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‘We All Knew You Were Gay’: My Sexuality Is Not Your Property

You’re blatantly gay.

Anyone heard this little gem before? Because I got it a lot growing up.

My uneasy relationship with masculinity was a likely cause. I’ve never ticked off many of the acceptable masc traits: I chose books over sports; I’ve a longstanding penchant for weekends spent baking. I’ve naturally had many meaningful friendships with girls. And my vaguely camp manner’s had me compared to Stephen Fry more than once (‘course, I’ve always taken this comparison for what it is – the ultimate life validation.)

But outward behaviour has little to do with sexuality. I’ve met very few people who’ve authentically satisfied all of the traditional masculine or feminine roles – roles which are themselves intrinsically contradictory. Historically determined and arbitrary. The course of binary genders never did run smooth.

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10/10 Would Bang: Queer desire and the aesthetic scaling of bodies

He’s pretty hot. She’s so fit.

A total 10.

Sound familiar? You bet. For those who identify as sexual, it’s life. Whether internal monologue or cheeky chat with friends, these little declarations of desire punctuate the everyday.

We’re conditioned with a framework of beauty ideals. We know what makes the perfect male or female form. Sure, we combine these with our own idiosyncratic wants, what turns us on. Some of us might have a ‘type’, others embrace the unexpected. But the truth is, these concepts of beauty, culturally specific and constructed, exert a huge pressure on sexuality.

Beauty, that set of unattainable ideals. That audaciously fraudulent fiction.

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