13 Straight People Who Jumped At the Chance to Ask a Serious Question of the LGBTQI+ Community
Have you ever had a question you really wanted to know the answer to but didn’t know how to ask it without sounding rude or possibly offending someone? We have probably all been there at some point, and with Google making it so easy to search for information, we often turn to the internet for answers instead of asking people around us who would know.
It turns out that many straight people have burning questions for the LGBTQI+ community, but they haven’t been asking these questions. When Reddit user That_one_weirdo69 asked, “Heterosexuals of Reddit, what is a question you have for the LGBTQ+ community?” it provided a welcoming environment for Reddit users to finally ask their question. Scroll down for 13 questions from the heterosexual community.
Reddit user MythicalBearNole asked: “I am a healthcare provider and when going through your social history if you are married or in a long term relationship and you tell me you have a ‘partner’ is that for my comfort or do you really prefer referring to them as your partner?”
RustyG98 answered: “As others have mentioned; usually it’s out of cautiousness. It’s like code; people who are down with the gay community can usually read between the lines, people who are not don’t know any better. Also, as a lesbian, referring to my partner as my girlfriend often gets confused for the platonic meaning of girlfriend. Yet another reason I can’t wait to make my girlfriend my wife!”
clowneryin2020 asked: “For those who were questioning or came out in close relationships: what kind of support did you need/look for?”
VanillaCat616 answered: “I mean honestly after coming out to my close friends and family I didn’t want much to change, just use my pronouns and preferred name and that’s it. Sometimes the feeling that people take an extra care or worry more for you while at first might be nice, then it feels like being LGBTQ+ is some kind of terminal disease or burden. So as my grandfather with bone cancer told me ‘I don’t want you to look at me like I’m a poor tortured soul, I’m still me, so why treat me differently?'”
One Reddit user asked: “Is there ever a big queer cookout called the LGBBQ?”
Reddit user Harry August answered: “Yes at a pride parade I went to had that name.”
Reddit user MinstrelOfFunk asked: “Seriously, what is the Q for? I’m not being sarcastic or trolling, I don’t get the distinction.”
dancingbanana123 answered: “Some say ‘queer,’ some say ‘questioning.’ The word ‘queer’ can sometimes just be used as an umbrella term for anyone that’s not straight. Not every LGBT person likes using the word queer though. I personally like thinking of the Q as ‘questioning’ just because when I was questioning my own sexuality, it was comforting to know that there were enough people questioning their sexuality as well to be ‘apart’ of something. That may sound kind of dumb, but when you’re questioning part of yourself like that, that comfort is really important.”
routine_bug asked: “Do some bisexuals who want to have kids tend to favor relationships with the opposite sex because it makes it just so much easier? Or is this a ‘I would never’ thing?”
HangerBits257 answered: “I’m bisexual. I will admit that the thought has crossed my mind in a fleeting sort of way. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to demand a fertility test on a person of the opposite sex before I go on a date with them, so there’s no real guarantee that biological children will be a thing in my life anyway. At least in a same-sex relationship, it takes the guesswork out.”
How Do I Respond?
Altruistic-Bit-9766 asked: “At work I am in a position where people under me sometimes tell me deeply personal things. Not a counselor or HR. Sometimes they may not directly report to me but I’ve mentored them in some way so they still come to me.
If a person comes out to me as gay or trans I straight up don’t care – in the sense that if I’m not sleeping with you your sexual life/identity is none of my business and it doesn’t affect my opinion of or relationship with you. But I can tell when someone tells me about themselves that it’s often a big deal to them to say it. I definitely sometimes get the feeling they’re afraid they might be judged. So what’s a correct way for me to respond? I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t care about them as a human being, it’s just that … dude, I don’t care.”
Veauros answered: “Maybe something like ‘Oh, cool. I understand it may have been difficult for you to say that, and I want you to know that I accept you fully for who you are. Is there anything I can do to support you?’ The most important thing to convey is that you are okay with their identity/orientation, and that you continue to care about them. And that’s all they really want from you.”
Mr_Lumbergh asked: “Trans men: my brother recently came out as trans.
