Occasionally YouTube recommends a “My Coming Out Story” video for me to watch, usually by some young kid. Occasionally I watch them. This one from PanoT is pretty cool.
I was a phone counselor for the Gay & Lesbian Switchboard for about 5 years when we first moved to Melbourne. During my time there it was obvious that the face of “gay” was changing. I’d get many calls over the years from young men who were struggling with coming out, not because they were confused or worried about being gay, per se, but they were worried about the stereotypes associated with being gay.
I fit a bunch of the stereotypes… I didn’t love sport*, I love Dolly… and Cher… and ABBA… and Judy, I’m not into cars or mechanical stuff (unless it involves little plastic blocks) and I didn’t have a lot of guy friends (the ones I did have are pretty much all gay (didn’t know then, know now).
But these kids don’t fit the stereotype and were afraid of being painted with the “gay” brush if they came out. They are into cars, skateboarding, sports, rock music and hanging with the guys.
I guess this post is two fold… 1 to say the gay stereotype is dead and 2 that I think we will absolutely see more gay people in the world, our numbers will increase because these guys (and girls) who closeted themselves growing up and into adulthood for fear of the stereotype and not “identifying” with their sexuality are now coming out, no longer constrained by the idea of what a gay person should be.
* On sport, I think I strayed from it because of the fear of being found out as gay. I didn’t hate sport. I think if I were going through school now I’d probably be into most sports. I played football and cricket as a kid, and I was the first in my family to play soccer, a sport I probably would have continued.