Challenging stereotypes

People are not having Buzzfeed’s latest gay video

Social media users are in an absolute uproar over a recent Buzzfeed video about being gay.

In the video, a diverse mix of various 20-something LGBTQ people talk about identifying as gay while simultaneously rejecting the stereotypes that surround being gay.

“I’m gay, but I’ve never seen an episode of Will & Grace,” one person says.

“I’m gay, but I know nothing about Lady Gaga or Madonna,” another says.

Funny, right?

Wrong. At least, according to people on Twitter…

Check out the video and decide for yourself. Did Buzzfeed miss the mark with this one, or are people just being ridiculous? Share your thoughts in the comments…

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65 Comments

  • Hermes

    So…. Twitter thinks that everyone has to be just like the stereotypes that they have created — no matter how they are excusing their belief. My son is gay and he loathes Lady Gaga, his husband is a metal head (though for newer metal than I remember — Nightwish and stuff). Neither of them would be identified as gay by the people screaming about people trying to actually show that the community is diverse. I sometimes think I’ve never seen a more self-destructive group of people than some of those in the gay world. They are pushing a box to fit themselves in. Incredible.

    • Crystix

      You’re son may be gay but you might refrain from feeling privileged enough to talk negatively about our community and how “self destructive” we are. The last I checked, straight white people elected trump. Talk about a self destructive community. *womp womp*

    • inthewalnut

      Crystix, can we go five minutes without breaking out the ‘privilege’ card? She’s just as allowed to voice her opinion about our community as I am (or since I’m white/masc should I also ‘check my privilege’ and shut up?) We’ll never solve anything of we keep segmenting ourselves trying to figure out who’s the most oppressed instead of being human beings.

    • Kieran

      There is an angry Gay gestapo out there who think you CAN’T be gay unless you think exactly as they do, politically and otherwise. They are toxic and dangerous and the very antithesis of the tolerance we want to promote.

    • Ksb1978

      LOL she pulled out the “I have a *insert friend, family, co-worker, dog that’s gay * card. And inthewalnut can we have five minutes without privileged folks lecturing people in communities they’re not a part of how to feel or react???

    • nathan_dostal

      Kieran-youre human shitt. How dare you say “Gay Gestapo”-the real Gestapo murdered thousands of gay men for being gay. Shame on you and your vile ignorance

    • southpaugh

      inthewalnut:
      Since you haven’t had occasion to have noticed, it’s really necessary to point out that there’s no such thing as even a moment without elitist, or oligarchic, or white or any among a plethora of agency of privilege which is bent to minimize, marginalize, even unto elimination of those of us of whom they do not approve. The very state in which I live is considering a candidate to fill the seat vacated by the second most racist official in elected government, former Senator and current Attorney General of the United States, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. Indeed, the Republican candidate for that seat had been elected to Chief Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court a second time in spite of having previously been relieve of duty for cause, most recently suspended from his office for having refused to recognize the authority of the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell — Talk about no respect for the law — and is running on a platform that actually includes making my existence illegal. Sure, the Constitution guarantees Judge Roy Moore’s magically informed, false morality shall never statutorily effect me that way directly. But, those guys, by virtue of their privilege, have, do and shall again pass local, state and federal laws to make life hard for the duration in which they manage to keep such measures in effect — however, or not, temporary they remain. Further, they encourage vigilantes, their apologists, sympathizers, lone wolf crazies to do stupid things to individuals regarless of any law or protection. No, there’s no such thing as a single moment, much less five minutes, free from my life being diminished by others’ elitist privilege. That’s just for being gay. I haven’t even mentioned the part about being brown. Or overweight. Or long haired. Or a liberal progressive. Or atheist. In Birmingham, Alabama. Right, buddy. You tell me about five minutes without being set upon, if not outright broken, by somebody I’ll never know pressing their privilege.

    • sdterp

      No one in the Queer community believes everyone must think or act alike, nor do we think everyone must be stereotypical. BUT, there has been a virulent push by some, mainly younger Queer people, to distance themselves from these stereotypes and in that process vilifying those they perceive as perpetuating the stereotypes. These “boxes” as another respondent called them, were social narratives constructed by both Queer and non-queer people. They never were a perfect fit for anyone, but for those who do exemplify some of these traits, they shouldn’t be marginalized and minimized for it, especially by younger members of our own community who do not realize or appreciate the groundwork we have lain. This is the objection.

  • Walker

    I think it’s tone deaf and negative but not something anyone needs to get het up over. I do think there is something very “this generation,” gay or straight, though, about having excessive pride over being ignorant of anything that came before you were born and being closed-minded to it.

