What would you do if I told you that everyone is gay? Assumedly, you would vehemently object, citing the socially- and culturally-defined “normal” orientation that is heterosexuality. But let's say everyone were gay. Then, what if — with the stigma of LGBTQ-ness out of the way — our identities were just accepted in a way that LGBTQ identities, currently, are not?
That's the concept behind which Everyone Is Gay was founded. Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid started the website back in 2010, which was originally going to be a funny advice column. Instead, it blossomed into the organization it is now, complete with hilarious advice-giving, school visiting, book publishing, and other wonderful things.
Several months ago a friend recommended that I check out the site. As a then-closeted queer teenager, I obediently followed her advice. I was not disappointed. After watching one video and reading one or two written advice columns, I was basically in love.
For the next few months, I obsessively read through their advice category about coming out, doin' the sex, gender, identity, relationships, how to deal with friends/family/coworkers, religion, and self-esteem. I watched most of their videos (they involve lip-synching, dancing, funny/adorable interactions between Kristin and Dannielle, and the joy of hearing real, live humans ask thought-provoking questions like, “How do you deal with bitch-ass hoes?”).
If everyone didn't tell us that being not-straight and not-cisgender is terribly wrong and abnormal, people wouldn't question their sexuality or gender identity and expression. There would be nothing to question, because “normal” would be whatever felt natural to each individual. In essence, we would be human before we were gay. Kristin and Dannielle helped me regain my sense of personhood, and helped me feel safe liberating myself from a cramped existence inside the proverbial closet.
I challenge you to start seeing the world through the lens Everyone Is Gay likes to see it: when an LGBTQ person asks for help, take the gayness out of the equation. Then you'll realize that all they're asking for is support, love, and understanding—no different from anyone else. Perhaps if we start thinking about things this way, all of our lives will eventually be unhindered by the fear of being who we are.
Everyone Is Gay is now on tour with their new book, This Is a Book For Parents of Gay Kids.
Written by Odelia Kaly.