Instead of taking a mindless quiz, let’s have a meaningful conversation.
When I made the “Which gay stereotype are you?” quiz three months ago, I had several goals. First, I wanted to poke fun at the stereotypes that exist in the gay community, by showing how limiting they are with exaggerated answers like “YAAAAAS” or “I’m a lesbian.” I also wanted to encourage LGBT youth to unravel those stereotypes, by suggesting they step outside their comfort zone, whether that’s asking a “bromo” to try attending a pride parade or letting a “social justice warrior” know it’s ok to take off their activist hat and do something like take a silly and—I’ll admit—problematic quiz online.
I know it’s a sensitive subject and I knew my quiz wasn’t a perfect representation of it—but I wasn’t trying to make it perfect. I was just trying to introduce a new generation of LGBT youth to the topic in a fun, lighthearted way, while providing an outlet (the LGBTeen blog) for them to continue the conversation in-depth. I had already written a couple of posts about the subject, and hoped the quiz would prompt readers to explore those posts and share their own perspectives.
My goal with the quiz was never to offend anyone, but to empower everyone to be themselves, whatever that means—and to let them know that they can get involved in the movement without having to put on a sequin tube top. I knew some people wouldn’t agree with the quiz or my perspective on the community, but I didn’t want to avoid conflict—I actually eagerly anticipated it.
Personally, I’ve always loved being challenged. I love being exposed to ideas I don’t agree with and using that new information to help shape my perspective. That’s what I wanted this quiz—and LGBTeen as a whole—to do for today’s queer youth. My goal has always been about creating conversation.
It seems like I’ve succeeded—a writer at Queerty has written a critique of the quiz (we’ve republished it here) and has received numerous comments in support of his opinion.
As much as it bugs me that people don’t seem to understand where I was coming from, that they disagree with my perspective, or worst of all, that they were hurt or offended by something I wrote, I love the fact that the quiz has received such a passionate response. Reading some of the comments has actually prompted me to reevaluate my own perspective. If my quiz or the response it’s garnered has inspired anyone else to do the same, LGBTeen has achieved it’s goal.
Even though I don’t think the quiz is all bad, I’ve decided to take it down—at least for the time being—and focus on the conversation the quiz has started. And I do hope the conversation continues, both on LGBTeen and in the blogosphere.
Feel free to share your thoughts—about this or any other issue—via our “Submit” form. Your opinion may be featured on our blog—and could help someone figure out their own perspective.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say!