Like many of us in the LGBTQ community, I have a super power: invisible sexuality.
I’m not alone. Most LGBTQ individuals have chosen to remain invisible during our lives, unlike other minorities. It’s harder to identify someone’s sexuality compared to their race. Unless an assumption is corrected, one is assumed to be straight, leading to the decision to correct or remain invisible.
As a white man, I didn’t experience the same unpleasant past as visible minorities, who didn’t get a say in what others thought of them. For better or worse, I did. I was aware of negative opinions about people like me through jokes, derogatory terms, scripture quotes, and stereotypical gestures. My invisible sexuality came in quite handy on many occasions – sometimes when it was in the best interest of my physical safety!
Many of us kept our sexuality a secret from those who creatively expressed their negative opinions about LGBTQ individuals in front of us. The lasting memories rode a rainbow wave through time into every aspect of our adult lives, from relationships to careers. Even if we’re out now, we know some people still hold negative thoughts about us, even if they’re better at hiding them now that they know about us. And with that info, we can still choose to become invisible: to the boss, neighbor, client, colleague, prospect, or acquaintance. So, we correct the assumption. Or we don’t.