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Is Our Obsession With ‘Straight-Acting’ Guys Perverse (And Really Harmful)?

hotjock6

Little girls who act like boys are known as tomboys. Little boys who act like girls are known as faggots. My friend Charles and I were faggots at eight years-old. He was constantly reprimanded by teachers for screaming like a girl at recess. He could reach Mariah Carey ear-bloodying pitches. If he has transitioned to a female I would not be surprised—look me up on Facebook, girl!

My mother grew up in Texas, the only girl among two football-playing brothers and an ex-military father. As a child, I was probably the gayest person she had ever met. She struggled with wanting me to be happy, wanting to protect me, and probably being embarrassed my effeminate behavior. She allowed me to have the movie, Grease, as my Bar-Mitzvah party theme (complete with larger-than-life cutouts of the Pink Ladies) Oh, and she would tap my wrists to let me know when they were limp.

boyindress

Charles and I were at my house, busy dressing up, satiating our repressed femininity like a stoner munching out on Cool Ranch Doritos. Sashaying to a Pointer Sisters cassette tape, my mother knocked on the door. I frantically threw a sweatshirt on over my dress, struggling to get into a pair of sweatpants but like all dramatic stories, it was too late. She barged in and caught us with our dresses down, so to speak.

She yanked my ass downstairs and into her Laura Ashley-clad bedroom. Sitting on the edge of her bed, naked except for a bathrobe and one roller in the front of her hair, she slapped me in the face. It wasn’t an angry slap; it was a panicked slap. Then she cried and made me an appointment with a psychologist.

A (former) friend of mine once advised me that if I wanted to get a date, I should “tone it down.” “Don’t tell them you love Belinda Carlisle’s vibrato, Bette Davis’ staccato, and the girls of The Facts of Life—not on the first date.” Do I have to trick someone into tolerating my femme qualities? Fuck that.

When I attempt to be straight-acting, whether it is for a laugh or to rapidly attain meaningless sex, I suspend all movement.

For a college course, I combed through the Village Voice‘s male-for-male personal ads from 1970-2000 seeking trends in gay men’s ideals of attractiveness. The one constant across the 30-year period was the long-standing “No Fats, No Femmes” sentiment. Although my research is far from scientific I find personal ads to be a reasonable litmus test on this subject especially when they are easily accessible and free.

Scanning the pages of Los Angeles m4m listings, the same words keep popping up: regular, normal, straight, frat, ex-frat, bi, straight-acting, discreet, and married. I’m sure many of these men are married—to other men.

Anyone looking for a queen? Let’s see. Keyword search: femme.

craigslistmichellekwan

In the past seven days, 14 ads are posted containing the word “femme.” Five specify no femmes. Out of the nine pro-femme ads, I am ineligible for my favorite: “Michelle Kwan roleplay for cute asian.” Curses.

The word “discreet” comes up in over one thousand postings. It is the new “straight-acting.” There are two spellings of the word “discreet.” The other spelling, “discrete,” means distinct, separate, and individual. That is the antithesis of what these Craigslisters want in a man. Discrete’s double-E’d sister is marked by modesty and prudence—two of my least favorite words.

“Wise self-restraint,” the second definition of “discreet,” is most applicable to the performance of straight-acting.

When I attempt to be straight-acting, whether it is for a laugh or to rapidly attain meaningless sex, I suspend all movement. Gone are the gesticulations, the rubber-faces, or the rolling of eyeballs. They are replaced with—well—nothing. Speaking in a low monotone, any semblance of personality evaporates. To be discreet, less is more.

limpwrist3

Straightacting.com became well-known in 2000 for its “famous Straight-Acting Quiz.” Multiple choice questions determine your level of straight-actingness. Or lack thereof. Questions range from how much you enjoy receiving flowers and the frequency you say “pee-pee” instead of penis, to how publicly affectionate you’re willing to be with your partner in a “non-gay environment.” Upon my arrival, any environment turns gay.

A Level 2 (Very Straight Acting) person is described as having “carefully crafted” actions “in a way that they never appear to be considered too fem.” This is the very essence of straight-acting: the utter calculation of every movement, every word that comes out of your discreetly dick-eating mouth. Kooky Level 6s, on the other hand, enjoy exploring their feminine side. “Most people just assume you are gay…which is just fine with you.” But not fine with the creators and patrons of this site who hold faux masculinity in the highest regard.

The intelligentsia behind StraightActing.com chalk up their penchant for straight-acting men to simple preference: “Just as people have preferences for the type of guys they like, for example, ‘Tall men,’ many of us have a preference for ‘straight acting’ men—Men that (sic) have very few effeminate traits but still like to get down with other men.” Get down with other men? Is that some demented idea of how masculine men speak? Cue effeminate eye-rolling. More importantly, their glorification of straight-acting is not preference, it is bias.

For the men of StraightActing.com and the allegedly married-to-women, bisexual, ex-frat boys of Craigslist, I empathize with you. I get it. I hope for both you and me that we can expand our ideals of beauty and evolve into a state of self love. Here’s to becoming more discrete.

And less discreet.

Matt Siegel is a private liberal arts college-hopper who began at Sarah Lawrence, left his stain at Eugene Lang and finally finished at Hampshire. His unwillingness to commit now resides in L.A., where Matt has unsteadily worked for a random assortment of prominent folks, including Adam Carolla, Jill Clayburgh and Arianna Huffington. Other of his writings can be found on his blog The Unabashed Queer. Siegel previously filed from the set of the Absolutely Fabulous remake.

(Photo: Mark Will)

By:           editor editor
On:           May 7, 2009
Tagged: , , ,

  • 198 Comments
    • Alec
      Alec

      I’m a 3.

      That’s one of the stupidest quizzes I’ve ever taken.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      Oh, Matt, Matt, this argument has been going on since the early ’70s. Every generation rediscovers the “femme-macho” divide. That’s OK, but just realize, these arguments have been going on for at least 40 years — actually longer; rent “The Boys in the Band.”

      May 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Frank
      Frank

      Very, very disappointing article. It does not even address the title.

      I agree completely with the straight-acting-BS. Straight-acting is internalized homophobia per definition. So please, be a bit more eloquent, intelligent and substantial on this important matter.

      Frank,
      Amsterdam, The Netherlands

      May 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DamienB
      DamienB

      Generally speaking, I think the term ‘straight-acting’ is wrong. What does it mean to be ‘straight acting’? Like you said, it means calculating every movement and every word, which sadly, many of my straight friends are so self conscious that they do just that. However, I have plenty of straight friends who aren’t afraid to show their emotions, to laugh how they want, etc, socially deemed “feminine” qualities.

      So this just goes to show, that “straight-acting” isn’t a very strong concept to be.

      I prefer “masculine” guys, not the “straight-acting” guys, because “straight-acting” demeans homosexuals. It means to say that “gay-acting” is somehow pejorative, which then bring up the question, what is “gay-acting”? Wouldn’t we all happen to be “gay-acting” if we have any interest in another guy?

      May 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DeAnimator
      DeAnimator

      Quite of bit of this love for straight acting gay men reeks of sexism. I mean…what? Sexism within the gay community? Of course not!

      May 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @DeAnimator: Well, “straight acting” doesn’t reek of much more than internalized shame, to my mind. Perhaps you mean “masculine acting”?

      @DamienB: Agreed.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • myrios123
      myrios123

      I can’t agree more. Be who you are. I used to get, “you don’t look/act gay…” all the time and I never knew if I should take that as a compliment. I’ve determined that I would rather have people know I’m gay. Maybe I would get hit on more by men instead of every college-aged girl who thinks I’m dreamy and smart (I am you know).

      I like guys who like guys, fem or differing levels of butch… it really doesn’t matter to me. Whatever. I just think many men deny themselves plenty of good relationships based on a pre-judging belief that wearing body-glitter, having a high-pitched voice, or a desire to emulate Paris Hilton somehow disqualifies someone from a chance at happiness.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D.C
      D.C

      For me it depends. Theres one kind of femme which is a guy with positive fem features, (kind, gentle, etc) then there are those with negative fem features (catty, gossipy). Although I prefer more masculine men, I wouldn’t deny a fem feature 1 guy who I have a lot in common with.

      Personally I have very little interest in guys who are “married-to-women” men or “ex-frat boys” or frat boys for that matter. I’ve tried it and I’ve realized that I was doing was having empty, lifeless sex with liars, cowards, and psychos.

      Oh and, for a little controversy…

      (Article) “Scanning the pages of Los Angeles m4m listings, the same words keep popping up: regular, normal, straight, frat, ex-frat, bi, straight-acting, discreet, and married. I’m sure many of these men are married—to other men.”

      (Me) Scanning the pages of the nations m4m listings “white only”, “white and latino only”, “not into blacks”, and “not into asians” seems to be even more ubiquitous than “regular”, “normal”, “straight”, “frat”, “ex-frat”, and “married”.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Got 300-400 hitter here methinks.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @myrios123:

      I just think many men deny themselves plenty of good relationships based on a pre-judging belief that wearing body-glitter, having a high-pitched voice, or a desire to emulate Paris Hilton somehow disqualifies someone from a chance at happiness.

      I was with you until you went there. On the other hand, my image of her has been forever altered by that South Park episode.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      And these arguments will continue as long as sexism exists. It is the fetishization of sexism…and there’s nothing unsexier than that…to me, anyway. And maybe it is their “simple preference”…nonetheless, it is derived from damage.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      Also, re: “married” men. I think that might depend on where you’re at. In the midwest it isn’t at all uncommon to come across guys who were or still are very much married. The closet doors haven’t been completely opened; there are still quite a few closeted guys in the more conservative areas of the country. But yes, I suppose if I was living in West Hollywood or San Francisco I’d be suspicious of that.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D-Sun
      D-Sun

      @DamienB:

      Thank you…

      I hate that term. It seems to imply that if you’re a masculine gay man, it must all be an act that you put on because you secretly hate yourself. And that to be considered a “normal” gay man, you have to act like a living, stereotypical, charicature.

      It’s ridiculous. Like Barack Obama or Oprah Winfrey being called out for “acting too white.”

      May 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      this all seems to presuppose that there cannot be gay men who actually have masculine mannerisms and behaviors WITHOUT ACTING, doesn’t it? Why is that?

      May 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @timncguy: Because your consciousness hasn’t been raised, I guess.

      BTW, is it just me, or does anyone else find it extremely ironic, in light of this article, that the porn ads next to the morning goods section include an ad for a straight baiting site and one for frat guy cams?

      May 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaveO
      DaveO

      This is just resentment towards masculine men who happen to be gay. Tying together two separate groups of people – femme guys and gay men – serves only to help the former.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      @DamienB: I agree that “masculine” is a better term than “straight acting.” Using the term “straight acting” to talk about masculine gay men suggests that they’re putting on an act, or that they’re in the closet. There are some men like that. There are also plenty of completely out gay men who naturally have masculine mannerisms.

      May 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I just had a conversation with a friend where this topic came up. Interestingly, he is a truck driver, works on his own cars AND has a computer repair business. (he really is a genius with computers) His speech is extremely effeminate but HE says that if he wanted a woman, he would get one. He tells all his tricks “leave the bras & panties, nylons etc. at home.”

      He is very in shape, slim, not muscular and gets a lot more action than most from what I can tell. He doesn’t brag, he is just busy.

      He says live and let live, but I wonder with some of those comments. Personally I don’t care, whatever floats your boat but it did take me a while past my teenage years to truly accept all styles. I admit I was caught up in having a masculine man too. Good topic as always, I liked the comment above that says “every generation discovers this topic anew.”

      May 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Frunced
      Frunced

      @hardmannyc: I don’t think the fact that this is somewhat “old news” doesn’t give it any less merit. On the contrary, I think it shows how little social progress there has been in some aspects of the gay phenomenon and how femininity is still equated to inferior even in our times.

      I loved the article and I love femmy boys.

      PS. How the fuck did I get a 7? I change my own tires, FCOL!

      May 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Frunced
      Frunced

      Nevermind my poor grammar

      May 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • akn
      akn

      @D-Sun, Timncguy and Dave-O:

      I don’t think the author is precluding the existence of naturally ‘masculine’ gay men. I think what makes him bristle is how dismissive of femme guys most of those who would call themselves ‘straight-acting’ seem to be — something any femme twink is all too familiar with.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rikard
      Rikard

      We are all acting, even if we act fem. Claiming “it’s just how I am” is an excuse for behaving the way you want to. We all want someone to love us for who we really are, but if you have been in a relationship and tried to love someone for who they really are you know it’s not easy. The longer you are together, the more you make the choices. I love that, I like that, I can put up with that, I can ignore that, we have to work on that, oh HELL NO!

      May 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HayYall
      HayYall

      Some people just won’t be satisfied until everyone’s in drag and driving a fricking Miata.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miss Understood
      Miss Understood

      This topic has a whole other side that most gay men know little about. There are lots of men into fem guys. You don’t meet them much because they generally identify as straight.

