Human beings have a wonderful, often dangerous ability to take a simple lack of understanding of a subject and construct fantastic stories around it to fill in the gaps. We also tend to pass on information without really examining the source or the veracity of the information we are spreading.
Sometimes, these tendencies lead to beautiful traditions or even whole branches of spirituality or art. Other times, we end up collectively accepting dangerous bullshit that endangers lives and holds us back as a species in general.
Being a marginalized and misunderstood group has led to some strange ideas and misunderstandings about the LGBTQ+ community. Even worse, we tend to accept these myths ourselves. Let's put some of this bullshit to bed, shall we?
Here are a few myths we need to get out of our systems.
1. We Have Tons Of Disposable Income
There is a common misconception that LGBTQ+ folk have all this money to throw around and that we live rich, elegant lifestyles surrounded by all of the finer things in life. The image of the snooty, well-dressed gay guy who's always taking exotic vacations and talking shit about your decor is omnipresent in TV and movies, for example.
There are a lot of thoughts about where this myth originated. Some say that it resulted from market research performed in the '80s and '90s as people started to come out more and the LGBTQ+ demographic began to be more viable for public exploitation. Others say it's due to the misconception that we don't have to worry about children and the expenses they bring. Wherever it came from, it's ridiculously false.
In fact, LGBTQ+ folk are actually more likely to suffer from economic hardship than straight people. If you think about it, the reasons are obvious. Many LGBTQ+ youth start off being thrown out of their homes by homophobic parents and left to fend for themselves on the streets. Many never recover from that an spend their lives in poverty.
Aside from that, there is discrimination in the workplace to consider. Things have been getting steadily better, but the idea that the world is fair and kind to anyone who colors outside of the lines is patently absurd.
To make a long story short, we're just as broke as everyone else- Probably more so.
2. Our Lives Are An Unending Fuckfest Free-For-All
There is a notion, even among ourselves, that all we have to do to get laid is to show up somewhere and stick our asses in the air. If it was so easy to just go out and rustle up a piece of ass, why the hell would we need all of the same dating apps and dating advice blogs that straight folk do? Are you seriously going to tell me you've never gone out looking for a piece of ass and struck out?
The idea that gay LGBTQ+ people are somehow more promiscuous than straight people is a long-standing myth that is rooted in some seriously backward thinking. Two same-sex people fucking don't have to worry about getting pregnant, right? Well, obviously that means they must be fucking non-stop, right?! Surely there are no other psychological and social factors that would determine a person's libido and chances of getting laid, right? Bullshit.
The fact of the matter is, the rate of promiscuity among gay men is only one percentage point higher than those of their straight counterparts. OkCupid found that 98% of gay people have had fewer than 20 sexual partners compared to 99% among straight people.
Basically, a ridiculously small percentage of gay people are having the vast majority of the gay sex that's happening and everyone else falls into similar patterns as straight people.
3. One Of Us...
Aside from all of that Right-Wing wackiness about the "insidious gay agenda" or whatever the hell those yambags are worried about, there is a common belief that all people who don't fall into the hetero box all want to bang people who do. Apparently, it's not enough just to turn the frogs gay, we're gonna turn everyone gay!
While that shit might be great fodder for porn vids and conspiracy theories, the numbers tell a different story. While OkCupid was crunching numbers on promiscuity, they also took a look at what people were searching for and found that only 0.6% of gay men searched for straight matches and only 0.1% of lesbians were looking for converts.
Sorry, straight folks- Turns out that we're just not that interested.
4. We're All Kinky AF
In my perfect world, this would absolutely be true. Unfortunately for me, I'm not living in my perfect world and people tend to be pretty damn vanilla, no matter what their orientation. I think this idea that we are all kinky stems from the dominance of the hetero paradigm. Society is dominated by straight culture and that paints our general perceptions of what is considered outside the norm.
Sure, if you define same-sex coupling as "kinky", we are all kinky. That's bullshit, though, because it paints our natural sexual activity as "weird" when it is really perfectly normal. By that logic, you might as well say that there are no kinky straight people, which is equally absurd.
The fact of the matter is you can have vanilla sex whether you are gay or straight and many people on both sides of that divide do just that. Kinky is kinky for a reason, it's outside the "norm". It's all about your perspective of what the "norm" even is, to begin with.
5. We Really Only Have To Worry About AIDS
Sadly, this is an absurdly dominant myth, the idea that the only STI out there that we should worry about is AIDS- As if you couldn't catch the flu or even Hepatitis just as easily as the big one. This is a particularly dangerous myth because it puts both our personal well-being and the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole at risk.
If you like rockin' it raw-dog, go ahead and do you. Just be sure you are being as careful as possible and be sure to get tested regularly and take preventative measures to stave off STI transmission. AIDS is terrible, but Gonorrhea is no Swiss picnic, either. Play safe out there!
6. Being Bi Is Just A Phase
There are a couple variations on this myth ranging from "Bi people are just greedy" to "Bi people are just confused about their sexuality" and so on.
News Flash: Bisexuals actually exist and bisexuality is actually a thing.
Bisexuals experience sexual attraction to two or more genders. Stop trying to pigeonhole people into being something they aren't by insisting that sexuality is a black and white issue. Because, when we hear other LGBTQ+ people regurgitating these myths, it sounds an awful lot like a straight person when they say, "Lesbians just haven't found the right man yet".
You sound ignorant and bigoted. Stop that, please and thank you!
7. Bi People Are All Cheaters
Hooooo boy! This one is everywhere and it is stupid as fuck!
Look, just because I am attracted to a variety of people throughout the gender spectrum, it doesn't mean I am going to cheat on my partner. If you are strictly attracted to men, aren't you still attracted to other guys? How is it any different?
A straight guy who only likes vaginas isn't any less likely to cheat on his favorite vagina than a guy who likes vaginas or dicks is. We choose our partners like anyone else and we stick by them like anyone else. There are bisexuals who cheat, but not all bisexuals are cheaters. There are straight people who cheat, not all straight people are cheaters. Can we just fucking grow up already and realize that people are people no matter what kind of people they like to fuck?
8. It's Obvious Who's A Top And Who's A Bottom
Again, this is just another false dichotomy. For one, most guys aren't strictly one or the other, to begin with. Secondly, the idea that the way a person acts is somehow a direct window into their bedroom life is absurd.
I have known many a demure, effeminate man who turns into a raging dom when the lights get low and the leather comes out. At the same time, most of the subs I have met act like macho alpha-males in their daily life and prefer to be dominated behind closed doors.
Public life and bedroom behavior are often two very different realms because lots of people get off on inverting their personal paradigms while others do not. Basically, it's not safe to assume that the adorable twink with the face glitter won't hogtie you and electrocute the shit out of your nipples any more than it is to assume that the studly muscle dude wouldn't like you to do the same to him.
Just like with the rest of these myths, a lot of the misunderstanding comes from making jenky assumptions based on faulty social influences that are founded on the twisted outsiders' perspective of the gay community that have filtered through our consciousness via hetero-dominated pop culture and social pressure.
Things are getting better, but we've got a long way to go if we're still falling for some of this shit. Let's try to do better!