1. Blake says

    The only way you can be a straight acting gay man is if you exclusively sleep with women, even though you are gay.

    Straight acting does not mean masculine and “queer” men should stop using that term.

    Ignoring that, welcome to the the team Bozzy, officially at least.

  2. scott says

    Wow- sweet guy and great story…… hope it wasn’t too disrespectful to be thinking of Matt Lucas’ character Daffyd- the accent- just too awesome!!!

  3. Caliban says

    It’s like a window into when I was that age and being gay seemed like such a big deal, this huge obstacle instead of just, eh, part of who you are. That his family and teammates accepted him immediately shows that things are better, and more people coming out like he’s doing is part of the reason why.

    One of the most surprising developments of the past few years is the number of sports teams and players who have come out in support of gay players, joined the You Can Play initiative or made It Gets Better videos. It’s easy to say that doesn’t really mean anything, doesn’t change anything, but to young people Bozzy’s age and younger it can mean a lot. Where that change is really being demonstrated is in high school and collegiate sports, where more and more players are openly gay and finding acceptance.

  4. teegee says

    I admire Tom and his bravery. He’s got some way to go to get over his self-hating attitude (that would the whole “internalized homophobia” thing), but he’s started that journey. I think he’ll be okay.

  5. says

    to blake’s point, there’s nothing less-masculine than identifying as “Straight-Acting” – it’s the calling card of the cowards, that shows that one is still a Boy and not yet a Man.

    but it’s a common thing to hear from the Newbies. he’ll learn. he’s already ahead of the game.


  6. TampaZeke says

    I’m not so sure that his ranting about how much he HATES being gay and how he would do anything to change the fact but he’s stuck with it, is such a good message for other kids struggling with their sexuality. His video sounds like an intro to an Exodus or NARTH promotional video.

    I must have watched a different video than other people here. I can’t imagine how everyone thinks this was a positive statement just because he came out.

  7. BGKev says

    OK, so he’s still got some growing up to do. Who doesn’t? The fact is, realizing you’re gay is also a realization that certain things that most people take for granted are NOT going to simply “just happen” for you. He’s still a little stuck on what he won’t have, but he’ll get there.

  8. Oz in OK says

    @Tampazeke – “I’m not so sure that his ranting about how much he HATES being gay and how he would do anything to change the fact but he’s stuck with it, is such a good message for other kids struggling with their sexuality.”

    Actually I found that statement very refreshing, because it is open and honest. How many of us, at one time or another, hated the fact we were LGBTQ? Bozzy will come to terms with that – in fact, I think that, with the support of his family and teammates, that ‘hatred of being gay’ is probably already a notch or two lower than it was before he came out.

    Congratulations, young man! ‘You have just taken your first step into a wider world.’

  9. UFFDA says

    Straight-acting is fine (the only ones who complain are those who can’t do it), effeminate is fine (if that’s what you have to call it), black is fine, white is fine, preferences are fine, we all hav’em, looks like we’re supposed to. So many wonderful people on here, the features and the commenters. Guess I’m feeling good today. This little ginger bozzy helped. Thanks.

  10. says

    Actually, UFFDA, the only people who use the phrase Straight-acting are the ones who haven’t come to terms with being gay yet. The ones who complain know what they’re talking about.

    Or are you one of those interwebz trolls who comes on to be an incorrect miserable idiot for the sake of being an incorrect miserable idiot?

  11. GregV says

    I think we all see a bit of ourselves in “Bozzy’s” story somewhere.
    A lot of young, gay people feel like there is no one out there who is visible and gay who is “like me,” whether in the media or in the community.
    Most gay people who COULD be role models in small, conservative towns are afraid to come out, and a whole lot of what we see in the media is still designed to either make the gay person stereotyped, figuratively neutered or even invisible to readers/viewers/ listeners.
    Bozzy’s favorite teacher could die and still today the obituary is likely to say that he “had no wife” instead of “he leaves to mourn his loving husband, John.”
    Coming out has an echoing effect on the whole community around you. When I came out (fearing all the same things Bozzy feared), I saw the attitudes of my friends improve, and I eventually learned how my being open had nudged several others (both aquaintances and strangers) to do likewise.
    Bozzy will not even know who all he influences by doing this, but someone will surely be encouraged to live his (or her) truth after seeing him do it first.