      Ask any drag queen and they’ll tell you. Drag queens get hit on consistently by straight identified men who are turned on by fem men, men in drag, pre-op transsexuals, etc. I think many of these guys are bisexuals who are attracted to feminine qualities in males and females alike. They don’t generally socialize amongst gays but there are a helluva lot of them around.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JNYCA
      JNYCA

      oh god. just be who you are. I have known a guy or two who were straight acting because of their own personal self-hatred, BUT I also have met a few insanely flaming, in your face, obnoxious homos…who I think were also self hating….some internalize self hate, and some externalize it. There is no right or wrong, arguing over if its better being more masculine or feminine is like arguing over if blue is a better color than green.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lakas
      Lakas

      My lesbionic roommate described a female bartender at a neighborhood dyke bar in Bernal Heights of SF as this: “Yeah. She’s that straight-looking girl behind the bar.” And she meant that as a negative. I think that was the first time I heard “straight-looking” and by extension “-acting” being characterized as a negative trait. It blew my mind away.

      Can I shift back the debate to the actual issue at hand as we’re getting lost in minutiae on what the term “straight-acting” means to you personally?

      Issue, and it’s not really a big shocker either: The gay community is perpetuating sexism through its implicit and explicit symbols and their glorification of masculinity–porn, personal ads, etc. Is the feminine mystique also terrifying another sexual minority–the gays???

      May 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      What about the obsession with white men?

      I guess the majority of effeminate gays don’t have a problem with that part of the equation because they’re not excluded there.

      We all know words like “frat boy” and “jock” are code for young, athletic, masculine white males.

      The fact that effeminate gays don’t have a problem with white supremacy in the gay community just goes to show that they wouldn’t bat an eyelash at this so-called “straight-acting” phenomenon if they actually fit the criteria.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tropos
      tropos

      We in the gay community are far from perfect. While we are quick to shout bigotry at anyone who opposes our rights, at the same time we are obsessed with impossible ideals of male beauty and masculinity. Take the models Queerty posts everyday for our pleasure – how frequently do we see a model who is not ripped and not looking totally macho?
      Homophobia runs rampant within the gay community, whether we admit to it or not. Along with superficial concepts of what male beauty and masculinity should be. And many of us, however “out”, never stop hating ourselves for being gay.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • myrios123
      myrios123

      @Alec: I know… I was pushing it, but it could happen. You never know.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      One distinction: little boys who act like girls are known as sissies, not faggots. Gender roles and sexual orientation, while related, aren’t the same thing. There are plenty of “straight sissies” and “manly gays” — it’s mostly a matter of socialization.

      Anyway, I agree that the term “straight acting” is weirdly inaccurate and loaded with all kinds of judgment and distaste. And, certainly, the web site cited in the article uses it in a very negative way.

      My problem is only with the terminology, though. We all have our turn-ons and turn-offs, and they’re mostly some mixture of social conditioning and personal experience. That’s not the problem (or at least, it’s not a problem that can be fixed). The problem is using loaded terminology that carries judgments of worth.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slider
      slider

      How about just be who you are as has been said and stop acting. I despise the term “straight acting”. It denotes shame in being Gay.

      As has been said this argument has gone on forever. Date and be with whom you wish and for crying out loud..be whom you are and love yourself enough to not care what others think. In this day and age, there is every shade under the rainbow so who cares and it is dull to try and be someone you are not and for those guys or women who freak out over too femme, too butch or whatever…remember those are their issues not yours…..just pity them, laugh out loud and remember they are missing out on the fabulousness of you…..so say next case, step down..move along and find someone or someones in the form of friends and lovers who appreciate, love and respect you for whom you are.

      as I said, next case, step down…..nothing to see here….of course, you can also take the time to try and explain to the self loathing who are freaking out if you are too femme, too butch or too whatever that just as with homophobia expressed by some straights..that they are doing the same thing….so do they hate themselves too or see in what they despise maybe something in themselves they are afraid of or afraid to express…give them something to ponder and maybe that will help them see the light….it can’t hurt..and just be proud of whom you are and be fierce and give em hell!!

      May 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cedric
      Cedric

      It is sort of ridiculous. I’d rather be with a guy who was just himself and didn’t feel like he needed to calculate every one of his actions. I know I would never change myself just to get laid.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      People should just be whatever they are. There is as much pressure to conform to queer theory orthodoxy as there is to conform to “straight acting.” When you do not fit the picture of what some gays thing gay should be they question your comfort with your sexuality. Admitedly, in fairness, there is quite a bit of internalized homophobia, but that homophobia can and does take different forms. Straight acting is only one form. There is also the kind where if you do not act a certain then you are not gay. If I do not engage in the mannerisms that are not natural to me- oh, you are not gay. If I do not have an interest in going to a gay gym, then you are not gay. On and oh. There is this great social pressure within the pop culture gay community to have everyone conform to a Will and Grace version of being gay. Both are destructive to the ability of someone to just be themselves. And do not even get me started on how race plays into this. I met this Mexican guy who moved to the U.S. Nice guy. Very authetically himself and out, but once he got here, and he wanted to date so he started to try to conform. It was sad. If you don’t think that you are enforcing some kind of conformity about what gay is there, then you are mistaken.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @tropos: I actually don’t think the models they show here every day look totally “Macho”. They usually look like they have been tweezed, plucked and waxed of every “masculine” hair that was naturally on their body to begin with. A “straight-acting” “masculine” man would never remove all the hair from his body in the way a woman does.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      Shit, I got a 1. I don’t even try to ‘act straight’.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      This article is too stupid for words. I do not have internalized homophobia or nor am I a misogynist because I’m not attracted to men who come off as 16 year old girls. Nor do I have internalized homophobia because I don’t some deeply hidden femininity dying to be let out. If anything, my inner dude wants to fucking yell his head off because I was brainwashed for years by queer theory and homophobia about how you had to be, how you had to act and what you could and couldn’t if you were gay.

      If you really are do have an inner bitch, queen or princess, great. Let her rip…be yourself, we may even become fast friends but don’t call me names because I’m not attracted to you because of your inner bitch, queen or princess. Seriously. Why do you care? Go find someone who *is* attracted to you. Stop being a victim.

      I await the retort that begins with “missy” or “miss thing”. Fuck off in advance. I am your brother, not your sister.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lakas
      Lakas

      @timncguy:

      When you say “would never remove all the hair from his body in the way a WOMAN DOES,” is that all, most, some, a little?

      I know some women who prefer to grow some hair on their faces, arm pits, etc. They are women still, right? Yeah, I know, they’re just lesbians, right? ;)

      May 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      By the way , a follow up, I am attracted to masculine and somewhat femine guys, therefore, my assessment of the whole push to force us to all think the same way by queer theory does not come out of not being attracted to effeminate guys. It comes out of the sense that we are replacing one orthodoxy with another. I should not have to feel or act a certain way to prove that I am a) out b) comfortable with my sexuality or c) Okay with other gay people. The test of that is how I treat you, but that is not the social standard that’s being created here.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Pragmatist:

      So sissy isn’t often synonymous with faggot, or queer? It’s an outdated term, though…aged out.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      @The Gay Numbers: The point about your Mexican friend is a really good one. I had an acquaintance from Colombia a few years back. He had an accent and subtle masculinity that drove me crazy.

      I ran into him recently, and it was like meeting a different person. Gone was the accent; he sounded like any flamboyantly gay American. And gone was the quiet, charming demeanor; he was loud, tight-tee-shirt-wearing, and catty. Perhaps these changes were natural for him, but they sure felt like conformity.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      There is something to be said for the conditioning that is done in the home.

      I could have turned out a raging queen, considering how femme I was when I was a kid. Relentless teasing and forever seeking approval from my parents made me “the man” I am today. There was a price to be paid though.

      I lost the smile that I carried practically 24hrs a day, because to others it looked queer. I couldn’t express my joy for anything femme like musicals, dancing & the colour pink.

      Though as an adult I find myself not caring what people think, mostly because I have found suppotive friends who don’t care what me preferences are. And I have come into my own.

      And though as I said before, my flame is not raging, I am sure there will be someone that will love me the way I am.

      Just sayin’.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      @TANK: I’m sure some people mistake those two words as synonymous, but they’re not. (And as I’ve heard them used, most people seem to know the difference.)

      Traditionally, at least, when people have criticized a boy’s feminine manner, they’re not specifically thinking of whether the boy will turn out to like other boys. That’s a pretty narrow concept. They’re really afraid that the boy will fail to become “a man” (as the role is traditionally understood) — brave, emotionally reserved, strong, athletic, etc.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      Well, I’m not going to take some online quiz to tell me how “straight-acting” I am, because I don’t see the value in it. I remember being accused by (generally straight) folks of being “too gay,” which cost me some friendships, I’m sure. On the flipside, my last boyfriend told me I was “too straight.” In both instances, they were not intended as compliments. What was the reasoning behind those statements?

      On the “too gay” side: I like gaudy and cheap jewelry, I have no problem with wearing makeup (though it’s too expensive and too much work for me most of the time these days), I’m a nearly obsessive fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I point out homophobia when I see it, I am a Pet Shop Boys fan, I’ve dressed in drag on more than one occasion and not for cheap laughs, I have the nerve to tell people I’m gay even if I don’t know them…on and on.

      On the “too straight” side: I’m messy, I’m moderately introverted, I like professional wrestling, I’m overweight, I spit when I need to, I generally tend to wear my hair cut extremely short, I don’t follow current fashion trends, I think most of the music played in gay clubs is obnoxious and boring, I listen to metal on occasion, I don’t know the first thing about hair or skin “product,” I sometimes have a bit of a southern twang in my voice, I think abandoned factories and industrial landscapes are beautiful, I express anger when I feel it…on and on.

      Back when I had longer hair (not super long, just shaggy, really) I got into a strip club for free on ladies’ night. I didn’t correct them, because money is money, right?

      I went to karaoke once with some friends at a lesbian bar in Toledo. I sang “Love Shack” because I can do a pretty good Fred Schneider impersonation. Apparently that got folks talking. After performing Tone Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina” for my second song, I was informed by my friends that one of the ladies at the table next to ours leaned over and said to her friend “I told you that was a dyke.”

      How about the time that I was acting as the spokesperson for my university GLBT group on the Day of Silence? I couldn’t take the vow because I had a performance in my acting class that day, so we figured I may as well be the voice for the voiceless when the local news came calling. I was kindly informed by the station’s representative that I shouldn’t dress outlandishly (read: feminine), wear jewelry or makeup on the air, or generally act stereotypically (which I never have). He based his judgment on me from his attendance of two meetings that happened to take place during a time I was experimenting with a “glam gypsy” look.

      I don’t even want to tell you how many times I went to the club with friends only to be ignored by virtually everyone there because “I thought you were straight.” Or all the friends and acquaintances who, after I came out, were shocked because they had always thought it was my (very straight) best friend who was the gay one.

      What is the point I’m trying to make here? This false dichotomy of femme/straight-acting is all a matter of perception, and it’s generally based on highly superficial criteria. I’ve said it many times, and no one has ever disagreed with me: I’m too gay for the straights, and too straight for the gays. I’d wager there are plenty of us who fall comfortably in the middle of the spectrum, but the price of being ourselves is that we are shunned by both sides.

      I don’t doubt that there are people at both extremes who are 100% genuine in their behaviour and mannerisms. I also believe that a healthy percentage of them are faking it in order to gain acceptance from one community or another, acting a certain way because they believe they are supposed to. I had an uber-femme phase myself, because I believed that was the key to acceptance in the GLBT community. That was a lot of work!

      So, when that got me nowhere, I did a 180 and shunned anything that could be perceived as feminine for a time. Still nothing. I guess an inability to feign interest in sports or cars didn’t help, but I tried.

      I think, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us fall somewhere in the middle, like myself.

      However, I won’t deny that I tend to be more attracted to femme guys than “straight-acting” guys. Maybe it’s my nurturing/protecting nature, but I like to know that a guy feels safe in my arms, and that’s not something I’ve ever gotten from allegedly masculine types. Femmes are witty, sassy, and generally more thoughtful people. They also tend to be more accepting of superficial differences between people, choosing instead to look toward the core of a person’s being. Maybe it’s because they’re the black sheep in the (GLBT) family?

      Consider this my manifesto, if you will, glorifying the true femmes, those who aren’t simply putting on a show in order to live up to expectations. Femmes are more “manly” than any “straight-acting” guy could ever hope to be. They are brave, honest, entertaining, thoroughly wonderful human beings, and they have done more, historically, to advance the cause of GLBT equality than any man who chooses to blend in and assimilate to avoid occasional discomfort at the hands of others. I’ve had some gratifying and satisfying experiences with masculine men over the years. I’ve had many more with feminine men.

      Yes, people like what they like. You can’t argue matters of taste, because that’s as pure as opinion can get. I have no problem if some guys don’t want femmes in their bedrooms. I have no problem if some guys don’t want someone who falls in the middle, like myself, in their bedrooms. I definitely don’t have a problem with people who don’t get hot and bothered by the prospect of having a “straight-acting” guy in their bedrooms. It saddens me that some people are so narrow-minded, but what are you going to do about it? Again: people like what they like.

