The scene set: “SomeboDY sedATE me!” screams a young adult after they drop their phone on the ground; one friend, deadpan, replies, “good soup,” and another looks at them, fully bites their bottom lips, scrunches their eyebrows, forms a V-shape with the thumb and index finger under their chin and groans. The peers around them either don’t react or give a confirmatory nod at the situation and go on with their life. You’re flabbergasted, naturally.
If we turn back time, we can see that there is a visible pattern in how history has denied the homosexuality of people of importance. Time and time again, reports cover up high-profile relationships by blowing them off as close friendships. In reality, though, the list of historical figures whose clearly gay relationships were downplayed as strong friendships is extensive. The following are only a small percentage of those whom the media was too fearful to identify correctly.
In my senior year of high school, I was ensconced in solitude – not so much in an angsty “pity me” way, but rather in an “I can’t wait to get out of here” kind of way. I would purposefully push other people away to avoid making any sort of human connection. Mostly, however, I was grasping at the idea of a future where I could meet like-minded people and be able to establish real connections. The more that I went through high school, the more I realized I didn’t have those connections; I had acquaintances with whom I would share an occasional laugh – acquaintances who would sometimes refer to me as their “gay best friend.” Dynamics like these were what really deterred me from meeting people.
In the wake of Pride month, the demand to “Stop making everything gay,” echos in my head. The complaint is not always quite that direct, but among brands temporarily incorporating the rainbow into their logos, statements of support for the LGBTQ+ being issued, and abundant Pride celebrations, there are a litany of ways the directive comes through: