Stereotypes and Prejudices in the LGBTQ+ Community

One thing LGBTQ people have a lot of are stereotypes which are inevitable, something that they can’t fully avoid. While many people support the community, others have different views and opinions, whether choosing to express it or not.

Gender and sexuality have many stereotypes and can be based off on how one looks and acts, or the feeling that they give off. These stereotypes are placed when a person see activities that is would not be considered normal for some.

“Since I am a lesbian, I get the stereotypes that I seduce straight women and then later on bragging about it,” senior Evelyn Wolfe said. “There’s also the stereotype that lesbians are more masculine than cisgender.”

Wolfe, who had originally come out to her family as bisexual, faced a lot of biphobia in the beginning from her family. So, when she came out as lesbian to her family, there was more acceptance since she finally picked a side. She did not feel completely accepted in the way that they were only happy that she made them more comfortable.

“When I confessed to my mom that I had an attraction to both girls and boys, she stared at me for a long time,” sophomore Ryley Ruckman said. “When she did answer me, she talked about how I couldn’t say that as I never had an intercourse with a girl before, as to why I never spoken about me being bisexual ever since.”

While Ruckman deal with those claims, she also deals with the stereotypes that people have of her being poly. Since Ruckman is poly, she likes having other partners instead of one and there’s also a lot of judgement when it comes to that. There are claims that people who are poly cheats on their partners since they like having multiple partners.

These types of stereotypes and prejudices mentally affects people that are being judged. It limits how they act because they know that they are judged for being different, not like the way that they were perceived to be.

The thing is that mental health is stereotyped in the LGBTQ+ community as well, like how being queer was a mental illness, and some still see it that way. Some people even think that all the people in the community are depressed and have a traumatic life, as if being depressed is a must have for queer people.

“Gay people [on TV] make it obvious that they’re gay, when not everyone is going to be rainbows everywhere,” junior Amerasia Williams said.

It could be said that these prejudices and stereotypes could be due to poor portrayal of queer people in shows. While some situations or portrayal are common things, it can be harmful thing to portray situations like a traumatic life constantly. The prejudice and stereotype allow people to make assumptions about the LGBTQ community.

“It’s nothing to do with your sexuality,” Allies Sponsor Meredith McIvor said. “It’s the way society treats those folks that makes them more susceptible to mental problems.”

Though McIvor had not faced any discrimination as a teacher, she does have friends that have faced discrimination.

“If you worked outside of Omaha, or if you work for a Catholic school, you can still be fired for being gay,” McIvor said. “I have friends who have been fired from their teaching position because people found out that they were gay.”

In the past, there were stigmas against LGBTQ people who worked with kids.

“If you worked in a daycare or if you wanted to be a teacher, that supposedly was not supposed to be a cool thing,” McIvor said. “I imagine that there are types of jobs with hypermasculine expectations, like a construction worker, and I imagine that might be an uncomfortable environment with someone who is LGBTQ.”

These expectations and perceptions make people that are a part of the LGBTQ not feel accepted.

“They always go on about how they respect me, but they don’t support me,” Wolfe said. “I don’t get how they’re going to respect us but hate who we are.”

On the other hand, many want to show support, but they do so in the wrong way even with good intents. Some have the wrong perception that being an ally means buying everything rainbow. The thing about this action has mixed feelings because while some feel accepted, others feel like it’s over-the-top and should be toned down a bit.

At the same time, there have been many people who said that they support the LGBTQ community but believes that the person is automatically attracted to them. Also, many people thinks that it’s okay to have a “gay best friend” just so that they can pick clothes out for them or paint their nails, when it’s yet once again putting these people into a box of stereotypes.

“Some LGBTQ people can fit the stereotype, but some do not,” Rockman said. “So, what I’m trying to say is that everyone has different personalities, and everyone is different, thus the LGBTQ stereotype should not only cloud your thought.”

Individuals think that just because a guy is gay means that he must have to act very feminine and that lesbians act masculine like how cisgender men does. The thing is that just because a man is gay, it does not mean that he’s automatically feminine. It also does not mean that lesbians are automatically masculine.

While there might be some gay men who acts ‘feminine’ and some lesbians who acts ‘masculine’, it does not sum up most of the community, as to why it harms the others who does not fit those characterization.

Aside from the discrimination that they get from people outside of the community, there’s also some stereotypes or prejudices in the queer community itself.

“I personally believe that everyone deserves to feel comfy and accepted, but I know that there are a few who don’t think trans women are women, that trans men are men, and that asexual and other sexualities are invalid,” Wolfe said. “The biphobia in the community is incredibly real.”

Many individuals think and believes that some orientations are invalid because the people like more than one gender, want more than one partner, and more. Some in the community agrees as well that some of these orientations are invalid. Thus, regardless inside or outside of the community, stereotypes are bound to happen.