One of the things that I’ve never quite been able to explain to my Kinsey-0 boyfriend (for those unfamiliar with the Kinsey scale) is why and how I act queerer around my GSM (gender and sexual minority) friends than around him. And while he’s since had opportunities to witness the phenomenon, the best verbal explanation I’ve been able to come up with is knowing one’s audience. To wit, there are things that my fellow friends of Dorothy would find funny that my friends who don’t have Dorothy in common might not.
With this in mind, thank [deity] that I’m not the only queer kid in Math 5 (Introduction to Abstract Algebra) this year. I mean, there’s only so many times that a prof can write “bijective homo” on the board without eliciting a few jokes—so long as I have an audience that I know will appreciate them. In my case, one of my bijective friends took on the role of co-comedian, humoring my attempts at humor and coming up with jokes which, I’m sure, were much funnier than mine.
A particular favorite of ours is debating the correspondence of properties of maps to different sexualities. Bijectivity clearly corresponds to bisexuality, but should injective be assigned to straight and surjective to gay, or vice versa? The matter has never been settled, mostly because there are plenty of potential puns based on “one-to-one” and “onto” going both ways.
This isn’t to say that our cis, straight classmates don’t appreciate the humor; in fact, many of them joined in the joking whenever it started. It’s just nice to know that there will be at least one person around who will understand the topics that the jokes are rooted in, both the nerdy and the acronym-y. Plus, a good laugh is an excellent coping tool when you’re up late doing Math 5 sets.