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On The Relationship Between 'Masculine' Gay Men, Exclusion And Pro-Trans Activism

GayClones

There's no question that there's a cult of masculinity among many gay men, one that encourages us to hit the gym, flex our muscles and "fit in" with a larger male culture that wants us to be Superman, instead of super slim. But does that culture also impact our politics?

Activist Richard Lyon seems to think so. From his most recent piece at Huffington Post:

From an effort to counter the notion that all gay men are effeminate, they have moved toward the position that all gay men should present an image of red-blooded American masculinity. The drive toward becoming respectable leaves no room for the presence of gay men who are less than fully and thoroughly butch.
….
We see a good bit of political conflict about the inclusion of the transgender community under the LGBT/queer tent. Self-declared gay pundits like Dan Savage and John Aravosis have, on repeated occasions, questioned the desirability of a close alliance between the two groups. To my mind it is not just a clear-cut issue of trans vs. gay. There seems to be a notion that the all-new and improved gay image will be devalued by association with anyone who doesn't conform to the masculinity specification. This includes gay men who fail to measure up on the butch index.

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Comments

  1. Homophobia is so intertwined with societal gender norms that it is almost impossible to separate them.

    Honestly, if we addressed the issue of gender norms first, the issue of homosexuality would likely take care of itself.

    At it's core there is no reasonable argument (other than fashion) for women to wear dresses and men to not. For women to wear makeup and men to not. Yet it is a hot button issue that garnishes way too much attention.

    When you look at the whole world, gender stereotypes are the thing that plagues us as a people. Any call to not recognize this is turning a blind eye to the facts of the world and history.

    Posted by: Turbohand | Jun 29, 2012 8:19:35 AM


  2. Homophobia is so intertwined with societal gender norms that it is almost impossible to separate them.

    Honestly, if we addressed the issue of gender norms first, the issue of homosexuality would likely take care of itself.

    At it's core there is no reasonable argument (other than fashion) for women to wear dresses and men to not. For women to wear makeup and men to not. Yet it is a hot button issue that garnishes way too much attention.

    When you look at the whole world, gender stereotypes are the thing that plagues us as a people. Any call to not recognize this is turning a blind eye to the facts of the world and history.

    Posted by: Turbohand | Jun 29, 2012 8:19:40 AM


  3. Totally absurd. I like skinny men just fine. Guys acting too butch usually annoy me because it seems like a front for insecurity. Just be yourself. There's a variety of expression on the spectrum. I have straight friends who act gay and gay friends who act straight, if you're following social norms.

    Don't think that everyone has to act the same way.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 29, 2012 8:21:01 AM


  4. Aravosis gives me gas.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jun 29, 2012 8:24:30 AM


  5. I find it incredibly contradictory to have a big masculine looking guy screaming "f*ck my p*ssy." Trust me happens so often I almost expect it.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Jun 29, 2012 8:31:09 AM


  6. Some of this boils down to what science calls "survival of the fittest". I think we choose the most masculine and virile men in order to preserve our species.

    Posted by: Patrick | Jun 29, 2012 8:35:14 AM


  7. Waiting for "Rick" and "Ratbastard" to weigh in. They're gonna be Real Pissed!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 29, 2012 8:40:11 AM


  8. I write this as a fem gay man who never plays a part. Never decided to be fem. Never chose to be fem, just as you never chose to be gay. I can't help my mannerisms being what they are. I shouldn't feel isolated from my own community for them, but often, I hear resentment from some masculine men. What do you wish I do? change what comes natural to me in behavior...for what purpose? to please who? and if it's the general public, then why shouldn't I take it a step further and go back in the closet/ and or/ marry a women? Many in the general public would appreciate that even more.

    Shouldn't my one life be devoted to being true to myself? fem, masculine, gay or not?

    Posted by: Justin Lenmark | Jun 29, 2012 8:43:19 AM


  9. The bashing of our effiminate gay brothers needs to stop, and needs to be acknowledged. We as a community have great work to do when we can't accept the diversity within. A gay man who is effiminate is no less valued in our community, they often take the first punch, first shouts and first bullets. They are identifiably gay, and know and LIVE the consequences of being deemed gay. We should have more sympathy for them, and accept them as members of our growing and *diverse* LGBT

    Posted by: Black Voice Kev | Jun 29, 2012 8:45:37 AM


  10. I never understood that - the femphobia- about the gay community, and wrote about it in a post a while back.

    I'm straight. I hear how gays want to be accepted because of their differences. They tell society that just because a majority is attracted to the opposite sex, doesn't mean they have to be. That people should respect them for who they are. Then how the hell are you gonna go turn and bash on fellow gays who don't act exactly as you do? How is that any damn different than us heteros not accepting gays for not acting like we do? I have a gay brother and I've shared his stories on here before. He's been taunted for being fem so often, not mainly by us straight peeps but mostly by you gay people. It's pretty frustrating actually.

