Fu: Straight is Stupid


Illustration by Katrina Pham

This is “Rice Purity,” a column covering all things gaysian America, sex and scandal.

Yiming Fu, Assistant Opinion Editor

Last week, my peer and fellow gaysian asked me how to stop falling for straight men. “How do I not fall for straight men? My friend and I like, keep doing it,” he says. My answer is frankly quite simple. 

Just stop, duh. 

I think straight men are boring. I’m a dazzling windstorm of eyeshadow, iced coffee, RuPaul’s Drag Race and pageantry. I command a room like Miss Universe, and I walk down the street like Tyra taught me. No straight man can keep up with me. I find nothing more unattractive than someone who can’t match my magnificence, who doesn’t look at the world in the same brilliant way I do. Why would I waste my time?

But, I’m with you. I haven’t always felt this way.

I have had numerous straight crushes. They started small in middle school: always that guy who was tall and really good at sports and funny and popular — the list goes on. But in high school, I shamefully confess, I had a crush on my straight, best friend.

I had known him since elementary school. We were the two boys in school who liked to read. I liked how thoughtful he was compared to all the other boys who were loud, rambunctious and sweaty. 

In high school English, we were the royal duo. We didn’t participate much in class — we were a little too busy gossipping and messing with each other’s notebooks. But when we were doing what we were supposed to, we’d bounce ideas off each other. The two of us wrote the best essays. Who else was there to listen to me rant about the heartbreaking repressed feelings of the butler Stevens in “The Remains of The Day”?

Sometimes I would just sit with him, and we would read side by side. I loved our quiet moments. He felt like my sanctuary. 

But that was just a fantasy. 

I never acted upon my feelings, but for all of high school, I felt as though I were trapped in purgatory, yearning for something just out of reach, consumed by want with no relief. I thought my crush was the only person who understood me. I wove narratives of our futures together, of him somehow not being straight and us magically working out together.

So I get it, I really do. I won’t frown on your love parade. There is some paradoxical sexiness to a straight man that makes him irresistible to the male gays. And when you settle into your sexuality, it’s exciting to have that first crush, that feeling of finally being able to yearn for someone. But you have to snap out of it. Because loving straight men — or, really, any man who can’t feel the same way in return — is a double disrespect. It’s disrespectful to them, their boundaries and their preferences. And it’s disrespectful to your own dignity. 

It’s not your fault. As I continue to grow into my sexuality, I’m trying to throw out everything patriarchy has taught me. Patriarchy teaches men that having a crush is valuable social currency. We have to crush, to desire, to possess. This makes us “worthy” to our male peers. And patriarchy also inherently tells us that validation from our male peers, above else, is most important.

When I finally understood my sexuality, I wanted to be able to play my crush card too, to finally be able to say, “wait, me too! I have a crush too!” I didn’t really know any other queer men at the time, so straight men would have to suffice. 

Ultimately, patriarchy and white supremacy work together to blind you to your worth. Falling for straight men is useless. Why chase something or someone that can give you nothing in return?

I hope you take that fantasy and channel it elsewhere. Build your dream life where you have an infinite amount of things, ranging from vibrant talents to a fulfilling and lucrative career, or a partner that can actually love you in the full, plentiful and nourishing way you deserve. Fantasize, fantasize, fantasize. Just not about straight men.

To anyone with a crippling crush on a straight man, your queerness makes you shine brighter than he ever could. I don’t care if you don’t identify with clubbing, or RuPaul’s Drag Race, or America’s Next Top Model in the same way that I do; you are inherently exquisite. Don’t forget it.

Yiming Fu is a Medill junior. He can be contacted at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.