Why are we so obsessed with defining someone’s sexual orientation? I’m not talking about the debate of whether it is morally or religiously correct to be gay, but just the curiosity we have in trying to figure out what a person prefers? You see this in celebrities, where inquiring minds ask if they are gay. Of course, a person’s sexual orientation is their own right, but there is something more to this than meets the eye. There are some people the public suspects of being gay, but then there are those they are just curious about even though they have seen them with a person of the opposite gender. The reason why we ask is not because we think they are gay, but because they are different. I remember a time when people questioned if Oprah was gay and I realized then that it was not her sexual orientation they were trying to define, but her success. When someone is unique, stands out, and does not fit the norm, we wonder why? The only logical conclusion we can come up with is that they must be gay because gays also don’t fit the norm. How highly illogical.
We want to define people. Pigeon-hole them. Label them so that it is easier for us to interact with them in the world. To understand that they are gay somehow excuses their eccentricities in our minds. Because gays are eccentric? Yeah, that also makes no sense. This does not make us bad people, but it is something we should look deeper into and question because someone’s sexual preferences shouldn’t matter. I would be proud to be asked such a question because it means I am not cut from the same cloth as everyone else. It means I am different and not easily understood. It means I am the different that others may fear. They fear out of ignorance, for different does not automatically equate something altogether bad. In reality, we are not obsessed with sexual orientation, but we are obsessed with labeling people so we will feel more comfortable with those who are different. There is an uneasiness with things you don’t understand, and it’s fine to just admit that truth.