    • Crystix

      isn’t that the sole point of twitter. To get “het up over” everything?

    • mujerado

      The “purpose” of twitter is any sort of communication someone wants to use it for.

  • Xzamilloh

    The Asian one with the hat? Yes, ma’am… you can get it.

    The rest of them — no offense — looked and sounded like FTMs. Nothing wrong with that — and Laith Ashley can get it anytime, too — but, then again, it’s Buzzfeed so I don’t really care about offending them because something is bound to.

    • ChrisK

      Ha. Was thinking the same damn thing on all but two of them. Give me some masculinity and I’ll be confused but these queens? Please. They’re like walking stereotypes.

    • Donston

      It is funny how many openly gay/gay-leaning guys who talk non-stop about not being stereotypes are often a reflection of many stereotypes.

    • Donston

      Though of course, not being conventionally masculine is hardly the only gay stereotype, though it’s the one that fem-phobes love to put the most importance on.

  • tuckmics

    I didn’t see anything wrong with it…not sure what the hoopla is all about.

    • ignacioj

      I agree. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

    • RExxx59A

      I’m not sure I see the big problem here either.

  • ignacioj

    “I’m gay, but I’m not…” takes up only the first minute of this video. The rest of it is positive, in the “I am” and ironically, the last 30 seconds debunked all of the “I’m not” statements from that first minute, which made me smile. Because in truth, for every “I’m not” there is an “I am,” and isn’t that the way it should be?

    • NateOcean

      Exactly.

      The “I’m gay, but I’m not…” comes off as negative and defensive.

      The “I am…” is positive and affirming.

    • QJ201

      shocking that people on twitter didn’t make it past the first 30 seconds before becoming all offending and started flaming.

  • Paco

    “I’m gay, but purses still fly out of my mouth while I tell you how I’m not like those other stereotypical gays.”

    • alfred

      hehe

  • barkomatic

    Occasionally, Buzzfeed’s condescending and divisive tone gets to be too much for even loyal viewers.

  • KaiserVonScheiss

    When SJWs hate on the failing pile of garbage known as Buzzfeed…lol. It’s beautiful. So beautiful. Believe me.

  • Taiyoken

    I’m gay, but I’m not a stereotype, yet I do like singing, dancing and writing poetry,

    • tham

      Writing poetry? When? The 1800s?

  • Donston

    It’s an odd balance of sorts. In reality, extreme stereotypes represent the greater majority of “out and loudly proud” gay and gay-leaning men we see in entertainment and being pushed by sites like these. We’re still at a place that if you are not hetero many, many people will make assumptions about the music you’re into, the scene you’re into, your sex life, your psychology, your ethical system and just your general “lifestyle”. And, yes, I’m tired of everyone pretending that every aspect of the supposed “gay culture” is healthy and actually leads to genuinely happy lives. The media (including this site) seems bent on glamorizing and supporting and exploiting extreme stereotypes above all else. And this all helps egg on homophobia, internalized homophobia and gay-shame. So, it is important to highlight the diversity, challenge stereotypes and break from the sociological restrictions.

    However, almost everyone lives up to at least one stereotype of something. We are all stereotypes at this point. Obsessing with trying to combat stereotypes leads to division, self-consciousness and resentment, and it as well can lead to gay-shame and internalized homophobia.

    I understand the purpose of the video, but it was poorly thought out.

  • LilMesican

    What a great video, so diverse, welcoming. Even in Spanish.

    “I’m Gay and I like to dress up for any occasion, enjoy quoting “Steele Magnolias” and “Will & Grace”, love my facial-mani-pedi day. I’m Gay and I don’t like Lady GaGa or using the term “girl”. I’m Gay and I”m proud to be me!

  • davidjh62

    I’m an older happily married gay man. Maybe it’s because I’m older, but I didn’t see a big problem with it. I’m just a normal guy who happens to be gay, but I’m sure I express a few of the stereotypes too.

  • bushwickfreddy

    What was the point of the video in the first place?

    • Paco

      The point was that gay men are more diverse than the usual stereotypes straight people like to associate with us. But the delivery of the message wasn’t executed very well.

    • Xzamilloh

      The weird thing was that the only “diversity” was visual… they all sounded the same and were making the same non-points… and they’re all bottoms. Maybe a few versatile bottoms, but bottoms nonetheless lmao!!

  • Aaron

    First 30 seconds set a poor tone and possibly cause people to skip the last 2 minutes that are actually affirming and positive. It’s not bad just poorly structured.

