To all gay men who make it a habit of looking down on/making fun of feminine gay men, let me first apologize. I didn’t realize it was so hard to be masculine and gay at the same time. People stare at you, call you names, and even threaten your life. All because you blend in with the rest of the society and are able to hide and even deny your sexuality when it conveniences you. That’s how it works, right?
All sarcasm aside, what I’m definitely not going to apologize for is your skewered belief that sparkly, flamboyant gay men make other “normal” gay men look bad. I believe our culture in general is doing a fine job of that, you know, the church fanatics that want us all put to death and political/religious leaders who have outlawed our lifestyle in other countries. I don’t apologize for that. In fact, I don’t even excuse it.
At a time when we’re supposed to be standing together as a community, we couldn’t be farther apart. Gay men don’t even accept each other, yet we want the same rights as everyone else. We should be united, but instead we’re worried about how someone else who’s going through the same struggles as any gay man might make us be perceived by others.
The ironic thing about it all is that you look down on feminine gay men because they’re actually stronger than you. Anyone who can get up and walk out of their house knowing they will be rejected by most of the people they run into has to be strong and thick-skinned. There’s no alternative. So, then, it makes sense that you would have a problem with someone who’s brave enough to be the person you don’t have the guts to be.
Feminine gay men don’t need to become more masculine to make you more comfortable, just like you don’t have to become completely straight just to make suspiciously-curious homophobes more comfortable. There’s no such thing as gender norms. That’s yet another hold-back element invented by our male-dominated culture.
I am not less of a person because my hair is long, my eyebrows are plucked, I regularly wear makeup and dress feminine, or even for the way I choose to talk and present myself.
I am not less of a person because, unlike you, I can easily be picked out in a crowd because of my flamboyant personality and behavior. Sorry, not all of us want to spend our lives trying desperately to fit in with the rest of the world. It’s boring.
I am not less of a person because you specified on your Grindr/Adam4Adam/OkCupid/Plenty of Fish profile that you only date “real” masculine men and will block sissy, fem boys.
I am not less of a person just like you are not less of a person. We’re both gay men. We’re in this together, all pettiness aside.
I am not part of the “faggot” imaginary subgroup designated for gay men who aren’t twinks with washboard abs and Miley Cyrus haircuts.
I am a person first, and if society wants to use how I, as an individual, act in order to define an entire group of people, that’s their problem, isn’t it?
This essay was originally published on Bold and Sugar.
Photo credit: Flickr