Why do I feel the need to copy a stereotype so that I might get recognized as part of the LGBTQ community?
Last Updated: 06/17/2019 at 10:55pm
Ann Brooks, MSW, LICSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Thank you for your interest! I am a LICSW licensed in the Commonwealth of MA, NH, NJ, OR. I’m here to listen and I look forward to working with you.
Top Rated Answers
Feeling the need to copy a stereotype in order to get recognized as part of the LGBT community often stems from a complete lack of belonging somewhere. As a community that already struggles to identify and distinguish itself in a meaningful way, it makes sense that one might inadvertently seek to fill even discriminating social roles. The most important thing is to practice self-love and care for yourself in a way that provides consistent peace and comfort no matter what environment or community you are in. So often members of the LGBTQ community, like myself, feel their sexual orientation is intrinsically linked to their identity. This is where the stronghold activism exists for many of us. The point remains, you can not love and advocate for someone else without doing it for yourself first. This is also applicable to myself in my mental health advocacy.
I also felt like that and one day the answer just became clear: because I want to get people considering me LGBTQ so they'll get used to it before coming out. But of course you shouldn't try to fit into any mold, be yourself.
You don't have to copy anything, you are your own individual person, if you want to do something, then you can, but don't feel like you should copy stereotypes.
Finding your identity is a hard task for almost everyone. There will always be times where you feel that you don't fit in with the peers around you. Particularly in the LGBTQ community, it can be hard to try and figure out who you are. We are continually looking for acceptance, and unfortunately, sometimes adhering to stereotypes is the only way we can see this. It isn't the case though. Be yourself, maybe you will fit some stereotypes, and not others. And that's okay! As long as you are true to yourself, others will see that, and people will begin to accept you, as you.
It's totally normal to feel that way, people of the LGTBQ+ community are usually represented with stereotypes. Even so, that doesn't represent all of the community, it's just an stereotype in the end. It's ok not to be like the stereotypes, it's ok to be like the stereotypes and it's ok to be like the stereotypes in some aspects and in some others not, and that doesn't make you less part of the comunity. The only thing that matters is that you are comfortable with your sexual orientation and with yourself.
Copying a stereotype is often seen as a good "initiation" into a community. Since it's a label people associate with LGBTQ people, it's a bit easier to have people start recognizing you as such. However, there is absolutely no rules that state you must abide by these stereotypes. You are more than welcome to have whatever style and traits that make you comfortable and express your interests as a human being!
We are who we are based on those around us, and so if you have a stereotype person who you admire, then there is no shame in taking on board some of there positive traits. I take on the positive traits (kindness, compassion, love, positive social action) of Kurt (Chris Colfer) from Glee, Ian Mckellen, Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Tom Daley, Jane Lynch etc. :)
For me, personally, I adhered to the stereotypes (or tried more so than I do currently) within the first few years of entering the LGBTQ community b/c it made me feel like I was accepted more. Sadly, there is a lot of judgment within this small community, perhaps from a need to belong, we feel like we need to assign roles and conform to them because being ourselves in a less structured and general sense has proved difficult in the "straight" or outside world. I also felt like my position of being feminine and bisexual while also like feminine women wasn't widely accepted and felt the need to be more masculine, since that is was most feminine girls were looking for. I found bisexuality, in both the straight and LGBTQ community (for another blog) is far less acceptable and understood so being a more masculine lesbian seemed much easier than being myself which is a feminine bisexual woman who like other feminine women. It has caused my dating pool and even friendships within both communities to be challenged and reduced but once I learned to accept who I really was, instead of trying to adhere to the box any certain person or community would like me to be in, the people who don't accept or support my true self are far less relevant.
I think you just answered your own question. You could try plastering yourself with pink or black triangle buttons instead, like I did in college--does anyone remember what those mean?
absolutely not, lgbt should be about identiying yourself for who you are. If you belive that you have to be a specific sexuality or gender identity to join lgbt, then I believe you need to find another support group.
Sometimes we feel the need to look or act a certain way to be accepted in ANY kind of group but this is untrue !!
It could be because of low self confidence or fear of rejection. Either way the important thing in being different is that you accept who u are 1st before allowing others to accept u.
You might feel like your sexual/romantic orientation or gender identity is not valid unless you conform to the corresponding stereotypes. No matter what, you are valid and so are your orientation/identity.
Sometimes, although it isn't right, people are only seen as truly and permanently part of the community if they fit both insiders' and outsiders' ideals of what they should be, which general,y means that it's expected that you adhere to a stereotype. You don't have to though, and are completely valid either way.
Maybe it's because you want acceptance, and acceptance is easier from people that are the same as you.
There are a lot of people who have biases or certain views on what someone who is LGBT should be or look like. It can hurt when people say things like “you don’t look gay/trans/etc” so some people feel the desire to follow a stereotype in order to feel more valid or accepted. The important thing is that you’re being true to yourself and identifying as LGBT doesn’t change who you are as a person, whether that follows or doesn’t follow a specific stereotype of your identity. Be who you are and if people can’t accept that or say hurtful things remember that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
People often feel like they have to fall into the stereotype of any sexuality because they want to fit in and be included. To be more visible to the community is absolutely a different ball of wax - being part of a minority community, especially one that isn't easily distinguishable and can often seem very intimidating because of the lingering homophobia still raging through the world - can leave people feeling like they'll never find people like them without a "codeword" or "Sign." Back in the 80's, it used to be an earring on a specific side represented a sexuality, or handkerchiefs - now-a-days, it's usually depicted on a form of dressing (Holy femme invisibility, batman!) that helps people kind of narrow down that they're looking at a member of the "tribe". Never forget the all too present rainbow bracelets/rings/necklaces. What i'd recommend taking from this.. is because it's a compulsory human reaction to try to blend in and find your allies.
In my experience, this is the general trend I've observed: being part of a community, especially a socially marginalized one, provides solace and comfort. Surrounding oneself with those whom we share uncommon characteristics with allows one to realize that one is not alone and that one is accepted. The first step to overcoming insecurities is reassuring one's own self that where these insecurities derive from is either intrinsic to one's personality or nothing to be ashamed of. This brings up the question, then, of how to embrace one's position in the LGBTQ community, a community so frequently stereotyped and whose stereotypes are so well-known. Often, the people within this community are so genuinely set on spreading their positive message of pride and acceptance that this theme is lost in the loudness of the community. Hence, the LGBTQ community and the comfort and solace it provides is closely associated with the demonstrations and character of its constituents. In short, one's desire to make a name for oneself in a community might manifest desires to associate with that community's stereotypes, because it seems like the only way to express the characteristic one has in common with that community is through embracing the stereotypes of said community.
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