  • mslater

    I don’t think these people from Buzzfeed are promoting that heteronormativity means you’re a cool gay. In fact, I think many of those men identify with several stereotypes of feminine, gay culture. What the video is showing is that they are not exact mould of the feminine, gay stereotype.

    Could the “but I’m not” statements have been slightly less geared towards the feminine/masculine affection debate? Sure. Was the video blatantly insensitive to fem guys? No. (speaking from the perspective of a fem guy)

    The debate as “Donston” explains very well in his post above is finding a balance between creating a diverse group of gays with different interests and at the same time not shaming people if what they like fits a certain stereotype.

  • Curtispsf

    I’m a BIG FAG, although I passed for “straight” for many years. Is that GAY enough for you, or not gay enough? When I first came out, I was only attracted to “straight acting and straight looking white guys”. None of those sissy queens for me or people of color for me, no sir. Not with my gym body and white privilege. As I came to fully embrace the gay community in all of it’s colors and transmutations, I came to appreciate diversity including femininity, drag queens, trans folks, people of color etc. Now, I find the term “straight acting” used to describe a masculine gay person, whether male, female or trans, to be both intellectually and morally repugnant. It is also offensive to “straight” guys as it reduces them to a stereotype. Wake up and embrace the rainbow that is the LGBTQ community AND it’s supporters.

  • Jaxton

    The social justice warriors are perpetually outraged over You Tube videos.

    • dwes09

      No offense (or maybe offense) but if you think regressives such as yourself are immune from outrage you are either blind of stupid. You children whine as if the world revolves around you and any affront to your ossified world view is a mortal wound.

      The smugness of your comment is especially amusing.
      What EXACTLY is wrong with social justice? Do you prefer social oppression? If so, get ready because your idols are going to be kicking you to the curb even before the taste of their assholes has faded from your mouth. And they won’t even thank you for the rim job.
      And before you criticize me for being intolerant and stepping on your “freedom of speech”; I am very tolerant and all for freedom of speech, but that does not mean i don’t get to respond to lameness and stupidity.

  • Danny595

    That reaction on twitter is just a variation of what we see many, many times. Deficient, effeminate men are desperate to believe that their manhood deficiency is linked to gayness. They need for all gay men to be seen as effeminate because that relieves them of the guilt and shame they feel for failing at manhood (i.e, if their effeminacy is the result of gayness, then they aren’t personally to blame.) They react in a hostile panic when that belief is threatened. Of course, their belief is demonstrably false, as 40 years of social science on this question has consistently shown. So again and again we are treated to this kind of shrieking overreaction as their sacred myth comes under constant threat.

    • Donston

      And just like those stereotypical guys can overreact we see a stereo-typically fem-phobic, embittered response here.

      There are many gay and gay-leaning/homo-dominant men who hide their feminine traits and instincts because of nonsense like this, because they are so desperate to not be “another queen”. And there are many men who are never able to truly connect with another man or can’t live “gay lifestyle” either because they feel it inherently strips them of their manhood or, on the other end of the spectrum, because they feel constantly judged and lesser than due to their “quirks”.

      These are things don’t confront.

    • tham

      This is literally Russian Dogma.

  • Bradsman

    I think it’s important to show there are gay people who don’t fit the stereotypes. When I was a teen, the only visible gay people were flamboyant, like Richard Simmons. I saw gay people and thought ” I like guys but I’m not like THAT” I thought I was a freak.

    • Brian

      If that video was made in 1983, I’d agree with you. Since that is clearly no longer the case in the world, the video has a completely different feel to it.

  • Luvonstage

    I watched the video in its entirety and i have to wonder why folk are so upset. As i listened to the opening statements, the “but I’m nots…” it became clear to me that the intended audience wasn’t other gay people but straight people who believe these stereotypical things about gay people. For example, to be gay means you love Madonna, or want to be a woman. We’ve all seen the reads on social media where gay men remind straight guys that, “no, just because I’m gay doesn’t mean i want to get with you”. Gay men are drug using alcoholics who are sexually promiscuous. On and on.

    The things listed in the first section cover a broad spectrum of social/ sexual stereotypes and myths circulated for YEARS, and it also has nothing to do with fem identified gay men, but the stereotype of the PERCEPTION of gay men that has perpetuated the world literally for centuries.

