She Says

Gay Pride, And Straight Too: Being heterosexual is as innate as being gay. It merits as much respect

This Pride Month, let us truly accept others for whoever they are.

 |  She Says  |  5-minute read |   28-06-2019
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots held at the first Gay Pride march on June 28, 1969 in the United States of America. Gay Pride celebrates the dignity and equality of LGBT people. It stands for sexual inclusivity of all kinds. Pride is the subversion to shame — in contrast to stigma and shame, Pride is about accepting one’s sexuality, no matter where in the sexual spectrum it is rooted.

The whole idea of sexual fluidity is based on the fact that it can’t be clearly defined. Too many variations are at play. Sexual preferences are deeply personal.

The idea of Gay Pride is to understand and respect every single one of them without questioning their authenticity.

The sexual spectrum is all-encompassing. Heterosexual individuals are in the majority on this spectrum — perhaps this is why their sexuality and its complexity (of course, it is) is the least understood.

gay-inside_062719093108.jpgWe're all on the spectrum: Being straight is as much a choice as being gay. (Photo: Reuters)

Society is going through a sexual flux though and people are trying to experiment in whatever way they can. Sexuality is not confined to the bedroom anymore — it is out on the streets, claiming its space. The Pride Parade is a fine example of not only accepting one’s fluidity but making it flow out into the open.

People tend to forget that just like all other sexual preferences, being straight also occupies a space on the same spectrum. And quite a broad space for that matter. Being straight is as much a choice as belonging anywhere else on the sexual spectrum. Labelling it as ‘boring,’ ‘non-experimentative,’ ‘cliched’ or ‘regressive’ is deeply problematic as well.

Sexual orientation is innate — one has no control over it. It cannot be changed or modified. When an LGBT individual asks a straight individual to “try” a fling with someone from the same sex, they are actually questioning their orientation.

It is as denigrating as someone shaming an LGBT person.

Sometimes, LGBT people do tend to look at straight individuals as conquests, as challenges to feel powerful about their own sexuality. They feel a thrill in the chase, of being the first non-straight person in their life, to win their heterosexual body and making them crossover with the touch.

But do such conquests last? After all, a straight individual will go back to their heterosexual ways once the experiment is over. It's how their brains are wired.

gay-couple_062719093443.jpgThe right to say yes. Or no: Sexually experimentation is ok. And it's equally ok to not do it. (Photo: Reuters)

Meanwhile, there are some really interesting things straight people hear from LGBT people almost all the time. For example, when a lesbian tries to woo a straight woman, she can beat one of the best attorneys around. She makes her arguments so plausible (every single one of them) that one is almost lured.

Here are some kinds of reasoning, given along with the replies a straight woman has in her head — but never articulates so as to not hurt the sentiments of the LGBT individual.

Argument 1: You are straight only because you have never tried it.

Silent response 1: I am straight because I feel attracted to the opposite sex. Is it that hard to understand?

Argument 2: Experimenting with one’s sexuality is how you’ll find out what you really are.

Silent response 2: What if I already know my sexual orientation? What if not experimenting is my choice?

Argument 3: You will find lesbian sex more pleasurable.

Silent response 3: How can I find sex to be pleasurable if I am not sexually attracted to the person in the first place?

lesbian_062719094334.jpgUnder the Sisterhood: Are women more flexible in their sexual choices? (Photo: Reuters)

Argument 4: You know, you don’t need to be a lesbian or a bisexual, you can be flexisexual — women who kiss women but like men.

Silent response 4: Aren’t things already too complicated? Please don’t make us listen to I kissed a girl (and I liked it) over and over. As if you don’t understand that kissing is more intimate than sex!

When the above arguments don’t seem to bring the desired result, they bring on below-the-belt ones.

Trust me, these are really hard-hitting because most of the time, they are so damn true.

Argument 5: A straight man can never understand your body and mind the way a woman can. All they care about is how to get themselves off.

Silent response 5: All that is okay but you just don’t have the anatomical apparatus that we want. Period.

Argument 6: There are only a few men who are sensitive, cater to your emotional needs and are good with words. And every single one of them is taken. Why would you want to be with someone who would never understand your emotional intricacies, who replies to you in one-word answers?

Silent response 6: F**K. (But still can’t do it.)

lesbian_062719095228.jpgAlways with consent: Sexual orientation can vary. But one common thread must run through all. (Photo: Reuters)

It is true that women are more fluid in their sexuality than men.

Men seem to be more rigid because of societal pressures and shame attached to being anything except straight. But even amongst women, sexual fluidity and the extent of it should always be the choice of the individual. Coercing someone into “trying” and “experimenting” with something that they are not comfortable with is as inappropriate as forcing an LGBT individual to try to stick to heteronormative behaviour.

Bromance and sisterhood are one of the strongest relationships that we can have in our lives. Good sex might come and go, relationships may or may not work, but that shoulder to cry on and that affectionate hug that would make things look better will always stay. Acceptance from both ends will make it more beautiful and everlasting. It is always better to build a friendship that will be with you through thick and thin rather than coercing them into being something they are not inclined to naturally.

Let us feel pride in whoever we are — but let us also accept others for whoever they are.

Also read: Let's talk about homophobia: How we choose to hate those different from us

Writer

Ruchi Kokcha Ruchi Kokcha @ruchikokcha

Author is a writer and a poet. Her debut book, Obsessed, a romantic thriller, has been published by HarperCollins India.

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