The Internet Was Mean to ‘Straight Acting’ Erik. Should He Have Expected Anything Different?

We’ve said it before: “Some of us are BITCHES!” And that was certainly the case last week when we asked readers to try to find a date for Erik, the “straight acting” 20-year-old college sophomore who says he’s never been on a date with another dude. Turns out more of you felt motivated to attack him than hook him up with one of your single friends. And that’s got Queerty‘s mascot family The Leffews all sorts of upset.

As Jay Leffew explains above, y’all were mean to him! Which is true. Many of you were. (Others had very concise, if not entirely constructive advice.) Some of the hurt derived from how Erik describes himself (i.e. “straight acting”). Others, his looks. And further yet, his seeming desperation.

Like this website, neither Erik nor Jay is new to sharing their lives on the Internet. Both have been posting videos on YouTube for years. Along with videos, come comments, including cruel ones from anonymous Internet strangers. These comments can hurt! But also: They should be the ones most easily dismissed. As regular readers of this website can attest, sometimes constructive conversation takes place in comment threads; othertimes it’s a bunch of self-important twats bickering at each other, or the subject at hand. And really, who. the fuck. cares?

When it comes to videos of strangers we choose to share, here’s how The Blogging gets done on this website: We find a clip that catches our eye or seems particularly prescient (via reader submission, and sometimes through our own trolling), we copy/paste the embed code, we write up a short intro, and we click “publish.” That is also how many of these YouTube videos appear; some get uploaded with more foresight than others. Which is why it’s worth nothing: Despite all the flak, Erik has not pulled the videos from his YouTube account, and even chimed in on Queerty to say, “I’ve recieved many emails from people letting me know how I have helped them out. My idea worked. I’ve helped people out — that was my main goal. For the people who commented negatively about my looks. Do it all you want. Does it hurt, yes, a little. But whatever.”

Still unanswered: Has Erik you found a date yet?

EARLIER: Help Queerty Find ‘Straight Acting’ Erik a Date!

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  • Tylertime

    Anyone who feels the need to put their lives on view for the public has to be willing to take the good with the bad. I came out at 22 pre internet and it took me a long time to figure out that most gays are a bunch of judgemental bitches. At 20 Erik should feel fortunate that he knows what he is getting himself into. Our “community” isn’t a nice or supportive one. Erik is probably going to end up stronger and will be able to weather all the gay drama ahead of him.

  • terrwill

    As one of those who posted an encouraging message to Erik, I can only say this. Anytime you post anything on line you gots to expect the haters are gonna spew poo at you. Whilst is sucks that some of the posters here on Queerts have a tendency to hate on our own there are those who’s sole recreation in life is to cyberstroll to sites and attempt to piss people off. We have been lucky here on Queerts that one of the most hateful repeat offenders went a little too far and it seems like he got himself an FBI investigation into his antics. Nonetheless, if you run something up the flagpole and not everyone salutes it you gots to deal with it. And by the way to Erik, you don’t fit the
    sterotypical “hot” guy, you are definatley attractive and should have no problem getting a date or a lay, whicheva you are seeking…….. : P

  • Steff

    What the actual fuck is wrong with you?

    As if we don’t get enough of a negative image as it is without you guys perpetrating the idea that “we’re all bitches!”

    Secondly, how the hell can you comment on the bullying of young gay kids in high school with any kind of moral authority when you act as a catalyst for bullying yourselves?

    Whoever decided that this sort of thing was acceptable to publish is pathetic. I just hope the poor bastard has the sense to rise above it, and the comments that you’ve helpfully pointed his way.

  • Sean Chapin

    I don’t know if Eric should have expected anything different than the numerous discouraging and disappointing comments he received earlier, but out of this fallout, I do hope that we can do a better job within our LGBT community to take better care of ourselves and each other and rise up towards emanating the good in humanity. We owe it to ourselves to at least try to be the good that we seek in this world.

  • jbran

    You know, people can be assholes, but Jay is being naive about the use of the term “straight-acting.” It’s heavily loaded and, to a great deal of the gay community, it feels like a judgement on other gays. Maybe that’s not what he meant. But, just because some people are making really stupid remarks about his looks, the whole of everyone’s responses shouldn’t be ignored. That said, I can’t believe that someone with the ability to upload a video onto the internet wouldn’t already have been exposed to how crazy nasty people can be about other people’s looks when they have the benefit of anonymity. It’s definitely not an excuse for commenter cruelty, but it’s a shock nonetheless.

  • Kieran

    If some people couldn’t criticize and bitch about something they’d have absolutely nothing whatsoever to say. They tend to be bitter and sad people with no life to speak of. Erik, for what it’s worth, I think you are a very cute redhead and I wish you the best in finding happiness.

  • mikey

    That’s the problem with the gay community at large. Everyone portrays themselves as a bitch. there’s no such thing as eye contact and all the regular average and nice guys are treated like crap, because they’re not trying to act like women and just be themselves. He considers himself straight acting(not that that should be a descriptor for his lifestyle…but still) because he’s not a femme queen that’s bought into the gay stereotype. A lot of gay guys act the way they do because they feel that’s how they have to act, and then when someone criticizes the way they act it becomes a bitch fest. I understand a lot of guys are naturally feminine, but not everyone acts that way, and once anyone admits to the fact that they’re not femme, and don’t really want anyone femme the femmes go on the offensive and start clawing for eyes.

  • Timothy

    Ehem…. I don’t think that Erik expected Queerty to direct a bunch of jerks in his direction. So “oh, he should have expected it” is a bit disingenuous.

    What Queerty needs to do now is a bit of soul searching. Because that was downright mean. You knew what would happen and didn’t care.

    This is a 20 year old kid, never had a date, trying to figure his life out and along came queerty with it’s readership and its snark and invited everyone to make this kid’s life hell.

