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Dispelling the old normal

Illustration by TOKWA PEñAflorida

MANILA, Philippines - The parlor gay, the barrio cross-dresser, the belting divas — leave your LGBT misconceptions out the door. ‘Young Star’ disproves them one by one.

I am a proud fag hag.

To anyone who isn’t in the know or is above the age of 40, a fag hag is what one may call a straight girl who loves the company of gay people, particularly homosexual men. I swear, if I could, I would totally date all my gay friends (except they probably wouldn’t let me. So interested applicants, shoot me an e-mail! I’ll hook you up.)

But on a more serious note, it is this same deep love I have for my gays that makes my coal of a heart contract whenever I encounter any discrimination against them. I could rattle off an entire grocery list of ignorant things people say about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) community, but today, I’m going to discuss those I commonly hear. Hopefully, the next time you find out that the person seated next to you is a homosexual, you will cease to sound like you’re talking from your ass.

All homosexuals cross-dress.

As awesome as Ru Paul’s Drag Race is, it does not epitomize the culture of every other gay man on the planet. I have loads of gay friends who tell me that while they’re more queer than Christina Aguilera’s entire discography, they have no intention of putting on lipstick or walking in high heels. And take note: before you start showing off what an adorable bigot you are, not all lesbians exclusively wear drab power suits or T-shirts with baggy Rough Rider Jeans. If you must ask, just know that gay people wear the same exact clothes that you do, except a hundred times better styled. These folks don’t just wear clothes that work, their clothes werq for them.

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The end goal of homosexuality is to become a transsexual.

Similar to the previous stereotype, there may be a lot of fabulous transsexuals out there, but homosexuality isn’t a ticket to ladyboy land. Believe it or not, lesbians don’t have penis envy either; most of them probably haven’t given sex change any serious thought. Being attracted to the same sex doesn’t mean you want to literally fill a gap where gaps need to be filled. Besides, you’re giving your gender way too much credit if you think all homosexuals want to become like you. Have you seen yourself in the mirror lately? Yeah, not happening.

LGBT relationships have a “man” and “woman” role.

My gay friends often get asked, “So…who’s the guy and the girl in the relationship?” It’s an innocent enough question, but some same-sex couples not only find it incredibly intrusive but also irrelevant to their relationships. For many of them, gender is fluid — the qualities of a man or a woman can be shared or swamped between partners. Think of it this way: gay couples aren’t always spoons and forks. Sometimes, they just want to be chopsticks. Much more suitable for all that raw meat, they say. Wink.

Lesbians are man-haters.

Not only is this gross generalization an insult to gay women, but also to women as a whole. Thinking that lesbians are man-haters implies that dating women is nothing but a secondary choice. Let’s get real for a second here: women are awesome. If you yourselves are so hell-bent on dating beautiful women, why can’t other girls do the same? Don’t be bitter just because you have nothing better to offer than those silly appendages hanging between your legs. Get off that couch and stop marathon-watching The L Word; all those angry girls with tattoos and piercings making out with each other are clouding your judgment.

Gay men are dramatic. All the time.

Gay men are often badly misrepresented for their emotions, and being exposed to the cliché parlor gays found in mainstream Philippine media certainly hasn’t helped dispute this stereotype. Gay men are often portrayed as overly dramatic, pining after unattainable men who are crippled with severe heterosexuality, while they scathingly write their ocean-deep feelings that make Taylor Swift’s songs sound like nursery rhymes. There are loads, and I mean loads, of no-nonsense, no-squirmy-feelings gay men who are tougher than lumberjacks. Sure, they can get a little emotional when it comes to the subject of love, but when it comes to that, aren’t we all a bunch of sentimental fools, too? #Cheesy

Being gay is just a phase.

To be fair, I had lots of classmates in my all-girl Catholic high school who had girlfriends but started hunting boys down the minute they received their diplomas. (They call it survival of the fittest. Whatever.) While those are the kind of ridiculous women who end up on Girls Gone Wild and possibly nowhere else, for a lot of other people, homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice. Being gay isn’t a switch you can just turn on and off, despite what that pastor is trying to convince you to believe. Stop asking your gay friends when they “decided” that they were gay, because they could just as easily ask you when you “decided” that you were straight.

Homosexuals make for bad parents.

This is just off the Richter scale of ridiculous. First of all, in order for a gay couple to have children, they would have to undergo a rigorous medical or legal procedure first. So it pretty much means that if two men or two women want to have a child together, it kind of means they really want to. Of course, that isn’t to say that being gay instantly makes you better parents or being straight makes you terrible. But the next time you decide to rag on how the children of same-sex couples will turn out to be screw-ups, remember this pearl of wisdom from Modern Family’s Cam and Mitch: “You know who had straight parents? Hitler.”

All gay guys have a diva idol.

I know I’m supposed to be dispelling rumors and stereotypes, but truth be told, I haven’t been able to disprove this theory yet. All my wonderful gay friends will admit to loving at least one diva from their era of choice — they can go for someone as cool as Adele to someone as campy as Cher. I personally use this as a litmus test to check if a fabulous new male friend is swinging for the same team. (Take note, though, that this is not clinically proven!) So girls, if that boy you’re crushing on starts talking about how much of a Lady Gaga fan he is, better make sure he really wants to hook up with you and not your cute brother.

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