"Are you going to watch the Super Bowl today?"
"No, I don't watch sports."
"Oh, right, I forgot, you're gay."
For the record, other than being attracted to men, not women, there are very few things that I do because I'm gay. No, I don't watch the Superbowl. This has NOTHING to do with anything other than the fact that I don't like watching sports. It also has to do with the fact that I'm Canadian, why on earth would I get excited about an American sporting event? I don't know who's playing, I don't know where they are playing, I won't know who wins, I won't care who wins.
I don't like sports.
I am gay.
Those are two separate statements that have nothing to do with each other.
The person who said this to me isn't the least bit homophobic, he's a warm, welcoming guy who is perfectly comfortable with his sexuality and with mine. I like him as a person. He's knows I'm writing about this today. He's good with it. He recognizes that he 'slipped' into stereotypical thinking (which is different from prejudicial thinking) and, for the record, we both laughed it off.
I bring this forward because I've realized that we all have to move away from both prejudice and stereotypes, as different phenomenon, when dealing with people. Also because I was forced to watch hockey and baseball as a child because it was seen as 'unnatural' for me not to be interested in these 'boy' things. I detested those hours for two reasons, first - I don't like watching sports; second it was a clear message to me about how broken I was because I wasn't exactly like every other boy.
Stereotypes hurt as much as prejudice does.
If you run into me today, let's talk about the Oscars.