    We all have choices. We can take our two minutes on the web to do good, or we can be raging @ssholes. It’s a measure of your character which direction you go.

  • Alan

    “Straight-acting” guys date girls.

  • Jon


    How about an apology to this young man instead of trying to justify the vitriol started with your original post & the disgusting comments that followed?

  • thomesings

    pardon my ignorance [i’ve only been out a few months], but i was not aware that “straight acting” was viewed so negatively by the gay community. that is, until i saw the queerty thread yesterday. i was pretty shocked by the vitriol, and i had to close the thread (and ease my tension with the beautiful hermankind…).

    what is the preferred term to use, for a gay who’s not .. uh .. so fabulous?

    and how could anyone say Erik is not gorgeous? he’s like sex on a stick.

  • Brett


    As if the original post wasn’t enough of a platform for haters, idiot know-it-alls and trash talkers, Queerty has to go and RENEW the poo-slinging orgy with a new post?

    Negative. Very wrong.

    Let this thing die.

    This time i’m not checking “SUBSCRIBE”, btw.

  • Wen

    Ofcourse Queerty posted the topic on Erik to get some nasty reactions to Erik, Queerty is a provocative site. An apology indeed would be appropriate. But since Queerty likes to stir the pot (even more with this follow up article), that will not happen.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


    Lol, exactly. Queerty are not nice and to me it’s not snark that happens here. It’s a fine line between snark ala Gawker and bullying.

    I’m generalising but not everyone likes being a minority and like I’ve said sooo many times before, the gay “community” is very similar to the black “community”.

    It’s the crab in a barrell existence and this means not everyone has your back or even see’s you as ‘brothers’.

  • mo

    I think he’s quite cute and seems like an interesting guy. I’d go on a date with him. However, the “straight acting” description is a turn off. Most gay guys that describe themselves that way are usually delusional about their own supposed masculinity.

  • Jake the libertarian

    I’m “straight acting”. I definitely don’t date chicks. Also I think that a lot the fems out there might just be a little jealous that guys like me can walk down the street without people immediately knowing who I like to have sex with.

    Having said that, I love you queens. Without you guys, homos like me would have no visibility whatsoever (and probably still be a bunch of closet cases between suicide attempts). But try not to be such a bunch of bitches. We come in all shapes and sizes… and not all of us like to club it up in hot pants and a pink boa.

    P.S. I certainly wasn’t out when I was 20 years old. I was as big of a closet case as existed at that time in my life. Still doesn’t make me any less of a homo.

  • scott ny'er

    @thomesings: there is no preferred term. You will either use that term and get hated on by some gays and others will be indifferent and realize you don’t mean it in a hateful way.

    i suppose, you could say ur a dude with more masculine traits but that too could be taken the wrong way. you really can’t win, i don’t think.

  • depfox

    I think the saddest part of this whole conversation, is that Erik or any one that posts their life’s on YouTube open themselves up for attack. I thought better of the gay community. Are we not fighting enough people in the world? Uganda, NOM, & Mormons… Do we really need to pick on a 20 year old kid who is trying to find his place in the world, because he labels him self as straight acting?

    @Steff “Secondly, how the hell can you comment on the bullying of young gay kids in high school with any kind of moral authority when you act as a catalyst for bullying yourselves?”

    Well said, what would we be talking about if Erik had killed himself because of bullying from people on his college campus? Instead we as a gay community decided it was our job to bully Erik.

    My family is working really hard here in CA to bring marriage and adoption rights to all LGBTQI people. We understood that we would be harassed and attacked by those people that don’t like our community. Never in a million years did we think that our worst critics would come from within our own community. I have spent many a night learning how to ignore and respect those opinions.

    I am sorry Erik that your premiere on Queerty was met with such anger and hostility, that being said I know you will get past this event and move forward with your activism for all gay youth no matter if they are “Straight Acting” or not.


  • thomesings

    @scott ny’er:

    well, shucks. “straight acting” seemed so on target. i drink beer, i’m a slob, i dress horribly, i watch football (for the game, not just the qtrback’s asses), i can’t stand liza or judy, … now i gotta go find a new label for myself. ;)

  • Wen

    @depfox, and the others that mentioned it is bullying that Queerty promoted re: Erik. That is the word Ive been looking for. Spot on.

  • FunWithGrindr

    This is a really really strange conversation. I tried to keep up with the last comment string on this topic, but eventually gave up due to the sheer volume of opinions on the seemingly simple little post.

    The weirdness of so disliking the word “straight-acting” just seems so incredibly superfluous. Would it have been better to say “masculine” or would that have been equally as bad? It’s just such a silly thing to be upset about. Why does it automatically mean that he has a deep, inner hatred toward femmes? Or is the word “femme” offensive too? I’m confused.

    When I describe myself to someone — and the topic comes up — I certainly would use the word “masculine.” That’s how I act. I can’t help it. It’s just the way I’m wired. Is my wiring wrong then? Does me being masculine automatically mean that I have issues with gay or bi guys that act otherwise? Or that I shouldn’t be dating guys?

    The whole topic just seems to have an air of silliness.

    Of course, I just spent three paragraphs adding to this so-called silly topic, so where does that leave me…? LOL

  • FunWithGrindr

    @thomesings: I like you already. ;)

  • thomesings


    :) unlike Erik, i’m not having as many difficulties at .. uh .. finding action … ;) [cool website, btw]

  • James Davis

    Okay, I wasn’t going to comment on this until I heard Mr. Leffew comment about people “thinking quality and substance come from your looks…people that are so ugly inside they think only the outer appearance is what matters.”

    When I heard that statement my BS detector went off the scale. Of course some of the people commenting were out of line with their mention of Eric’s looks, however many of the comments discussing the “straight Acting” thing were often very good points. The typical (not all, but typical) gay man who says they are straight acting is doing exactly what Mr. Lefew is admonishing. They look at a more flamboyant gay man and judge him by his outer appearance, and not what’s on his inside. So until Mr. Lefew and Eric understand that reality then they both need to labeled as HYPOCRITES.

