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    27 Queer Women Are Sharing Unintentionally Problematic Things Gay Men Do, And It’s Sparking An Important Conversation

    “Just because you're in the community doesn't mean we all live the same experiences.”

    I watched Amazon's new lesbian-focused series Tampa Baes and even as a gay man, it felt like a new world to me. It made me realize I'm mostly unaware of the unique issues queer women face because I'm not close friends with any.

    Lesbian cast members from "Tampa Baes" walk with their moms on the way to the gay bars
    Prime Video

    It's not intentional, but it was a wake-up call. 

    That's why I asked queer women of the BuzzFeed Community what they wish gay men would stop saying or doing, and wow — it turns out that there's a lot of ways we can show up more for our queer sisters.

    Here are some behaviors that queer women are "calling in" gay men for and that we can be more aware of:

    1. "I’ve been told by gay men many times that I have it easier as a lesbian because it’s more accepted. Being sexualized and being accepted are different things."

    Amanda Seyfried as Needy and Megan Fox as Jennifer in "Jennifer's Body"
    20th Century Studios

    —Anonymous, Utah, 25

    "We've been told we have it 'easier' because we are not automatically perceived as a couple." —Anonymous, Texas, 37


    2. "Gay men say it’s easier for us to go in public because we’re women. They seem to forget that, as a woman and a lesbian, my fear of being injured is very strong."

    —Anonymous, France, 23

    3. "Gay men can be just as misogynistic and gross as straight men. I've had a guy touch my boobs, but he laughed it off because he's 'just one of the girlies.' No, you are a man touching me inappropriately, and I feel uncomfortable. Being gay doesn't give you a pass."

    SNL / Via giphy.com

    zippyflyer

    "It is not okay to grab my boobs, lift up my shirt, or grab me from behind and start grinding. Stop sexually assaulting us." —samanthab4180babdf

    "Some gay men feel that because their touch isn’t sexual, they are allowed to touch a woman’s body without consent. Absolutely not." —sylviaplastered

    "Even close friends will ask, 'Can I just touch your boobs?' Sure, if I can fondle your balls for a minute. It's fine, I'm a dyke." —cazculhane

    "I was at a bar in West Hollywood, grinding on my girlfriend, and two guys started cheering us on. It was not the most comfortable, but fine. Then one of the guys came up to me and pushed my head down, to make me grind ass-up on her. That's when we said, 'Hell, no,' and left the club." —Anonymous, California, 25


    4. "Queer gatekeeping. I'm bi but am constantly asked to 'prove' my bisexuality and am subjected to detailed questions about my sexual encounters. I'm a cis woman married to a cis man so that automatically disqualifies my queer status, I guess?"

    MTV

    "To be fair though, I get this from a lot of people in the queer community, not just gay men." —sarahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    "I'm so over being told that I'm not queer because I'm bisexual. It was hard enough for me to come out in a straight-dominated society, but to be invalidated within my own community is heartbreaking." —ashleymblum22

    5. "Believing that drag culture should only be cis gay men dressing up like women. What about trans queens? What about drag kings? Drag does not belong to cis gay men. It is a celebration of the many different facets and intersections of the queer community."

    Group of three genderqueer friends walking outdoors in drag attire holding hands
    Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

    6. "I’ve seen so many incidents where QTIPOC bring up the racism in the queer community, and then white queer men will deflect it by saying homophobia exists in BIPOC communities."

    "Yes, we know, love. So many white twinks think they can get away with misogynoir, racism, and sexism because they face one form of oppression! Then when we check them on it, they don’t take accountability for the pain they cause." —lactosetheintolerant

    7. "Please stop mocking and mimicking Black women as a personality trait."

    Identity / Via giphy.com

    amitom

    "It’s uncomfortable and odd when gay men feel the need to use AAVE, like 'girl' and 'yas, queen.'" —@uzamaki_kai

    "Trying to co-opt or outright claim parts of AAVE as their own." —@drndnns

    8. "Gay men need to stop thinking they all have a degree in fashion. Literally, just let women wear whatever they want. Being gay does not exempt you from being sexist."

    chloen4f52696c0

    9. "Stop talking about scissoring and demonstrating with hand movements!"

    CBC / Via giphy.com

    —Anonymous, Connecticut, 41

    10. "I play on a co-ed gay kickball league, but it’s the same as any other co-ed league: men are the majority, so the men are team captains, which means the women are always last in the lineup."

    —@pinto.likethebean

    11. "As a gay woman, I prefer to just call myself gay. This is largely because being a lesbian is so sexualized. However, I’ve had queer men tell me I can’t call myself gay because 'gay is for men, lesbian is for a woman.' The whole fight is for equality and acceptance for however we identify, and by telling me how I label myself is wrong, you’re invalidating my reasons for my label and my emotions."

    "Most gay men don’t experience this. 'I’ll turn you straight' isn’t really said to men that often. By calling myself gay, I’ve found that I'm less likely to get those comments." —crazykid01

    12. "Stop assuming that women in gay bars are all straight and cis. I have just as much of a right to be there as you do."

    Aisha Dee as Kat Edison dances with a woman in a gay bar in "The Bold Type"
    Freeform

    13. "My older brother and I are both gay. My wife is a transgender woman, and my brother could never stop with the unsolicited commentary: 'How can you be lesbians if she used to be a guy?' 'I always thought she was actually just a gay man?' 'Is he — oh, I mean, she — sure she isn't just gay?' He admitted that he and his friends believe transgender women are actually gay men, but it's easier for them to come out as transgender women. Never mind the fact that she's never been into men."

