On Feb. 21 a TikToker named Kyle Royce posted a short video claiming that he “made a new sexuality,” called “Super Straight.”
In Royce’s words, “Since straight men like myself get called transphobic because I wouldn’t date a trans woman. They’re like, ‘Why? That’s a female’. ‘No, that’s not a real woman to me.’ So now I only date the opposite gender, women, that are born women, so you can’t say I’m transphobic now because that’s my sexuality.”
Since it’s initial posting, the clip has been deleted, but that didn’t stop it from getting reposted and going viral. If you’re on the app, it’s not unlikely that you’ve seen a TikTok with the hashtag #StraightPride somewhere on your For You Page, (FYP), at least once. This concept of “Super Straight” has gained traction on major social media outlets such as Twitter. It has also been co-opted by far-right activists and users on 4Chan — insert unsurprised eye roll here.
Obviously, all of this is dripping with blatant transphobia and homophobia.
The “Super Straight” movement tells us a lot of things about the way our society handles gender and sexuality.
For one, it shows us that people that hold worldviews akin to “Super Straight” reduce gender and sex down to human physiology and nothing more. What they think determines a person’s gender is their sexual organs.
Additionally, the “Super Straight” movement shows us how we aren’t doing a good job of educating others on sexuality. We tell men, specifically, that in order to fulfill these ideals of true manhood — to succeed as a man, they have to date and bed cisgender, straight-passing women.
Anything outside of that is seen as deviant. You’re not a “real man” and you’re likened to being an emasculated, weak-willed, perverted failure.
When men express transphobia and homophobia in this way, they’re showing deep insecurity. They’re afraid of being seen as less than. We don’t teach them the nuances of sexuality and gender. Rather, we hold them to a rigid, unrealistic standard. As a result, they lash out and troll others to cope with what they think is a “shameful attraction.”
When we discuss this new movement, one would hope that it is at least asking us to critically evaluate our own experiences and that of others, right? It should prompt us to think about genitalia preferences, gender and how it all fits into sexuality.
That’s not what “Super Straight” asks of us.
It asks us to make a mockery of the queer experience — hence, “I’m coming out as Super Straight” — while degrading the humanity and dignity of trans women.
It is a joke, and it begs us to laugh at the punchline: the LGBTQ community.
So, what do we do?
How should we, as members of an institution that calls us to treat others with humanity, handle this wave of bigotry?
At first, it might seem right to call them out. One might find it helpful to make a TikTok duet and point out the fallacies in their arguments or go after the movement’s account on Twitter. Unfortunately, this is what they want. They want us to call them out so they can mock us as, “Superphobic,” — another bad-faith appropriation of queer culture.
Instead, I propose we do two things: educate and dismiss.
With education, read articles, share infographics on Instagram and understand why this ideology is problematic — how it ties into larger issues. Make sure you’re educating others too.
Then, dismiss the movement.
Let “Super Straight” suffocate from the lack of media-oxygen. Eventually these people will grow up or they’ll find a new thing to troll. And in the meantime, direct your energy to helping queer and trans people. That is where activism is always needed.
At the end of the day, this will all pass. It is not worth being taken seriously, and we should not take it seriously.
So, to all the Super Straights out there, what can I say except, in the words of straight people when they condescend the LGBTQ Community, it’s just a phase.