  12. says

    well said, Greg. I think a great many of us went through a similar phase. the reluctant homosexuals, if you will. and then that transient phase where you find a false-sense of security in adopting a non-identity identity. the “i’m gay but im not like other gays” thing. that mindset where you think “acknowledging” your homosexuality is the only thing you need to do. it is, of course, merely the first step.

    band this is, blessedly, just a transient thing. at least for those who allow their spines to grow and learn to live, actually live, out loud.

    the closet brigade never loses that mindset, alas, no matter how old they get. and that’s why they never fully get out of the closet.

    the ripple-effects will continue, and more and more people will understand the value in opening the doors for others.

  13. GregV says

    “The only way you can be a straight acting gay man is if you exclusively sleep with women, even though you are gay.”

    @Blake: It really goes way beyond just “sleeping with women.”. I think most gay men and women have experienced the insecurity of being “straight-acting” at some point, often for decades.

    In addition to (or instead of) “sleeping with” the opposite sex, it can mean dating the opposite sex, having sex with them, maybe even impregnating/getting pregnant to provide (false) “evidence” of straightness. It can mean filtering every word that comes out of your mouth, answering questions like “who are you into?” (“Well, I’d love to get into Suzie’s pants”) or “what are your hobbies?” (Maybe you’ve even hidden your interest in cooking ever since someone in kindergarten said it was “gay” when you tried an Easy Bake oven) with false statements that make you feel like you’re avoiding gay stereotypes at all cost. You turn your head when a girl in a bikini walks by just so your friends will say “caught you looking!” and you’ve added to your daily wuota of “prentending to be straight” actions.
    “Acting straight” is a neurotic way to live. But that neurosis can be incorporated into every minute of every day until a person feels free to finally be himself.

    “…queer men should stop using that term.”.
    He never claimed to be “queer.” Every time I hear that word I hear “weird/strange/odd” and I wish people wouldn’t automatically label gay people that way.

  14. Mary says

    I just missed getting drenched in a rainstorm, saved some money on groceries with a lot of coupons, and turned on Towleroad to find that Kiwi is in one of his rare “no hostility at all” moods. This is my lucky day. But then Andrew may just bring me down to earth by saying something nasty like “turn down your vibrator, Mary.”

    As to this young rugby player, I’m glad he’s gotten some peace by telling the world he’s gay. It’s good to hear that his family and friends accept him. Maybe their action can inspire others.

  15. says

    “straight-acting” means “I live every day looking over my shoulder worrying about what The Straights are thinking about me”

    greg, you nailed it.

    and no queer men use the term “straight-acting”. some gay men do. but not self-identifying queer men. the whole thing about self-identifying as Queer is that you are empowered by NOT following a perceived norm

    Queer – unusual, unique, less common, of a different point of view, a deviation from the norm.


  16. I wont grow up says

    TEEGEE: You took the words out of my mouth (well said)
    This is a brave young man, he’s got a way to go, he’ll go far. I only wish that all of society could be as accepting as his family and friends seem to have been.
    (Everyone is correct the accent is adorable and he does sound like Daffyd)

  17. Henry Holland says

    I knew I was gay when I was six, back in the days (1966) when homosexuality didn’t officially exist yet. I’m lucky because I never felt that “I wish this wasn’t happening to me” feeling because I got to love men, that’s a win-win in my book. My attitude was “Why are the breeders such assholes?”.

  18. Icebloo says

    To come out at 18 is amazing !

    To come out in a homophobic country like Wales AND be 18 is incredible.

    This is a very brave and smart guy. I wish him the best !

  19. Moose G says

    I use the term ‘straight acting’ with relish because of the amount of gays who get annoyed. My sexuality is (and should be) defined by who i find attractive, not by the music i listen to, the clothes i wear, what i drink, the way I speak, the language I use, or the venues I go to. Gay as defined by the gay community doesn’t represent my sexuality. It represents some stereotype which we have been battling against for a long time. Straight acting is the opposite of gay acting, which is what we must be if we don’t fit the stereotype that has been created around ‘gay’. If you don’t like the word then give us a new one that is widely understood, or allow the word gay to refer just to same sex attraction and nothing else (which means you’ll have to come up with another word to define everything else that has been lumped in with gay)

    When I came out 18 years ago there were only stereotypical gays out there, which i didn’t identify with at all. I couldn’t balance finding men attractive, but not having a limp wrist or mincing. I had no interest in fashion, no desire to be a woman. This lack of role models hampered my coming out by at least 2 years. In the UK in the past 18 years (and Wales is part of the UK) significant legal changes have occurred which have made being gay far easier, but there are still an alarming lack of role models out there that challenge the stereotype.