    Posted by: Str8GuyGayBro | Jun 29, 2012 8:49:47 AM


  11. It is a Rainbow flag not Rambo flag!
    It is a symbol of inclusion...
    We all have dealt with the same self-doubt and understanding that we are the same bright light inside. If people need help, help if you can. It's the HUMAN thing to do...enough said.

    Posted by: Daya | Jun 29, 2012 8:51:44 AM


  12. There's so much mysoginy and homophobia attached to disdain toward fem gays and butch lesbians, if some in the LGBT movement onlyyyy knew...

    Educate yourselves. The reason anti gay folks resent those who are fem gays and butch lesbians is because they are identifiable. They are visible in being gay, therefor they are a threat to their normalcy. The bigot crowd doesn't mind those in the LGBT who can blend in and be passable, after all, they are all hetero as far as the hater is concerned. But the fem gay and butch lesbian, they are the axis of evil, they are "activists" even if they are just living their lives, doing their daily routines.

    Not all our GLBT members must be hetero-washed in order to be accepted. That our gay men have to pass for a straight man, and our lesbians have to look like Miss Universe is the breeding ground for homophobia. To even suggest otherwise is to admit you haven't give this issue a well thought out conclusion.

    Posted by: MiMi | Jun 29, 2012 8:55:06 AM


  13. There's so much mysoginy and homophobia attached to disdain toward fem gays and butch lesbians, if some in the LGBT movement onlyyyy knew...

    Educate yourselves. The reason anti gay folks resent those who are fem gays and butch lesbians is because they are identifiable. They are visible in being gay, therefor they are a threat to their normalcy. The bigot crowd doesn't mind those in the LGBT who can blend in and be passable, after all, they are all hetero as far as the hater is concerned. But the fem gay and butch lesbian, they are the axis of evil, they are "activists" even if they are just living their lives, doing their daily routines.

    Not all our GLBT members must be hetero-washed in order to be accepted. That our gay men have to pass for a straight man, and our lesbians have to look like Miss Universe is the breeding ground for homophobia. To even suggest otherwise is to admit you haven't give this issue a well thought out conclusion.

    Posted by: MiMi | Jun 29, 2012 8:55:16 AM


  14. As a 'masculine' percieved gay male, I never understood the insecurity some "masculine" gay men have in other feminine gays. So WHAT if they are feminine? Why do they need to represent you? Why can't you represent yourself to society without demanding all gays act like you so you can protect your machismo image of masculinity.
    Let's get something clear here, if you're truly masculine, you don't care who acts like what. It doesn't threaten you. Only someone PLAYING the part of masculine feels insecure by feminine men. I'm naturally masculine. Don't care who around me acts like a princess. I'll still be naturally masculine. I don't need to knock feminine gays to feel more masculine about myself.

    Posted by: Todd | Jun 29, 2012 8:58:41 AM


  15. I'm a gay man and to be honest I really don't see any connection to the trans community whatsoever. I have no desire to change my sexuality and I'm not attracted to those who are/do. I think they're only related in that they both deal with sexual issues outside of the status quo, but in many ways I think it's a bit narrow-minded to just group these different communities into one another as I think a lot of people do. As I said, I see myself as existing in a completely separate community. It's like grouping the feminist movement in with the LGBT community because that too is related to sexuality in a way. I feel like in an attempt to group people together we kind of lose sight of each group's distinct desires and goals.

    Posted by: NS | Jun 29, 2012 9:00:30 AM


  16. Hi STR8GUYGAYBRO, Your brother is lucky to have such a loving brother watch out for him. I am obviously gay too, they can pick me out as the gay guy in any lineup and have felt many of the things JUSTIN LENMARK mentions.

    BLACK VOICE KEV is right too and if it weren't for the femme guys taking the blows, I wonder where gay rights would be right now?

    TURBOHAND's comment seems to sum up what we need to change culturally... sigh

    It is nice to hear others acknowledging this. I tend to shrink away from these conversations because there is so much cultural hatred for the femme guy.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jun 29, 2012 9:02:49 AM


  17. @ MiMi

    I hope you don't mind that I saved your post and will share it on my facebook page. It was one of the most poignant things I've read on this site. You rock for sharing that.