    If you watched the entire video, many of the issues and concerns addressed in the comments, both here and on Twitter, would be non issues. One person is polyamorous while another has been married for 13 years. Some have tattoos, another is trans. A chef, filmmaker, author, animal business owner, and a feminist are represented. They are showing diversity, diversity of likes and interests, dislikes, exposure, goals, ambitions, desires.

    And, no, it’s not about being heteronormative. Of all interviewed for the project no one ever stated that they’re gay and wish they weren’t. No one ever says that they’re gay but would take a pill to be straight. No one proclaims they’re gay but straight – acting and able to pass. No one ever states that they’re gay and that it’s wrong.

    Anyone feeling that this is an anti gay message is projecting – you might want to take a look in the mirror.

    At the end of the day it seems that peoples’ opposition to this video is more about it not fitting HOW they would have executed it as opposed to the real message. For all the time spent on the “but I’m not” section, that part takes up less than a third of the video, meaning you chose to focus on the negative and totally discount the affirmations presented beginning with the second part of the video.

    If the point of the video was to dispel rumors about what it means to be gay/ what is gay et al, then constructively you have to STATE the stereotypes. If you just have a bunch of people affirming their positivity about being gay, what they do, how they identify and what they like, then it’s just a bunch of talking heads. Since the point of the video was about perceived stereotypes, in my opinion, the video works. Is it prefect? No, nothing is. Does it do what it intended? Yes.

  • ddevine

    Seemed alright to me. We don’t all do and like the same things. And then there are some things a great many of us like and have in common. For example, a gay goth is will not be seen at the White Party. No need for hysteria over that. The video seemed geared towards showing straight people we can’t be pigeonholed. It wasn’t really for us. We know all this already.

  • alfy

    I’m gay. Never watched will and grace (I don’t watch tv in general). I don’t follow pop music (I’m a classical musician). I’ve never been obviously gay and have to tell my employees and everyone that I’m gay. I never kissed or dated a girl growing up and never kissed a boy until I was 25. I prefer dating obviously queer guys that meet all the ‘stereotypes’ of being gay, although they don’t get why I don’t care about Madonna or tori Amos or Lady Gaga or Beyoncé or whoever they obsess over.

    • Donston

      I guess I’m the same way in that I have preferred dating men who are much more “obvious” than myself. But I did realize that I needed a guy who could offer masculinity and femininity. That’s what works best for me romantically and sexually.

    • MikeE

      And it’s funny, even as two classical musicians (you and I) we couldn’t be more different.
      I watched Will&Grace (though honestly, I’m more of a Star Trek person). I didn’t listen to any pop music until I was 17 (only classical).
      I’ve always been “obviously gay” (ie: no one has ever acted surprised upon learning I was gay).
      I kissed a girl when I was 15, and came out as gay a month later. I didn’t kiss a guy until I was 17.
      I always dated older guys, so most were on the “masculine” side (or at least that it how I seem to remember them).

      And even as a classical musician, there are so many stereotypes about us, some I fit into, others I definitely don’t. I’m a composer, and strangely, most of my composer friends are also gay men. I don’t hang out with men much younger than myself because I frankly don’t know what to talk about with them, we rarely appear to have a common frame of reference. So most of my composer friends are 55+. Most of my performer friends as well.

      And I married a man 10 years younger than myself, who knows strictly nothing about classical music (well, that’s changed a bit in the last 15 years). We share an obsession with horror movies, and sci-fi, and yes, Sondheim (I stopped thinking of that as a “gay thing” when I realized, after much analytical work, just how musically brilliant his stuff is).

  • Brian

    Is the answer ever NOT “people are just being ridiculous”?

  • gstanescu84

    I was a bit put off by some of the comments in the above video, in particular “I’m gay, and I wasn’t abused as a child”. Not every gay man is abused PERIOD. YOu are BORN this way Baby. End of.

    • Donston

      That’s not necessarily true. And that’s something we need to start accepting. Orientation and sense of gender start to develop at a very young age (sometimes as young as 2). But orientation doesn’t fully mature until between the exponential development ages of 8-13. So, getting abused, the sexual experiences you have with kids around your age and many, many other things can have an affect how your orientation develops as well as your instincts, your fetishes, etc. But most people that are abused or assaulted (sexually or otherwise) as a child don’t actually become gay or gay-leaning. And plenty of gay and gay-leaning people were not abused in any way. So, clearly there is much more to orientation. But having experienced some type of abuse or assault along with having sex and relationships outside your primary orientation while growing up and religious guilt are the biggest catalysts to gay and gay-leaning men self-rejecting or experiencing overwhelming feelings of internalized homophobia/gay-shame/self-resentment or indulging extreme and self-destructive behaviors.

