Who are you? For everyone, there are so many qualities that can describe the personality and characteristics that make you, you. If you had to describe yourself, would you automatically announce and denote your sexuality? Most likely, no. People generally do not believe that their sexuality fully defines who they are.
On March 14, Vogue exclusively interviewed Kendall Jenner by opening up her “sexuality closet” — or lack thereof. Baring her private life to interviewer Jonathan Van Meter, Jenner talks about everything under the sun, like the title of the exposé states: “Her Career, Her Controversies, and Her Private Life.” Her private life being her supposed sexuality.
“Why, I wonder, does the internet seem to think you’re gay?” asked Van Meter, a question that has been asked as far back as 2015 by fans. For Jenner, rumors of her sexuality have been assumed by many who often label her as the “gay Kardashian.”
Outline writer Ann-Derick Gaillot provides some evidence in her article that includes hyperlinks from tabloids, but also social media tweets from fans who believe Jenner is hiding something far beyond the clothes hanging in her closet.
These rumors have apparently escalated in the last couple of years and as of recently, her sexuality became a topic after her younger sister Kylie’s announcement about her baby. Tweets went wild — all ready for Jenner to come out.
the real question is when will kendall jenner finally tell us she's gay
— C. (@notwokecait) February 5, 2018
Can Kendall Jenner just come out already and be the lesbian icon all of us girls need to see?
— Hannah Slone (@HannahRaeSlone) January 27, 2018
Now just waiting for the news to say, @KendallJenner is gay. Yay 😏👏🏽🌈
— eileen 🤙🏽 (@missecheee) February 6, 2018
It’s a little bit blunt to ask someone what their sexuality is, but Jenner replied by defended her sexuality as best as she could, stating in the interview that she has “nothing to hide.”
Reading the interview, there are a ton of issues that are worth noting. Jenner is stereotyped in the article as “a tomboy who collects vintage cars, prefers sneaks and jeans and a hoodie, and rolls with a squad of mostly guys — is not gay.”
This marginalizes people who identify as a lesbian in one distinct stereotype and sparks the idea that females who are lesbians can only really like cars and be casual with their attire, like “tomboys.”
Throughout the LGBTQ+ community, this is not the case at all. People are allowed to be who they are and if they like a certain thing or like to dress and feel comfortable in a particular style, then that should not determine sexuality.
If appearance and interests were the sole factors in determining a person’s sexuality, things would probably be a lot different in the world.
For those who might not know everything about the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kendall Jenner is the one who usually spends her time behind closed doors and away from the limelight. Her life is private and she prefers — as she states in the interview — to keep it private.
Justifiably, one of the reasons she believes many people assume and question her sexuality is because she is unlike her sisters on social media, who publicize their relationships on any platform they can get their hands on. Keeping your life private is not a bad thing and many celebrities do keep their private life exactly what it should be: private.
Questioning her sexuality (despite the fact that it has been deduced that Jenner and NBA start Blake Griffin are, indeed, an item) which has been kept private only seems to produce one thing: popularity to the article for giving “hard-hitting gossip” that’s not even gossip at all, just problematic controversy.
The topic of Jenner’s sexuality comes up only twice, but the topic even coming up once is problematic. In an article by Cosmo in response to the Vogue interview, it’s clearly pointed out how the interviewer and the response from Jenner poke at the LGBTQ+ community.
A stereotype that is commonly assumed by many is that people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community have to keep their sexuality hidden from the real world.
This comes from her quick and easy response of “I have nothing to hide, I would not hide something like that.” At that moment, Jenner might not have noticed that she herself was implicating that LGBTQ+ community members keep their sexuality hidden.
Statistics that were compiled from the Human Rights Campaign show that around 26 percent of LGBTQ+ youth fear that they will not be accepted by family, friends and others around them.
Such a small percentage only gets bigger when looking at the increase of many LGBTQ+ community members noting that there is still negativity spread throughout the world, even with the changes to legalizing marriage and other initiatives.
This is not to say that Jenner and her interviewer are fully to blame for any issues that arise from her sexuality needing to be justified. Most of the time, celebrities themselves are constantly questioned or have had their sexuality assumed because of a role that they have played or much like Jenner because they kept their life private.
Justifying anyone’s sexuality based on their actions does not automatically make a person gay, straight, bisexual or anything else, not because of their IMBD or who they post on their Instagram (Jenner was speculated to be a lesbian because she only posts photos of herself with female friends).
Actors like Darren Criss, Jack Falahee and Zac Efron are just a few examples of male celebrities who have had their sexualities assumed because of their acting careers.
The LGBTQ+ community is an amazing group that really creates a discourse community where people can relate and identify with each other. They believe that you should come out and express who you are on your own time and on your own terms.
To assume someone’s sexuality — even if you are a part of the community or just straight — is something that shouldn’t be done.
Many of the people who have assumed Jenner’s sexuality were actually people who identify as part of the community. It is perfectly okay to want to be supportive of anyone who does identify within the LGBTQ+ community, but to basically assume that they are in the community does not justify what they themselves believe.
As someone who identifies within the LGBTQ+ community, I fully understand that the coming out process is hard and that members are often met with many challenges and assumptions.
In a day and age when the coming-out process is still a raw and emotional moment for many, the thought of even assuming someone’s sexuality should not be publically displayed or forced out of someone.
Jenner was bombarded with the question and the interviewer himself stereotyped her and made the exchange likely as awkward as it was to read. Everyone is allowed to have a private life and the opportunity to be who they are.