  • FunWithGrindr

    @James Davis:

    Whoa. James. You can’t use that argument, because that assumes the intent of the user of the word. And it simply isn’t clear. Do we know for a fact that Erik is judging flamboyant gays? We don’t. It’s not even implied, unless you add the implication yourself, which isn’t justified in this case, since there’s no evidence to do so. You’re injecting your own prejudices into the conversation in order to prove that Erik’s thinking is incorrect. But isn’t your own thinking incorrect? If you use an argument to prove something wrong, you can’t then turn around and not be willing to use that same argument on yourself.

    And if you’re offended that he doesn’t find non-straight-acting guys attractive (which you/he may or may not be inferring), then are you equally appalled if he doesn’t find blondes attractive? Or twinks? Or beefy guys? Where does the offense end?

  • FunWithGrindr


    Thanks for the website kudos! :) And, yeah, I haven’t had to much trouble in the past either. LOL Of course, now I have a BF, so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. ;)

  • depfox

    @James Davis

    OK I’m guessing when you say they: you mean more masculine guys “look at a more flamboyant gay man and judge him by his outer appearance” I guess my response is so what? Why should any of us care about what some one thinks about us or the titles we live by?

    I don’t understand why we all have to meet some standard? I have gay friends who will only date Effeminate men and others that will only date masculine/straight acting men. That is all a personal choice.

    I hate the way we as people/humans/gays all have to be the same.
    I have my own personal preferences and attractions that doesn’t mean that I look down on someone because they fall outside what I personally like.


    PS: By the way I hate Hypocrisy, and really wish you would have saved that title for someone who truly deserves it.

  • James Davis

    @FunWithGrindr: Whoa yourself, I’m not saying the kid was being malicious with the term. I said there were many good comments about how that term can be offensive, and for Mr. Lefew and Eric to admonish others and yet still think it okay to use a term that more times than not is a way of looking down on others within the gay community is hypocritical.

    He doesn’t have to like blondes, twinks, beefy guys, but you can’t then turn around and say you should see people for their inner person, because the outside shouldn’t matter

    Not understanding that fact as Mr. Leffew clearly doesn’t by his own statement makes him a hypocrite.

    I hope I have made the intent of my comment more clear to you FWG.

  • Steff

  • Rory

    It’s so cute when people think Queerty commenters matter.

  • James Davis

    @depfox: Jay, I don’t mean more masculine guys. I mean guys that would self identify as “Straight Acting”. Not all masculine guys would use that term.

    Hypocrisy has different levels of offense, and while this one may not be a great offense it is still hypocritical.

  • James Davis

    @Rory: HAHAHAHHAHA, best comment of the lot.

  • terrwill

    @Wen: One thing lots of posters fail to realize is that Queerty exists by building traffic to this site and generating clicks. Just like a B&M storefront, you want traffic to build your business. Unfortunatley many in the Gay community would rather discuss Erik than some of the more pressing items facing the Gays like Gay marriage,bashing, death in uganda et. all. Which is fine ‘which is fine because these threads tend to get people’s juices flowing. Queerty is one of the few site in which you can pretty much post any thought you want without it being censored. And they do post items which are for the good of the community……..

    >>> ‘Nother thing Erik never cast any hating on other Gays, simple stated what flavor of Gay he prefers. Whilst I some of the funniest people I know are very flamboyant, some people don’t want to hook with some one who everytime they open their mouth a purse falls out. Far too many times we tend to eat our own on these threads (and not the good kind : P )……

  • Michael W.

    Jeez, I didn’t expect that posting to turn into such a big deal with Erik reading it.

    Erik if you by chance read this I’m the one who said you looked like the McDonalds moon man but I was just poking fun. It was spoken in jest. I don’t think you’re ugly. In fact if you went to my school, I wouldn’t hesitate to let you give me head (with no condom).

  • FunWithGrindr

    @James Davis: Yeah, that does make your POV more clear, so thanks for that.

    Though there’s still something that I disagree with you on. One would be your statement: “a term more times that not is a way of looking down on others within the gay community.” I’m not sure you can really back that up. I’m not even sure *how* you could back that up outside of personal opinion or with some level of prior personal prejudice against the use of the word. In all my years, I’ve rarely heard the term used as a negative toward others.

    And as far as seeing people for the inner person and the outside shouldn’t matter: Yeah, the outside matters. Otherwise it wouldn’t matter if they had a penis or a vagina, because it’s the “inside” that really counts. Simply not true. We each individually find certain people attractive. There’s nothing morally wrong with finding a subset of people unattractive. My BF likes masculine, muscley, tall guys. I like short hairy guys with maybe just a hint of femme. Are either of us morally wrong for finding one type of guy more attractive than the other? No. I am completely unattracted to twinks. A twink-looking kinda guy could have an awesome inner person and we could be great great friends. But I wouldn’t be sexually attracted to him. Is that somehow wrong? I think not.

    So, yeah, the outside matters.

  • Jeff

    Give Erik a break! I don’t believe it’s uncommon for young gay guys to use the phrase “straight acting” when they’re first trying to reach a comfort level with being part of the gay community. Would you rather he say he is “bi”? As guys become more comfortable with their sexuality and how they fit in with the gay community, they tend to start dropping these self-protective labels.

    Also, Erik, you are a cute guy with a boy-next-door, wholesome look. I have a friend who has a similar look and he has no problem getting dates. The difference is that he is older and has had the time and experience to develop self-confidence in himself.

    Best of luck to you!

  • FunWithGrindr


    Apologies to those reading this strange little string of comments (and who care) (lol). I have this annoying habit of perpetuating debate. Feel free to just ignore me. I won’t be hurt.

    Unless you call me a femme.

    (kidding! I’m kidding!)

