To The "Young Men In America," As A Gay Woman, It's Always Been A Scary Time For Me
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To The "Young Men In America," As A Gay Woman, It's Always Been A Scary Time For Me

My experience as a gay female and why society should stop giving power to those who make people feel powerless

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To The "Young Men In America," As A Gay Woman, It's Always Been A Scary Time For Me
Omurden Cengiz

"It's a very scary time for young men in America"…we've all heard this and all have strong opinions. Well, it goes without saying, that as a woman it's a very scary time indeed. This has been weighing so heavily on me because I cannot turn on the news without hearing something else about another man in power with horrible accusations against him and crimes he has committed. I am a young gay woman in America, and it's always been scary, but my sexuality makes it almost cringe-worthy.

For men, it has become more and more acceptable to not own up to their actions and to be able to get away with any unwanted advances and actions. I will be at bars with my straight female friends and when guys hit on them they often times brush them off and the guys will feel offended, but most of the time just move onto another girl. If a guy approaches me and I respond with "sorry, I'm gay" I get more of a hard time. For some reason, it still baffles most men that a woman could genuinely not be at all interested in or attracted to them. I'm seen as a novelty, a challenge, more of a game to see who can get me to "switch teams". It's wildly insulting and while I laugh it off most of the time, it sits very uneasy with me and I worry that I'm suddenly more prone to unwanted advances from men.

I feel safer going out to bars if I have at least two of my male friends with me. I keep my car keys in my hand in parking lots, I make sure I am always looking around and behind me whenever I'm walking alone (regardless of the time of day), I am aware that if I show more skin, I'm more apt to get unwanted attention and will think twice about wearing something even if I really want to. I feel like most women, unfortunately, live this way now. However, being gay, my sexuality adds a different aspect that most people don't realize. Assaults happen in the gay community just as often but are rarely, if ever, discussed. It will never make the news, it's swept under the rug, and made out to be less of a problem because it's between people of the same gender.

Society has made it almost normal for a man to assault a woman at some point in his life and be able to talk his way out of it. That sends ripple effects into the LGBTQ community. If a man can do that to a woman and get away with it, it's even "easier" for a same-sex partner to get away with it. I've had a woman put her hands on me and hit me then completely brush it off as if she'd done nothing wrong. When I told her how what she did was wildly unacceptable I was met with "We're both females, I can do whatever I want. If a man were to do that to you I'd think it's not okay, but come on we're gay." Let that sink in for a minute. It definitely took me a minute to process that when I was told it. I was in shock. It's unacceptable for a man to assault a woman, but he still gets away with it. If we're both the same gender, it's just suddenly even more acceptable and you can get away with it because we're both women? That's what I was being told.

I did, in fact, question my feelings about it. Was it less of an assault because we're both females? Was it more of just horseplay? I wondered if this happened to other people in the LGBTQ+ community too? I'm not sure why I was even asking myself those questions for even a split second. It absolutely happens to other people in the LGBTQ+ community as well. It's rarely if ever, talked about though. It absolutely is just as horrible and wrong as "straight assault" and I still can't believe I was told to "justify" it because we're gay. I realized that day, that being gay doubles my chances of being harassed. My body was now either property because we're both female, or a challenge because I'm not attracted to men.

Unfortunately, this is not rare. Assault happens to so many people every day regardless of their gender or if fall into the LGBTQ+ community or not, this is America. We need to fight against what is becoming more and more normal. It is never okay for anyone to verbally, emotional, or physically abuse you. It should be unacceptable to allow people into powerful positions in this country if they have made someone feel completely powerless and victimized at any point in their life. It's not a scary time for men in America … it's a scary time for everyone….as a gay woman, honestly scary doesn't even begin to cover it.

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