      But I encourage everyone, no matter their preferences, to take a few moments for honest self-reflection and sincerely ask themselves why they like what they like. I think there are some out there who may be surprised by the answers they give themselves.

      May 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Pragmatist:

      Traditionally, I think that’s the subtext…that he’s gay… It’s putting down his masculinity by associating him with female traits, reacting negatively to a person who doesn’t fit the gender norm…which is homophobia.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      but once again, no one uses “sissy” anymore. That’s an old folks term.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Think Positive
      Think Positive

      I too hate the term “Str8 Acting” as many others have said in the comments. I don’t think most people think about what they are saying or comprehend how self hating it is to use terms like that. Or they just don’t care.

      In regards to the “no fats no femmes” you see all over online personals; What a turn off! Don’t tell me what you don’t want. Tell me what you are looking for instead. “I’m looking for in shape masculine guys.” Whats the point of being negative? It puts people down and its totally not needed.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Pragmatist:

      That’s exactly what I am getting at. That it feels inauthentic. It’s more like we are being commodized as a market. Some men naturally fit that market, but many do not. I do not understand how a guy who was one thing when I met him became another a few years later. I remember when I first came out. I grappled with these issues before deciding that I am not going to come out of one closet to go into another. What I mean is that I decided to be myself no matter what. I have friends for whom its taken many conversations to let them know- “No I do not have a problem with my sexuality just because I am not interested in completing a checklist of things you think I need to complete just to prove to you that I am comfortable with my sexuality.” Like I said, I want to be careful here- there are a lot of “straight acting” guys who really are fucked up about their sexuality. One of the reasons I prefer saying so long as masuculinty is natural to you or whatever you are is natural to you, then that’s okay, is because I do acknowledge there are sizeable number of men with problems with their sexuality. But, at the same time. I think its a mistake to think these problems can take one form.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      @Frunced: Totally agree. I just think it’s funny how each generation re-invents the wheel and thinks they discovered fire, that’s all. It’s a perennial issue because we are all different, and we have different ways of approaching our differences. And we always will.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Mike

      I was naturally the kid who wanted to fight with my cousins when I was a kid. I enjoyed sports a lot. It was not something I ever associated with my sexuality. I am gay. Does that make it inauthentic that I liked those things? This is where I have a problem with statements such as yours. I fyou are speaking for yourself. That’s find. But when you extrapolate to everyone else- it becomes another orthodoxy. I do not think any kid needed to have had my experience to know he is gay. For me, it happened when I was 10 or 11, and sneaked into my uncle’s stash of porn mags- I realized I was into the guys, not the naked women. Does that also make me inauthentic? I think all these roles that gay people try to enforce on other gay people are stupid. Yes, the forces yuou mention do exist, but they should not become a proxy for understanding whether someone is authentically being themselves. That’s not an easy question answer without knowing them.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lakas
      Lakas

      @vernonvanderbilt:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. That was a very thoughtful, nuanced post on the subject.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianCT
      BrianCT

      I understand where you’re coming from, but in a sense it’s the same with overweight people who think society should be sexually attracted to them regardless…. yet often times wont date someone who’s overweight. I happen to fall into the category of being attracted to “straight acting” men… but I wouldn’t be attracted to Nathan Lane pretending to be John Wayne… I think the word “masculine” should be substituted for “straight acting” because I think that more accurately describes the preference… why would I be a man who loves men if I wanted a man who acts like a woman?… I guess there’s that gray area… that’s probably where those people are… Guys who like women to some degree but prefer men who act like woman because it’s “just enough” of a man to suit their tastes… maybe… who knows… I just know that I’m not being “bias” when I say I’m sexually attracted to masculine men and not effeminate men… I’m just telling it like it is… for me…

      May 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gayMSP
      gayMSP

      How perfect that Bait Bus is now apparently a sponsor of Queerty.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      vernonvanderbilt

      Thank you for that great post. You are directly hitting the point that I was trying to make on its head. There is, indeed, a superficiality that goes into trying to understand whether one is straight or gay or comfortable with their sexuality that occurs on both sides. I have also experienced what you describe, but I have a very different personality. Some peole are shocked, and others are not about my sexuality. It comes down it seems to what they perceive of as gay or straight and in what context they meet me.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • parisinla
      parisinla

      whos the hottie in the first pic?

      May 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Brian

      On the flip, there are guys who say they are looking for masucline, but they are really looking for yet another stereotype. For example, as a black guy, I have experienced dating white guys who are seeking “thugs.” I had one guy say I am not masculine and black enough because I was not his fantasy of being a ‘thug.” This classification is similar to the ultra masculinity of the 70s in which its hyper masculinity that’s not real to a large degree. It’s not a Nathan Lane acting masculine. It’s a version that says one can never be themselves. To me, to be quite honest, I have never met anyone who is all one thing or the other. I am suspicious when I see someone who says they are. I am attracted to both masculine and femine guys. I am not saying others have to be. I am just saying I am saying that I do know there is a subset of guys who are into things that are not about natural masculinity- which can take a lot of different forms. For example, what would you describe for a man who is ultra geeky?

      May 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @The Gay Numbers:

      For example, what would you describe for a man who is ultra geeky?

      Extremely attractive. Geek chic is all in now. :-)

      But you’re right, it doesn’t really fit the traditional notions of masculine and feminine ideals. But, tellingly, though they were all masculine and feminine to greater and lesser degrees, all of the guys I’ve dated seriously have been geeks who knew who Alan Moore was before V for Vendetta and Watchmen came out on the big screen..

      I think that’s called “taste” and being comfortable in one’s own skin. Your mileage may vary.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I’m sexually attracted to men who not only act like they’re wealthy, but are, in fact, wealthy. The rest doesn’t matter.

      This whole “if I wanted a woman, I’d date one!” line smacks of sexism, because it’s based on gender normativity…that being said, I can’t stand most gay men…eh, what the fuck…I can’t stand most men….that is to say, I can’t stomach most people because they’re alive and moving around and in my way…and they do and say things that I not only don’t agree with, but that are just…absurd.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jerrold
      Jerrold

      (nobody but sissies say sissy anymore… it’s been replaced in the vernacular by faggot, homo, and queer. All of which I have heard 4 and 5 year olds call eachother in lieu of ‘stupid’. I digress.)

      It isn’t about ‘straight’. It is about being yourself. If you go beyond craigslist to somewhere where postings have slightly more permanance, it is now looked down upon to describe yourself that way, I have read a few very funny pieces of commentary on the subject, but not worth the effort of tracking down while at work.
      Discourse communities have a lot to do with how we act and speak, we pick up speech patterns pretty much involuntarily just based on the amount of time we spend with people (the clothes are a little bit more on the side of conformity though). However, I think the mistake here is thinking that our attraction to “healthy” looking guys is attractive. It is a breeding (yeah, I said it, you aren’t any better than the breeders in this department) mechanism that makes us seek out the healthiest of mates. It is only with experience that we realize that basing health on visible signs is fallacious; visible health is often created by steroids, self-obsession, or other outright unhealthy behavior. (Note the word “often”, not “always” is used.)
      Then, hopefully, we move on, but the people moving on aren’t the target demographic of the marketing, modeling, or fashion industry, so you would never know that growing out of muscle-stud desires is pretty common.
      Also to note: Craigslist exists so that people can ask for what they want, which is often not what they want once they have it; it also feeds into wanting to catch the eye of someone reading hundreds of posts, you need to sound extreme and sometimes ridiculous to do so, leading to writing ridiculous things like “straight-acting”. I could go on, but most of you stopped reading when I wrote “discourse”.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      I don’t care to date men who are at either extreme. I don’t care for the “straight acting” guys who believe I should enjoy their battering ram, and I don’t care for the nelly queens who let the entire neighborhood know they just got a present.

      I like middle of the road and average, some feminine qualities and some masculine. In general, Canadian men.

      But I’m a bit of a hypocrite I suppose. When I was young no one would have thought I was straight, including my parents and siblings. I loved to shout out my joy to the world. Now my sister-in-law tells me that I don’t act gay, but she’s going by European standards.

      I dated a guy for awhile who was an artist and a bit effete. He was a really nice guy but I didn’t like the way he rolled his eyes and over accentuated, “that was SO! beautiful”. So I broke his heart and broke up with him. Today I think that was probably a dumb idea.

      I’m older and smarter now and appreciate men who are authentic, who come from the heart rather than playing roles.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Herbo
      Herbo

      for penetration, I want my TOP to be masculine and BOTTOM a little femmy.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal(the original)
      sal(the original)

      well “fem” can mean diff things,look at the modern woman(madonna)they arent a cliche of their sex..sooooo i guess to be called fem may not be a “in a box”statement…well personally i dont feel its a bad thing to be called

      May 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal(the original)
      sal(the original)

      @Scott: awwwwww

      May 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bb
      bb

      i never understood this… i used to be really attracted really femme guys, and the body type still turns me on. the only reason i think i’m not anymore is that i found them to be so judgmental that it was a shitty feeling being attracted to them. maybe outside of the craigslist, people care less? i think there is also a divide between the femme guys who are genuinely femme (whatever the hell that means) and those who go around acting like the worst stereotype of a 15 year old girl. no one wants to get involved with that emotionally.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Alec

      Yes, supposedly geeks like me are in, and yet, we are so hard to find when it comes to dating. You would think in a city that size of NYC that would nto be the case, but then, NYC is now gentrified and boring so the lack of diversity should not be a surprise I guess.

      May 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @The Gay Numbers: I don’t know. I’ve never had a problem finding them. And their backgrounds were all fairly diverse. But every last one of them had attended a comic convention at some point in their lives. :-)

      May 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      What gay men think is masculine is old school pre-feminism masculinity. Straight young men have gotten so “hip” it has required refinements to my gaydar.

      and my personal fave: Guy is all about masculinity when meeting online…then you hook up and he’s like “f*ck my p*ssy”

      what is up with THAT?

      May 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Alec

      Ah, yes- comic book conventions = gay geek holy land. I’ve been to mecca. I’ve bowed before the one true god, Neil Gaiman.

      On a serious note you found roaming tribes of gay geeks in the NYC area? I guess I live in the wrong parts over here in Brooklyn.

      May 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @The Gay Numbers: Oh, no, not in NYC. But I know that they exist in LA, SF, Detroit and Chicago. :-)

      Unless there is something tragically amiss with New York City they should be out there, too.

      May 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel C. Davis
      Daniel C. Davis

      This topic definitely needs to be talked about because it is a severe problem with gay solidarity. This article could have gone much deeper in exploring the issue, though.

      May 7, 2009 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Alec

      There are guys who are geeky and gay here, but they are not easy to find in such a huge haystack like the NYC area.

      I recently began to step into the dating pool again after an enforced time away. There are bookstores, museums, etc that I haunt to enjoy myself writing, etc and find guys. Geeks do exist, but it is harder to find a geek who is a geek.

      NYC is not like other American cities. What I mean is that the city has this worldiness that’s too “knowing” rather than inquisitive. Does that make sense?

      When I lived in Los Angeles (3 years) and SF (1 year), there were a few alt places I could go. I’ve not found them here yet. It is probable I just don’t know where to hang out.

      May 7, 2009 at 5:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexis
      Alexis

      I’m actually more offended by the fat part than femme part. I mean, most of the gay friends I have are fat and, yet, there is this vision that gay men are fit. Right, only if you spent your life believing Olivia Newton John’s music video “Let’s Get Physical” was a documentary.
      I’m a happily chubby person and proud of it. If some guy doesn’t like it, too bad. I’m not going to start anorexia marathons just to make some superficial gay men comfortable.

      May 7, 2009 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Am I the only one who actually likes a guy to be a bit feminine? I don’t think being completely “straight acting” is that attractive. I’d rather my man act gay…

      May 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Really? It’s hard in NY?? I so wanted to move there because I thought it was like this haven for individuality? By individual being WHO you are…?

      I know what you mean about the geek thing, England is really homogenous and everyone wears square glasses with a spiderman shirt! Yep, it’s soo contrived but it’s frustrating because whereas before you could spot who you’d connect with, now you just don’t know because they do it so well…

      I know another black guy/friend who is finding it really hard in Paris because they always want him to play this ‘exoctic’ type but he’s like this geek, who’s really bright and non conformist BUT he also struggles with the black side too…..as I’ve done too because I’m NOT a stereotype, though I seem it because I like to make conversation/laugh, love sports, drinking and quite agressive in a really ‘manly’ kin of way but when you get to know me, I’m actually really, really into books…solitude…farming….art….animals and food clubs…

      At the end of the day, it’s the same for ALL people…straight, gay, pink or brown…

      May 7, 2009 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Alexis:

      Of course, very true. BUT even if you’re fit, it doesn’t mean you go to the gym! It’s that culture that is really oppressive…

      May 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gene
      Gene

      Um, it’s just a silly term guys, what’s with all the hype?

      I prefer the term masculine but doesn’t really matter to me. We all act as we do and we like what we like.

      Nuff said.

      May 7, 2009 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      John from England:

      Dating for me is complicated because I am a black gay geek guy with creative interests who does not particularly fit into any of the well worn subcommunities of either the black or gay variety. I find the people who are able to find dates the easiest learn to play along to one community or another and do not deviate from expected behavior.