    Portrait of a happy femme-presenting homosexual couple
    Fg Trade / Getty Images

    "We don't even talk anymore. The constant conflating of being trans with crossdressing or drag and having to explain to him, his partner, and his friends that it's uncool to ask my wife about her genitals, that it's not a fetish or sex thing, that she didn't 'used to be a guy,' was exhausting." —Anonymous, Rhode Island

    14. "Just because you're in the community doesn't mean we all live the same experiences. It also does not allow you to say offensive things or voice your opinion as facts, especially when it's about a part of the community you're not a part of."

    @hez_vdm

    15. "I have been harassed by gay men repeatedly on the street or in gay clubs. I'm 5' and have had 6' men at clubs push me or try to force me to move because they wanted my spot."

    "Once, I was walking alone at night and walked around a group of gay men because I walk faster than them, and they literally called me a cunt and yelled at me from behind, simply for walking around them. Can you imagine how scary that would be?" —notmyname17

    16. "Being anti-trans AF — not including trans men in their circles, not seeing them as men, and fetishizing trans women. They need to catch up."

    Trans+ Pride March Takes Place In London
    Guy Smallman / Getty Images

    —Anonymous, Pennsylvannia, 29

    17. "You cannot say the community is welcoming if you ignore your privilege and cause harm to others. Learn about intersectionality and how your behavior is complicit in the oppression of those in your community."

    "Like many people have stated already, stop using your privilege to be abusive and derogatory while ducking behind your oppression. It's not cute. Just because you are oppressed in one facet doesn't mean you still aren't privileged in other ways, like gender and race." —justchillman

    18. "I wish cis gay men would stop having the biggest critiques of RuPaul's Drag Race. Their comments are inherently anti-fat and do not encourage a diversity of experiences (e.g. non-binary folks, trans women and men)."

    VH1 / Via giphy.com

    "The fanbase can be so toxic." —Anonymous, Canada, 27

    19. "Calling me hun, sis, or babe — like, seriously, I have a name."

    —Anonymous, London, 25

    20. "I have heard multiple queer people say it is ‘harder’ for gay men…um, no. We deal with all of the problems of being female along with being gay. It is really not gay men's place to decide that misogyny is trivial and write us off like that. This is especially frustrating because many of them recognize that they are treated worse by society for doing things that are stereotypically feminine, but don’t stop to think about how this societal derision for stereotypically feminine things is rooted in misogyny. Then they’ll kind of just assume we’ve never had those experiences."

    INTO ACTION / Via giphy.com

    "People harass me on the street, too, even if I pass as straight." —Anonymous, Washington, 26

    21. "I'm trans masc. Before transitioning, gay men have made me feel that the fact that I have a vagina is disgusting and that it makes me not 'really' a queer man. Also, they assume I'm automatically a bottom. Because my dick is detachable, I'm not able to use it properly? I really need the focus on genitals and the top/bottom labeling of others to stop. It feels so...heteronormative."

    —Anonymous, Canada, 21

    22. "I don’t like when they think they can say ‘dyke.’ Like, yeah, you’re gay too, but that word specifically describes a person from two marginalized communities (gay and women), and you should not be saying it if you don’t belong to both."

    Kehlani / Via giphy.com

    —Anonymous, Washington, 26

    "I wish they’d stop calling everyone 'bitch' and 'slut.' Those are still used as a derogatory term for women all the time and it feels weird." —Anonymous, Virginia

    "I don't want to hear 'cunt' out of your mouths anymore. Stop using language by and for women. You can't reclaim our slurs." —kenobae

    23. "I wish gay cis men would stop calling each other by female pronouns, especially when they still put down, demean, or act grossed out by women. I wish gay men wouldn't say to my femme-presenting partner that it's her fault our gay spaces are being ruined because they assume she's straight. I wish gay men wouldn't grab my ass assuming I'm a boy, and then when they realize I'm a queer woman, shrug and say they'd still hit it. I had a gay man tell me he got a 'half chub' watching me with a female partner because I looked like a cute boy. I just want gay men to stop talking so much and start freaking listening or give the rest of us room to have more of a voice."

    "I just want gay men to be better." —Anonymous, Georgia, 34

    24. "You have the capacity to be very bigoted against other oppressed groups, including those within the LGBTQ+ community, and it's far past time for y'all to wake up and smell the bullshit."

    "Gay men, I love you, but you are not the end-all-be-all of the Oppression Olympics." —p1nkl3m0n4d3

    25. "Judging women (gay or straight) for their bodies. The body positivity movement has come so far, but there are a lot of gay men who think they’re exempt."

    —Anonymous, Ohio, 29

    26. "I really wish queer men wouldn’t refer to straight women as 'gay icons.' There are actual queer female artists out there who deserve that title, and seeing it given to someone outside of the community makes my sexuality feel invalidated."

    Musician Hayley Kiyoko, actual gay icon, in her music video "I Wish"
    Atlantic Records / Via youtube.com

    —Anonymous, Florida, 29

    "Ariana Grande did some queer-baiting in a music video, so no. She’s not my gay icon." —skyefaer

    27. "And sometimes, gay men talk about homophobic bullying as if it only happens to them. It happens to us, too. I have PTSD from homophobic sexual harassment, and it makes talking to people difficult every day. Let’s support each other."

    Young people celebrate in the cool waters of the fountain at Washington Square Park in Manhattan during the Pride Parade
    Picture Alliance / dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

    —Anonymous, North Carolina, 30

    It can be hard to realize that our actions can be oppressive within our community, but conversations like these are how we learn from each other.

    HBO / Via giphy.com

    So thank you again to all the queer women who shared their experiences. We really appreciate you.

    What are your big takeaways from these insights? Let me know in the comments.