conspiracy theories

Did the Straights Create Gay Stereotypes to Control Our Minds?!

Earlier this month Straight Acting Erik wondered aloud why some gays “talk gay”. That made you all accuse him of being a homosexual homophobe for unfairly stereotyping other homosexuals! Allow him to address you directly.

“Most gay people probably don’t fit those stereotypes,” says Erik. “I think it was kinda created by straight people to scare gay people, to scare all the men and women who don’t act stereotypical, into leading the straight lifestyle.” Oh we love a good conspiracy theory.

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  • Michael

    Considering the fact that it was the heterosexual community that perpetuated a “flamboyant gay” (who were seen as weak and not something to aspire to be) stereotype of all gay men back as far as the 20s, I wouldn’t exactly call it a “conspiracy theory”.

    I don’t know why you have a vendetta with this kid. There’s no need to publicly berate someone for posing a simple question as to why *some* people speak a certain way; considering it’s a cultural anthropological/psychological question that is on the minds of many in the field of humanities, and yes, in the gay community.

  • William Day

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait.

    So the gay stereotype was created… so people who weren’t gay stereotypes wouldn’t be gay? I’ve avoided drugs my entire life, but whatever the boy is smoking is clearly the. best. thing. in all of existence. I must have some. Or, he’s just incapable of forming coherent sentences.

    This “Erik” fellow keeps shooting himself in the foot. First, camp gay guys discourage traditionally masculine gay guys from coming out. Then he says, hey, everyone is different, and that’s OK. But then… We need to show everyone that we’re not all theatre queens. OK, that’s… sort of justifiable, I guess. No one can say that breaking stereotypes is a bad thing, it’s just that he seems so determined not to be lumped into the flamingly gay category. He seems to mean well, but the fact that he views camp gay guys as something that should put people off speaks volumes about his own views on masculinity and gender roles.

    He may have a slight point about how we’re portrayed in the mainstream media, and the overabundance of Jack McFarlane types, which may make some people think “Oh Gods, I can’t be a bender, I’m nothing like these people” but seriously, it’s 2010. A: There’s nothing wrong with the Jack McFarlane types, and B: There are enough non-camp gay people represented in fiction and non-fiction media by now to show you the flaming drag act route is by far from the only way to go. It’s time to grow up.

  • JamesStone

    I like Erik!! I wish that I had had an Erik when I was growing up. He has been very helpful to so many confused kids.

    To those who constantly bash him: Where is your YouTube channel? What are you doing to improve gay rights? How are you helping kids deal with their homosexuality and come out of the closet?
    Thanks Erik!

  • Rob

    What Erik is says in his video does make sense. Often times people (such as the devotely religious) speak of how being gay is immoral, weird, something unnatural. Often religion portrays masculinity as superior to femininity. Because this is the case it makes sense that straight people portray gay people as feminine, sexually deviant, weird, overly sexualized. Why? Because these things are characterized as immoral. Preach about how gay people and characterize them in the ways I just described and you will most certainly scare and confuse a young man or woman that thinks they might be gay, but who is highly religious.

    Having trouble seeing the bigger picture or thinking outside of small box? It’s time to grow up.

  • Brutus


    The stereotype was “created” by campy gays and butch dykes because for a long time they were the most (or the only) visible face of the gay community. So someone thinks “gay,” recalls all the people she’s met who were clearly gay, and thinks, “ok, so that’s what gay is.” It’s pretty simple. Perceptions are changing, but stereotypes come from somewhere real; they aren’t just constructed out of nothing as a fear-mongering campaign.

  • RW in LGB

    This kid has a REAL obsession with femme gay boys, doesn’t he?!

    We get it, hatchet-face, you don’t like the femmy girly boys, despite being one yourself. He’s about as straight-acting as boiled linguini. And I bet he’s STILL not getting any hot cock either.

    Note to Self-Hating Erik: Bitchy judgmentalism is a huge turn-off. Being happy with yourself and accepting of others’ character quirks will make you a much more accepted person.

    As to his actual thesis: Well, DUH. The twenty-year-old finally gets it. Ridicule is a powerful tool in the hands of the self-righteous and hypocritical, when used against the powerless and fearful. When you learn to let go of fear, the ridicule ceases to have any power. That’s how it works in the real world.

  • Andy

    “Most gay people probably don’t fit those stereotypes.” No, they do.

  • Brutus

    Amen, RW in LGB. That’s what Pride is all about. Which makes it all the better when people like Erik here go off on rants about how Pride is embarrassing and doesn’t represent them, etc.

