Does enjoying something you’ve enjoyed for years count as “appropriating gay culture” if that thing becomes popular in the LGBTQ+ community? Can a straight person who has never been a fan of the thing be the one to tell you that?
A Reddit user going by GoodEveEuropeThrow found themselves needing some judgment on those questions after someone told her her love of Eurovision is “appropriating gay culture” and inappropriate since the Original Poster (OP) is straight.
“AITA for supposedly appropriating gay culture as a straight woman?”
AITA, by the way, stands for “Am I The A**hole?” It’s a subReddit where people come and explain the conflicts and situations they’ve found themselves in.
Other users cast votes using a simple abbreviation system.
- NTA: Not The A**hole
- YTA: You’re The A**hole
- NAH: No A**holes Here
- ESH: Everyone Sucks Here
After a chat that seemed like absolute madness to her, OP really wanted to know, was she the a**hole?
Here is her post:
“I love Eurovision. I grew up watching it, and really got into the fan community as a teen and basically dedicate myself to watching multiple foreign shows selecting contestants every spring and chatting about it all year round.”
“This year, since the competition was cancelled due to the world events, fans have started streaming old contests and chat/vote on them a weekend a month as if it was the real thing.”
“Last weekend was this month’s event, so I spent Saturday evening watching an old contest and tweeting/chatting in groups about it. I was doing this in the living room while my family watched TV.”
“My little brother’s girlfriend was round, and after I while she asked what I was doing. I explained what it was and she said that it was ‘really weird’ that I, as a straight woman, was so involved with something so synonymous with the gay community.”
“I said that there are loads of straight people who enjoy it, and while she’s right that over the years it has become the ‘gay Olympics’, no one really minds as long as you’re polite and accepting of everyone in the year-round fan community at least.”
“She didn’t believe me, and said that I was probably making people really uncomfortable by imposing myself on the community.”
“I tweeted about this (from my Eurovision account) in a ‘omg you will not believe what someone just said’ kind of way and had a lot of people, straight, gay, bi and none of the above, say that of course sexuality doesn’t mean you can/can’t be a fan of something, however a few people did say that Eurovision has morphed into a ‘thing’ for the gay community, and that while I’m welcome, I need to ‘check myself’ and remember that because I’m not a representative of that group, I shouldn’t try to act as if I am a voice on something that LGBT people connect with.”
“Now I don’t know whether I am imposing on people because I’m not the supposed target audience, like they said, and if I need to apologize to the community and my brother’s girlfriend for being wrong.”
It doesn’t take a mega-fan to see some mega-problems here.
“NTA. What a ridiculous thing to say.”
“I’ll admit, I don’t know much about Eurovision, but to my knowledge I thought it was a singing/music competition?”
“And I also thought we were years beyond referencing general performing arts activities as ‘gay’ activities? I guess not :/”
“Also, why is a straight woman policing you about gay culture?” – Santa_Sangre
“NTA your brother’s girlfriend is not the gatekeeper for gay culture. She is being too woke. She should probably take a nap.” – SophLurk2018
“NTA. Little brothers girlfriend shouldn’t be gatekeeping queer culture. Eurovision is a song contest not aimed or tailored for any subset of people other than Abba fans and Europeans.”
“It’s not the same as something like drag culture because drag culture originated within the community. Don’t check yourself.”
“It’s f*cking Eurovision and it will only ever truly belong to Sweden (and sometimes Norway) (and Malta sometimes) (and Denmark a few times).” monday-night-fukbal
“NTA. Dutch person here. It’s meant for everyone who wants to see it.”
“Just treat people as you’d like to be treated and all is fine. Wherever she got the idea Eurovision is gay culture wtf?”
“I’ve never noticed that in the slightest. Just because some artist are more eccentric doesn’t mean it’s gay culture.” – mera1506
“NTA. It’s wild to me that ‘something popular among much of the LGBT community’ could be interpreted as ‘something only members of that community can publically participate in’.”
“Your brother’s girlfriend is acting as if you were forcibly ‘colonizing’ a gay bar with your straight friends and pushing out the actual gay people. You’re watching TV.”
“And posting about it. Which is something virtually everyone does in some fashion.”
“This is like saying that once a musician has become popular with a specific sub-community or scene, you need to ‘let them have it’ and not ‘intrude’ in participating in the enjoyment of that musician if you aren’t part of the scene. And that’s unreasonable.”
“Here’s the thing: you weren’t posting about Eurovision and the gay community, you were posting about your own enjoyment and perspective. That anyone could even think this was problematic is just crazy.” – iglidante
“NTA. I’m gay and f*cking hate Eurovision. Almost as much as I hate straight people telling me what I should be offended by.” – banjaxedmini
“NTA. Music is for everyone. ‘Gay culture’ often refers to what cis gay men like, and while people who are marginalized create their own spaces to enjoy music and dancing in safety, that doesn’t mean all elements of that culture are off-limits to everyone else.”
“That does NOT mean that straight women should have a hen do at the gay club. WTF ladies, no, gay clubs are not a theme park. So I get being protective.”
“Eurovision is not the gay club though. It’s a celebration of music and culture created after WWII.”
“Discussions about gender expression, LGBTQIA+ rights, the ethics of holding events in authoritarian countries, the rights of Palestinians, preservation of culture, and the value of music in hard times happen during Eurovision.”
“It’s camp and occasionally really weird (hi there Germany) and sometimes beautiful.” – mongoooses
“Why is a straight woman policing you on LGBT+ issues? Why is singing only a gay thing?”
“And why are random internet strangers telling you to ‘check yourself’ after rightfully pointing out that singing does not equal gay? NTA.” – bluedew1
After a few rounds of comments, the OP gave everyone a bit of an update.
“Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to read and comment. I think I’m aware now that this isn’t something that I should be too worried about, especially in the specific context of Eurovision.”
“For those asking, we’re British (European community implications aside, Eurovision is kind of like Marmite for some people here so that might explain the reactions, I don’t know), and I’ve since found out that the girlfriend hasn’t ever actually seen Eurovision, so I am definitely considering her opinion much less on this.”
OP was voted absolutely NTA in this situation. Most commenters—gay, straight, or other—saw the girlfriend’s behavior as white-knighting and frankly insulting.