      I am not trying to be different, but the reality is that I am. I am miserable if I am not myself. One of the ways it can be difficult is that both black guys and white guys a like expect me to act according to racial stereotypes, and they are not quite sure what to do with me when I do not.

      With the black guys, they think I am trying to act “white” because of who I am. Ironically, I spent most of my formative years in the rural south so most of what I am is a product of not having been around the urban pop culture machine. My hometown did not even have a movie theatre.

      For white guys, far too many seem threatended by the fact I am a smart black guy. Oh, they like dating black men, but don’t be too smart.

      Add to that my own desires and interests, the questions revolving around people who do not like dating black guys (a large portion of the American gay scene (regardless of their race) does not like dating black guys, and all the random issues of life such as coming out, being comfortable with one’s sexuality, etc, and the picture is harder. There’s no way around it. But, I am still hopeful to find someone one day in my dating that will be my match.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      John from England:

      follow up: I dated European guys, and what you describe is true. I once had this Czech guy say to me that he did not know whether I was black because I did not act like what a black guy in America should act like. He was off the boat in America for all of a year.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yurpdod
      Yurpdod

      This topic is insanely depressing to me. I’m somewhat effeminate. I’m not a gigantic flamer, but people can usually tell I’m gay because of my voice and my mannerisms.

      I don’t have any problem with gay men being masculine or gay men being effeminate. I just think everyone should act how they want to act. It’s just depressing to me that there are so many guys out there who won’t even give me a chance based on my mannerisms. If they could look past that, they would see that I’m kind, intelligent, respectful, and funny. I always try to do the right thing, and I always try to help other people. But apparently none of that is important because I like musicals and I have a nasal voice.

      I feel so disillusioned in the gay community. We preach tolerance and acceptance, yet we’re not willing to accept a gay man who’s a little too effeminate for our standards, or we cant accept a gay man being naturally masculine without accusing him of putting on an act.

      I hope someday I’m at least able to just find someone who likes me for me, regardless of my mannerisms or how other people decide to label them.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Yur

      I find your post illuminating. Several people along the thread have said they do not care about maculine versus feminine, and will date either, and in one or two cases prefers feminine. Yet, you choose to focus on those guys who do not find feminine attractive.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Yurpdod:

      You can but minorities have so much self hate…

      :/

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Hmm, I do hear what you are saying and I’ll put a disclaimer right now and say that I’m not only creative but created within that industry and I say this because it’s really different in terms of judgements or preconceived ideas by more mainstream thinking/acting people…

      Everything is doable. How about starting some low fi club on the net or physically?? I know, it may not be your temperament and to be fair, it’s mine and whenever I can’t find what I want, I create something to get the people to come to me…

      But like I said, if one is shy, which I’m not..it’s really hard..but not unachievable..

      Gawker can be a really good dating site for gay geeks….AND yes, it’s trendy and reactionary but so is…..?

      Stop me now, I love matchmaking!

      ;)

      May 7, 2009 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Toby2009
      Toby2009

      Yurpdod, i hear you. I have a shaved head, hairy chest and I’m “built” by gay standards. I appear to be “masculine”, but i was cursed from a young age with a nasally voice. I can’t help it. it’s who i am. i have met many a guy online who like my pics but when they talk to me on the phone most of the time i’m told i’m not masculine sounding. what does that mean??!?! for me the definition of “masculinity” is a guy who is comfortable in his own skin. it isn’t defined by how deep your voice is. it’s crazy. i can only believe that this fear of what are perceived as feminine characteristics come from a man being insecure with his own masculinity and not necessarily me not being masculine.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      is is called masculine acting and lots of gays are that too…it’s not a crime to be masculine…usually if youre masculine certain queens just call you old looking…lots of gay hate towards maculine gays just demeans everyone…

      May 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • linda
      linda

      @The Gay Numbers: Illuminating? Is that the right word? Yur, your post was heart-breaking. I know how you feel and you can just take heed to the other posts that are, as the author puts it, pro-femme. Don’t count yourself out.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      I was thinking of starting a weekly gay geeks night here some place in NYC, but it would be a lot of fucking work, and I am already busy. That would be of interest to me- to promote events centered around something different, like a venue for alt music or some other similar events. But again, that’s a lot fuck ing work. This city does need promoters who are not promoting the same shit that’s been promoted as “gay”since the late 70s. When I moved here, I was surprised to realize that as far as I can tell the city has no major venues for live gay rock bands. I mean they do events, and there are places like Williamsburg (but places lik the later are for hipsters).

      May 7, 2009 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      @Yurpdod: Sucks right? A lot of the queers that I know who have issues with men who are more femme are those who are also less confident in being out: They have a strong desire to be able closet themselves on demand. Having someone along who refuses to hide who they are makes them very uncomfortable. It takes some big balls to be who you are when it’s not popular, but I dig it. Carry on.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @The Gay Numbers: I understand where you’re coming from (to a degree, as we obviously have some differences) but it seems to me that it’s hard to make connections if you’re a gay geek, no matter how attractive you are. I’m a little chubby, but otherwise I’m apparently “hot” (if the people who have told me so over the years are to be believed). But when the physical part ends…well, what do you talk to these people about? Conversation is so important, and so few people seem able to pull it off. I’ve had some flirtacious encounters, even the occasional one night stand, with some very attractive gentlemen, guys attractive enough that my friends have a hard time believing I’ve been there, but I cannot date them. There is no intellectual connection, nothing to talk about in the afterglow. Hell, guys around here seem to think it’s a point of pride that they don’t read books. I could never be with someone like that, no matter how hot they were.

      I hope you figure out how it works in NYC, where the good ones are, because New York has been my personal Shangri-La since I was old enough to know about Broadway and punk rock. I want to hear good news, because I don’t want the image I’ve built in my mind to crumble. I wish you nothing but success in your search for the perfect, Big Apple, gay geek. Here’s hoping you get what many of us have no hope of finding.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean
      Sean

      @DamienB:

      I agree with you. Straight-acting is just that: ACTING. Gay men who happen to be more masculine aren’t acting; just as Matt and Charlie wore dresses when they were little, some male gay children would much rather play sports or do other stereotypically male activities. Just as some of us enjoy “wearing body-glitter, having a high-pitched voice, or [harboring] a desire to emulate Paris Hilton”, some of us would rather watch a football game and drink beer. People like different things and naturally behave in different ways. This really only becomes a problem when, in either group, a person is acting in a way other than their natural inclination. Hetero or homosexuality is different from whether one is feminine or masculine.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • illuman23
      illuman23

      @vernonvanderbilt: Your comment was better and more thought provoking than the actual article. Thanks!

      May 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marcelo
      Marcelo

      “Identity” is a longing, a tale we tell ourselves, which is either conceptual or driven by your genetics or a bit of both. Personally I think sexual identity is conceptual, which is all well and good. This means that you can become as effeminate as one can be, even to the point of cutting it off. Or you can not. And it’s all good and right in the end.

      But not all of us associate ourselves with effeminate qualities. I have a mans body, and I like men, and I’m happy with that. So, I act like a man that likes men. I don’t behave effeminate because I don’t feel the need to adopt to any sort of hetero dynamic i:e as if there has to be an effeminate aspect to homosexuality in order to make it “normal”(that behaviour stings of an unchecked deep rooted unease with homosexuality)- but that’s me.

      In the end, whether your effeminate or masculine, or even if you play effeminate or masculine it really doesn’t matter, and no one should have a problem either way. Especially Mr Siegel

      May 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I’d prefer to drink scotch out of the bottle, smoke cigarettes and huck cupcakes at traffic. Where does that put me on the scale?

      May 7, 2009 at 7:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Yurpdod: I feel for you, friend. As I’ve stated previously, I fall somewhere in between masculine and feminine, and I don’t particularly fit in with any crowd because of that. I can only encourage you not to give up on who you are, because somewhere out there is someone who will love you for who you are. I will also remind you of that old adage (which is true, if not always comforting) that if someone isn’t interested in you because of something superficial, then you’re better off not being with them anyway.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Lakas: @The Gay Numbers: @illuman23: Thanks for the kind words, fellas, and for reading my admittedly long-winded post.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lakas
      Lakas

      @linda:

      I think TGN was referring to the issue of most effeminate gays not factoring in other effeminate gays as part of their sexual realities either–that effeminate gays also perpetuate sexism/misogynism. So much so that they, effete gays, participate in the desexualization of other effete gays by not finding them equally attractive and dismiss them with claims of being “sisters” or “two lesbians getting together.” Yeah, sexism. So if you’re self-identified effeminate homosexual, what is the percentage of all your previous sexual partners have been masculine versus feminine like you?

      May 7, 2009 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Not really…it depends the options that you chose?

      I wouldn’t set off to make it weekly or bi-weekly..start off with a no pressure focus group-idea generation of like minded minds and individuals..

      TRUST it’s that simple and then wait to see who replies before you even think of starting a night up…this you can coordinate roles if you still wish?

      May 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @TANK: I’d call you a moderate masculine. You lose some “man points” because of the cupcakes. :P

      Real men would throw bear claws.

      May 7, 2009 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @vernonvanderbilt:

      Add me! Me too!

      May 7, 2009 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      Support your femmy friends :)
      beyondmasculinity.com
      thebutchfactor.com (movie coming soon)

      May 7, 2009 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s): Sorry…brain fart. Add you to what? I’m sure I’d be happy to add you, but I need to know what I’m adding you to, dear. :) :P ;)

      May 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @mark: I’m totally going to check out those sites.

      May 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      John — good idea. No work on my part. See if they are interested first.

      May 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      I’m a masculine guy who likes “naturally” feminine men. I think when it’s natural it’s so obvious and so fucking sexy. But if I even catch a hint of performance the attraction evaporates quickly. Most of my friends can’t understand why I’m not attracted to guys like them (butch jock types), and I’m not sure either. We like what we like. For good and bad I guess.

      May 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @vernonvanderbilt:

      The people to thank! I liked your story too!

      May 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stevenelliot
      stevenelliot

      Nothing sexier than a really cute feminine guy with a hairy body! Now thats a gender bender. Think Andy Cohen.

      May 7, 2009 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      I never feel like I fit nicely into the “masculine” or “feminine” gender roles. I see myself as in the middle, and I guess I’d prefer people that are laid back enough to just go with the flow and be who they are.

      I don’t think people can help that they’re only attracted to masculinity, only white guys, only black guys, or whatever for that matter. It has a lot to do with socialization and culture– which we can’t really control– especially when we are young, impressionable, and most of these traits are determined. I’m personally only physically attracted to white men. I can’t help it. Does that make me a bad person?

      May 7, 2009 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s): For the sin of omission, then, I offer you a very special, personal thank you, from me to you. :D

      May 7, 2009 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Exactly. You’re so pro-active and progressive that I’m SURE there is a market..?

      May 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      Ok enough with the geeky guys, now I have to comment.

      One nice thing about being a black gay geeky guy (like myself) is that I am very rarely approached by someone seeking a thug fetish.

      May 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      yes, it’s true, this argument has been going on since the 70’s. however, the argument has come to a dud-standstill. why? mainly because of three reasons: invention of the ‘metrosexual’, the growing acceptance of gays, the need for people to be “individuals”.

      if anyone uses the term “straight-acting” – i don’t find the TERM offensive… i think THE PERSON using the term is offensive… mainly because you have to ask them afterward, “well, what KIND of straight?” there are so many sub-categories now. 15 years ago any guy who dressed like Robert Smith of Cure would be deemed “fem”, but now Pete Wentz is celebrating eye-liner and Pete Doherty is talking about fucking guys for drug money and people are STILL going around asking, “but they’re still straight, right?”

      i find this argument without merit and meaningless because it’s not specific enough to offend anyone.

      I think all gay males act like “straight-acting” somebodies… some just act like “straight-acting males, others act like “straight-acting females”.

      both “straight acting” though…..

      May 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Good lord
      Good lord

      If you’ve ever lived in Seattle, the argument gets turned on its head. Seattle: the land of straight women that act like scary-ass bull dykes (I love scary ass bull dykes, btw), straight men (anyone see a Rick Steve’s travel TV segment?) who act super fem… and gay boys that are totally low key straight dude-esque. My point? Mannerisms have multiple facets, and together they make the diamond that is individual people, which of course articles like this don’t acknowledge. Can you tell I hate this sort of article? Its boring.

      May 7, 2009 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Good lord
      Good lord

      But not as BORING as ‘Outrage, the musical’ (you know its coming so shut the fuck up). People who get their kicks from outing other people are REALLY boring.

      May 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      Heterosexual males act too.

      Why are gay people so mindless? You have been surrounded by heterosexuals from day one and yet you have no clue what they do? It’s because you are thinking like a heterosexual. You can’t see the forrest through the trees just like heterosexuals. Heterosexual males act too. All the macho stuff is a facade.
      http://www.eurowrc.org/04.material/books/xy-Michael-Flood/Flood_Men_sex_mateship.pdf

      Some gay men and all heterosexuals (they’ll tell you differently) want gay men to act effeminately. For these gay men it could be that they believe that effeminacy belongs to gay men or they are jealous and want other gay men to have a characteristic that they deem negative or they are self-hating and want only heterosexual men to be masculine because they are only attracted to heterosexual males.

