We know you mean well and that you’re just curious and want to learn about the LGBTQ+ community and how life is different for us, but please understand that this is our lives. Sometimes we don’t want to rehash all the ways ours are different from yours. That’s why it’d be really great if you stopped asking these insulting questions.
Who’s the guy/girl in the relationship?
You’ve missed the point—there isn’t one. If you’re trying to ask who pays the bills and opens doors and who cooks dinner and cries at movies, I have two things to say to you: One, update your worldview and two: both of us. We share the work and the fun equally. That’s what an equal relationship is all about, regardless of gender.
For trans people: So, what parts do you have?
It’s amazing that anyone would ask this of a person outside of a very close friendship, and even then it’s sketchy. To preface, I’m not trans, so I can’t speak for that part of the community, but I believe I’m correct in saying that this is an intensely personal question. If you wouldn’t ask this of a person who you didn’t know was trans, why are you asking it of anyone at all?
Why are you [insert not heterosexual identity here’?
There are a million answers you could get to this question, but in summary, we’re not straight likely for the same reason you are—because that’s the way the cookie crumbles. We didn’t win a lottery at birth or take some kind of course. You wouldn’t ask someone why they’re Asian, so why ask someone why they’re LGBT?
For bi people: So, you just haven’t picked a side?
People who are bisexual often get this question from all sides, not just straight people. For those who just don’t get it yet, bisexuality is a perfectly valid orientation on its own. It’s not a phase or dependent on who that person is dating. Some people will use this orientation as a stepping stone in their journey, but that doesn’t mean anyone who uses it will. Some people are bi, so get over it.
How did your parents react?
This can be a well-meaning question in the right context. More often than not, however, the “coming out” question comes from people we barely know. Be honest—this question isn’t about the emotional welfare of the person you’re talking to; you ask this for the same reason people rubberneck at car wrecks: morbid curiosity. If that’s not enough, realize that asking this of someone may be asking them to relive a deeply traumatic experience for the benefit of your curiosity. We’re not interested in being your misery porn— stop asking this.
For gay men: Will you be my gay best friend?
This is just a stereotype, plain and simple. Again, I’m not a gay man, but reducing any person to the usually incorrect generalizations about a whole group is insulting. So the answer to this? Also probably no. Why in the world would someone want to be a stereotype instead of a person to you?
Do you know [insert your only other gay friend]?
The answer? Probably not. Yes, we get that the LGBTQ+ community is a minority, but it’s not like we have a club or meetings every other Thursday. Not all gay people know each other. Really, this isn’t that big of a deal, it’s just irritating. The exception to this is if we ask you if you know any other LGBT people because it’s a travesty to be alone in this cold, cold straight society.
For asexual people: So, you’re celibate?
No. Just straight up no. Celibacy is a choice that is often morally or religiously fueled. Asexuality is a lived experience in which a person doesn’t feel (or very rarely feels) sexual attraction or desire. See that? Choice, experience. Not the same.
How do you know?
Because I got a letter in the mail saying my application was approved last week, duh. OK, to be honest, I personally love getting asked this question because it has so many hilarious answers. Still, the journey can be different for everyone and at the end of the day, you just know. Same as you, I was born this way. There really isn’t always some big epiphany that comes along with it.
For lesbians: Did a man hurt you?
Probably, but probably because he took my armrest at the movie theatre or cut me off in a meeting. I’m not a lesbian because of some man’s failings. Let’s be honest, if that made women gay, the lesbian dating pool would be much much larger. Get a grip and grow up a bit—and stop asking such close-minded, short-sighted questions.
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