GLBT StereotypesbyCal Y. Pygia©
They're queer, they're here, and they're not likely to go away any time soon.
Gay stereotypes--a conventional, oversimplified (one might say simpleminded) idea about a group of persons, places, or things, in this case, gays--are not only odious, but they are also harmful. They comprise the vocabulary of bigotry and hate speech. Moreover, they substitute for real thinking on the part of the people who use them. They're pre-fabricated building blocks of thought (or non-thought) that is demeaning, dehumanizing, unfair, inaccurate, misleading, insulting, and just plain offensive. Unless the point is to expose them or to satirize them, they don't belong in a story, so, with public service to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in mind, I offer a list of these hurtful and hate-filled words, phrases, and (for want of a better word) ideas. I suggest, if you don't have your own list already, you adopt this one or make one for yourself and add new stereotypes as you come across them (and, believe me, if you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, sooner or later--probably sooner--you will come across them).
Gay men are swishy and flamboyant.
Gay men are fashion fans and experts.
Gay men are attracted to jobs in fashion, hairdressing, waiting tables, cooking, interior design, modeling, art, and performance arts (acting, dancing, singing).
Gay men lack strong father figures.
Gay men wear pink and lavender.
Cross dressers are gay.
Gay men are promiscuous.
Gay men speak with a lisp.
Gay men are child pedophiles, pederasts, and child molesters.
Gay men are unsuccessful in relationships.
Gay men hate women.
Gay men attract "fag hags" (straight women who like to pal around with gay men).
Gay men are rich, educated, urban, and predominantly white.
Gay men are sensitive and sympathetic.
Gay men have limp wrists.
Gay men mince when they walk.
Gay men suck at sports.
Gay men frequent gay bars.
Gay men want to have children.
Gay men want to marry their partners.
Gay men adore Judy Garland, Bette Midler, and Madonna.
Gay men aren't afraid to cry.
Gay men hate themselves.
One night with Ms. Right can turn a gay man straight.
Gay women are butch or femme.
Gay women are athletes or military personnel.
Gay women suffer from penis envy.
Gay women hate men.
Gay women are rich, educated, urban, and predominantly white.
Gay women frequent lesbian bars.
Gay women want to have children.
Gay women want to marry their partners.
Gay women hate themselves.
Gay women are feminists.
Gay women love dirty jokes.
Gay women wear Doc Martin or Birkenstock sandals.
Gay women love Ellen Degeneris, Melissa Etheridge, and Rosie O'Donnell.
Gay women are vegetarians.
Gay women drive pickup trucks or Subarus.
Gay women wear flannel shirts.
Gay women wear cargo pants.
Gay women, as girls, were tomboys.
Gay women have short hair (if they're butch).
Gay women don't wear makeup (if they're butch).
Gay women are outspoken (and shrill).
Gay women have cats, not dogs, as pets.
One night with Mr. Right can turn a gay woman straight.
Bisexuals just haven't made up their minds whether to be gay or straight.
Bisexuals are in denial about their being gay.
Bisexuals are swingers.
Bisexuals are just confused about their sexual identities and preferences.
Being bisexual is just a phase that people outgrow.
Bisexuals are equally attracted to men and women.
Bisexuals spread disease among both straights and gays.
Bisexuals refuse to commit to a straight or a gay identity and preference; they're fence-sitters.
Everyone is bisexual; bisexuals are just honest about it.
Transgender people are prostitutes.
Transgender women are tall, have pronounced Adam's apples, and have large hands and feet.
Transgender men are short and feminine looking, despite their beards and mustaches.
Transgender people feel as if they are trapped in the body of the opposite sex.
Television shows and movies always portray gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people according to clichéd ideas and stereotypes about them.