The Problem with the Terms “Gay” and “Straight”

When I was younger, I had a friend. He was the “prettier” of the two of us. I liked and wanted to have a more male look (beard) and he liked and wanted a more female look (baby face). That being said, I wasn’t really into girls. I mean I thought that they were hot from the neck down, but I would have much rather been with him than with a girl. He on the other hand seemed to think that being heterosexual was a choice. I didn’t feel that way at all. In college I experimented with a guy once and I honestly couldn’t even get it up. Guys just make me flaccid. I didn’t see heterosexuality as a choice, but he did. That being said, when I said I wasn’t into girls, he joked that I was gay. I was like “no no no – I am heterosexual, I just don’t like to be with girls” and he was like “no, that’s gay”.

Here is the problem with the terms “gay” and “straight”. Different people define these terms differently. People who want to identify as “straight” can sort of bend the definition to say that they’re straight and the definition can even vary across sexes (for example the male definition of “gay” and the female definition of “gay” or “lesbian” can be different across sex lines). These terms aren’t exact – they don’t have a universally agreed upon definition. To me, these terms are meaningless. They have no specific, agreed upon definition.

In the previous case, both me and my friend can say we are both totally straight, but that would be inaccurate. I think that men who think that being homosexual is a choice… I don’t think those men are straight. I think that they are bisexual or at least partly bisexual, and they just don’t say that they are. That being said, let’s say that the other person’s definition of “straight” was the universal definition. That would make the other guy straight and me gay. Which one of us is “straight”? What exact requirements have to be met in order to meet the definition? There are none – people made it up.

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