A simple definition of a stereotype is any wrong idea or belief that people have about a thing or a group of people. The role of stereotypes, in general, is to put people in certain categories so it’s easier to predict what a person is and isn’t and as a result, easier to control. We have tens of different stereotypes around the world that are toxic and unfair. LGBT stereotypes are one example and these that tend to focus on controlling individuals of the LGBT community. LGBT stereotypes affect everybody from the community and stop them from being their true selves so the sooner we break them, the better.
The constant pressure on LGBT people to behave in a certain way and talk in a certain tone or dress a certain type of clothes in order to be labeled gay or bi or trans puts huge pressure on them. That pressure makes a lot of them hate who they are or ignore their own needs for years to avoid being abused and criticized.
Examples of these stereotypes exist everywhere around the world, and here are some of the common ones:
“You’re a man, how come you wear makeup? You must be gay”
This one could be too common that everyone knows about. Makeup is believed to be a tool that girls use to get boy’s attention which is an old belief that we don’t even need to talk about.
Makeup is one way for people to take care of themselves and to look beautiful. Men who wear makeup aren’t all gay and are definitely not in any way less masculine than the ones who don’t wear makeup. Men who wear makeup, regardless of their sexuality, are the bravest because they choose to do what they want over being accepted by others.
It’s important to mention that not only men are victims here because women are raised and taught to believe that men who wear makeup aren’t good enough for them to date and that they are only gays who have not yet come out. It’s important to raise awareness about this topic so our society gets to a level of acceptance that allows everyone to pick who to date without being affected by all these old restrictions.
“If you keep wearing T-shirts and hoodies all the time, no guy will ever want you”
Let’s get one thing straight, women are criticized regardless of what clothes they’re wearing. It’s always too short, or too long, or too big in size, or too small in size to be worn.
Bi girls might be the ones to be criticized the most for their style because when they wear clothes the society considers femme, they are seen as straight but pretending to be bi for attention. If bi girls, on the other hand, wear clothes the society considers too masculine, then they’re considered lesbians.
“You dye your hair pink or green, there’s no way you’re straight”
In Iraq, black, blond, and brown are considered to be the professional and accepted hair colors so dying your hair with any colors other than these three can put you in trouble. You can be rejected in a job interview simply because your hair is pink because the employer thinks that she/he has the responsibility of getting the company new employees who don’t affect the company’s reputation negatively. Offering a person with colored hair a job can put the company at risk of losing its good reputation and therefore its customers.
Other than the possibility of losing the job opportunity, you’re probably going to get criticized and have your character questioned on a daily basis by strangers and friends, and members of your family. You have to think millions of times before getting your hair dyed and you might in the end regret doing it because of the troubles that it could get you in.
“You can’t be considered fully a man unless you can get a woman pregnant”
There’s no doubt that transgender people deal with the highest rate of discrimination and unfortunately, a high percentage of them commit suicide every year due to hatred and abuse.
Conservative societies classify their citizens into women and men and put on each, the responsibility to achieving certain things in order to be considered normal and fit. Transmen aren’t seen as real men because they can’t make a woman pregnant and therefore are constantly compared to cisgender men who seem in this case to be privileged.
“Femme men are all gays and tomboys are all lesbians”
Men have to have deep voices, big bodies, and short hair, this is how most people identify men and believe the rest who don’t have these characteristics to be gay. Gay men, specifically femme gay men, are seen as weak and therefore aren’t good enough to join the military or the police or do any other jobs that are considered manly.
Similarly, all tomboys are expected to grow up to be lesbians. A lot of people tend to assume tomboys sexual preferences and therefore their sexuality. To make it clear, a lot of women enjoy having short hair, playing video games, and enjoy driving trucks so let’s learn to normalize all this.
LGBT Stereotypes are too many and are too unfair and most of these assumptions that people make about each other tend to be false in the end. No one can predict someone’s gender or sexuality by looking at their nails or their clothes or the color of their hair. People, regardless of how they like to label themselves, must have the freedom to make any changes to their style that allow them to feel proud and happy when looking in the mirror. Let’s all work to unlearn the toxic habits that we were once taught and learn to give each other a safe space to be who we want to be.