The latest comedy YouTube video from Michael Henry touches on a slightly more serious topic: Is life easier for gay men who pass as straight? Or do those who are more easily identifiable as gay have some advantages over their ‘straight-acting’ brothers?
In the video, Henry brings up the subject with two friends – one of whom, Darren, is straight-acting while the other, Tonatiuh, is more… well, camp.
“Do you think it’s easier to be a gay person if you could come across as straight?” asks Henry, leading Tonatiuh to say that straight-passing gays have benefits – to the surprise of their more traditionally masculine-appearing friend, Darren.
What sort of benefits are there to passing as straight, Darren asks.
“You probably don’t get called f*ggot in the streets,” offers Henry. “And some gay men might find you more attractive because you come across as straight.” He also mentions potential career advancement benefits.
“You get to reveal your gayness when you feel like it, when you’re ready for it, and when you feel safe. Some queer people don’t get the same privilege,” adds Tonatiuh.
However, Darren counters that Henry and his other pal have enjoyed some benefits from being “clearly gay.”
He says it’s a burden to have to constantly come out and explain to people his sexuality – something that people who are “clearly gay” have to do less often.
Henry agrees that he, “never even had to come out – everybody just knew who I was before I knew who I was.”
Darren replies that his parents were shocked when he came out as they had no idea. He also says that those who appear straight-acting may be pretending, depressed, or envious of those who can behave in a way many perceive as more obviously gay.
However, he concedes he’s never been mocked or called names such as “sissy” or “fairy”.
The discussion is undercut with plenty of comic moments, but at its heart is a real message: being your authentic self can come with all sorts of challenges.