May 7, 2012 | by  |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Bent – Stereotypes

Stereotypes: Who needs them? Seldom accurate or helpful, these socially constructed notions of identity are merely another tool utilised to ensure the hegemonic dominance of one social group over another. Put simply: they keep us repressed, gurl! Created for, and not by the groups they apply to, these constructs lampoon minority groups within society by creating inaccurate archetypes that those within the community are forced to adhere to.

They aren’t healthy. They place people in boxes; categories that don’t adequately describe who they are. They marginalise people by reducing them to a set of ridiculous pre-prescribed characteristics and create negative identities based on ‘what’ people are; not ‘who’ they are. Sadly, the Queer community is not immune to this.

Society informs us that because we are Queer: we should act, talk, walk, and dress all in a certain way. To society, it’s simply what we should be. The homos should be camper than Boy George and the dykes should look like Justin Bieber. It’s just natural or the ‘norm’ as they say. Right? Wrong! But any derivation from this so- called ‘norm,’ cannot be understood. If a rugby-playing jock comes out as gay—the world is shocked. Cue Gareth Thomas. When a glammed-up girl in a flowery frock walks down Lambton Quay, holding a handbag in one hand and her female partner’s hand in the other; she is stared at. “She’s not a real lesbian…” the looks on their faces say.

When we don’t fit these stereotypes we confuse and disturb people. We aren’t who they thought we were. We are, well, just like them… Not an imagined ‘other.’ When we look, sound, and act just like them we are no longer over there in our little box society has fashioned for us. The distance created between ‘us’ and ‘them’ by the stereotype has vanished and we stand before them as people. Nothing more, nothing less—just people. By breaking these stereotypes we are telling society that our sexual orientation does not determine other aspects of our identity. We determine that ourselves. I’m a camp bitch because I want to be, not because society says so.

Stereotypes require people to all be the same. But, we’re not. We’re all different. So, be yourself and do as you please. And if you live up to a stereotype? Who cares. You’re just being you.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments (4)

Trackback URL / Comments RSS Feed

  1. Amy says:

    Having a rainbow unicorn as the UniQ mascot only perpetuates destructive queer stereotypes. There’s nothing wrong with being a gay person who likes rainbows and unicorns, but when such a stereotypical mascot is applied to an entire group of queer people with diverse tastes, it’s bound to be problematic.

  2. Duncan says:

    I hear what you’re saying, Amy. Are you a member of UniQ? If so, you could raise this issue at the next meeting. They’re a fantastic group who welcome constructive feedback from their members!

  3. Alpha says:

    So Amy, are you saying that given the Queer community is so diverse, nothing could accurately be used as a mascot?

Recent posts

  1. Salient seeks new contributors
  2. Web designer needed
  3. San Cisco—Gracetown
  4. Shovel Knight
  5. NZUSA rides the alimony pony
  6. [Theme not found]
  7. Pink Passion Pop
  8. Everything wrong with the Moan Zone in 400 words or less
  9. 80 Years of Penguin
  10. Up and Adam

Most popular

  1. Salient seeks new contributors 100 views
  2. The Übermensch 41 views
  3. NZUSA rides the alimony pony 25 views
  4. I Went to Graduation and All I Got Was This Lousy Degree 20 views
  5. Can the Hipster Survive in Wellington? 18 views
  6. Everything wrong with the Moan Zone in 400 words or less 15 views
  7. The Bresolin Brothers 14 views
  8. Twitterviews 12 views
  9. Holy Fuck! Vic Uni Ruled by White Males 11 views
  10. The Sedulous Recorder 10 views
grad

Editor's Pick

I Went to Graduation and All I Got Was This Lousy Degree

by

For students all across the world, years of study culminate in a perfunctory ritual known as “graduation”. After three years of napping at Victoria’s Te Aro campus, it was my turn to partake in the tradition.

Read more