How many times have you heard those words
said out loud to you? Grow a pair of balls! Be a man, for crying out loud! Must you be such a Pansy?
I remember a video on YouTube,
showing the amazing Irish drag queen Panti Bliss talking at the end of a show
in the Abbey Theatre, about oppression and she said the following,
“Have you ever been standing at a pedestrian
crossing when a car drives by and in it are a bunch of lads, and they lean out
the window and they shout “Fag!” and throw a milk carton at you?
Now it doesn’t really
hurt. It’s just a wet carton and anyway they’re right – I am a fag. But it
When it really does hurt, is afterwards. Afterwards I wonder and worry and obsess over what is it about me, what was it they saw in me? What was it that gave me away? And I hate myself for wondering that. It feels oppressive and the next time I’m at a pedestrian crossing I check myself to see what is it about me that “gives the gay away” and I check myself to make sure I’m not doing it this time.”
That video has stuck by me and I recommend
everybody see it. And I have a question for you in the spirit of Panti’s
speech. Have you ever logged onto Grindr and seen someone who really takes your
fancy and when you read their profile it says something like “Please be masculine”?
If I wanted to date a woman, I wouldn’t be gay”, and you think to yourself,
“Well he’s kinda cute, I can butch it up a bit?”
Or, have you ever walked into a family
gathering where uncles and aunts and cousins are all standing around and you
mince over to say hello and catch yourself butching-up your walk and suddenly
growing two watermelons under your arms, so that you fit-in a bit more and when
you open your throat to say hello, a deep baritone voice comes out saying “Sup
I’ve been in those situations. And
sometimes I’ve even pulled it off. My personal strategy is to become the strong
silent type. If I don’t move too much or don’t say too much, there is nothing
for anyone to pick up on and I can get away without a confrontation or snide
looks and whispered comments.
I’m here to tell you that if you are like
me in this regard…stop it!
We live in a society with a constitution
that protects us. Where people have fought for your limp wrist and sashayed
Did you know that it’s ok if that guy on
Grindr doesn’t like you? That he’s just not the one for you?
Did you know that it’s ok if your family
don’t approve? Or even like you? Did you know that you can choose a new family?
A family that loves and supports you, unconditionally. Did you know that?
It’s time we started living more
authentically. If someone has certain perceptions of how you should act when
equipped with a penis, that is their cross to bear and not yours, because when
you start changing who you are to please other people, then you are living
their life, and not yours and the amazing song that lives inside you will never
I have found a way to remind myself that
it’s ok to “Gayle” and be “Milly” sometimes. Thank you to Checkers for unwittingly
inspiring my metamorphosis, because one of their little pansy plants now stands
next to my bed, waiting to sprout and to remind me every time I open my eyes
that it’s ok to love each sparkle and each bangle – time to see things from a
different angle. Join me? I dare you.
The Unapologetic Pansy.
Stadler is a contributing writer for the Anova Health Institute and these are
his views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.