Empty your ‘straight-acting’ closet

Empty your ‘Straight Acting’ Closet

According to Wikipedia, “Straight-Acting is a term for an LGBT person who does not exhibit the appearance or mannerisms of what’s seen as typical for gay people. Although the label is used by and reserved almost exclusively for gay and bisexual men… Because the term invokes negative stereotypes of gay people, its application is often controversial and may cause offense.”
Straight Acting? Masculine? Feminine? Shouldn’t being proud to be gay mean proud to be attracted to a man despite his ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ nature?
What the hell is “straight-acting” anyway? Personally, I believe my performance is worthy of an Oscar, because I can act ‘straight’ and effeminate – key word being ACT.
Men who use the term “straight-acting” to describe themselves, may express dislike of being gay. So, ‘straight-acting’ is evidently based on deep insecurities.
Such inhibited homophobia is a common condition among gays brought up in a heterosexually-dominated society full of ridiculous myths and delusions about “masculinity”.
When people ask me [via chat sites] if I am “straight-acting” I generally respond: “I am a guy who is emotionally and physically attracted to men. I fall in love with men. I have sex with men. That seems pretty ‘gay-acting’ to me.” Having a sexual encounter with a guy, there’s nothing straight about it. And some closet cases feel being the one penetrating the bottom automatically makes them ‘straight-acting’ … What utter nonsense.
While recently chatting with a friend I told him about a date I was going on with an intelligent, cute and fun guy. He asked me if my date was a “straight-acting” guy or “effeminate.” Bearing in mind that the guy was going on a romantic date with me, who also happens to be a guy, with the chance for it to lead to a possible relationship and sex, it seemed like an odd question. I clarified to my friend why I think asking if a gay man is “straight-acting” seems odd and hilarious, to which he replied, “But what else would you call it?”
That’s a good question. What should we call it? Maybe we don’t have to call it anything—maybe we should just accept that we humans come in a wonderfully interesting and diverse array of personalities, traits, behaviours and ways in which we genetically desire and crave to experience and express love and sex.
And my favourite is when gays say “I am a straight-acting bottom” – really now? Will you be acting straight while being penetrated?
I’m done acting straight, and I’m done acting gay. I just want to be me, a quirky guy who happens to be emotionally and physically attracted to men.
Countless scholars have said that such attitudes by gay men reflect internalized negative feelings about being gay. Thus, we sought to assess the importance of masculinity among gay men, to compare their ideal versus perceived masculinity-femininity, to ask how gay men assess masculinity, and to test whether masculine awareness and anti-effeminacy could predict negative outlooks about being gay. Results from an online survey of 751 gay men in the United States showed that the majority rated masculinity for themselves and in a same-sex partner as important, and they ideally wished that their behaviour was more masculine and less feminine than they perceived it to be.
These finding further support the idea that masculinity is an important hypothesis for gay men and that masculine awareness and anti-effeminacy are related to a negative outlook about being gay. I feel that these ‘straight acting’ gays just want to fit in the ‘straight’ world and don’t want to be ridiculed. Well, you’re gay no matter how you act. You are a male sleeping with men, so what’s your problem?
I think people read too closely into the sexual roles. The method in which you have sex does not automatically have any depiction of your personality.
Being effeminate (flamboyant) or masculine is just fine with me. And in my experience, most gays claiming to be straight acting, are not – they just think that by connection to some of the more extravagant members of the community, that they are relatively “straight”. I don’t see why people apply stereotypes to tops and bottoms. Some tops will be effeminate, while others will be masculine and some may be somewhere in-between.

You couldn’t tell a straight person’s sexual interests just by their mannerisms, why would you be able to tell a gay persons?
So empty your ‘straight acting’ closet …


Article published in The Pink Tongue, February 2015


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