Inequality Of Acceptance Of The LGBTQ Community


By Nikkia Bell

“That’s for girls” and “man up” are just two of the phrases that young men hear from society. These phrases manipulate young boys into thinking that they have to act or dress a certain way to be boys, which is one of the reasons why gay men aren’t as accepted as gay women.

A prime example is the sports industry. In the WNBA, at least three players have come out: Brittney Griner, Glory Johnson and Diana Taurasi. But in the NBA, no players are openly gay.

From experience I know of people who will accept a gay woman but not a gay man. I have friends who love me for who I am. They have no problem with my sexuality but when they see a gay man they talk about how they don’t understand why or how he could be gay.  From an early age, men are told to “be a man” and are forced by society to act according to stereotypes of men. Women have also been forced to act according to stereotypes, but they’ve been successful at transcending many of those stereotypes and boundaries.

Men put expectations on other men as much as women do. If a man doesn’t dress or “act like a man,” people assume that they’re gay. This is toxic and can lead to men being insecure about themselves.

Nathan Walker, who is attending UGA’s Media And Leadership camp, is openly gay and dealt with opression from his parents after he was outed at the age of 12.

Not a lot of LGBT people live in Walker’s hometown, Fitzgerald, Georgia. “Living in the south and coming out as gay, especially as a gay man is kinda frowned upon and hush hushed. I wasn’t allowed to expressed myself at school. I wasn’t allowed to be myself. I had to hide it and be oppressed.”

Walker believes that gay men aren’t as accepted as gay women because gay women are seen as fantasies for heterosexuls and some straight men get uncomfortable around gay men.

If people realized that you don’t have to be super masuline to be a man, then some men would feel more comfortable in their own skin. Gay men aren’t attracted to every man they lay their eyes on and they aren’t out to get straight men.

According to the UCLA School Of Law Williams Institute There are more gay women than men in every state in the U.S besides South and North Dakota. These assumptions are the reason why people of the LGBTQ community, especially men, have trouble coming out. They worry most about what others would think and say about them.

The Trevor Project states that LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual youth.

Next time you have the urge to tell a boy to “man up,” consider the consequences. It could be a matter of life and death.

Being A Masculine Woman And Non-Binary In The LGBTQ Commuity


By Nikkia Bell

As a masculine woman I’ve always been comfortable with myself, but I noticed that when I’m around unfamiliar people I feel uncomfortable. I worry about what they may think about me and whether or not they’re judging me. I’m not used to feeling uncomfortable and this is something I recently discovered.

When someone meets me for the first time they assume that I’m a guy and they refer to me as one. Some people even think that I would prefer to be called male pronouns. When I have to correct people and tell them that I’m a girl it’s embarrassing, especially when people think its funny. When I assume I’m never going to see someone again and they misgender me I just ignore it. No one wants to correct every person they encounter about their gender, It’s a waste of time and inconvenient.  

My drumline instructor still misgenders me after knowing me for two years and I’ve told him multiple times that I’m a female. At this point I don’t care whether he gets it right or wrong anymore.

When I’m in public with my mom and they talk to someone they know or meet someone, the person asks, “Is this your son?” My mom used to correct them and say “no this is my daughter.” Now she just says “yes” and keeps it moving. These situations don’t bother me. I find it funny because my mom feels the same way I do about it. I correct people in public sometimes and other times I don’t care.

Opinion writer for The Red And Black, MK Manoylov, identifies as non-binary but is leaning towards being transgender. They’ve dealt with being misgendered as well.

“I work at the Grill and I was cleaning the women’s bathroom and I forgot to lock the door behind me. A woman came in and started screaming because they thought I was a man.”

Manoylov uses the men’s bathroom to avoid situations like this.

“I understand how I look I’m very male-passing so I understand that women feel uncomfortable with that,” said Manoylov.

Being misgendered is something that can’t be avoided. People can’t help the way they look or the way people perceive them. Yet, being misgendered and other situations that LGBTQ people encounter are uncomfortable to be in.

Hopefully as society becomes more accepting of LGBTQ people and issues, hopefully people will stop making gender assumptions. As noted earlier, I’m very comfortable with myself. You should be, too.