  • Kevin (New Jersey, US)

    Sometimes I get tired of being gay. Can’t I just have sex with men and form romantic relationships with them if they’re cool with it? Why do I have to be gay? Why do I have to put up with being labeled a child molester, or a drag queen, or a hairstylist, or a disease vector? Why do I have to answer for other gay men who choose to talk and act like women? Why does it have to be the diva-fierce-house-ecstasy identity? I dunno. I just want to be me, and I’m sexually and emotionally attracted to men. I’m just tired of all the other crap that comes along with it – crap I didn’t do, didn’t vote for, didn’t think was a good idea. /exaspersation

  • AlwaysGay

    Yeah, there were a lot of mean comments directed toward Erik but you know what you need to have fortitude to stand up for yourself. I’m tired of seeing people crumble after others made negative comments toward them. Erik didn’t do that but he was close. Another thing, gay people are terrible at defending themselves. Too often gay people give long-winded defenses that never really get to the heart of the matter.

    The first 18 years of someone’s life is the most important in terms of shaping their identity. Gay people grow up in a heterosexual environment. That heterosexual environment has a huge impact on gay people’s lives. I think for some gay people they inadvertantly try to live up to heterosexual expectations of what gay people are. Others behave certain ways because that’s the way they’ve been accepted. Heterosexuals prefer effeminate gay men and butch lesbians. It bolsters their heteorsexuality (feminine people are attracted to men and masculine attracted to women) and keeps gay people “in their place.” The status quo for gay people is to be subservient, docile and perpetually disadvantaged. You in effect are serving heterosexual norms by being an effeminate gay man or butch lesbian.

  • Andy

    @Kevin (New Jersey, US): I think you’re wrong to say they choose it. That’s who they are. Absolutely nothing wrong with that either.

  • Andy

    @AlwaysGay: On the one hand, you have gays who fail to come terms with their own effeminacy and pretend that gays men are just like straight men, except for which sex they like in bed. And then you have the opposite, supremacist lines like: “You in effect are serving heterosexual norms by being an effeminate gay man or butch lesbian.”

    Effeminate gay men do not choose to be effeminate. That’s who they are. You might as well tell women not be so damn girly.

  • Qjersey

    This child is just so damn clueless. Stop making vlogs and get a good therapist.

  • afrolito

    With that self loathing twit ever shut up? His sad defenders are even more pathetic.

  • mcc

    I don’t get this self-hating garbage about how not all of us are girly. Stereotypes exist because human minds get in the habit of lumping things, and it helps to have criteria for these categories. When statistically speaking you are more likely to encounter a femmy gay guy, both because it is more obvious and because they’re just more common, that is what you attribute as a group quality. We all do the same, for better or worse, for any group, be it women, blacks, whites, etc. It’s just who we are. Prevailing science seems to think that the gay thing is caused roughly half by genes and half by environment, which is in utero environment not a distant father. So for the environment portion, its thought that some feminizing agent (hormones) that your mother produces does something to your brain. If it can make you love the cock like a girl, isn’t there a good chance that it could have affected other parts of your brain, those that confer speech or body movements? So just consider it gradations on a continuum, with the majority falling under more feminine than masculine.

  • Kevin (New Jersey, US)

    Oh, and while we’re at it – why do gay people “talk gay”? Try a straight-up behavioral analysis: it’s learning history, and for whatever reason(s), “talking gay” gave certain individuals access to reinforcers (sex, admiration, notoriety, recognition, self-validation, pity, etc.). Why do they do it? Because it works.

    For me, “talking straight” gives me my reinforcers: I get to be taken seriously by others on issues unrelated to what form of genitalia I like to put in my mouth (just like how Americans think people w/. British accents are automatically intelligent, many think that people with “gay” accents are automatically incompetent basketcases who have a good eye for color). I get to emulate my father and the image of masculinity passed to me by the greater society, which makes me feel more secure in my person and possessions. And I like it. I like men. I like being a man. It all works for me – that’s why I “talk straight”.

  • AlwaysGay

    @Andy: I never wrote some gay men chose to be effeminate. Gay men who behave effeminately do so because they socialized with girls growing up and for the most part unconciously adopted their ways. Heterosexual males who act masculine do so because they socialized with boys growing up and mostly unconciously adopted their ways. Effeminate gay men are largely masculine, those masculine traits are genetic. There are a FEW traits that can be affected by socialization like speech and body movement.


    Quite right, Erik. Gender roles are social constructs underscored by religious mysticism/misogyny.

  • Kieran

    Get the hell off Erik’s back already. He’s got a perfect right to have and express opinions that may not conform to the rigid codes and bi-laws of Gay Political Correctness. So fucking what if his opinion doesn’t jibe with your viewpoint? Deal with diversity. I for one welcome intelligent young people like Erik who question and challenge societal stereotypes and I hope voices like his become ever more prominent within the community.

  • jason

    I think flamboyance is a means of gaining attention. You see it also in women who embellish their appearance with make-up and fashion in order to get the attention of others.

