Identity Bag: Sexuality isn't gender expression

One of the most common misconceptions of sexuality is that you can judge a person's sexuality by the way a person "acts" or "expresses" themselves. No doubt, most people have a mental image of what they consider to be a "stereotypical" gay (or in fact, any form of sexual identity)… but what can be observed from a distance is purely gender expression.

Gender expression is a discrete concept which is not necessarily linked with a person's sexuality. For arguments sake, I'm a straight male who arguably does not have the most masculine traits. These traits such as preferring to watch an episode of "Pretty Little Liars" over say a "James Bond" film may stereotypically be considered a "gay trait". But that's a fluid trait… I find myself in different "moods" where I might prefer that latest episode of "The Blacklist" over my weekly dose of "Pretty Little Liars".

And… I may have too have been caught prancing around a science lab yelling out my love for unicorns and rainbows — but just like my TV show preference, I don't necessarily prance around the classroom every day. These are nothing more than my traits, traits which are fluid and which could be classed under gender expression. And yes… after all of that, I felt as strongly attracted to females as ever. And that's the way it should be!

Similarly, just because my imaginary friend Kim here is wearing trackies and a snap back doesn't make her gay. She might be wearing her joggers and would step out into the street and be assumed to be gay. This isn't even about what Kim is doing, simply what she felt on putting on when she went out today. But here's the question… why do we have societal expectations on what each gender wears. And even if we do, why on earth are we linking it to sexuality? And let's think about this… if Kim was indeed gay, does she feel straight when she puts on a dress, heels, and all those stereotypical "female" clothing choices? Does she suddenly become attracted to males now? I find that highly unlikely.

So I don't think it's quite right for a person to determine the sexuality of another person based perhaps on a person's apparent "flamboyancy", or how they look and dress, or even what they watch. Even if a person is expressing their attraction others (or perceived attraction), unless you really know the person well — it's still might not be easy to distinguish between actual attraction or just affection (as in, friendship).

There are no stereotypical "gay" trait, nor is there for any sexual identity because who sexual attraction has nothing to do with the way a person behaves on a day to day basis. We need to look at each other as being individuals with different characteristics and traits. That's why I get frustrated when people say: "that guy or that girl looks really gay". Without actually knowing the person, I don't see how we can think that we can judge a person's sexuality.


Note: I know these views may not be shared by all. They are my personal views and perspective, so feel free to comment if you think otherwise. I'm happy to be enlightened… as long as it's constructive criticism. I'm just against any trolling. Thanks.


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