Unpacking AU’s Straight Women Anthem
This piece was submitted by a member of the LGBTQ+ community at American University as part of the Rival American’s Pride Week. Their views do not necessarily represent that of The Rival American or its staff. If you’d like to submit your own work, please do so with our submission drive which will be open until Thursday, April 25th.
We’ve all seen it before. Two men that are obviously in a relationship walk by on campus, and a straight woman sighs. The worst sentence leaves her mouth.
It something along the lines of,
“I’m so single, all of the men here are gay!”, or
“How come HE can get a boyfriend and I can’t?.”
Whatever the exact sentence may be, you get the point.
Let’s unpack that.
Don’t. assume. gender.
It’s a blatant over exaggeration of AU’s Queerness. Just because there are more queer people here than your hometown doesn’t mean that this school isn’t dominated by the straight perspective. You don’t know how many people are still in the closet or present less queer for their own protection. You’ve never had a professor say that you must be interested in HIV/AIDS research. You’ve never had a roommate say they just don’t “get” your sexuality. Notice that this piece has been published anonymously.
It calls on bi-erasure; that a man cannot be interested in women simply because he is with another man.
On the flip side, it is also amazingly heteronormative. Men are not put on this earth to be attracted to women. Don’t situate your importance in a conversation you’re not even a part of.
Most importantly, overcoming the literal years of internalized homophobia and trauma by coming out is nothing compared to the minor inconvenience of you not being able to find a date. (Which, fyi, the sea that straight people swim in is just a pond for us.)
This is not meant to attack straight women, but just to give insight on the impact of your language. College holds a very different significance for the queer community that straight people will never understand. It’s the place where we come out and live our true selves. It’s where we finally get to have our first kisses, relationships, and heartbreaks: the very things our peers were allowed and encouraged to do in high school. Openly walking with your queer partner is still as act of protest. Our lives are still politicized.
So next time you hear someone say this: call them out. Do justice to your friends that dare to show their queerness. Create a more inclusive space for those to enter that have not been able to yet.
We want you to be an ally during the small moments, not just when we’re your best friends, or a reason to dress in rainbow.
And to my friends that have said this. No worries, I still love you. Just know, women that sleep with women orgasm at much higher rates.
Anonymous is a queer Junior just trying to add a little more rainbow to everything.