Unless you’re talking about the happy look of having had a cock in your bum sometime in the last 24 hours, there aren’t really any innate physical manifestations of being queer. The fact is, what you do in your bedroom can be a secret to just about every other person in the world if you indulge solely in onanism. Or your partner is a robot. Or he/she has a brain lesion that causes recurring retrograde amnesia (or if you’re just that mindblowingly good).
Anyway. My point is that being queer is something that can easily be buried since it’s not evident unless you act upon it.
Which is why I wanted to say something about stereotypes. (Which was what I originally intended to speak of)
The fact is that the community builds up its own stereotypes to conform to. They’re quite useful for many reasons. This is going to sound horrible and presumptuous, but I’ve come to understand that one of the essential queer narrative involves the inability for queers to find each other. (And now for the painfully obvious) The libidinally linked desire to meet others like you allows the use of stereotypes to be useful, since they provide an easy way of telling whether or not someone else would reciprocate your gross and wrong feelings. It’s like a secret handshake (and, at a certain point in time it sort of blew up and now we have the Super Flaming Queer) and it only works if both parties know what it is. Additionally, people are lazy or confused, and stereotypes serve as a clean and easy way for closeted people to move into the big queer world—they become the pot of soup into which you throw carrots and rutabagas grown in your backyard.
I don’t think anyone would have guessed I was queer until I actually sort of came out two years ago. In high school I was just a strange girly kid. In that sense, I suppose I avoided being labelled/put into a box. The two queer kids at my school, though, were also sort of alienating because they conformed so perfectly into the stereotypical case of gay. I mean, I knew I liked dick, sure, but it wasn’t helpful at all to realize that the only other people that liked dick were also deplorably fabulous. But they were there, and they did their thing, and I guess in that sense they were empowering. That type of behavior was a necessary evil just to show that they were out there, and it was important to acknowledge them as existing human beings. Were they the result of mass media? Probably. Is that OK? Probably. Did other less flaming gays exist? Yes, but I didn’t really do anything about it. In a sense, the stereotype serves the purpose in that it makes gays exceedingly visible, even though they could have just worn rainbow stickers on their backpacks.
That’s all. I just wanted to complicate the picture a bit by saying that stereotypes, while limiting, are more than just convenient stickers outsiders can plop onto queers.