Having thought of him most of my life as my sister and not my brother obviously required a shift in thinking on my part. I was his best man when he was still figuring himself out and identified as a gay woman and married his female partner of 10 years, which I was honored to do. I love and respect him and we’ve gotten pretty close over the past decade or so, but I wasn’t sure how to talk at first. Not really sure what to do I started addressing him the way I would any of my other guy friends, for example I’ll text him a video I know he’ll like with a ‘Dude, check this out’ or check up with a ‘Hey man, how’s things?’ Am I doing it right? I want to make sure I respect his identity but I don’t want that sense of family connection to be lost either.”
Zetta216 answered: “Don’t force yourself to use gender words. Think about your normal conversations and how often you say a person’s sex while talking to them. Basically if you don’t say ‘hey man’ to all your male friends, then don’t go out of your way to say it to your brother or it will just feel forced. Treat him the way you always did, and on the few times it’s necessary make sure you use the proper pronouns. That said it does sound like you are incredibly supportive and he is lucky to have you.”
Gwrwulf asked: “My 13 son has confided in me that he is attracted to other boys. He has his first semi real partner. I say semi real because he is 13, not because of the gender of the partner. His mother is not a part of his life. After all the back story, my question is what can I do to help him and how can I be the most supportive? I have reassured and validated him. I have also told him how much I love him regardless of anything. I have made sure to explain to him that he is amazing and there is nothing wrong with the way he feels. Thanks in advance everyone.”
A_Jack_of_Herrons answered: “Treat him like you would if he had a gf. If he is having relationship problems talk to him about it and offer support.”
Bi + Straight
ElephantExplosion asked: “If a bi person ends up with a straight person is that look down upon in the community?
I’m a female and I’ve dated bi guys before but I’m completely straight and I’ve had a couple of people tell me that that’s wrong of me that only two bi people can date, and that me being straight means that I’m stealing away someone from the LGBTQ+ community.”
chavabiac answered: “okay first of all whoever told you only two bi people can date is definitely wrong lmao But to your main point, bi people in straight relationships can be looked down on by the community, yeah. That’s biphobia. It’s fairly common, unfortunately, and comes from a place of ignorance, since someone being in a heterosexual relationship doesn’t make the person any less bi. It’s kind of the whole idea that they like both.”
The “Q” Word
ladydmaj asked: “As a straight person, am I allowed to use the “Q” word? I grew up in the 80s and it was considered a slur, as bad as the F word, and for that reason I feel weird using it. But it seems like it’s been reclaimed and is an umbrella term, as someone said on the thread already. Should I use it in that sense as well to respect someone’s term for themselves, or is it is a word straights should still consider off-limits? Thank you!”
RYashvardhan answered: “I’m queer and I would personally say it’s fine is that person refers to themselves as queer. I know some older LGBTQ+ people don’t like being referred to as queer because they grew up with it as a slur, so I would just use that word if that’s how they refer themselves.”
mightyqueef asked: “What’s the +?”
A_Jack_of_Herrons answered: “The + is an ‘etc.’ thing. Like there’s more here, but it’s easier to just use the + sign instead of adding all the other letters (like P for pansexual/panromantic and A for asexual/aromantic)”
nowherenewhere asked: “How would you feel about straight friends going with you to something like pride? I had a friend who had recently come out, and they very much so didn’t want us to come (we’d already had plans to go with different friends) because they thought we (the two straight friends) would be intruding.”
Professor_J_Morairty answered: “I think it comes down to your reasons for going. Do you want to go to be supportive of the queer community, or do you want to go to get drunk and look at the weirdos? If you’re there to be supportive the more the merrier. Sadly, a lot of pride celebrations have become more of a party for straight people than a celebration of queer identity.”
daibettycrocker asked: “How do you feel now that commercials and media are more representative of more races, genders, orientations, etc? Do you notice it? Does it make you feel good, bad, indifferent?”
that_weird_k1d answered: “Sometimes it’s really good but depending on what the media is it can feel really fake and like they’re capitalising off of it. Brooklyn 99 has really good representation, but I find certain businesses going ‘yayy we support the gayy’ really toxic.”