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Stop Oversexualising Us


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When you’re a minority in a city where there are plenty of majorities, you find yourself being subconsciously defined by what makes you different.

In my case, my sexuality seems define me as a person. This thusly creates unintentional over-sexualisation of a group of people, in which are no more or less sexually driven than heterosexual counterparts. I mean, I don’t mind talking about the cute guy (who indeed, is pretty cute) my flatmate is practically drooling over day and night, nor do they, but trust me, that’s not all I am. It’s not all we are.

Being gay in today’s British society seems a gift compared to previous decades, regardless of UKIP blaming us for floods and our battle with breaking down stereotypes. I feel somewhat lucky to be able to openly date and feel safe doing so and, as a whole, times are changing and we’re far more accepted than before, which is amazing.

However, this doesn’t eradicate more institutionalised and sedimented oppression that roots beyond calling me a faggot in the streets. I really don’t need slurs defining who I know I already am. But thanks anyway.

My sexuality is not a talking point. My sexuality is not a personality trait. My sexuality makes me no more interesting, or boring, than anyone else. My sexuality should not possess the capability to fuel gossip in the community in which I live within. I am not a novelty. And no, I will not be your “gay best-friend”. I am more than happy incorporating my sexuality into my identity, considering it’s who I am, but fitting stereotypes is not something I take comfort in doing. It is important to be proud of whom you are, but the right of definition does not lie in the hands of someone else.

Being part of the LGBTQ+ community will obviously encompass sexual attraction or curiosity to the opposite sex at some point (excl. asexual/demisexual identities), but no more so than heterosexuality. This leads onto “gay” more likely being associated with “sex” than “straight”.

When the media decides to actually incorporate homosexuality into its stream, chances are it’ll involve topless advertisements trying to sell something sex-related. This differs to heteronormative over-sexualisation of women usually promoting clothing lines, food or cosmetic products. Does this suggest not only over-sexualisation, but something more? Hyper-sexualisation? Stupidity? Type “gay” into Google and you’ll encounter a myriad of muscular topless men. Type “lesbian” into Google and you’ll most certainly fall into a sea of women with lips locked.

I have heard comments made to lesbians by heterosexual male counterparts exclaiming how much they enjoy watching lesbians make out, but fear that gay guys are going to hit on them. Oh buddy, don’t flatter yourself. This stereotype, that we’re all sex-driven weirdoes, is not only annoying and eye-roll worthy, but perpetuates an ideology which may discourage young gay teens from coming out (a gay rite of passage which I hope will eventually become extinct when we stop assuming everyone is straight unless told otherwise).

“Coming out” was something I feared during the majority of my teen years. Whether or not my parents would accept me was a reality I faced day-to-day for years. Hearing friends using “gay” as an insult, hearing the horror stories of gay-bashing, witnessing gay-bashing, being a victim of it, it’s not easy for young teens. These prior-mentioned stereotypes become what many parents have considered all gay people to be like, and this drives teen’s fear.

Though it’s important to embrace sexuality, we shouldn’t feel restrictedly bound to them. Instead, like any heterosexual, we should feel encouraged to decide how much we incorporate our sexuality into our personalities.

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