Since coming out as a gay woman, it's been interesting to see the reactions around me. Naively, the only thing that I worried about when coming out was the reactions of those around me - who were, of course, all amazingly supportive - it didn't even occur to me that, in a totally different way than if I was in a heterosexual relationship, people who weren't even in my life, people who just passed me on the street or sat next to me in an airport would have an opinion on my relationship. I guess that, being a part of a mostly accepting generation, I didn't realise until I was a part of it that a sexuality stigma was something that might exist - but does it?
Let me tell you a little story. It's relevant. Maybe a few months into our relationship Katy and I stayed with my parents in Spain - it was our first real holiday together, and it was beautiful; we lazed around in pools, ate good food and just generally enjoyed being together. Although it was one of the best holiday's that I've had - it also was the first time that I really got to see how outside parties judged our relationship. Our first look of this came from walking back through the village, wherein we encountered three Spanish teenagers - they struggled with English but seemed to manage "fucking lesbians". I kind of expected this, though, we live in a tiny Spanish village when we go to our house over there - it wasn't a surprise. What was a surprise was this attitude was replicated on the plane home by an English woman who stared uncomfortably at us for the whole journey home. Although it doesn't upset me - it just makes me furious; my relationship is mine, and yet it's judged highly by those around us that we don't even know.
Yet, I know that being a gay woman, these attitudes are almost a luxury. They're uncomfortable, my relationship is sexualised and yet - I'm lucky, because the attitudes aren't dangerous. Out of all of the LBGTAQ+ community, I'm amongst the luckiest, amongst the most accepting. Attitudes make me angry, the words that people use about us are unpleasant and yet I'm not unsafe due to my sexuality and that's a considerably better position to be in than a lot of the people in this community around me. Is there still a sexuality stigma? Undeniably, and I was naive to think that my relationship would draw out the worst of that stigma - far from it, I'm amongst the luckiest.
It's 2016, and it's about time that we got rid of this stigma, or at least worked towards it. Love is love, irregardless of gender.
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