I know this sounds a little too obvious to most people who don’t know much about gay men. And when I say “don’t know much,” I’m talking about people who aren’t gay and get their information from TV shows, Hollywood films, and some lgbt fiction. Notice I said “some” gay lgbt fiction. I’m not writing this post to single out anyone in particular. But I have seen a few lgbt books…one written by a national bestselling author…where a gay character was treated more like a woman than a man. The dialogue made me groan out out and I felt like tossing the book out the window. And, to be fair, it was a damn good book!
It’s just that the author was faking it. She obviously has one or two gay friends in her life and she drew her information from them without going any deeper. Part of this is the fault of the silent, closeted sector of the lgbt community. For as long as I can remember, it’s always been the loudest voices in the lgbt community who propagate the most stereotypes. Don’t get me wrong. I love these people, all stereotypes aside. I love their courage and I love how they speak up for all of us. And, though I get a lot of flack for this, I personally don’t mind stereotypes when used in appropriate circumstances. I think we’ve all become a little too PC…to the point where everyone is afraid to speak.
But the reason the vast majority of gay men aren’t heard often is because they are men. Men don’t think like women, they don’t react like women, and they don’t navigate the world like women. With men, it’s black and white, with very few gray areas. Men react differently to sex as well. They don’t seem to need as much emotion, and sex is more of a physical need than an emotional need. I’m not talking about “studies” now. I’m speaking from my own personal experience as a gay man and from my experiences with gay men. There’s a reason psychologists have written bestselling books about the differences between men and women. And gay men, though I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, think like men.
One of the least explored relationships, I think, are the friendships between gay men and straight men. I see TV shows, films, and books all the time where the gay guy always has a best girlfriend, the consummate fag hag. And yes, there are gay men like this. But most aren’t. At least most of the gay men I know aren’t. And, unfortunately, the reason why this is usually so hard to see is because half the gay men who are friends with straight men aren’t open about being gay. In other words, you can’t tell them apart no matter how hard you try. If you want to read a book or check out a movie where the relationship between a straight man and a gay man is close to perfect, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil does an excellent job.
I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression here. I’m not dissing effeminate gay men or the women who love them. Personally, I love women…I appreciate their energy most of all. And I have had, and still have, many gay male friends who love feathers, rhinestones, and glitter. I love them, too. But the lgbt community isn’t what it appears to be on the surface. I think this is changing as time passes and more people start to feel comfortable with themselves and their sexuality. If I’d been born thirty years earlier, I wouldn’t be writing gay fiction openly, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now. I would most likely have been in the closet, sneaking around on the down low…like so many gay men are still doing today.
But the fact remains, gay men are still men. And no matter how anyone tries to twist it around, it’s always going to be this way.