      Gay people are not inverts of heterosexuals. We are our own people. Most gay men are attracted to masculine men, always have been. That is a clue on how you should act to attract men. I think a lot of gay men as children hold back on their desire to be masculine because it usually means homosociality and homoeroticism and they think it signal to others they are gay so they go the other direction.

      May 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve [Different person #1 using similar name]

      i cant stand feminine guys. Period. I’d rather date a girl then.

      May 7, 2009 at 10:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      I guess you noticed you were ignored the first time, huh?

      May 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • R. Alexander
      R. Alexander

      This is an age-old discussion but one which I think is very important none-the-less. I would have to say that this whole “strait-acting” thing is easily defined as internalized homophobia, however,it is for myself a testament to dis-interest and repulsion towards gay affectation. I am certainly not attracted to men who need to differentiate themselves as “strait-acting” but I must agree with them with regard to being completely uninterested and not attracted to men who live their lives with gay affectations. This is not to say we shouldnt all be who we are and who we want to be, but I simply cannot relate to affectation. For me, these “fae” assumptions of identity (affectations) have more to do with camp and perpetuation of someone else’s social values and behavior than being oneself.

      I have to also admit that as much as I could never live with someone concerned with being strait-acting, I could also never live with anyone who embraces affectation and assumes gay valor in every element of thier being: “I read gay books, all my friends are gay, I go to gay bars, I wear gay clothes, I go on gay vacations… and so on and so on.”

      Be yourself. Let go of stigma. Be authentic and enjoy it!

      May 7, 2009 at 10:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • atdleft
      atdleft

      @Alec: And I’m a LEVEL 9! Woo-hoo, I’m now officially a flaming, screaming, femme, bitchy QUEEN!

      Oh wait, I already knew that? ;-)

      May 7, 2009 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      I applaud you for furthering this conversation Matt. What does “Straight Acting” mean anyway? To quote Chrisopher Rice, ““Straight-acting” implies an ignorance of the mechanics of gay sex.” The more people who feel comfortable with their own gender non-conformity, and speak out about it, the more of us will learn to love ourselves.

      May 8, 2009 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      @vernonvanderbilt: Interesting that you list “extremely short hair” on the “straight” list. Short hair is masculine, but I wouldn’t call it straight-acting. I find that very long hair is a reliable sign of heterosexuality (in men). Short haircuts seem to be common for gay men, especially for gay men over 30.

      May 8, 2009 at 1:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff
      geoff

      I,ve never taken this quiz that’s being brought up, but if I had to guess, I’m probably a 2(maybe a 1 maybe a 3,but whatever). I don’t “act” a certain way, I like what I like (sports,beer,hard rock,gross-out comedies,etc)and make no apologies for that.I don’t go around wearing my sexuality on my sleeve(although I would never fault those who do, and would never expect someone to make apologies for being who they are). Anyone who knows me knows I’m gay, since I’ve been with my partner for quite a long time, and I’m sure as hell not going to keep him a secret,since he’s the best thing that ever happened to me, and make no apologies for that either (He would probably fall in the 5 or 6 range,I’m guessing).While he doesn’t act super effeminate most people aren’t going to immediately guess straight, either. But the thing is, we met, liked each other, and fell in love. I didn’t have a type, and neither did he. We don’t have everything in common, but we love and respect each other which is the most important thing. What I’m trying to say is people like who and what they like and it doesn’t matter who you are,how tall or short, light or dark,thin or chubby, rich or poor, a 1 or a 9, not evryone is going to be attracted to you, (on the plus side,there will be those who are, concentrate on them!)You can’t be all things to all people, so stop trying to be, it isn’t good for you. I know I’m sounding like my mom here(but it turned out she was right about this). You don’t have to be attracted to what you’re not attracted to, but you shouldn’t necessarily close yourself off to someone because they don’t quite fit a certain type either. I hope I didn’t bore anyone with this,I’m off to watch Sportscenter. Peace

      May 8, 2009 at 1:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavidMichael
      DavidMichael

      I don’t think wanting a str8 acting or masculine guy is “obsessive or pervers” unless that is what you make it. Your title is vague, who is “us” in the title? Cuz it’s not me. I don’t obsess over needing a str8 acting guy. So you didn’t set the premise up very well. Now if you are talking about femmes obsessing over str8 acting guys that’s one thing, if you are referring to “all” of the gay community, well who knows what you are really saying. This article needs to be tossed for a total redo.

      May 8, 2009 at 1:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavidMichael
      DavidMichael

      “Us” = “our” in the title.

      May 8, 2009 at 1:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Rob: The characteristics I listed under each category were from comments I’ve received from others. No self-assessment or valuation was involved. They were just examples I used to support my argument that femme/straight-acting is a false dichotomy based entirely on superficial and subjective criteria.

      The short hair, specifically, was one of the things my ex criticized when accusing me of being “too straight.”

      May 8, 2009 at 1:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      It would seem to me that almost all human interaction contain some inherent amount of subterfuge. That is, we all lie and/or obfuscate to try and attain the outcome most favorable for us. Projecting an image of masculinity and machismo even though it might not be true to some ephemeral internal sense of self isn’t wrong. It could however highlight their priorities, which is to say that they would obviously feel that projecting this framework upon their interaction with others resulted in a more favorable outcome for them than acting true to themselves. Of course then you have to believe there is some internal self separate and beyond that engendered by their actions. All of this however assumes that some significant portion of the “straight acting” gay boys out there are acting. Maybe the gay world is just full of jocks who like jocks, and femmes who like jocks that don’t reciprocate? I’m not arguing that it’s not frustrating and alienating if you happen not to fit into it, but maybe we just don’t? I was a witchy androgynous acting and looking kid and I grew into an androgynous and witchy acting and looking man. My introduction and subsequent experiences within the gay community was that most of the guys who everyone was drooling after had way too many muscles for me to be interested, and the ones who were femme enough to interest me had no interest in me. Leaves you feeling kind of awash without a subculture to call your own, just like before only with more disappointment. Doesn’t mean I blame the gay community at large, but if being gay means fitting into that I guess I’ll just be queer instead.

      May 8, 2009 at 2:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Jamie: I see the point you’re making, and it’s certainly logical enough that there would be positive/negative reinforcement issues at play. While there’s certainly nothing inherently wrong with presenting oneself in the best possible light, I would argue that taking it further and trying to be something you’re not is incredibly damaging, not just to the self, but to the alleged “gay community” as a whole. If a community is built on a foundation of lies, what sort of community is it, really?

      I will say that I do think it is wrong to pretend to be something you’re not, especially when it comes to dating/relationships. I think we all would be better served if we chose to be honest about who we are and what we want, and avoid pursuing anyone we have to wear a mask to attract.

      Of course, being someone who has never fit in to that community myself, maybe I have no place to criticize it. When I wanted in, no one would let me in. Now that I don’t try to gain admittance, I’m completely ignored. Is it better to live unloved/unvalued but ultimately true to oneself, or to affect certain changes in style and presentation to earn love/value that is based upon a lie?

      I definitely understand what lacking a subculture means. You are consigned to loneliness, possibly broken on occasion by fleeting flings and flirtations. My fellow homos see me as a sort of eunuch, completely non-sexual. As long as I don’t shatter that illusion, I am permitted to enjoy their company. I learned very quickly that the easiest way to lose a (gay) friend was to demonstrate any level of interest in them.

      But you know what? I’m fine with it. I believe that I have an entirely different purpose on this planet at this point in time. We all receive appropriate rewards for our actions, and those rewards often serve double duty as reparations for the things we must forsake. I may or may not find true love in this lifetime, but if I don’t, I will receive something of equal value eventually.

      Solitude is only hell for the incomplete.

      May 8, 2009 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      @vernonvanderbilt: I enjoyed your earlier comments. Anyway, I would like to offer the aside that I have a tendency to play devil’s advocate out of a slightly perverse sense of contrariness. Anyway, the main point of my argument is that you can’t fault people for being people or the gay community for being the gay community, however you can choose if you want to take part in one of them. I will go further by saying I don’t personally believe you can “be something you’re not” as I have a firm belief in action as truth and the meaninglessness of internal ambiguity. In short you are what you do, and if you don’t like yourself make a new one. You argue the value of truth and I can respect that, but I would argue that there is no inherent value to suffering. If being yourself even if that causes you to be excluded or lonely results in a happier you, then do that. If opposite is true, then fake it until you are it. I did learn a few things hanging around the gay community. Firstly my kind of guys and the kind of guys who are likely to be in to me hang out at other places, like book stores, coffee shops, and hipster bars. Second, there is no polite way to get a drunkenly belligerent lesbian who’s screaming that “you’re too pretty to be a boy, I don’t like boys” to leave you alone. Third and lastly, there is a subset of the population that is every bit as superficial as I am. I can’t really bitch about guys saying things like “If I wanted a woman I’d date one” when I’m standing there ignoring everyone who doesn’t look like a heroin addict and act like they probably got beaten up a lot in high school.

      May 8, 2009 at 3:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Raphael
      Raphael

      I do not consider myself straight acting, because I make no effort to act straight, I just come off as it, but it is my personality. I have no problem being affectionate in public.

      Growing up I have always gotten along with straight guys and those are who my friends are. But I dont think I ACT straight, I am just a masculine guy.

      I tend to fly under the gaydar, and in all honesty I wish I didn’t. To the point that now I frequently wear gay shirts. (gay in the sense that they have a pride flag on them or something similar)

      I am not a fan of the term straight-acting or the value we as a community place on it. cause really it means that we act as if we are not in the community. I may not be flamboyant but I am gay and proud!

      May 8, 2009 at 5:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • omghi2u
      omghi2u

      “For a college course, I combed through the Village Voice’s male-for-male personal ads from 1970-2000 seeking trends in gay men’s ideals of attractiveness. ”

      I’d like to hear more about this.

      May 8, 2009 at 9:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I actually think that acting camp is strange. Camp-acting guys are usually acting that way in order to get attention. I compare them to women who wear make-up and mini-skirts in order to get attention.

      May 8, 2009 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Colorado
      Mark in Colorado

      @Alec: So you scored a 3. Well life is full of irony. Sorry, I just couldn’t hold back my amusement. No offense meant.

      May 8, 2009 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @jason:

      Jason play nice this morning. You had your cofee yet?

      May 8, 2009 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • korpios
      korpios

      @Miss Understood: Bingo. I’m attracted to femme people; that usually means females, but there are more than a few cute very-femme boys out there that have turned my head. I usually identify as straight because “bi” immediately gives the impression that I’m attracted to the typical masculine guy (e.g., muscular, short head hair, noticeable facial hair or stubble, “straight acting”) … which couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, there’s no sexual orientation term that I’m aware of for for “technically bi but only attracted to femmes, whether male or female” (other than that mouthful itself).

      May 8, 2009 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • osocubano
      osocubano

      During my childhood and adolescence in Cuba, it was important (for my survival) to “act straight”. Fortunately, my lesbian sister gave me lessons on how to spit, cuss and throw like a boy, and I gave her lessons on applying makeup and walking like a girl.

      May 8, 2009 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Mark in Colorado: That’s fine. I don’t even know how one evaluates “straight acting,” and I find the term (and the test) either ridiculous or offensive.

      Anyway, I was just mentioning my score. The questions were idiotic in any event. I hope that most people do know how to change a flat tire, and I don’t think have Madonna on my MP3 list says much.

      The questions range from absurd (I’ve not seen much of a correlation between sexual tastes and feminine/masculine traits) to laughable (bike riding? Would that be masculine/straight or feminine/gay?).

      May 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lex
      Lex

      Isn’t this article a somewhat ironic considering the people praised and featured on this site as well as other gay media are white, masculine, and ripped?

      Try being ignored in public by the “gay community” because your skin is brown without being Hispanic or Brazilian. Tell me how you feel about seeing “No blacks.” on profiles everywhere. Likewise as someone else pointed out ask yourself how you’d feel if you were turned down because you didn’t fit the “thug” stereotype.

      These things have been pointed out in the comments yet continue to be ignored. If the “femme” vs “straight-acting” thing has people so up in arms then why doesn’t blatant racial bias?

      Worship of white skin is ok if you fit the profile, but as soon as you’re cut out of something then you’ll raise hell? Really?

      I’ll tell you what I get offended by. White gay men comparing themselves to black people and then ignoring black gay people as if we do not exist. Don’t compare yourself to Rosa Parks and then tell her legacy that they aren’t good enough to even socialize with.

      I tried associating with a group of “femme” guys in a public group for gays. They did everything they could do make me feel uncomfortable so I wouldn’t come back. Both because I’m black and masculine. I won’t even get into the snide comments they made.

      All I’m saying is how about addressing racism in the “gay community” before worrying about little unimportant things like “femme” vs “straight-acting”? I can’t change my skin color. I can’t tell it to act-white so I won’t be invisible everywhere I go.

