One day Mimi came to me in tears. Some people she didn’t know said that EVERYONE assumed that she was a lesbian or bi. They didn’t ask her out of curiosity; they asked to make fun of her.
Mimi asked me if she should start being more “feminine.” She even slept with a random guy to prove that she wasn’t gay! Mimi turned her life UPSIDE DOWN to squash the rumors. It was ridiculous, and something no girl our guy should have to do.
So, if people are spreading rumors that you’re gay, here’s what to do:
1. Realize that it’s not an insult
Even if that jerk means it as one, being gay is not an insult. It might be incorrect (if you are, in fact straight!) but it’s not bad by any means. It’s just different. So there’s no need to get defensive.
That said, we all want to be acknowledged for who we are. I’m from Queens and I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m from Jersey, even though we ‘tawk’ similar. Hopefully, we all know that just like some peeps are black and some are white; some are Chinese, others Guyanese; some like “Glee” and a few weirdos don’t (kidding!); and that some folks are gay and some aren’t. If you’re not, just say, “Nope, I’m into guys.”
2. Laugh it off.
The best way to deal with verbal bullies is laughter. If someone means to insult you by calling you a lesbian or gay slur, smile your most gorgeous smile and say, “Guess you don’t have much going on in your own life to talk about!” Brush ‘em off like dust and walk away.
2. Talk about it.
If the rumors persist, you really might need to address the problem head-on. Ask them why your sexual orientation matters so much to them, and say that you’re bored of it and need them to stop. We all deserve a positive, safe and hate-free environment. If they won’t knock it off, go to a trusted teacher or administrator at school.
3. Ignore them.
Who cares? How fab must you be if other people spend their free time wondering about Y-O-U!
Keep on being your amazing self. Don’t change the way you speak or dress to satisfy anyone. It’s fine not to fit in. Not every girl is into pink. Lots of women hate dresses. Some of us are kick ass athletes. Others are genius level mathletes. Many chicas I know claim all of the above. You are way too YOU to fit into a lame-o box—or to let anyone dull your shine.
5. And so what if you are??
And if you are gay, you’re gay. No biggie. But that doesn’t mean anyone has the right to “out” you without your permission. If someone’s spreading news about your orientation that you’re not okay with, privately call them out on it and explain why you’re not ready to be public with it.
When we ran into each other years later, Mimi was now a proud and out bisexual woman. Good for her. It was just not a personal truth she was able to embrace when she was younger. Maybe she didn’t even know it herself at the time.
Either way, makes no difference to me as a friend. I love and accept her JUST AS SHE IS.
Have you ever had to deal with lesbian rumors about you or a friend of yours? What do you think when you hear rumors like this at school? Tell us in the comments!