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What It Looks Like to Have a Crush on a Straight Guy

What It Looks Like to Have a Crush on a Straight Guy

What It Looks Like to Have a Crush on a Straight Guy

It happens to the best of us.

buffyonabudget

Let's be real. If you're queer, chances are that at one point in your life, you've probably fell for someone you could never have (i.e. you've crushed on a straight person). It happens, and whenever you look back on it, you probably feel a little silly for liking someone you know you shouldn't have. But a queer person having a crush on a straight person is far from a silly or simple issue. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to the dynamics that form between heterosexual and queer people, many which are beyond our immediate control.

The experience can be lonely, intensely stressful, and emotionally damaging in any number of ways, but the reality is that you are not alone.

One of the biggest elements in the formation of a straight crush is the dominant homonormative values in queer culture that empower queer folk to aspire to be and to love those of us who are most successfully able to mimic heterosexual culture. It's only natural then that the line between heterosexual people and straight-acting queer people becomes blurred. We're taught to love straightness so much that we fall for people we can never have in lieu of those standing visibly and openly before us.

It's tragic, really, how we're doomed to cry and fantasize about someone who is as interested in us as we are in the genders/sexes we're not physically or romantically attracted to. It's in this place that we begin to question everything. Are they straight or gay? Is there something more between us? He texted me first, does that mean he was thinking about me? He wants to go out... so is this a date? We can never really answer these questions because we don't want to. Most of the time we already know what the answers are, but are so lonely and desperate for love in a world where love is portrayed as both a necessity and attainable.

We lie to ourselves because it's easier to love people who look and act like our oppressors, because, of course, they make us hate each other so we don't hate them. When they're nice to us or treat us differently than we're used to being treated, it makes us feel special and powerful, like maybe we're the person who changes everything. The idea itself has been romanticized and fetishized so powerfully in the gay community that it's nearly impossible to fully escape its influence either internally, externally, or both.

What ultimately has to happen, as a proposed solution, is that the community needs to portray queer love in more inclusive, less homonormative ways. Make feminine gay men of color the subject of a main character's love and attention. Show trans characters forming complex romantic relationships, instead of stereotypically sexual ones. Write stories about the diverse realities of what it means to be bisexual or queer and disabled. Until we do this, people will continue to deny the media's influence while unconsciously eating right out of its hands, lusting after the people it encourages us to.

Having a straight crush is hard. These crushes stretch deep within us, reaching emotional caves within our system that we didn't know were there. You're not stupid for falling for straight people, nor are you a fool. The reality is that human beings, of all genders, are capable of sending mixed signals. Human beings are also totally capable of doing things just for the attention. Don't let yourself be used by someone for egotistical, mental, or emotional gain. Know when enough is enough. Love people who love you, and not just people who love to be loved by you.

But at the end of the day, what you'll probably end up doing is following your heart. Your truth is your truth and no essay is likely to stop you from crushing on whoever it is you're crushing on. Just know that you're not alone, and that if and when things get bad, you'll have a queer community to support you, because we know how it feels.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Buffy Flores

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.