      May 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shelby84
      shelby84

      I’m a “straight” acting guy (which is an awful term). Not by any effort of my own. I’m just me. And personally I don’t get it. Straight men can be really gross and sometimes cruel. I personally like my partner to be “very gay.” I want rainbow and coming out of their eyes. I personally think it takes a lot more balls to be “femme” in a gay hating world–and that just plain sexy. And when the lights go down we are all men in the sheets… and that all that matters me.

      @Chitown Kev: yeah… that thug-fetish $hit is so annoying!!! Happens to me all the time my friend. I’m mean I’m no one’s Tupac. Or Will Smith.

      May 8, 2009 at 12:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • atdleft
      atdleft

      @vernonvanderbilt: Thank you! I think we all need to stop pushing conformity and start letting ourselves be ourselves. I won’t be turning my straight-acting/butch friends femme/queeny any time soon, and they won’t be turning me straight-acting/butch any time soon. I still can’t believe our community has to go through this constant identity crisis.

      May 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • atdleft
      atdleft

      @Good lord: Heh. Who knew people could be… PEOPLE?! :-D

      May 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mikealvear
      mikealvear

      Matt, as a sex advice columnist (Manhunt, HBO), I notice you left out something: few guys, ESPECIALLY FEMME GUYS want to sleep with other femme guys. It’s a mating absurdity: Why would you take on the plumage guaranteed to turn off the kind of guys you want to “mate” with?

      I go into further detail in my column, “Why aren’t Effeminate Guys Attracted to Each Other?”at mikealvear.com. I’d love to see you address THAT, Mr. “Why do I have to change to get what I want!” ;>) Seriously, Great read, keep it going![img]http://www.mikealvear.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/flaminggayguy.jpg[/img]

      May 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Jamie: Trust me, I see nothing perverse about playing devil’s advocate. I think if more people were willing to take that position on occasion, debates would improve in quality because mutual understanding would become more common.

      I think we half-disagree on the idea of being something one is not. I believe we are all, at the core, something definable and solid, if malleable to a degree. I do believe you can change who you are to a certain extent, but I don’t believe it’s as easy as affecting a different personality. You can wear any mask you like, but unless you’re putting in some serious psychological/spiritual work, you can’t change your true nature. At best, you can stifle it for a while. It always bounces back eventually.

      I can only speak from personal experience, because it’s the only experience I’ve had. From the perspective of someone who has done some stage and film acting, it is entirely possible to craft a persona and lose yourself in it for a time. Are you familiar with Sacha Baron Cohen, creator of Borat, Bruno, and Ali G? I was doing things like that fifteen years ago, creating characters and interacting with the unsuspecting public. When I was in character, I truly became the person I was impersonating. The longer I held the character, the harder it was to get out of their mindset when I was finished. But I always returned to myself, and my self is still built on the same foundation it’s always been.

      Moving on…

      I would counter that any happiness resulting from changing the way one presents oneself to the world is bound to fail in time, because it is built on a false foundation. Fakery begets fakery, at least 90% of the time, maybe more. Are there some who can become truly happy by adopting a mask? Sure. But I would argue that they are far from common, and they are probably in pursuit of more ephemeral pleasures in the first place. Some folks are simply easily pleased. A little attention, a quick roll in the hay, and they’re good to go. Donning a mask immediately excludes a deeper, personal connection, because the personal will only destroy the illusion, thus removing the source of happiness. I believe that the pressure of knowing this is something that will weigh heavily on all but the most malleable among us.

      Understand, to be clear, I am speaking of those who completely obfuscate their core being in favour of a persona that is nothing like them. There’s a difference between that and simply choosing to accentuate one’s more “attractive” qualities while downplaying more alienating aspects of one’s personality.

      As far as shallowness goes, I believe we’re all shallow to a degree. I rather like Anton LaVey’s idea of erotic crystallization inertia, that our desires tend to be locked in during our formative, coming of age years. I believe that a part of that is, naturally, our sexual attraction to certain “types.” There is nothing wrong with being attracted to one type of person over another. It may be shallow, but it’s a deeply-rooted shallowness, and we all have it to some degree.

      I favour short, intelligent, playful, creative, slightly “feminine,” somewhat twinky guys. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy other types, but that is my ideal. I believe it is fully connected to the fact that my first (and, really, only) love met those criteria, and still does to an extent. Truth be told, I wish I could change my “type” but I don’t know that it’s possible. One could argue I might be “happier” if I were attracted to people who are “in my league” but, by and large, I’m just not. I imagine there’s some of that desire we all have to rewrite history in our favour (he was/is “straight” and the affection was pretty much entirely one-sided, though I did get a long, tumultuous friendship out of it). My point is, we like what we like because of factors that are, at least partially, out of our control. This is why I do not begrudge anyone their personal tastes, even if it sometimes creates disappointment, exclusion, and/or low self-esteem on my part.

      I go back to my first post on this thread, specifically the ending. While there’s nothing inherently wrong about being attracted to one type of person over another, I think we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t investigate and examine that attraction in order to attempt to discern its roots. Merely knowing what we like is only part of it; if we can udnerstand why we like what we like, happiness is easier to achieve.

      Apologies for being long-winded. Again.

      @atdleft: Exactly. I believe that we have the highest potential for happiness when we allow ourselves to act in the manner that comes naturally to us, regardless of what other people may think about it.

      May 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lakas
      Lakas

      @vernonvanderbilt:

      I’m a great fan of your posts and the ethos you surface within it: be yourself, don’t conform, be happy with what you have don’t change for anyone, defy the status quo etc. Unfortunately, though, that’s not how real world works. As I previously indicated, the problem is the continued glorification of the masculine (hypermasculine) ideal (read: white, buff, jockish) to the point that all “others” (intersection of race, gender, sexuality, etc. comes into play here) are desexualized and diminished to the point of rendering them unattractive in the gay community. Our treatment of women (lesbians), minorities (black & brown folks), poor in our community is a microscomic representation of our treatment of these folks in the larger society. What do you think?

      May 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @mikealvear:

      You too are generalising.

      That’s BULLSHIT, at least in the UK! I lived in Manchester (were the original Queer As Folk was) and lol….femmes went out with femmes..

      I DO think you have a valid point and that could be referring to actually societal structures on what is ‘manly’ and what is ‘femme’…but you could use that re Trans people..?

      May 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @vernonvanderbilt:

      Oh Vern, I here you…though I’m COMPLETELY different.

      I could go on but I give myself tests; whenever I hear, or read of a crisis, I challenge myself within about something that is too pre-occupied with external factors. It may not be HUGE but it’s for me and no one else, so it works.

      So these things tend be anything from using the word ‘can’t’ in my vocab to only being attracted to certain types….these are all societal issues that steeped into my conciousness and as an insercure teen, I was too scared to change.

      So when I turned 20 eight years ago…it all began…I wasn’t hard on myself if I reverted to type and got that french existentialist book AGAIN even though I promised myself I would choose something different like South American Magical Realism…

      Or going to that same bar that deep down I didn’t enjoy and instead go to that cafe bar with a book, food, wine bymyself and watch the world go by..

      Like I said, it’s personal, so I’m sure it’s pathetic to most but it helps me get to a level were I am not a caricurture of what society says I have to look and behave..

      But I guess it’s easy for me because I loathe conforming…so thus I made it a action plan…

      May 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mikealvear
      mikealvear

      you’re wrong. Do a search on manhunt or dudesnudes or gay.com. Put in masculine words like butch, straight-acting (god, i hate that phrase!) or phrases like no fats/no fems. It’s the same thing over and over.

      If you’re right answer me this: Why don’t nelly guys ever, in their profiles say, “looking for effeminate men only.”

      May 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Lakas:

      Yeah but you are taking the power away from yourself and that’s is bullshit.

      No one said it was ever going to be easy….and it may take years but you have to try..?

      May 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @mikealvear:

      Did you READ my post?? I said YOU had a point…BUT it was a generalisation…like all black people like hip hop (they may do BUT some don’t and you have to take in cultural aspects etc etc)

      So chill.

      Again, I mentioned the UK…I don’t know the US and remember, we’ve had more gay rights then you..so maybe it’s easier?

      May 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Lakas: There is nothing in your response I would argue with. I will actually say I agree entirely, which I think (I could be wrong) is obvious from the content of my own posts on this topic.

      My take on the ideas you’ve raised:

      “I’m a great fan of your posts and the ethos you surface within it: be yourself, don’t conform, be happy with what you have don’t change for anyone, defy the status quo etc. Unfortunately, though, that’s not how real world works.”

      The “real” world may not work that way, but that doesn’t mean the “real” world is in the right on this subject. What I find interesting is how society (particularly Western/American society) will claim outright that it prizes individuality, non-conformity, and dissent, but chooses, through direct and indirect action, to penalize those who choose to live up to those very ideals. Human society is fickle, facetious, and hypocritical. Here in America, we mythologize “rugged individualism.”

      Our cultural heroes are people like cowboys, Dirty Harry. We love to tell the story of John Henry, the man who defied common sense and battled the machine, winning, but dying in the process. I think that story in particular is quite telling. We are fine with individualism and non-conformity, so long as those who embrace it go away after making their point. Everyone else just wants to go through life safe and comfortable, and how dare we turn the mirror on them and ask that they engage in a little honest self-reflection?

      “As I previously indicated, the problem is the continued glorification of the masculine (hypermasculine) ideal (read: white, buff, jockish) to the point that all “others” (intersection of race, gender, sexuality, etc. comes into play here) are desexualized and diminished to the point of rendering them unattractive in the gay community.”

      The libido is, for most people, an extremely powerful force and influence on their day-to-day dealings with the world at large. Needless to say, when a person or situation arises which calls some aspect of the sexual dynamic into question, it is perceived as threatening. But what does it threaten, really? Does it threaten the rules of attraction the individual follows? No, because as we’ve stated before, people are going to like what they like. Does it threaten their sexual orientation? Again, I would say no, because while some people may experience a degree of fluidity of orientation over the course of a 70+ year lifetime, most folks tend to stay in a fairly defined area of attraction, whether it is narrow (almost exclusively homo/heterosexual) or wide (purely bisexual).

      I would propose that the threat is not to anything inherent in the individual. Instead, people who do not fit a person’s (or culture’s) purported “ideal type” are threatening that person’s (or culture’s) manufactured self-image. The threat such a person holds is directly proportional to the social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual investment one has made in their chosen illusion. If you have based your existence around an illusion, anything that calls it into question has the potential to create a crisis of self. This is not something most people can tolerate.

      I would say that the homogenization of gay male culture (I cannot speak with authority on the LBT folks) is, therefore, doubly puzzling, as our very existence already undermines the socially accepted “masculine ideal.” I assert that the gay male community’s glorification of the “straight-acting” man (which is not nearly universal, I remind you) is borne of a desire for assimilation into society at large. I say that not to condemn people who are exclusively attracted to “masculine” men, but to condemn gay male society for spreading the meme that this is the only sort of man we could or should be attracted to. Queerty is as guilty of this as anyone. Look at the models they post here and see what the “type” is. It matches your assessment quite nicely (white, buff, jockish).

      Try as some of us might, we will never be able to fully assimilate into mainstream culture. We will always be an “other” no matter what level of acceptance we reach. It is that way with every other minority, so why would we think we’re any different?

      Look at hip-hop culture and its appropriation by white, middle class teens and young adults. They listen to the music, but do you think they don’t notice when someone in their midst is non-white? We always notice “others” because we need to reinforce our own illusions of self.

      Let me get back on track here. All of these points are leading up to one statement on my part: the easiest way to counter a threat to one’s rules of attraction is to desexualize that threat. It is not that different from castration, if you are inclined to think metaphorically. Those of us who don’t fit the accepted (enforced?) social norms must become genial eunuchs if we wish to participate in mainstream culture on even the most superficial of levels.

      Forgive me, but I’m going to use another personal example to illustrate my point.

      I had a large circle of GLBT (mostly G) friends at one point. I was, at first, accepted into the fold simply because I was a fellow gay male. The first strike I had against me was that I was unathletic (read: about 50 pounds overweight). They could tolerate that, though, provided I did not express romantic desire for anyone who had a “better” body type than myself. I was desexualized, but accepted into the inner circle so long as I was not provacative or challenging of the social illusion.

      This would not last.

      Over time, as I became more comfortable in the group, I became bolder in expressing my thoughts, feelings, and personal characteristics. I flirted, I debated, I dressed according to whim (I think I mentioned the “glam gypsy” experiment already), and I began to point out hypocrisy when it reared its head.

      I don’t take credit for it, but as I went through this process of individualization, the group began to divide into two distinct camps. On the one hand, we had a group which embraced the ideals of mainstream, gay male society. This group was almost entirely white males, many with athletic inclinations, all of whom could be considered conventionally (by prevailing mainstream social standards) attractive. There were one or two “tokens” who were willing to suppress their sensuality to be accepted into this particular circle.

