Lessons Learned From ‘She Called Me Woman’ (Entry 7)

Lessons Learned From ‘She Called Me Woman’ (Entry 7)

[Click here for LESSON 6]


From the chapter, ‘If You Want Lesbian, Go To Room 24’, RD says:

“I am out to everyone at home. Hiding is not the thing for me. I mean, I am out there. Even if I try to hide, you would see me and go, ‘Hmm, there is something about this one.’ It’s there so I don’t hide.”


This passage made me remember a friend I once had. He was effeminate, loved to hook up with boys, loved to hang out with boys, and simply loved to be a queen about his existence. We used to tease him back then in school that he had no closet, or that he had one but it was made of glass walls. He was a talking, walking, breathing personification of a rainbow.

Then we went home for holidays and returned for the next semester to meet a friend who had become resentful of this overt impression he gave of his homosexuality. He didn’t stop being effeminate. He didn’t stop hooking up with guys or hanging out with guys. But he began to snap at us every time talk about how he had no closet came up. And he was often very emphatic in his denial whenever anyone asked if he was gay. Where before he used to thrive on the compliments about how he was living loud and proud, he began to resent those declarations, interpreting them as insults to him.

Recounting this isn’t me judging him or trying to scold any effeminate gay person out there fighting the foregone conclusion people have of them about their sexuality. When my friend began acting out, I felt sorry for him because I wondered if he had suffered anything to make him suddenly this deeply ashamed of who he was. Thinking about him makes me wonder at some of the down-low guys I currently know who come to LGBT spaces and flare up whenever someone they’ve just encountered presumes right after the “hellos” that they are gay. One such guy I know once fumed: “…Imagine! How can he just assume I am into guys, just like that?! It’s not like I shele or behave like a woman. How can he just assume…!” Ad when someone pointed out that the guy he was pissed at probably had good gaydar, he shut it down as nonsense. “Gaydar only works on those who exhibit signs of being feminine,” he raged. “I am a guy! A guy! I am straight-acting as fuck!”

SMH! It must be such a heavy burden to go about life as a gay man living with the fear that the way you may have walked or gestured with your hand or how you’ve laughed or the way you stand may give you away as a gay man before you’ve had the chance to even admit it.

Accepting that there’s nothing wrong with who you are is one way to not live with that fear.

Written by Pink Panther

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