    • dwes09

      Funny how the homophobes and the ignorant always want to say that boys being molested by men can “turn” them gay. But nobody ever implies that boys molested by women become uber hetero. Nobody EVER says girls molested by women become dykes (but say girls molested by men do). This is all stupid speculation.

      What molestation of children by adults of either sex does is impair the ability to form intimate emotional and/or sexual bonds whether they be gay or straight. It does not change innate orientation, just the ability to express it in a healthy fashion.

    • mz.sam

      Best answer ever…Bwahahahahahahah!!!

  • jhon_siders

    Im a gay male but I don’t do gay things I run heavy equipment drive trucks I used to work wild well ( The guys that put out blowing or burning oil or gas wells IE hell fighters ) I don’t do the bars much too many BS people there only go to meet friends don’t do pride don’t fly a rainbow flag here at the farm the gay trait I have I am a great cook that’s about it The guys on jobs liked my cooking better than the company cook LOL yea I can sew too do domestic stuff all I learned from my stay at home mother as a kid . I cant decorate or match colors worth the damn my house is lets say very industrial looking its under ground I built it my self my partner is the same way we both dig leather play real S&M not just the look attend a few leather events before it turned into a fashion show . not the stereotype gay guys cant tell what we are until we get in the bed or play room just us 2 guys .

  • Moritz

    Just reading a comment like “hetero-normative” makes me know that we are not starting with the same world view. Being masculine and male is not hetero-normative, it is being masculine. Straights don’t own masculine and feminine. That is what the video is trying to tell us. We are not all the sum of our stereotypes. Straight men can be effeminate or effete. Straight women can be masculine or Tom-boys. It works the other way around.

    I don’t get the sense that they are condemning anyone. They are just trying to show that we are all unique, the sum of our parts. Since the stereotype is all that many people believe, they are trying to show that particular audience that we can be anything we want. Quit being so defensive, gay police, you are free to be you, and respected too.

  • seaguy

    This is an example of how millennials think they are better than everyone else.

  • Chris

    “Yes, dear. You’re gay and a unique individual just like everyone else on this planet.”

  • DrewD

    How dated is this mindset? No one cares except those in the video who think they are saying something.

  • aidenatlanta

    I believe these guys are just expressing their perspectives. We are all different and we often see others in our community very differently than they may see themselves. It was a cool take on different men and shows there isn’t a “type” of gay man but varying likes, dislikes and experiences across all lines.

  • scooter12

    So, I’m sorry…a video that basically says gays as a group contain all kinds of different people, who like different things, and are not just stereotypes is a bad thing? Huh? Here’s one stereotype…Drama Queens, who is anyone who makes a fuss about things like this.

  • maxlovesrio

    Great video! Shows the diversity of our community proudly.

  • artoir

    I came out in 1979 and have seen it all, from guys who should be wearing feathers to another guy who knocked out three redneck haters one by one who attacked him behind our club one night. The entire need for this video and discussion is stupid. So you like pizza, you meet someone who hates it, do you wrinkle your nose and scream “EWWWW” in their face, call them names and walk away simply because of who they are and what they may or may not like? Really? I’m so sick of hearing words like, boxes, stereotypes, privilege, etc. If you think about it, there would be no such words or attitudes if we hadn’t created them ourselves. We march, fight and scream for freedom and equality, then turn right around and battle one another over “labels” likes, dislikes, who we are or how we act. Personally, I don’t care how one acts, what they like in music, movies, etc. Just be you and be happy FFS! And others need to stop the pointless crap and allow them to be. Videos and discussions like this about our own people shouldn’t even be an option. So why is it?

  • DavidIntl

    I suppose there could be value in a video with this theme to let questioning guys know that one doesn’t need to be a cliché to be gay. I too was once in that place where I knew I was attracted to guys, but didn’t see myself as fitting in with the crowd who I knew to be gay – and that contributed to keeping me. like others, in the closet for longer than necessary. But with that said, the video seems to be a miss. With absolutely no disrespect intended, I must say that almost none of the guys in this video look, sound or act anything like me, or my partner, or most of my gay friends – so I am not sure that it is effectively speaking to the people it should be trying to reach (whether gay or not).

  • Doug

    I can’t understand why anyone would find this video offensive. I agree that we have a community who can’t handle diversity… you either adhere to the stereotype to make those with incredibly low self esteem feel better about themselves, or you deal with their anger. It’s an old story, and it’s really getting tired. It also keeps us all divided and hating each other.

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