      The other circle, which I found myself a part of without actively choosing it, consisted of the misfits. There were eccentrics, like myself. There were the butch lesbians. There was a fellow who was pretty asexual in retrospect (I’m still not entirely sure how he identified, but I know he rebuffed my advances pretty strongly). We also had some bisexuals, and one transgendered individual. Both sides were fairly even in number, but the “mainstreamers” held all the positions of authority (this was a student GLBT group, if I didn’t mention that).

      When us misfits formed our own voting bloc and managed to win most of the offices, the dynamic shifted. Right off the bat, most of the “mainstreamers” left the group, never saying anything other than that they “didn’t have time for it anymore.” We all knew the real reason, but we didn’t care because, for once, we had some say in things that concerned us.

      We had gained power (sex) and, seeing us as a threat now, we were abandoned by our more assimilated brethren. The moral? Mainstream gay society is fine with the presence of non-conformists, so long as we sit quietly in the corner and don’t disrupt the party by trying to participate too much.

      “Our treatment of women (lesbians), minorities (black & brown folks), poor in our community is a microscomic representation of our treatment of these folks in the larger society.”

      I agree 110% with this assessment.

      In mainstream GLBT society, lesbians are generally treated dismissively at best, with hostility (direct or indirect) at worst. In American society, women are seen as sex objects or bitches. If they don’t fit one of those two templates, they are summarily rejected.

      In mainstream GLBT society, ethnic minorities are generally expected to conform to the role of “exotic primitives.” They are fetishized more than romanticized, or even sexualized. When they are sexualized, it is nearly always in a “savage” manner, i.e. hypersexualization. It is rare to see an African-American or Latino man held up for admiration for his social, intellectual, or spiritual achievements. They are relegated to being proof of “diversity,” which is just lip service in general. Their actual role is to add a different sexual “flavour” to the mix and provide the occasional dose of variety, so as to “prove” that mainstream, gay male culture is not “entirely” about “white, buff, jockish” types. In mainstream society, it’s much the same, if not worse. If a black man isn’t making music or playing a sport, most white folks don’t even notice him. If he can’t be fetishized or idealized on some level, then he must be silent and complacent.

      As for the poor, well…they don’t exist in either the mainstream culture or the GLBT subculture, am I right?

      Sorry for going super-long again. When I get on a roll, I tend to get caught up in the moment.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      JEsus, vernon… do you play WOW, too?

      May 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s): What I think is different about what you do (provided I understood you correctly) as opposed to what most people do, is that this is something you have consciously chosen to do. It doesn’t sound to me like you’re actively trying to change who you are at the core, more just accepting the decisions you make in your daily life at face value, taking them for no more than what they are worth. I really think we’re espousing the same thing, just with different terms/rationale.

      I do believe that for most of us who are true individuals, it comes naturally. Also, part of being an individual is being able to accept those aspects of your personality/desires that do match up to the mainstream without feeling the need to justify them or explain yourself. From the sound of things, you’re about as well-adjusted as someone could hope to be in that regard.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @TANK: Nope. I was tempted to give it a try once, but I figured it wouldn’t be worth the time and cash investment. I don’t generally play well with others. It’s in my nature to be subversive, and for some reason, people don’t embrace that. ;)

      May 8, 2009 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @TANK: Though, for the record, I have been known to play Guild Wars on occasion.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Rebel!

      May 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @vernonvanderbilt:

      Completely we are.

      I wasn’t talking about changing the individual self because you CAN’T but you can the societal self and not let it own you like Lakas was stating which is just not long-term thinking…

      May 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s): Okay, that’s what I suspected. I just didn’t want to misinterpret what you were saying. These conversations are easier in person than they are on the internet.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @TANK: I suppose I am, though it’s rarely something I put much effort into.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Vern

      What’s Guild Wars?

      May 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @The Gay Numbers: It’s an MMORPG based in a fantasy realm, much like WoW. The alluring difference is that there are no monthly subscription fees to play. You buy the program at the store, take it home, install it, and that’s it…you can play forever with no additional cost.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @vernonvanderbilt:

      Snowflake!

      May 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @The Gay Numbers: Also, from what I can tell, it’s a little more friendly to solo players. As someone who doesn’t go nuts over socializing, that’s a good thing in my eyes.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @TANK: Perhaps. I like glaciers more though.

      May 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OberynE
      OberynE

      And let’s not forget that at the heart of all this “straight-acting” business (read: masculinity is sexy, femininity is not) is misogyny, which gay men all too often don’t get called-out on.

      I see the craigslist bs all the time. At its heart, it is just a continuation of the institutionalization of misogyny; that anything that has to do with ideas/behaviors that remind one of women or femininity is less appealing or gross.

      That’s just messed up.

      May 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      No one should use craigslist as a representation of anything beyond on craigslist Seriously, that’s like using a cesspool to discuss drinking water.

      May 8, 2009 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Amen!

      May 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      http://img.makeupalley.com/9/5/6/8/1282025.GIF

      May 8, 2009 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @vernonvanderbilt:
      Thanks, Vernon

      May 8, 2009 at 8:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Chitown Kev: No problemo. :)

      May 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HighTimes
      HighTimes

      What exactly does it mean to be “straight acting?” Ugh. I hate all these ridiculous labels that get tossed about. In my own personal opinion, and this has always been my stance, there is no such thing as “straight acting” or “gay acting.” I’ve never been a fan of trying to perscribe specific traits or mannerisms to straights or gays as they’re only used to pigeon hole people. Do whatever the hell you want to do. If expressing yourself is wearing a tube top, high heels and assless chaps while screaming the words to Dianna Ross, more power to you. If your idea of expressing yourself is simply wearing jeans and a t-shirt, more power to you.

      And who someone finds attractive, for whatever reasons, is really a personal matter and in my opinion, isn’t something one should be ridiculed for nor made to sound like they have personal problems with themselves or their sexuality because of it. Do some gays probably dislike feminine gay men because of some psychological issue? Maybe, I’m sure there are some. But I highly doubt you could say they constitute a majority. Point is, people have their reasons for finding certain types of people attracive and it really isn’t any of my business as to why they feel that way, nor do I think any less of them for feeling that way.

      I guess my point is, people put way too much stock in arbitrary labels and other peoples opinions. Be whoever you want to be, there’s no need to attach all these ridiculous terms, traits and labels to who you are and worry that people wont like you. If they don’t, screw ‘em. There’s no reason to conform to anyone elses opinions to make them happy, it’s your life not theirs. That’s my philosophy on life.

      May 8, 2009 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      @vernonvanderbilt: Please don’t apologize for the length of your replies. I’m enjoying them. Anyway, it definitely would seem to be an agree to disagree situation as far as the mutability of core self is concerned, but I’m more than willing to live with some disagreement. Not everybody agrees with my “must have at least 3 facial piercings to ride” policy in my personal life either… I think we both basically agree that the desire towards “straight acting” guys is not in and of itself a problem. I however don’t think an examination of why the gay community or an individual within it is drawn towards this stereotype is exactly necessary. The individual will tend to be drawn to it, regardless of personal feeling, if involved with the gay community because it is what the community has defined as attractive. This is human nature, members of a society will find attractive what that society defines as attractive. If removed from the influence of that biased socialization, those who’s natural inclinations are typified by it will remain the same, while those who’s inclinations differ will drift back towards their natural states. It becomes obvious then that the solution is not changing the gay community, but abolishing it and becoming equal included parts of a larger human community. At least it would if the ugly head of misogyny wasn’t poking up in the background. The simple fact is that, at least here in America, the gay communities bias really just reflects the widespread bias in American society that are based on some bizarre, Brady Bunch like iteration of puritan gender roles holding out into modern times.

      P.S. I loved Guild Wars, it was like an MMORPG for adults that respected the fact that I have better things to do than grind after levels just to be competitive, which meant I could pick it up and put it down as I felt like it. The lack of a monthly fee meant my only penalization for choosing my friends, or a movie, or a book over it was a delay in seeing the main campaign content and less practice, which I was willing to live with.

      May 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Jamie: Thank you. I’m glad the length isn’t an issue for you.

      I suppose I should clarify, as someone who has done a little studying of the concepts of chaos magic, that I do believe the obliteration of the self is possible. I simply believe it’s incredibly difficult, and very few people have or will ever truly achieve that state.

      I would also agree that self-examination vis a vis personal attraction is not necessary. I still believe it can be an illuminating and worthwhile pursuit, but not everyone can handle the truths such examination leads to. I understand this, and I can even respect it, though it’s not a characteristic I would want in a potential partner.

      You’re absolutely correct in your statement regarding the influence of socialization. I am living proof that if you choose to separate yourself from the illusion, it eventually crumbles and you become your true self. The true self may well match the socialized illusion. There is nothing to criticize in that case. My only problem is with people who have bought in to the illusion to such a degree that they are unwilling, if not unable, to examine it for what it is, with a critical eye.

      You also allude to herd mentality, which is spot on. I prefer Howard Bloom’s “superorganism” idea, but they’re essentially the same thing.

      I would also argue that the abolishment of the gay community is about as necessary as the abolishment of Oz. Both are equally fictional contructs; the latter simply adds entertainment to the mix.

      And, yes, misogyny is a root cause of these problems. I would argue that it goes even deeper than that, though. Every social group or civilization requires an “other” for two main reasons:

      1. Self-definition.

      2. Intrasocial cohesion.

      I’m actually thinking we agree on a whole lot more than we disagree on. I am enjoying your take on the issues. You should read Howard Bloom’s book, The Lucifer Principle. I suspect you’d find it interesting.

      As far as Guild Wars goes…exactly. It’s nice having an MMORPG (because I really am a big ol’ geek) that caters to people with other interests. WoW fans seem a little too obsessive for my taste.

      May 8, 2009 at 11:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      @vernonvanderbilt: This has been fun, I’m not a regular reader here, got linked in from some other blog to this article. I also think we agree on a lot. My only argument with your previous post would be regarding the obliteration of self being difficult, and it’s mostly semantic, in that I think the statement argues for the existence of self rather than the illusion of self, you can’t obliterate what you never really had. That said, shattering those illusions is very difficult, and possibly, even probably, beyond the means of most of the population. Every time this argument comes up you get the same things though, some people discuss. A larger percentage protest “hey I/we can’t help being masculine/attracted to masculine guys/femme”. Then somebody else always throws out, as if they have unearthed some great bone of wisdom, “why don’t the femmes date femmes either?”. Eventually it all winds down as most people just end up saying “people like what they like”, and moving on. In the end most of these rants/arguments are really rooted in femme frustration over not being considered attractive by those they find most attractive, and in the end the only real argument I can put out there is this. Stop walking around at the races complaining about how everyone there likes horses and all the horses are only interested in other horses and it’s so unfair! Of course it’s unfair, but it’s also the way it is and you chose to be at the freaking racetrack.

      Also, WoW fans come across as slightly fanatical. Like, foaming at the mouth, fanatical. I once had a guy talk to me for about 45 minutes non stop about his paladin before bothering to ask me if I played, he just assumed because I said I like computer games. :)

      May 9, 2009 at 12:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Jamie: Well ,let me be the first to say that your presence would be welcomed here in the future. Every once in a while Queerty actually posts a story you can really dig into, and there are a few of us around here who can have a decent conversation if we wish.

      Perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I should be, or perhaps I’m (at least partially) misunderstanding you, but I will clarify my position on the existence of “self.” I believe it exists. It sounds as if you don’t, or you believe that it is entirely illusory. Am I reading you correctly?

      As for the de-evolutionary arc in conversations like this…well, we’re dealing with humans. In any argument, when the discussion starts creating too many questions or hitting too close to home, the typical human is most likely to deflect, shut down, and move on. It all falls back on protecting their precious illusions. I especially liked your racetrack analogy.

      “Of course it’s unfair, but it’s also the way it is and you chose to be at the freaking racetrack.”

      Exactly.

      As far as WoW and paladins go, your patience amazes me. There is no way I could have sat through 45 minutes of that. I’ll usually give people 3-5 minutes to talk about something I have no interest in, then I will tell them “I have no knowledge of or interest in this subject.” Sometimes I try to say it more politely, usually if they’re pretty, because I’m shallow like that.

      May 9, 2009 at 1:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @vernonvanderbilt</a@Jamie:

      I think you’re both on the same page by the way…

      Humans are weird. Naturally irrationally and deeply narcissistic.

      May 9, 2009 at 2:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      @vernonvanderbilt: That’s basically what I was getting at, it’s a break down at the base supposition. I personally believe in a more malleable self as I believe that self is entirely illusory. So I have no problem grasping where someone who’s personal philosophy allows for the existence of a “true self” would have a much harder time seeing it as highly changeable, and can even respect that, I just have to point out that it’s definitely not where I am coming from. I have no problem as seeing the illusion as easy to change, but hard to give up.

      As for the Paladin boy… Insanely adorable, and honestly so passionate about the game that it was cute all on its own. He was also pretty apologetic about it when he finally did ask. So, I wasn’t being selfless listening to him.

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s): We sort of are, but we have some really fundamental differences in philosophy that are fun to natter about incessantly.

