Fact: At the age of 11 or 12, I'd never really heard of the terms "gay" or "lesbian". Fact: At age 11 or 12, I became friends with both a gay male and a lesbian female. Fact: I had an inkling, even then, that both these people were somehow... different in terms of sexuality, even though I had no discernible clue what "sexuality" really meant at this age.
My point? As far as I can remember, I've always been aware of homosexuality and never really thought twice about it being something particularly damning, wrong or disturbing. I played with and bonded with kids who accepted me for who I was, and I accepted them for who they were. I can certainly recall times though during my childhood, where I mocked someone's high pitched "girly" voice, or someone else's "boyish" manner of walking. I was not a perfect child by any means. Overall though, I can't say that I've ever turned my back on anyone based on their sexual orientation, or their displayed social behaviours based on stereotypical gender roles. And I'm pretty proud to say that my thoughts and feelings on the topic have remained fairly consistent as I've continued into adulthood.
This brings me to a couple of realizations.
FOR ONE... I think "girl crushes" are normal, and I'm not ashamed to say so. When I see someone who exudes and oozes an undeniable level of beauty, sex appeal and general good vibery about themselves... I fangirl on the inside. Guy or girl- it really makes no difference to me. If you're hot, you're hot, and attraction on that surface level is in my opinion, just human nature. Recognizing, acknowledging and being drawn to feminine beauty is not abnormal to me, as a 'straight' woman. I enjoy looking at the features that make up what I find to be an attractive woman. I enjoy seeing the female body and how broadly the structures and shapes of a woman can vary and still be extremely beautiful. Like introversion and extroversion... like autism... and like a rainbow itself, I think that same-sex physical attraction can be quantified within a spectrum. To put it bluntly: There's levels to that shit. And, to further clarify... I'm also of the mind that physical attraction and sexual attraction aren't mutually exclusive. Physical attraction is often a significant part of sexual attraction, but it is hardly ever all of it.
Think about it! Sexual attraction can result from many things outside of simple physical appearance. Factors such as: financial status, social status/popularity, smell, intelligence, tone of voice or accent, artistic or culinary talents, general disposition, or even rumored sexual prowess... These can all play a part in sexual attraction (in addition to the physical aspect). So just because I find you hot or easy on the eyes... it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm also entertaining the thought of a romantic or sexual relationship with you.
FOR TWO... Much like I've developed an internal "cringe" whenever I hear the N-word thrown around, I've also realized just how irritating it is to me whenever I hear the term "no homo" or "pause" spill out of a guy's mouth when they are about to (or right after they) compliment another guy's physical appearance or style. I'm sure some variation of this probably exists among women as well, but I've only really seen it first hand from men.
The sheer fact that a grown man feels the explicit need to issue a"NO HOMO" disclaimer before engaging in a bro-hug or before saying something as innocent as "Nice beard, bruh!", is sad to me. Instead of sounding like the alpha-male they are trying to be, they really just end up coming off as insecure and/or borderline unsure about their own sexuality. It's almost as if they are the Q (Questioning) being referred to in "LGBTQ". So, my advice to straight fellas? If you don't want to come off sounding homophobic OR like a "questioning" homosexual, please just skip the disclaimer and get 'straight' (pun intended) to the bro-hug.
As vast and as populated as this world is, I just don't see a valid reason to deny a person's attractiveness (or hotness) based on their gender or sexuality. We were all cut from the same original "species" cloth, so why do we find it so awkward or taboo to openly acknowledge someone's physical appeal because they so happen to be the same gender as us? While I'm not yet well-read or educated enough on subjects like sex vs. gender, or gender fluidity, I personally think that sexuality itself can be fluid.
All I know is that as a 'straight' woman, I can comfortably and unashamedly say that if in some parallel universe, the likes of a Rihanna, a Beyoncé, an Olivia Wilde or a Ruby Rose were to be matched with me on Tinder and ask me out on a date... I'm showing up QUICK, FAST AND IN A MUH'FUCKIN HURRY! Flirt game be like...
.... We'd probably share a plate of cheesy nachos, knock back some shots, compare tattoos, and end the night with a smooch on the cheek and an awkwardly long and handsy hug, due to... you know... drunken, non-verbal miscues. A girl can dream, right?