  • thomesings

    @FunWithGrindr: is [not liking twinks] somehow wrong?

    yes. there’s something seriously messed up if you don’t enjoy a young, smooth body. ;)

  • Steff

    yes. there’s something seriously messed up if you don’t enjoy a young, smooth body. ;)

    I second that. ;)

  • depfox

    @JEFF well said I agree with you a 100%

  • GirlyQ

    I’m so glad I’m a lesbian and not a gay man. When I was about Erik’s age, I was also bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t find anyone to date, because I am very femme, and at the time considered myself “straight acting/looking” because I DID NOT KNOW ANY BETTER. The lesbian community, online and in real life, encouraged me, politely corrected me, and set me up on a date with a nice girl who was having the same problem, and we ended up dating.

    If I had posted a video or post and been treated the way Erik was, I would have wondered what the hell this ‘community’ was that everyone was talking about. It would have made me feel even more like an outsider. Kindness and gentleness isn’t going to kill anyone, especially when the wrong terms are used or whatever without malice.

  • RomanHans

    First, how do we know it was gay men attacking Erik? Even the right wing has admitted they have conspiracies.

    Second, there were far more thoughtful comments than negative, which is actually kind of admirable.

    Third, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see “straight acting” is just flat-out offensive. It attaches masculinity with heterosexuality. So, what’s it saying to every gay man out there? Something tells me people wouldn’t fling the phrase around so wildly if it attached masculinity to being, say, white.

  • jimmy

    Until we start honoring each other as the individuals we are, with our own experiences and stories, we shouldn’t expect the honor and respect form the hetero world. That requires maturity. Why anyone would lend any credence to anything that comes out of the mouth of a twenty-something know-nothing is beyond reason. Yet, that seems to be the brain trust of the gay community.

    It’s a cruel world and life is unfair. Keep your expectations low and you’ll deal with much less disappointment.

  • BLT

    Labels are just a way to put people in a box and potentially a way to oppress. You go Erik don’t listen to the haters! You’ll find the true love of your life and you won’t have to whore yourself around, like a majority of the gay community, to do it. I think Erik is cute. I love redheads :)

  • FunWithGrindr

    @RomanHans: I personally don’t find “straight acting” as offensive. (which totally sucks, because I was *so* hoping to be a rocket scientist someday…) Of course, when people call me “fag” I don’t take offense to it — and apparently that’s an offensive term. When it happens, I tend to think to myself, “let’s see…1. I date guys; 2. I put my weiner inside them; 3. I am a bundle of sticks. Hm. I *am* a fag.”

  • FunWithGrindr

    Maybe I’m not gay enough. If only I could be more gay maybe this whole conversation would make more sense.

    @thomesings: I know right? I have a really good friend who thinks I’m absolutely insane for not finding Twinks hot! And I think he’s insane for not liking muscley, hairy, short guys. LOL Of course, if I went for slim, smooth, muscled guys, it would be like having sex with myself. :P

    Oh, wait. I already do that…


  • Republican

    For the most part, the comments were nice and respectful.

    A few of us (myself included) did comment that he needs to focus on his looks a bit more before hitting the clubs, but I don’t think that was uncalled for. It’s the truth.

    Most of the criticism was about his use of ‘straight acting’, which he pretty much brought on himself. I don’t mind the term, but a lot of other gays find it offensive.

  • Erik

    Hello everyone — Erik here — The batteries for my camera are charging right now. I will have a new videos about everything that has taken place soon.

    I read Bryan’s blog! Great Job!



  • David Ehrenstein

    “Straight Acting” is a label.

    It means that you believe there’s something wrong with being gay, and only gays who can “pass for straight” matter. This is a result of internalized homophobia — a widespread condition thanks to a culture that treat LGBT people like crap.

    Erik’s young, and from the midwest. He needs to get out and about more. And the internet is no way to do that.

    Maybe you need to move to another city.

    Anyway, good luck Erik. And you’re NOT straight acting at all. You’re a rather pleasant little redhead. Not to be sneezed at.

  • FunWithGrindr

    @Erik: Erik! You go, uh…guy! :) More power to you. You’re cute, have a cool mannerism about you, and you’re thoughtful. I really don’t think you’re going to do too badly for yourself. :) And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to act a certain way or believe in certain things in order to be a vital part of our whole, wacky, GLBT dating community. :)

  • Mike

    Leffew, you’re dead wrong about the labels – anyone putting themselves out there on youtube as gay cannot make a “hasn’t come to terms with sexuality” yet argument — perhaps his insistence on “straight acting” is the exact reason he can’t find a date. “Straight acting” is a pathetic label, totally counter-productive and unreasonable

  • FunWithGrindr

    @David Ehrenstein: Change that second paragraph to: “To me, it implies that you believe there’s something wrong with being gay, and only gays who can “pass for straight” matter. This could be a result of internalized homophobia — a common condition thanks to a culture that treat LGBT people like crap.” and I would begin to listen to your POV. You’re assuming that *every single gay person in the world* that uses that term as an adjective believes that there’s something wrong with being gay and *all* of them have internalized homophobia.

    Which obviously isn’t true.

    And are all labels bad? Is “nice” a label? “Cute”? “Odiferous”…?

  • terrwill

    No. 51 · David Ehrenstein: please re-read:

    >>> ‘Nother thing Erik never cast any hating on other Gays, simple stated what flavor of Gay he prefers. Whilst I some of the funniest people I know are very flamboyant, some people don’t want to hook with some one who everytime they open their mouth a purse falls out. Far too many times we tend to eat our own on these threads (and not the good kind : P )

    >> I bet once Erik has been half way ’round Gay Street he will be more than willing to take someone not so “straight acting” for a test ride…………

    I do like your description “You’re a rather pleasant little redhead” I like the term “pocket Gay”………….

