The 10 Commandments of heteronormativity for gay men who want to fit in, fall in line, and be respectable.
1. “Thou shalt judge other gays.”
The way to fit in and never be suspected of being gay is to make fun of people who are clearly gay. Flamboyant much? Sound like a sissy fag? Perfect targets for humour and distain. Subvert the shame of your closet by making fun of someone else in an attempt to falsely make yourself feel better.
2. “Thou shalt hold your voice silent when others make homophobic comments.”
Don’t rock the boat. You wouldn’t want to be outed. Even if others don’t suspect you of being gay, just keep silent. The status quo loves it when you don’t support or stand up for the other.
3. “Thou shalt minimize talking about your sex or love life, if at all.”
You’re out and people know, but to minimize discomfort, you inquire about other people’s husbands and wives. You never talk about gay sex or your love life.
4. “Thou shalt control your mannerisms, never flamboyant or feminine.”
Were you a hyperactive child in school? Did you have to sit on your hands to stop fidgeting? Now you have to sit on your hands so you don’t show your limp wrist. You swallow your pride, take two breaths before you respond, otherwise your voice might raise too high and you’ll sound like a girl, giddy with excitement.
5. “Thou shalt never make a straight man feel uncomfortable with your eyes.”
This might be the most difficult commandment of all. You see him and your knees go weak. Your heart starts pounding in your chest. You feel like you’re starting to break a sweat. You secretly lust after him, but there’s no release for this unrequited desire. If you look too long he will know. Everyone will know. But you can barely contain yourself.
6. “Thou shalt act like “one of the boys” and fit in.”
Over drinks after work all the guys talk about the latest game, girls they banged, and girls they’re planning to bang. You laugh. You encourage. Maybe you tell a white lie or two to fit in.
7. “Thou shalt keep conversations safe and inclusive for straights.”
LGBTQ rights? The time cost of douching to be an effective bottom? All those annoying profiles without pictures on Grindr who message you and ask, “What’s up? Keep it to sports and the weather.
8. “Thou shalt wear clothes that don’t make you stand out.”
Dress casual. Neat and possibly fitted or tailored. Be mindful of the vibrant colours and pinks. Even if you have a nice butt, you might want to wear a pant size too large. Minimize drawing any attention to yourself that could involve the discussion of sex or cause flirting.
9. “Thou shalt keep silent when men degrade and objectify women.”
They’re just being like one of the other guys. It’s a guy thing, right? They don’t mean anything by it. You swallow your shame and disgust with yourself for not standing up for the rights of others.
10. “Thou shalt never break the rules.”
Follow the rules of the status quo. Keep yourself boxed in. Mind the door of your closet. So long as you don’t come too far out, you’ll have a place in this society and you won’t ruffle too many feathers.
QUEERS SAY FUCK THAT!
Stand Out, Speak Out, Live Proudly, Show Your Colours and THINK QUEERLY!
If you’re not visible and if you’re not heard we can’t make progress and we can’t change minds.
If you keep playing by the rules — the rules the status quo wants you to follow — NOTHING will change and NOTHING will get better.
What Do You Stand For?
What will you speak out against?
What cause will your support?
Claim it and own it, NOW!