    Flamboyance therefore algins with the notion of “seller”, which women subscribe to, and which some gay men subscribe to as well. You’re selling yourself to a potential suitor, and hence need to stand out through embellishment, which includes mannerisms.

  • Andy

    @AlwaysGay: Have you been around gay men, ever? My last boyfriend was effeminate *because* it was a part of him. He identified with girls because essentially he was one. That goes for a lot gay of men.

    They can’t butch up because they’re not really men. You hear little 5-year-olds who sound faggy and you just know they’ll grow up to be gay. That’s innate.

    Such people should accept who they are and so should people like you. There’s nothing wrong with effeminate men. Why perpetuate sexist and patriarchal expectations? The reason effeminate men are hated is because society doesn’t like women.

    I’m a masculine guy. I’d much rather have a masculine guy as well. But that’s how I was born and I’m not going to pretend that makes me superior. My personal preferences do not mean I push them on other people in a vain effort to change them.

  • jason

    In my second paragraph in my previous post above, I meant to say

    “Flamboyance therefore ALIGNS with the notion of “seller”….”.

    On the broader question of who is promoting these flamboyant stereotypes, I do think there are homophobes in powerful positions who are doing this, although I don’t think they’re all conservative. I know liberals who do it. It’s often, although not always, a means of demonizing the male homosexual orientation, of reducing it to a laughing stock to make all those hetero’s feel safe.

  • Brutus


    Of course Erik has a right to express his viewpoint. That doesn’t mean he has a right not to be told that he’s misguided.

  • AlwaysGay

    @Andy: Even the most effeminate gay man is largely masculine. People dismiss all the masculine characteristics because they are not completely masculine and they want to have clear (heterosexualized) catagories to put people in.

    Society very much likes women. Heterosexual males love women in what they consider the female gender role (passive, caring, subservient, domestic, friendly etc.), for women who step out of that role they are less well recieved.

  • Brutus


    I’m not sure I agree that it’s about demonizing male homosexuals specifically. I think it’s much broader than that; a man acting effeminately is performing a caricature of stereotypical woman-behavior. By ridiculing that, society reasserts masculine dominance and keeps the feminine down. If the effeminate man crosses some sort of line from caricature to seriously personifying womanhood, however, it’s not funny anymore. It’s looked upon as disgusting and degrading because it’s taking what is supposed to be the ideal (masculinity, embodied in a man) and subverting it to the submissive feminine.

  • jason

    Heterosexuals are great adherents of rules. Rules, rules, rules. This was brought home to me when I spent some time socializing with straight-identifying guys. Their entire world is dominated by rules, stated or unstated. This is what a man should be, this is what a man should do, this is what a man must be…it’s all about rules.

    Don’t underestimate the role of rules. It’s a rule-dominated world. Flamboyance in men breaks the rules. Homosexual behavior in men breaks the rules. Homosexual behavior in women is acceptable if the women look like Raquel Welch. Understand it’s all about rules, and then you’ll understand the whole thing.

    Remember, it’s all about rules.

  • Andy

    @AlwaysGay: “Even the most effeminate gay man is largely masculine.” Seriously? Have you been around gay men?

  • D'oh, The Magnificent


    I didn’t even bother to look at this one. Sorry, but you really do have issues. Good luck.

  • afrolito

    Erik is a moron, and the self loathing losers running in here to defend him, with their armchair psycho babble, must lead equally unhappy lives.

  • Bob

    He’s rambling on like an idiot try to justify his last bigoted video blog!

  • lookyloo

    The stereotype perpetuated in the media does, for sure, make young guys who aren’t effeminate leery of coming out. I’m hoping the repeal of DADT and the knowledge of gay soldiers being out and accepted will lift some pressure off so many closeted teenage guys worried about stereotypical perceptions and all that.

  • afrolito

    Effeminate gays, and their portrayal in the media don’t keep young (and old) gays from coming out, it’s their own self loathing that perpetuates their closet. The effeminate gays have always been the ones living out in the open, and taking the brunt of hatred and violence.

    I’ve always suspected that a lot of the current obsession with repealing DADT, is a way for some gays to show the straight world how manly and butch they really are, which is pretty fucking sad really.

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    @afrolito: Some may feel that way, but for most, including myself, the issue of DADT is about equality under the law just like ENDA and marriage equality are.

  • Absurdity

    @Rob: I think I’d have to agree with the overly sexualized part of the stereotype.

  • L.

    I *really* hope that Davey will not do something stupid just because Queerty has moved on to a new boyfriend.

  • Absurdity

    I gotta say Erik I think you missed the mark on this one. Stereotypes exists because those are the obvious people in the gay community because they are the ones that are leading the parades and therefore are the ones that are focused on in the media, etc because they would have no way of identifying those that don’t act campy or overly butch and it wouldn’t exactly create the hype that the media strives for to get it’s ratings.

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