  • David Ehrenstein

    @FunWithGrindr: It obviously IS true. Why bring up how you’re “acting”? What’s the REAL you like?
    “Passign for straight” is nothing to be proud of. What we should be proud of is being ourselves.

    Of coruse discoverign a self is no picnic. It takes years. Erik is just startign out. And he shouldn’t hobble himself with “straight acting.”

    @terrwill: My first love was my YMCA swimming instructor. His red pubic hair was so dazzling I nearly drowned!

  • thomesings

    @David Ehrenstein:

    i’ve used the term, and i don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay. I like fucking dudes, and i’m comfortable with that now. i don’t have a problem with the femme types (is that considered offensive too? i have much to learn). I just don’t think I’m obviously gay. i just thought the term referred to people you wouldn’t be able to pick out of crowd.

    i like to save my boa for the private show ;)

    I must say, my eyes are quite open now. In a way I’m glad I headed into this thread, because I was blissfully unaware that associating with straight-ness would be construed as derogatory. kind of ironic, i think.

  • Aaron

    Thank you Steff!!
    Who needs gay bashers when you got these kinds of posts from our own community. And Queerty instigating it.

  • FunWithGrindr

    @David Ehrenstein: So if I stated that I’m “masculine-acting” then I’m only ‘acting’ and not *really* masculine? And “passing for masculine” is nothing to be proud of? I know I’m using a different word in this context, but it’s really very much the same. It’s almost as if you’re saying that you can only be a so-called ‘proud’ gay man if you appear to be gay to everyone. And that’s kinda weird.

    It also sounds like you have just as much prejudice against straight people as you say Erik must have for gays. If a straight guy were to be gay-acting, would you find that offensive?

    Gay guys *don’t* have to wear their gayness on their sleeve in order to be a ‘true’ gay person. I don’t. I never have. I don’t really take ‘pride’ in my sexuality, it’s just who I am. I don’t draw my identity from it, because I’m much much more than who I find sexually attractive. That’s not to say that I despise my sexuality, it’s just not really something that is the end-all-be-all of who I am. Like Thomesings said — I’m not going to wear a pink feather boa out into the street, because, well, I don’t really like them and wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Just like I also hate polo shirts and wouldn’t wear one to save my life.

    Well, okay, maybe at gunpoint. Maybe. ;)

  • First Time Commenting

    It seems that a big diversion is that some people think that by using the term “straight acting,” you are saying that acting gay is “less” than straight. While others are contending that straight acting just means “different” than gay acting. It’s probably impossible to adjudicate this. We can’t necessarily know the intent behind everyone who uses the term. However, there might be an argument to made that intent doesn’t really matter all that much. In a country (world?) where “gay” is systematically and legally denigrated, it seems, at best, disingenuous to suggest that juxtaposing straight acting against gay acting is a neutral comparison. We (people commenting on Queerty) might know that one is not better than the other, but we are constantly contending with forces that say “gay” is unfairly and unreasonably stigmatized in our culture. Isn’t that precisely the argument being made in the Prop 8 case?

    Besides, how useful is the term? What exactly is “straight acting” supposed to communicate? If you like sports, beer, and being a slob, why not just say that? I know plenty of straight guys who don’t like any of those things. Would we be so casual about a black person who liked indie music, tennis, and books describing himself as “white acting”?

    No one is suggesting that you’re not being a “good gay” if you like football and beer. Just as there are many ways to be straight, there are many ways to be gay. I think people are reacting negatively to the use of straight acting precisely because it works to reinforce the idea that being gay means you have “purses falling out of your mouth.” Ironically, all these “straight acting” folks who see the use of the term as some subversive undermining of the monolithic ideas about what it means to be gay are only working to reaffirm the “accepted” understanding of gayness. While, on an individual level, it might get you a craigslist hook-up or help you fit in with all your frat brothers, talking about yourself as “straight acting” might do harm for gays as a collective.

    Furthermore, just because someone is opposed to the term straight acting doesn’t necessarily mean that all labels are useless. Yes, we human tend to think in categories. But the categories we use to understand the world aren’t necessarily given or hardwired into us. Some categorizations are more useful (and hurtful) than others. Jew and kike describe the same “thing,” but most people would agree that the latter term is unacceptable. I think the anit-straight acting camp just wants non-hurtful and, more importantly, accurate/descriptive labels, not to force all gays to subscribe to some monolithic way of carrying themselves.

    And as for all this clutching of the pearls about Erik being attacked, get over yourselves. The quotes taken for this current video are highly selective. I’m assuming they were taken to be illustrative of the people who were “attacking” Erik, and not representative of the totality of the discussion. From my reading of the comments there was as much support for Erik and his straight-acting description as those who were against the term. And there were as many people rushing to attack the “attackers.”

    Frankly, all this fretting and pearl clutching over poor little Erik seems a little “gay acting” if you ask me.

  • thomesings

    @FunWithGrindr: he’s quite catty, doncha think? i didn’t even get a smirk for my boa joke. :\ either i’m not funny [heaven knows that ain’t true], or he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

    @FTC: if i had an hour, i’d read through that. i’m sure you made some great points.

    as it is, i have to catch a ride. i’m about to go play sports with some breeders, so i have to turn off my gay. [i think i’m only half kidding..]

  • RomanHans

    > It seems that a big diversion is that some people think that
    > by using the term “straight acting,” you are saying that acting
    > gay is “less” than straight.

    Well, I don’t, necessarily. I just don’t like the sloppy word usage of idiots. (As well as #60’s moronic word games.) “Gay” isn’t the same as “effeminate,” and “straight” isn’t the same as “masculine.” If you’re masculine, say you’re masculine, whether you’re a guy, a girl, or an onion ring. And if you claim to be straight-acting, you damn well ought to fuck chicks, because doing dudes looks pretty damn gay.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @FunWithGrindr: Again it’s the “acting” part that gets to me. Straights behave in all sorts of ways. Gays and lesbians behave in all sorts of ways. Erik needs to find out who he is without the “straight sword of Damocles over his head.