    Posted by: Sunshinestar | Jun 29, 2012 9:03:08 AM


  18. Everybody just be themselves. Some of the biggest gay gym guys are very effeminate. Some 'skinny' gay men are very macho. This notion that one-size-fits-all, that we're all in this together, is crap. Being gay is out sexuality, it's not our entire life. It doesn't define me masculine or feminine, it doesn't define my politics, it doesn't define my look, my relationships, my family. It's part of me, it's not the all of me. We're all different. Take each person as they come rather than try and force us to be a group that's suppose to do behave a certain way because someone who has the bull pulpit, a megaphone or a daily column in a newspaper tells us so.

    Posted by: Bart | Jun 29, 2012 9:05:43 AM


  19. To LGBT who bash on effeminate gays, and enjoy making them feel alienated, I guess my sincere question is this: how are you any different than the worst bully on the school playground? Honest question I hope those who bash on our non gender normative gays ask themselves. How are you any different?

    Posted by: Sunshinestar | Jun 29, 2012 9:06:40 AM


  20. Here's a reality check: it's the more "masculine" and "normal" gays that have helped the rest of the general public slowly embrace gays, gay marriage, equality, etc. over time.

    Divas and c^nty queens who scream "gurrrl" every 2 seconds do not help the cause. They're the reason a lot of straight people will always hate us.

    Now go ahead and tell me how insecure and ignorant I am. It'll make you feel better and more enlightened, but at the end of the day, will not change reality.

    Posted by: Drew2 | Jun 29, 2012 9:06:42 AM


  21. These are discussions are just a big circle jerk of irrelevant academic jargon spewing.

    Be you and be good. Don't fault others for trying to do the same thing.

    Posted by: joest | Jun 29, 2012 9:13:58 AM


  22. @ Drew2

    You're not just ignorant, interesting how you recognized that in yourself mind you, you're homophobic, bitter, jaded, angry, and closed minded. You actually share more commonalities with an anti-gay bigot far more so than you do with an LGBT member.

    And that's just it. The only thing that makes people like you who have an unhealthy obsession with masculinity even identify as gay is because you couldn't fight your urge for the c-ock. You're cut from the same cloth as a homophobe. Both preach sameness. Both preach acting in a manner based on comfort levels of the majority. Both want people to change who they inherently are to please your arrogance and ignorance. You're one in the same. You just happen to love c-ock and can't fight the urge for c-ock, but hateful, bigoted, ignorant and arrogant nonetheless. I suggest working on that, after some soul searching.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Jun 29, 2012 9:15:25 AM


  23. Drew2,

    Most of you hyper masculine gays are anything but normal. You pride yourself in your masculinity and view normalcey based not on character but who can win the butch-off. It all stems from internalized homophobia you have yet to confront. Until you do, you're not fully out nor comfortable in your skin. I've met more hyper masculine gay men with issues than I ever have any fem gay. That's something worth looking into. Maybe a study by a gay oriented group.

    Posted by: CaliCouple | Jun 29, 2012 9:17:33 AM


  24. DREW2 go f*ck yourself. You haven't the balls to wear pants, let alone a dress. It's perverted little homophobes and misogynists like you within the LGBT communities that keep us from making any real progress. Your self-loathing and sexism keeps us divided. Your "masculine" "normal" delusion is nothing but a bunch of neutered closet cases, simpering behind closed doors and beating yourself to death watching internet porn. Those of us with big, hairy, cast-iron balls will still be marching in the streets - high-heels, sequins, and bullet-proof wigs - to make sure the world is safe, even for spineless little ignorant pigs like you.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Jun 29, 2012 9:20:11 AM


  25. I honestly think the gay community has been too soft in their approach of combating mannerism phobias in the gay community. Enough with excusing LGBT who put down fem gays or masculine lesbians. Seriously time to call out their insecurities and hate. It's just that- hate. I agree with other commentators above that it has many correlations with the hate that has us defending our rights as LGBT. Same brand of hate reworded in more calculating terms.

    I wish more articles were geared toward this issue, and I do believe it is an issue. How some gays think they have authority to tell other gays how to behave, much less judge them for it is rich. Don't scream "equality" when you're not willing to extend that same level of respect and right to be themselves for fem gay men.

    Posted by: USC Trojan Fan | Jun 29, 2012 9:21:13 AM


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