No Shade, But Please Stop Talking Like A Gay Dude

Look, I get it. You’re down with the gays. You are the kind of girl – not gurl but like, an actual cis gender female – who can rattle off all contestants on any given season of RuPauls’ Drag Race and can even explain to why a true versatile top and a 100% strict butch top could never be in a relationship. On behalf of all of us, I applaud you.

You’re the girl who literally saved our life in high school, keeping us safe from bullies. In college, you were the young woman who let us “experiment” on you knowing full well we’d never be into you like that. And now, as adults, you’re the grown woman who’ll leave the office to meet us at some awful dive bar and listen as we over-analyze what some stupid boy did, or even be our beard at events. I love you. We all love you. We couldn’t live without you.

But here’s what I need you to do: don’t “Haaay Gurl!” me if I don’t know you like that. Let me explain.

Every gay and his gal has “their thing.” Many of these relationships have evolved to the point where, except for anatomy, they’re essentially the same person and can literally say whatever one is thinking without filter or pause or second-guessing. And many of these relationships have an understanding around gay lingo; “Oooh bitch you tried it!,” “Girl, you a mess!” and, I don’t know, “Miss Thing you are tired, boots!” is stuff that many a gay and his Judy can exchange as easily as church folk use “Have a blessed day.” Gays and Judys have a lingua franca.

But gay lingo is coded; like black people (generally) don’t holler, ‘What up nigga!’ to black people they’ve just met, everybody realizes there’s a time and a place (and a mutual understanding) that needs affirming before one gets too familiar. That’s why I’m going to ask you, beloved friend of friend of Dorothy, to not shout, “Yaass! Work queen!” if we don’t know each other... or at work.

Offensive seems like too strong a word; much worse has been hurled at us, from people with far worse intention. We know you mean well. But when you snap and scream “Yaass hunty!” when we’ve only just exchanged names you either a) make assumptions about who I am or what I’m into or b) embarrass the shit out of us in front of people we may just want to blend in with. Know the time and the place.

Many gay dudes LIVE for the applause. Nothing wrong with that. My only ask is that, before you do a duck walk and death drop, know which gay you’re talking to, and if now’s the right time. Gay bar? Yes. Applebee’s happy hour? No. (Wrong, obviously, on more than one level.) Nobody wants to feel reduced to a caricature or stereotype. No white girl named Becky wants you to greet her like, “Oh. My. Gawd. Becky” and do a hair flip; no black woman will find it funny if you snap your fingers and neck roll without a LOT of pre-understanding in place first.

It’s wonderful we’re at a time when you can be out and proud alongside us. And your allegiance means everything. We just ask that you remember, as we’ve learned long ago, that sometimes we don’t need to give eeeeeverythig everywhere.

#MFU #appropriation #LGBT

Culture, LifeAndre Johnson