    “@FunWithGrindr: I do my best.

  • FunWithGrindr

    @RomanHans: Hey, that’s *straight-acting* moron to you, young man! ;)

    But I agree with you. Well, not about me being moronic — I will neither confirm nor deny my idiocy — but about sloppy word choices (though I probably wouldn’t use the word “idiot” to describe those people, since that’s kind of a sloppy word choice in and of itself). People sometimes put too much stock in the terms we use, when it’s who we are as people and our behavior — both individually and as a community — that (to coin a phrase) speaks far louder than any words we might choose.

  • Just Gay

    The thing about straight acting…

    Yes, I do find the use of the term wrong, mostly because the way it is usually used it places a value judgment of masculine gay men (those who call themselves straight acting) over those who are feminine. There is a sense of: -Yes I am gay but…I am straight acting so I am not one of those-, it implies that being feminine is a wrong way of being gay and that being like a straight man is the right way to be.

    It also implies that being feminine is the natural way of being gay and one has to “act straight” to not be and blend in society. As a gay man who is masculine, believe when I tell you its a very natural thing to be, I never had to think twice about it, I have just been myself. The point here is that people should just be themselves, whether they are masculine or feminine or anything in between, it is just OK to be who you are.

    In that sense the term ends up being divisive and what its worse its that is a term coined by the gay community itself, as if we need anymore of that.

    When it comes to The Leffews response to this subject, I find myself surprised an I think it strange that they lump all labels together in the same category. Most of the labels gay people use to describe themselves dont carry a value judgment over others so they do no harm, except over those who choose to use them for limiting themselves; “straight acting” does and, IMO it is wrong to use.

  • terrwill

    @David Ehrenstein: I once dated a ginger, and I used to call him “fire cock”, cause the blazing red pubes made it look like it was surrounded by flames (actually coined that term before LL got fire crotch!)….was actually pretty hot (no pun intended : P )

  • Lukas P.

    Erik used the word “straight acting” to describe himself and with some knowledge, as he pointed out, that the word has some baggage.

    Problem is, what OTHER expression could convey the same general idea without the conotation of being somehow against effeminate guys?

    I can’t speak for others, but I do not object to the term, especially since there isn’t a viable alternative.

  • onCloud9

    is he a bottom? how big is he?

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Just Gay: “Yes, I do find the use of the term wrong, mostly because the way it is usually used it places a value judgment of masculine gay men (those who call themselves straight acting) over those who are feminine. There is a sense of: -Yes I am gay but…I am straight acting so I am not one of those-, it implies that being feminine is a wrong way of being gay and that being like a straight man is the right way to be. ”

    BINGO! Go to the head of the class!

  • Wen

    @73 that’s really sweet of you!!

  • StudSlut

    Erik needs a dildo.

  • schlukitz

    And the beat goes on.

  • Erik

    @David Ehrenstein Thank you

    @onCloud9 Vers and big.

    I’ve posted a video about my Queerty experience, the term straight-acting and why I picked it. About my confidence. About the advice, constructive criticism, kindness, support, and non-support I received.

    Check it out, you may find it interesting or you may not.



  • craigers

    Well I’ve been reading Queerty long enough (and will continue to read it) to know exactly what response this video post would get. There are far to many prickly, self absorbed queens on this page for any other response. Erik, don’t worry. In you these jaded queers see a life that’s past them by and wonder what could have been if they had gotten their mean asses off the couch and lived their own life instead of bitching about everyone else.

  • Mikey12

    My problem with the terms “straight acting” and “masculine” are that most of the time the guys who use them don’t fit the definition. Being a man is being comfortable in your own skin and accepting who you are. If a guy feels the need to describe himself as “straight acting” or “masculine” then most likely he isn’t. It should be obvious. It’s the same guys who describe themselves as VGL. If you truly are VGL you don’t need to say it. Everyone will see it. Same goes for the “straight acting” and “masculine” descriptions.

  • Kyle412

    @David Ehrenstein:

    I don’t think a man who dances and sings musical numbers fits Erik’s idea of “straight acting”.

  • scott ny'er

    @Lukas P.: Agreed. And you won’t get an answer, because there isn’t one.

  • Lukas P.

    @scott ny’er: Yep, that’s what I expected. Thanks for the shout out.

    If anyone who hates the term “straight acting” wants to suggest a good alternative, please feel free. I promise to use it.

  • scott ny'er

    @Mikey12: Or he really is VGL and effin’ vain as hell. LOL. Or being very truthful.

    You bring a different context to this discussion. Which is cool. I do get annoyed at peeps who write that they are VGL. Straight acting still doesn’t annoy me, but it might if I met up with a dude who really wasn’t as masculine as he portrayed himself to be.

  • MachoMan

    I am VGL. Deal with it. And yeah, I am straight-acting. Deal with it again.

  • Caspyan

    Oh my God – if only we could join together and use our energy constructively, we could achieve full equality as gay Americans. Instead, so many people are using their energy to hurt, destroy, belittle and divide other gays. Shame on everyone who does this, I don’t feel we can expect society to respect us unless we start respecting ourselves and everyone else. No wonder gay bars are barely surviving as so many gays just get-off on being as nasty as possible.

  • LegoManiac

    @no. 85 – What are you talking about Caspyan? Can’t u feel the love here man?

  • schlukitz

    No. 77 · Erik

    I just watched the new video you made and directed us to.

    I have just one word for it.


    If only I were 53 years younger, I’d be rapping at your door with a bouquet in one hand and my hat in the other asking you for a date. :)

  • Lukas P.

    “Straight acting 101”
    I once was set up on a blind date a long time ago, and our mutual acquaintance described him as “straight acting.” That was accurate if she meant he acted like a very lovely, smart, fabulous straight woman.

