Dear KitschMix,

I know there are lots of ways to present ourselves externally, but I feel like I don’t fit into the queer community because I don’t dress the part.

I dress in a way that’s casual yet feminine way. I don’t have any visible tattoos, and only have my ears pierced. I don’t have the ‘cool’ factor and I feel like I don’t fit into the queer community… like people would look at me and wonder what I’m doing at certain events.

My sexual orientation is very confusing for a lot of people and my sister flat out said that it’s hard for people to tell if I’m gay or straight, so it’s not even like I give off a ‘straight’ vibe, it’s more like people are unsure about where I stand.

So, I’m just curious about others like me. Is it important to fit for me to fit in with the queer community? Do I need to participate in queer-based activities to be gay? Or is it ok to do my own thing?

I find myself falling in pretty much the same category as you do in terms of fashion. I’m not unfashionable or masculine, but I’m not high fashion or feminine either. I prefer sweat pants or jeans over skirts most of the time, and I’d rather wear a tank top than a blouse. Still, none of this makes me “look gay” – and it took me a long time to be OK with that.

The truth is, clothes don’t really say much about your sexuality anyway. There are a lot of stereotypes associated with our appearance, but in practical use, those stereotypes aren’t worth very much. Unless you get a rainbow tattoo on your arm that says “#1 Lesbian” – none of the stuff you described would give your sexuality away anyway – and that’s probably a good thing!

As far as fitting in with the queer community… I don’t think anyone really fits in. We just find some people we get along with, and the more we hang out with them, the more similar we become. I don’t think it’s specific to any circle – it’s actually been said that you become like the five people you spend the most time with. While it was originally said in a much different context, I think it holds true for most of our life.

There’s not really such a thing as “queer-based activities”, either. There are activities that a number of queer people participate in, but that’s more a matter of personal preference. I think it’s most important that you find activities you enjoy, and don’t worry about making sure that they’re “gay activities”. Be yourself, and let people get to know the real you!

(Besides, unless you’re sleeping with them, it shouldn’t matter to them who you’re sleeping with – or thinking about!)

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