The “Right” Gay
Here Lies the Reality—You’re Worth More than Confining Yourself.
By Zach Murray
One of the time-honored traditions of coming out as LGBTQIA+ is figuring out which part of the community you fit into. Like Hogwarts, you typically get sorted into a house. And you’ll find yourself wondering, am I more of a masc4masc, power bottom, or just a brunch gay? The process will feel overwhelming, as you try to take on a new identity after finally coming to terms with coming out.
At times, it can feel like you’re in a makeover montage in a cheesy 2000’s movie. At others, all you’ll see are people sorting you into a box, with a big G-A-Y as the label. However, I only recently learned that this sorting is something you can opt out of entirely. As obvious as it may sound, you can be a brunch gay who also loves balling with the boys. You can really be anything you want. And even though this is something we’ve been taught our whole lives; it is easier said than done.
If you’re anything like me, coming out meant you could finally enjoy the things you felt were a little too suspicious to do anywhere but the privacy of your own bedroom. This can include ordering your favorite fruity drink on a night out, getting a little more adventurous with your fashion, and not having to lower your voice approximately three octaves anytime you’re around a straight male. However, in fixating on doing all the things I couldn’t before, I felt like I was playing a character rather than embracing my authentic self.
So, I tried to fit into another box: masculine gay. This involved joining as many sports as possible, making more guy friends, even deepening my voice again. Yet, once again, it felt like playing a character. Trying to fit yourself into a neat little box can work great in the short term, but it only lasts for so long.
When you come out, it can feel like your whole world has changed. Maybe you wonder how your parents will look at you, maybe you wonder if your friends will secretly think you want to sleep with them all now, or maybe you just wonder what it will be like to live without the mask you’ve been hiding under your whole life. Either way, even though it may be more acceptable to come out today than 20 years ago, it’s a terrifying ordeal. You suddenly feel like you’re showing the world the true you for the first time. Before coming out, it’s easy to shove all the messy, complicated parts of you into the closet, because what’s one more secret? But after, you’re suddenly vulnerable for the first time, and then you must decide what box you want to fit into.
My simple advice to you is, choose every box, choose no box. There is no “right” gay, and you will never be able to fit into a simple box anyway, if you’re being your true self. So, choose you, and choose living authentically.