    Since the guy was, in fact, a very good catch in many ways, I set him up with another friend of mine, and they spent at least 5 years together happily. After that, we lost touch.

    @ERIK. Great job on the new vid. You were kinder to us than I would have feared, and showed again that you’re a classy guy!

  • Landon Bryce

    Here’s the problem: the Queerty knows its readers. I do not believe that you had any intention other letting your most vicious commenters trash this kid when you put his video on your site. You knew how your readers would react to a white boy who is not model handsome calling himself “straight acting.”

    You decided to destroy a twenty-year-old kid for giggles.

    Fuck you.

  • Dasher

    Erik, I saw your latest video; I’m impressed with how articulate and thoughtful you are. Still no date though, huh?

    If you had said, “I’m sort of butch acting…” would that have been any better (now there’s a word from the past!)…

    So things are on the “down low” in Minnesota. Not surprising, I guess. Bet it’s not as “down low” as when I came out back in 1969, 6 months before Stonewall. In a way, things were better then. Unlike today, teenage girls were not available, and straight guys would sometimes flirt and make a pass at you, and they could be very hot if you didn’t mind most of them wouldn’t reciprocate. Mostly one-shot deals, but there were also steady repeat jobs too. In college, lots of boys were available. Nobody was “out”, and it wasn’t a question of who was gay, it was a question of who was available. And the ones who were available weren’t always the ones you thought! I walked into a friend’s dorm room one afternoon, and caught him dry humping one of his athlete roommates. I had no idea that he was up for that sort of thing — or his roommate, for that matter.

  • schlukitz

    Co-sign on your comment, Lukas P.

    Erik is definitely a class act.

  • Alexandre

    Whatever…I maintain that he needs to get a haircut.

  • Blake B.

    “straight acting” IS offensive…it’s imulating something you’re not. If you’re gay and your pitch and selling point is ‘straight acting’ it’s a complete slap in the face to being gay, which could mean masculine or feminine but straight acting is NOT sleeping with men. No straight man I know acts to sleep with men. So when you make thoughtless statments like “I’m straight acting” you will be called out for it..chalf it up as lesson learned to not say something as lame as ‘straight acting’ and you’ll be met with far more a receptive welcome in the community. Simple as that. Nothing to examine LGBT rights, how we treat each other or blow this our of proportion.

  • Blake B.

    Those of you defending the term “straight acting” have absolutely NO merits to your argument. No one will EVER argue with you describing yourself as masculine because that is an inherent characteristic- ‘straight acting’ is not in websters dictionary, and when you use a psuedo made up (lame @$$) term like ‘straight acting’ you are correlating masculinity for strictly being a straight trait….I’m straight acting = gays are all femme and I don’t act like that. It’s such a simple concept and the fact that some of you don’t even realize what it is you’re saying when you say “straight acting” makes me do that awkward tense laugh I do at something that’s so absurd that instead of being angered I find it uncomfortably amusing (much like hearing a beauty queen talk about maps in South Africa).

    Here we are in an era where we want to be seen as equals to the hetrosexual community, proving to them we are just as valid in who we are, priding ourselves in who we are (masculine or feminine…but proud to be gay) priding ourselves in our GAY relationships yet we subscribe to terms like “STRAIGHT acting”…well, then how can you demand for straights to ever understand us going in parades and marches and protests declaring who we are and demanding rights for it, only to adopt terms that label us as a hetrosexual? My STRAIGHT college roomie and I had this conversation last year and it enriched my life. He, being from Arkansas with very little exposure to the community except my circle of friends, asked me if gay people are truly comfortable in their skin why do some of them go out of their way to not be seen as gay and blend in to a staight crowd. He pointed out one of my (former) friends who always said he wants a “straight acting boyfriend”…my roomate thought that was hilarious because a.) no straight guy would be another guys boyfriend and b.) he’d never, ever “go up to a chick and say I’m a gay acting hetrosexual- whats your number?” OR “I want a queeny, fem, gay acting girlfriend”….it was amazing that the most enlightening (and unfortunate) moment shed on my own community came from a straight person.

    Really? we’re proud to be gay, and gay rights, and gay marriage, gay adoption, gay gay gay gay gay….but when seeking a life long partner and soul mate….”only STRAIGHT acting!!!”

    There’s absolutely NO correlation in these mixed messages we send out and lack of understanding and empathy for us. None at all (note sarcasm with a heavy saddened exhale)

    Being gay does NOT mean acting in a one size fit all manner, but when you use terms like ‘straight acting’ you are making a blanket statment that ALL gays indeed do act in a one size fit all manner and you don’t act like gays….you act like straights.
    THAT’S where people (rightfully) stand up to correct you.

  • dannyal

    So can we agree that ‘masculine’ is not offensive then?

    So next time when I describe myself as a ‘masculine gay man’ instead of a ‘straight-acting gay man’, can I be suuuuure that no one’s getting their panties all in a bunch?

  • Blake B.

    To all of you wondering what an alternate word for ‘straight acting’ would be?……………wait for it…………………………………….how about MASCULINE?
    Or does that not make you feel like an outlier to us gays enough?

    Cause you know, masculine doesn’t have to mean gay, straight, a sexual, tri sexual, plantasexual, hooker, or Paris Hilton….it just means MASCULINE and doesn’t box an entire section of the population in to labels, make blanket statments, nor offend an entire community you are a part of.

    A big part of me does truly believe all of you who use the term ‘straight acting’ know FULLY well you can substitute masculine and just as easily (if not far more clearly, since when I see ‘straight acting’ on paper…I wonder are they out, closet case, DL, self loathing, misinformed…) get your point across, but you choose to use ‘straight acting’ as your own subtle and pompous attempt to paint yourself as better than the gay dude next to you. As if this is all one big competition, we’re all on the assembly line across the stage “Oooh! oooh! pick me…I’m STRAIGHT acting”

    Again, straight acting is NOT sleeping with men. Period.

