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The Spectrum: The ‘gayest thing’ you’ve ever done

Alex Daly, Columnist

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This essay is part of The Spectrum, a weekly forum in our Opinion section for marginalized voices to share their perspectives. To submit a piece for The Spectrum or discuss story ideas, please email spectrum@dailynorthwestern.com.

Thank you for telling me the story of the “gayest” thing you’ve ever done. I’m sure it was a memorable college moment of homosocial bonding without any of the drawbacks. I’m sure it was a lovely moment, too, in which everyone laughed at the hypersexual stereotype of queerness. It’s the same uncomfortable giggle that colors the interactions of any homosexual contact between two men or two women who aren’t actually queer, but fancy themselves just straight enough that it can pass as a joke. What you did isn’t the gayest thing I’ve ever personally done, but you gave it a good shot. But, dear friends, the ugly fact of the matter is, if it’s not sex with the same sex, you’re just not doing it right.

But, seeing as we’re on the subject, here are some other “gay things” you might enjoy trying:

First and foremost, try complaining about that whole “marriage equality” issue. It fits nicely in line with the gay agenda, and although I haven’t had the chance to attend any of the recent meetings, I know that we’re always looking to recruit someone to hold the rainbow flag at protests. Personally, I’m also looking for someone to walk my poodle, a responsibility that has severely reduced the time I can spend at gay bars. You’d think someone who spends so much time at the gym would have a little more stamina, but I save mine for the bedroom.

That brings another gay thing to mind: Have sex. A lot of it. Maybe with everyone, if you get the chance. That is, after all, what queer people are most interested in. If you don’t believe me, take it from all the queer characters who have invaded our television shows recently, shown as weak-willed sexual obsessives on the hunt for the next blowjob.

Men: Speak more like women. Think of it as an opportunity to develop an endearing speech impediment, but don’t let that preclude you from talking fashion and hair over a cup of herbal tea. And on the topic of beverages, make sure they’re exotically colored. The same goes for pants — or, better yet, shorts.

I always thought of drug addiction as a serious issue. But since I chose to be gay, I’ve decided to find it charming. Need more than a caffeine kickstart to your day? Try a bump of coke at a nightclub and dance your heart away, preferably shirtless and covered in glitter.

You might think that doing all of this might make you just a little too gay — fair enough. But let me point out some of the things you missed while you were busy “being queer.” I noticed you had little trouble finding a meaningful sexual identity in a society that finds your sexual preferences weird and, by the transitive property, finds you weird. You didn’t have to bother accepting yourself while you were being gay, and you didn’t feel particularly guilty for holding someone’s hand in public. You didn’t have to worry about how closely you fit the gay stereotype when you tried to express yourself as the person you actually are, and you didn’t have to contend with moments of crippling self-hatred that accompany the gay package. No, all of this might make you just a little too queer.

The gayest thing you ever did was a good try, but I’m not sure it represented us well enough. If it isn’t gay sex, it’s just not the gayest thing you could be doing. Throwing around gayness doesn’t just misrepresent you — it misrepresents the rest of us as well. I think it’s better to leave the gay things to gay people, because, at the end of the day, we’re the ones willing to deal with the consequences.

Alex Daly is a Weinberg sophomore. He can be reached at alexdaly2017@u.northwestern.edu. If you would like to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com.

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