      May 9, 2009 at 3:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff
      geoff

      @HighTimes: Pretty much what I said, but much more succinct. I thank you for getting to the point much better than I did.I hope people listen to what you have to say because it’s very spot on.

      May 9, 2009 at 4:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Jamie: Okay, I understand where you’re coming from now. It does seem that we’re essentially in agreement on nearly everything save for that one fundamental. Cool stuff.

      Also, I want to thank you for taking the bait and engaging me on this level. It’s not often I meet people who can or will have conversations about such obscure and highly theoretical concepts. It’s been a great conversation. And yes, these things are incredibly fun to natter about incessantly. :)

      Where your paladin is concerned…I can understand completely. Adorableness + passion = more patience on my part. I can dig it.

      May 9, 2009 at 10:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phoenix (Ahoy! Butt-Pirates Of the Carribean!)
      Phoenix (Ahoy! Butt-Pirates Of the Carribean!)

      Okay, I am really, really sick of this “straight-acting” shit. If you are gay, you’re gay no matter what you look like or what you wear. You can “act” all you like, but it doesn’t change the fact you’re as queer as my effeminate ass. I come from a family of short, slightly built folks….male or female, gay or straight, that’s what we look like. My DNA made me resemble a 12 year old girl until I was in my late twenties. If I like this T-shirt, I’m going to wear it. If I want to wear a pair of pants that aren’t tan, I’m going to buy them and wear them. If I want to wear jeans that fit, instead of dragging like I’ve got a load of shit in my drawers, guess what? I am going to wear them. I like Star Trek, Classic Battlestar Galactica and Dr. Who, anime and manga, Terry Pratchett, and I have a hot wheels collection. I don’t care if you think I’m a femme, a dork, or a geeky queen. I am what I am and I don’t give a shit who’s approval I have…too bad all you “actors” don’t have the rocks to be what you really are.

      p.s. I bet I get picked on a lot less than you straight-acting wimps….I’m not desperate to be liked by the mainstream herd, and I’m not too chicken shit to stand up for myself and what I want and believe.

      May 9, 2009 at 10:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gerry
      gerry

      Don’t get me wrong, I love an angry femme queen,
      but those guys at OSH are so damn cute

      May 9, 2009 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pd
      pd

      you know, they say the vagina was made for the penis but i can fit one in my ass very well. sure it hurts a little at first and being drunk and/or high and/or really high helps, but i can still get one in there and eventually it feels really good. i love the straight ones as in: no curves. the curved one are tricky unless you do the move where you are on you side with one leg up and one down as you get fucked from behind. and that ONLY works if the penis is curved in the right direction otherwise it’s like throwing fire on the gasoline. so yeah, i think straight is better, or at least straight FEELS much better……as long as it is not huge and they go slow at first or i completely pass out.

      May 9, 2009 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • boytroy
      boytroy

      There are very few people in this world that act like who they are. That would require a strong sense of oneself and few people, gay or straight, have that. Everyone starts to conform at an early age to what they come to believe will give gain them love and acceptance, or push away that which has hurt them.

      So it is natural for we gays to find interest in this topic. Because most of us either went for the straight acting route to gain love and acceptance or maybe an extreme polar opposite to insulate ourselves from those who hurt us. Then the day came where we chose to come out, and having lost that essence of who we were as a child, none of us new how to act. So we seek models for that and we start a new try on new costumes. We also learn to adapt ourselves to what we hear other gay people say is attractive and sexy. After all we want to be wanted and we want to get laid. But still in all of this we are not seeking out what we lost in the first place, who we really are.

      I have encountered a few people that seemed to have found that essence. And each time I have I am amazed because usually they don’t fit a stereotype of what sexy is but for they are none the less sexy. They are just authentic and when you have the rare treat to meet such a person you know it. But its no easy task to find your authentic self and be that, I’ve been working on it for years and can only get there a small part of the time. But its the only model worth looking for.

      May 10, 2009 at 1:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @boytroy: Thanks for your post. It was authentic and elegant, and I will happily co-sign you on it.

      May 10, 2009 at 1:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frank
      frank

      I’m sorry I am not a feminine gay man. I was raised in a masculine environment, I like masculine men (imagine that, a gay man liking MASCULINITY), I like to do masculine things.

      The fact that I never assimilated into gay culture and became a feminine gay man should NOT be a problem for the gay community, but it seems it is. Gezz, I thought we were over this “one way to be gay” BS, and it IS BS.

      Some of the hateful things I have heard from the feminine gay crowd directed at me “You can’t really be gay if you don’t go in drag at least once” (funny, I thought being gay had more to do with sucking big D than dressing in women’s cloths), “You have to turn in your gay card”, “Your ‘homosexual’ you are not really gay unless you embrace the culture” (or in other words one must ASSIMILATE to the gay culture to be gay), or “you should not try and assimilate straight culture” (um, some how because I never assimilated into gay culture, I am assimilating straight culture).

      Sorry, Matt, but you need to stop your bashing of masculine gay men, it is ever bit as ugly as the homophobia we all face.

      May 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      what are masculine things to do? Chopping wood? drinking beer and watching sports on tele? I don’t think so. Those are boring things to do…so maybe boring=masculine.

      May 11, 2009 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      Chopping wood and drinking beer, no. Watching sports, esp. football. YES, goddammit!

      May 11, 2009 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Again, boring. You realize that your only role in the game is making it profitable to broadcast, right? Little beer to piss machines laying around the stadium…beached in the stands

      May 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      I don’t drink, for one.

      And…I love watching football and even playing pick up football (flag or tackle). I like plying pick up basketball (but don’t particularly care to watch basketball).

      And I’m sort of an in-betweener. Not quite masculine, not quite a queen, I guess. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

      All of that and I can tell you about all three of Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s at the same time.

      May 11, 2009 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frank
      frank

      @TANK:

      Do a google image search on canyoneering… That is a hell of a lot more fun than any boring than any stuff the fem gay men get into. So, go primp in front of the mirror (talk about boring), I will be out canyoneering, river rafting, cross country hiking, and getting off with masculine men that know how to go at it like MEN.

      May 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redballs
      redballs

      can american white queers get more shallow?
      wow, what a waste of men, little bitches with dicks fighting over who’s more queer…only in america…signmeIrish
      please stay there…we can’t stand you and your naive preciousness

      May 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redballs
      redballs

      @frank:
      i’m with you and not these pathetic queers…so sad, these pussies bumping into each other and shaving their crotches…so silly

      May 11, 2009 at 10:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bodega vendetta
      bodega vendetta

      omg, like i am so sure

      May 14, 2009 at 1:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FreakyLocz14
      FreakyLocz14

      1) Wheter you believe it’s bias or prefernce isn’t going ti get these men to date you so get over it.

      2) This is not homophobia because homophobia is fear of gay people and the “straight-acting” men they are seeking are also gay hence no fear there. Unless you are impying that being effeminate and being gay are the same thing. Sexual orientation and behavior are seperate.

      …Liberal pansie

      Jun 3, 2009 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • josh
      josh

      What exactly is so “straight acting” about sucking dick?

      Jul 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike [Different person #1 using similar name]

      To follow the classification of the Straightacting.com quiz, I’m apparently a “Level 4.”
      I’ve definitely encountered multiple guys on hook up or dating websites that advertise either for no femmes or clarified that they didn’t want to meet me unless I was “masculine” or “straight-acting.”
      I had an ex who prided himself on being “straight-acting,” that people couldn’t quite tell if he was gay or not, and that always struck me as kind of sad that he couldn’t just be himself, but had to conform to the standard that straight guys are hot and unattainable, so if I pretend to be straight that makes me more desirable.
      Queers are good at inventing bullshit to make our lives more difficult, if we could accept that individuals are going to act like individuals and aren’t necessarily femme or butch but somewhere in between depending on circumstances, we’d probably be a happier folk.

      Jul 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      I like to tell guys who IM me online and mention how ‘straight-acting’ they are that “no matter how stiff your wrists may be, no matter how much you use the word “dude,” and no matter how far you can throw a ball, *the* defining feature of ‘acting straight’ is fucking chicks, and that if you aren’t doing that– if you prefer dick to chicks– then according to the authors of the homophobic scripts you’re reading from, you’re still a big ol’ nelly faggot. If they ever decide to round us up and take us out, it won’t matter how butch you think you are, they’ll line you up against the same wall as the ‘sissies’ and ‘fems’ you deride.”

      Part of what’s really absurd about valuing ‘straight actingness’ while devaluing ‘gay actingness’ is that it’s oblivious to the fact that the macho B.S. “straight male” affect is as much a put-on social construct as the gay stereotypes that some homos adopt as soon as they come out. Whether you ‘act gay’ or ‘act straight,’ it’s still all acting. If someone really wants to impress, they should have the courage to be themselves, conduct themselves naturally– in the manner that comes without trying, however ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ or in-between that may be– rather than being servile and pandering to the prejudices and opinions of public opinion. Which I can’t help saying with a certain scorn, because ‘the public opinion’ comes from Joe Average, who– on average– is such an ignorant, irrational, self-destructive borderline-retard that his opinion is without worth.

      Aug 22, 2009 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WTF?
      WTF?

      Why post, I think. There are already SO many opinions. Still…

      “More importantly, their glorification of straight-acting is not preference, it is bias.”

      Spoken by a truly bitter person, spurned too often. Like those who say you’re racist if you prefer one or two over the others. It’s about preferences, which all are entitled to, and jealousy. This man is obviously very femme and as a result finds it difficult at times to date. I think most gay men want a man, the kind of man they grew up with as having manly qualities. As the saying goes, “If I wanted a woman…” You may not like to hear that, but it doesn’t negate the truth behind it. Instead of whining like another “victim”, perhaps you should do something about it. Suck it up if you’re so proud of yourself or make some changes.

      Sep 5, 2009 at 7:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • A.BLue
      A.BLue

      WTF…What happened to having a mind of your own! Straight acting, macho…the village people! Hyper-masculinity in all its glory! First off, the measure of ones degree of masculinity has nothing to do with hair, or your voice or how you carry yourself!
      Listen to M.Tyson! I have met some really masculine drag queens!
      As well as some really effeminate butch guys!

      Like watching sports defines masculinity! Playing them perhaps!
      The reality is this is what society dictates! Would not be very alpha male to be influenced by this or even the idea of it!

      “Be your OWN man”, that will carry you further than a baritone voice or saying dude and man, every second word!

      This is something that’s been created. A stigma! Stemming from personal, societal, and cultural influences. Repercussion of a marginalized group, for one!

      When I was younger, in the early days of the internet. I would go to meet guys who claimed they were really really masculine and they would state things like, don’t bother if your not masculine! This used to intimidate me…prior to meeting!

      Can I tell you, this was embellishment at its best and perhaps a little wishful thinking! These guys cracked me up!
      Completely effected and one dimensional! Stupid rehearsed lines and script for sex! Turned me off to white gay guys. Which is fine, although some of my best friends are white and gay. In general a lot of gay men don’t like me. Think cause I am abrasive, direct and don’t like small talk.

      For the record, I have never subscribed to any sexual denomination. Whose business is it who I sleep with.
      I would never define myself by my sexuality. “I am who I sleep with”…I don’t think so! I just took that straight acting test. That’s about the gayest thing I have done all year! The email question is the best. If you answer eight words or less that makes you straight acting…LOL! Actually, it makes you an idiot that cannot communicate properly. I never understood guys who send email that make no sense. Now I do! I score a big fat ZERO!

      I write long emails and I don’t like team sports! I am not acting either, this is who I am! Could not change it I wanted to.
      I would never refer to my self as straight acting either!
      Some people don’t believe me when I say I like guys!

      As far as straight guys go. A lot of them are not so straight acting either, these days! Look at Gotti’s sons with the plucked eyebrows and shaved torso’s! When I was living in NYC, there would be a ton of these huge muscle guys out! All primped and plucked. It makes no difference to me.

      I am just saying…what defines STRAIGHT ACTING these days. The village people, Gotti’s son’s, hairless body builders with spray tans. Need I remind you some of the most effeminate guys are actually some of the straightest! Don’t believe me go to any larger office…you will lse e what I mean!

      I think its about time we all evolved past the straight gay, bi thing!

      Anyways, it takes a lot more than a short silly test to define a man, regardless of how he acts!

      “Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not”.

      Nov 4, 2009 at 8:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rob
      rob

      Just opposed to the whole idea of straight acting. No such thing. Period.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • arthur treachers
      arthur treachers

      sick of any man who says “I am white, straight acting, masculine, in shape,only young males apply”. SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK of it.
      Fuck all you “fake straight acting bastards”. Go to hell and while you are there, say hi to satan for me.

      Mar 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • arthur treachers
      arthur treachers

      @frank: Frank, get a life.

      Mar 6, 2010 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Becky911
      Becky911

      if a cock is in your mouth or ass nigga u gay. no such thing as straight acting.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Becky911- how eloquent you are – may we presume you write for a living? NOT. First, Why are you here? Second, do not use racial slurs and Third – some people will do anything for money, including kill people (they’re called hitmen) so there are “worse” things for a man to do than have sex with another man. So it doesn’t automatically make you Gay.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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