  • terrwill

    You say tomato, I say tomatoe…………this thread has deteriorated into a case of circular logic………. : P

  • Blake B.

    terriwill….the logical thing would be for men who have sex with other men to never, under ANY circumstances, refer to themselves (or their actions) as straight…unless they’re at the Improv doing stand up on open mike night.

  • EDermithe

    As it appears the Queerty editor who posted this story has no conscience, is it possible to develop a conscience?

    Will the comment section here ever be anything more than a fetid cesspool?

    Will the anaerobic bacteria that thrive in this cesspool ever learn to channel all that bitterness and self loathing into something positive?

    I don’t know

    I don’t think so

    Probably not.

  • ossurworld

    Fifteen minutes of fame often comes at a high price.

  • Cam

    Many of the comments in the origional post were about his use of the term “Straight Acting”. I think if he hadn’t used a loaded term like that he wouldn’t have gotten so much flack. I admit, I had to stop myself from posting “Straight Acting? So you mean you go around claiming you aren’t a bigot, but voting against gay rights and claiming it’s because you support Family Values?”

    But the guy should know that anytime you put out something that publicly you’re going to get some responses you don’t like. I mean look at the response to Gwenyth Paltrow’s blog “Goop”. I swear if she had a smaller ego she would have killed herself by now.

  • MissSenile

    You people have nothing better to do with your lives that worrying about the term “straight-acting”? Please bitches, grow up.

  • Fitz

    I don’t know. “White acting black guy seeks date” . Does that seem trivial?

  • TheInsider

    @no. 103 Fitz.
    Yes, it does.

  • Fitz

    Then let all of this be a good growth experience. At his age, he probably doesn’t get why “Straight acting” is a kick in the teeth to gay-positive people… regardless of weather or not you think it is, a lot of other people (including potential friends and dates) do. So learn that language matters, and be careful to not be hurtful. I would like to think that people would not have made such personal attacks on things like his clothes and appearance if they hadn’t felt slighted by that phrase. At 20– I could have never taken this kind of shit storm. The internet sucks sometimes. When I made an ass of myself, it was limited to people in earshot. Best of luck Eric. Act as gay or whatever as you feel is genuine. I am sure that your future holds great friends, and lovers.

  • stevestr

    Amen to #102/MissSenile.

  • Lukas P.

    @FITZ. #105: In your comment, I missed the part where you offered a better alternative to “straight acting.” Your assumption that Erik was naive about the connotations of the term was contradicted by his videos and related commentary.

    Blake B. 93/4 etc. offered “masculine” but that word carries baggage too, no?

    Would you/”we” prefer he specify what he is not, e.g., effeminate, flamboyant or fey and then piss off those think those words are derogatory?

  • MuscleBoy

    stfu! i dont want to see this ugly scrawny geek on these videos anymore! Bring the hot gays man!

  • heh

    How many times are you going to post articles about this? Do you even care about the feedback of your readers?

  • NoDoubleStandards

    @James Davis: I am described as masculine. I would never use the term straight acting. I tend to say I am a geek more than anything else because of my interests.

  • NoDoubleStandards

    @David Ehrenstein: Exactly. straight acting implies that masculinity is a straight trait. Or that gay men can only be certain things.

  • Fitz

    @Lukas P.: He could describe his style, and the style he likes instead of falling for the dichotomy of “Good (straight) Vs. Bad (presumably “faggy”) ”
    I could say “I am someone who enjoys low key typical 20 year old stuff (whatever that is now)”. I could say “I’m not active in the gay social scene” even. There are lots of ways to describe yourself which don’t rely on homophobia. I don’t think Erik is exactly a John Birch member.. but it’s good for him to learn from this shit storm instead of shrugging it off.

  • Dan

    Just looked at this site for the first time, read a few articles… and don’t think I’ll be returning. As a gay man, this site doesn’t speak for me one whit. Actually, this article and the comment thread are perfect examples of why my husband and I only have a handful of gay friends, and have next to nothing to do with the exceedingly superficial, promiscuous, and back-biting “gay community”.

    If you want equal rights, maybe it’s time to start acting like decent people instead of man-bitches.

  • MrBeautiful

    Shut up Dan and get your troll ass out of here! Who are you to come bitching at us because of our comments? Go back to your cave!

  • schlukitz

    No. 113 · Dan

    If you want equal rights, maybe it’s time to start acting like decent people instead of man-bitches.

    Homophobe much, do you?

  • MissTransSylvania

    no. 113 Dan,
    Yeah Dan, come to my Botox party or shut up!

  • Shade

    For me the term “straight acting” has always been a major red flag. It makes me feel uneasy. What are you trying to say? Is there a magic line on the scale of masculine and feminine we are supposed to strive for? But really… that’s a lot of my own internalized homophobia and my defensiveness at work in teh playground that is the gay psyche.

    But context is everything. Seeing a dating profile that says “straight-acting jock guy looking for same – no femmes” screams “issues.” Having Lance Bass fumble through his coming out and describing himself as “not like the other gays” was annoying because he should have known better and wasted a great opportunity to do something besides “I’m gay but not… really gay. He still got more hatred from us that he probably deserved.

    But this is a 20 year old semi-closeted kid. Context. there is an opportunity to communicate and help him out. If you think he will have a hard time finding a date because some folks feel the term “straight acting” might seem judgmental then there is a better way to tell the kid that. If he were standing next to you, you wouldn’t snark at him. Well I hope you wouldn’t. Saying he put himself out there and he should expect to get dumped on isn’t really fair. He didn’t direct a new gay romantic comedy, he made a video blog!

  • SouLKid

    “Try acting straight with a dick in your mouth”.

  • hetmobi

    @Kyle412: @no.80 – Kyle
    There are plenty of straight men in musical theatre (much to my chagrin!)

Comments are closed.