VOICES: THE GUY
I originally had a different title for this voice. I wanted Sam to write about what it was like to be gay in your twenties. But after reading his piece it became clear that it was such an insignificant part of his identity that it would have been ignorant to keep that title because it wouldn’t be serving the person Sam is at his core.
Sam has a wild sense of humour, an infectious smile and rocks pale pink overalls like it’s nobody’s business. He adores his friends and lives for the weekend and the “gay part” is barely a part at all.
The other thing is that people who are gay in their twenties already know what it’s like to be gay in their twenties. They don’t need it spelt out for them, they don’t need to be told how to feel, and they don’t need to read someone else’s opinion on the matter. The only thing that is relevant is who we think we are in our soul, and where you sit on the sexuality spectrum may or may not be included.
So this is called The Guy and I’ll let Sam explain the rest.
What’s it like to be gay in your twenties?
I had a hard time writing this piece, there just seemed to be too many answers to this huge question. I mean, to start off, it’s great. I love being in my twenties and I love being gay. But I think my problem is, I don’t know what it’s really like to be a gay in their twenties. It’s confusing I know but hear me out.
I have a lot of friends that fall on any part of the sexuality spectrum: straight, gay, bisexual. And many of my gay friends wear that label with pride. GAY is emblazoned on their identity and they wear this big gay badge with pride. But somehow that isn’t me.
I’m not ashamed of who I am or my sexuality, far from it. But I don’t know if I really factor in being gay as a big part of my identity. When describing myself, the words ‘idiotic’ and ‘millennial’ and ‘happy’ would come far before the word ‘gay’.
I’m like any twenty-year-old. I want to find my true love and settle down and “just be happy already”, while at the same time wanting to drink myself silly every weekend and make out with strangers. I have a crippling student loan debt and plans to travel the world. I’m terrified of the future, while at the same time so excited to see what’s ahead.
I have the same anxieties as any other twenty-year-old, and the same fun they do too. I just happen to use Grindr as opposed to Tinder, and kiss members of the same sex. I’m still the same cliched twenty-something that will have a green juice in the morning because “I wanna be Fitspo”, but will then ruin it with twenty dumplings later that day. I demand my friends take a picture of me for my Instagram and never upload it because my double chin is too big, just like everyone else.
This probably just sounds like some trite self-entitled piece about equality and all that preachy shit, but to me it’s not. Being in your twenties is about finding yourself and your identity, and for some, being gay is a larger part of that identity than others. I’d feel like a liar trying to speak as if being gay really effects who I am.
Instead I’d prefer to think of myself as a bumbling twenty-year-old somehow trying to become a grownup, who also happens to be gay. I guess that just shows how far society has come, that what used to make people a shunned minority now barely affects me at all.
Words by Sam Sinnott