzles me more is the lack of variety within the article.

The first paragraph has McKeon describing himself as “catty,” a gossiper, and a big fan of the word “fabulous.” Why this was the ideal way to start the article is beyond me, but I’m guessing it’s perhaps because that’s what the author assumed people would want to read about gay men – people whose only exposure to homosexuality is “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

Stereotypes a-plenty!

Just as there are lots of different people from New York, there are lots of different types of gay men. There are some homosexuals who have no clue what shoes to match with what shirt; homosexuals who would rather use the word “cool” than “fabulous”; homosexuals who couldn’t care less about decorating, and so on.

I’m by no means criticizing any of the three men profiled for their personalities or approaches to being gay; all I’m saying is that there was an incredible lack of diversity in the article and an extreme subliminal emphasis on stereotypes, making it seem as though the only kind of gay man at Quinnipiac is the kind who is only good for helping his mother pick out a necklace.

Speaking of incorrect suggestions, are there no gay women on this campus?

I’m surprised all three men profiled were fine with “lifestyle choice” as a description of homosexuality. How many more times do people need to be yelled at before they accept the fact that being gay is not a choice? Straight people didn’t choose to be straight. Furthermore, who would voluntarily decide to be discriminated against for their entire lives, risk losing their family and friends, and have everyone automatically see them as “that gay kid” rather than the real person they are? What a choice!

One thing I did fully agree with was the mention that people assume all gay men are compatible with other gay men. If any of the three men are told they would “get along so well!” with some random girls’ gay friend from home, suggest to her she go try to hit off with some homeless gang member in New Haven because he’s straight. That makes just as much sense.

Many gay men come across as walking contradictions. Do they want to throw themselves in the spotlight as gay men and only as gay men, or do they want to be seen as everyday people, like Videira proposes? Because you can’t do both, every gay man needs to decide if he wants to blend in as your average Joe walking around campus, or stand out and be seen solely as “that gay guy” who lives and breathes everything homosexual.

As a gay man myself, that is the only lifestyle choice I’ve ever had to make.

Evan Goldman
Quinnipiac Grad Student


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