Why Do We Say "i'm Straight Acting"?
Why do people insist on using sexuality as a way to describe personality?
I am Gay. Do I act Gay? Yes. Do I act Straight? No. Does that mean I speak with a high voice or with a lisp, wear pink and decorate my room with purple and pink wallpaper, listen to nothing but pop music by Cher or Lady Gaga or Britney spears, watch nothing but romantic comedies and fashion TV shows, flaunt my sexuality around town, and love dance rather than sports? NO!
I have an averaged toned voice. My room is very plain with only decoration being sports memorabilia/posters. I don't care for the color pink but don't have anything against it. I listen to all kinds of music that includes Bon Jovi, Nas, Garth Brooks, 3 Doors Down, Atmosphere, Alan Jackson, Billy Joel, Motion City Soundtrack, and yes Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, and other pop music. I do enjoy movies labeled 'chick flix' but also enjoy comedies like Zoolander, Role Models, Knocked Up, and other genres like action, drama, political drama/suspense, et cetera. I watch TV shows like South Park, House, ESPN (channel not show), Family Guy, and so on. I do not advertise my sexuality and people are surprised to find out that I am gay. I can't dance. I love sports and take them very very seriously.
Some of my interests and personality are considered to be feminine or stereotypically Gay. Most of my interests and personality are masculine and stereotypically Straight. But there is nothing about me that is Straight acting.
Sexuality is sexuality and not personality. I am a Gay man. I act Gay.
The only way that an act can have a sexual orientation is if the act is sexual in nature. I am Gay and am attracted to men. I have a physical/sexual attraction toward men and desire to be intimate with men therefor I act Gay. There is nothing sexual about my interest in music or television (though some shows and songs can be provocative).
I get annoyed when people insist they are not 'Gay' Gay. They claim they are a 'normal' Gay or a 'Straight acting' Gay. Why can't we just be ourselves? Some of us are Gay and some are Straight (excluding Bisexuality from this conversation due to lack of Bisexual stereotypes).
I understand that Gay men who have masculine personalities and do not fit the stereotypical model of a Gay man want to let people know this because they don't want to be looked down upon or considered feminine. I describe myself as masculine. I have a few stereotypical interests but so do Straight men.
Many straight men have feminine voices or enjoy dance, cooking, and pop music. They often have a degree of homophobia and will try to hide these interests.
I think the problem with the Gay community is not the flamboyant personalities that so many people label as Gay. The problem is the insecurity of the rest of the community. I am not saying that masculine gay men are not secure or accepting of their sexuality. I am saying that many of these men are afraid of the label because of what the label means.
Society sees Gay as being the stereotype and if you say you are Gay then you fit that model. So, masculine Gay men feel the need to say they are Gay but act Straight to make the people around them feel more comfortable. As if a Gay man who doesn't state that they 'act Straight' would be more likely to grab you by the collar and start furiously making out with you just because you're a man and of course are irresistible to all 'Gay' Gay men.
I may be exaggerating a little with my explanation, but it illustrates my point.
The other problem with the Gay men who insist on stating they act Straight is that they believe the majority of Gay men actually fit the stereotypical model. I refuse to believe that. Well, mostly. The problem with this assumption is that it assumes you know who is actually Gay.
For example, consider I walk into a room of 100 men. Statistically speaking 30 of them are Gay. So I proceed to decide who is Gay (This is not scientific so don't jump on my back, I am just illustrating my perspective). I will find 5 of them are flamboyant and don't allow me to ask any questions before stating their sexuality. 35 men are not interested in sports so I throw them in the Gay group. 10 other men have feminine sounding voices so I throw them in there too. Now I have 50 Gay men and realize I'm either very lucky or I've made some mistakes. I then interview further and find out that of the 35 guys that don't like sports 15 of them like Lady Gaga's music so I get rid of the rest and have my 30 Gay men. Then I ask them all the question: Are you Gay? All 5 of the flamboyant men laugh and tell me that they already told me that when I walked up to them earlier. Then I find out that only 1 of the 10 men with feminine sounding voices is Gay and 8 of the guys that like Lady Gaga Music and don't like sports are Gay. So of the 30 guys I pegged for Gay I only got 14 right and I got 5 freebies. That means that 16 of the guys that fit none of my Gay stereotypes are Gay. Hmmm so that means less than half of the Gay men in the room are "Gay acting" and only about 16% are flamboyant.
My example is very basic and completely made up, but I mean for it to illustrate a point. Gay men are not easily detected and are therefor not visible to society. Society only links the few flamboyant individuals with their sexuality and disregards the individuals that they can't detect. So, Gay men adopt the societal belief that most Gay men are flamboyant and they proceed to look down on those who are and condemn them for giving the supposed few masculine Gay men a bad name.
There is nothing wrong with preferring more masculine men, but to look down on more feminine men and flamboyant men is rude.
I am generally more attracted to masculine men, but have no problem with feminine and flamboyant men. These men are being who they are and acting the way they feel. I think that it's great and I have a lot in common with many of these men. We may not have all similar interests in sports, politics, fashion, entertainment or many other topics, but we may find a few areas of common ground and we are connected by a common sexuality.
Some people say that sexuality is not who they are, and that is true. However, being Gay is distinctly different from being Straight in one crucial way (besides sex). Being Gay brings on issues and emotions and confusion that Straight people do not have to deal with. I have at least one thing in common with every feminine and flamboyant Gay man. We are Gay. We understand what each other is going through and can support each other. I agree that two people should have more in common than that to truly be compatible as friends or more. My point is that many masculine Gay men refuse to interact with more feminine and flamboyant Gay men because they assume they have nothing in common.
The truth is, I am a masculine Gay man. I love sports and am not into fashion or theater. I do have some stereotypically Gay interests like my interest in music by Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, and other pop music. I also enjoy some movies that are consider to be 'girly'. I don't care. I am who I am and I am not about to make excuses. I love Adam Lambert and I love football. I am me and I happen to have various interests and personality traits. None of which have anything to do with my sexuality.
I have rambled on for long enough. I don't like it when people use the phrases "you don't act Gay" or "I'm Gay but I act Straight". It is a negative way of looking at sexuality and makes homosexuality appear inferior or shameful when we make these statements of stereotype and exclusion.aight