    Generally when straight people hear the word gay, they don’t think of liking someone of the same sex, they see the stereotype (which as a community we have done little to challenge) and everything that goes with it – lack of masculinity, not liking (or even being able to play) competitive sports, only drinking wine, cocktails, or alcopops, only liking cheesey dance music, wearing trendy clothes, make up, etc. It is also difficult to not fulfil the stereotype in the gay community. I have been refused entry to gay clubs, and often get asked ‘you do know what type of pub this is Sir ?’ by the door staff (or ‘i’m sorry, we’re closed for a private function’ – me: damn, i thought it was the gay night tonight)

    Before you play the internalised homophobia card i’m completely out to everyone – family, work colleagues (in two different jobs) and in my local community, facebook, twitter. I’ve even worked in one of the biggest gay clubs in Europe. I’m 5’11, built like a rugby player :D, drink pints, have cropped hair, am preferably unshaven, and take great delight in confusing people by having bright pink as my first colour choice (started out because some neanderthal assumed that i wouldn’t want a pink Flip camera and made a comment to go with it – so I went with the pink one out of total rebellion).

  20. Caliban says

    @Moose, what’s wrong with “masculine”? It’s all semantics so I don’t really give a ____, but it’s the “acting” part of straight-acting that sounds off to me. Are you acting or is it your true nature?

    As for Bozzy, the way he talks about being gay sounds a little like being diagnosed with cancer, but he’s 18 years old so he’ll get over that. In fact that may make his video easier for some people to connect with instead of a rah-rah gay pride message they’re not ready for. “I was really bothered by it, it scared me, but then I came out and found things weren’t as bad as I’d imagined. It did get better.”

  21. "The Gay" says

    Someday nobody’ll give a crap, and the tedious and boorish debate over adopting a particular affectation as your entire identity will seem as absurd as walking around in blackface.

  22. Paul K says

    I wasn’t going to chime in with my two cents until I read uffda’s comment “Straight-acting scares the daylights out of so many of you. Chuckle.”
    It reminded me of the many quisling’s who commented about the Chick-fil-A story with “It’s about free speech!” No it is not and no (to uffda) it does not. What many of us truly believe is that a self respecting man who is gay would NEVER label himself that way, disassociating himself with being gay. He describes himself as “masculine” or “butch” or “the boy next door” or perhaps “just me”. If there is any fear going around I believe it is those “straight-acting” guys who are terrified that society will lump them in the same group as those queens/fems/nellies that they are so disgusted by or, dare I say it…afraid of?
    Gay/straight/or whatever is most likely determined by genetics. The masculinity-femininity curve has more to do with hormonal surges during gestation – over which we have NO control especially ex post facto. In other words, I was born this way.
    Way back when I was newly out to the world – when dinosaurs roamed the earth – we unfortunately divided ourselves into two distinct categories Butch or Queen. What everybody should be aware of is that we are a rainbow of variations from uber-masculine men to uber-feminine men, no longer is there an “either – or” selection. Personally, I think of myself as a butch-queen…and if you find yourself saying “huh?” rent the movie “Paris Is Burning”
    To me uffda, “straight-acting” means you are pretending to be something you are not in order to be accepted by those who think
    gay = feminine = bad. Just be yourself, show your world that gay = uffda = good. Be an ambassador who no longer pretends to be straight. The world needs you and men like you to stand up, stand out and be heard. Queens have been in the vanguard ALWAYS…from before Stonewall up to today. While “straight-acting” men cowered in the shadows WE took the hits, the insults, the spit. WE have died for you while “straight-acting” men hid from view. You can let the world know who YOU are *without* distancing yourself from any other type of man.
    Putting down queens does not build yourself UP, it just makes you sad.

  23. UFFDA says

    Um, nice try Paul with some good points. To me “straight acting” is a fair indicator of stylistic preference – gay without “mannerisms”, and there’s nothing the matter with preferences. There’s nothing the matter with “mannerisms” either if that’s what you like. However the term infuriates the angry types who can’t bring it off or who seek attention by affected effeminancy. They’ve got problems and are, indeed, sad.

    Then there are the real, all but annointed, queens…like, let’s say, the irridescent Rufus Wainwright as seen in his interview with the media last week. I thoroughy enjoyed so genuine a being. He wasn’t my type but I could see how authentic he was and easily recognize how appealing he clearly is to his new husband Jorn, and many others no doubt. He was wonderful in his thoughtfulness…and mannerisms…hoplessly affected and hopelessly affecting. I loved and admired him.

    But it all turns into a hall of mirrors very quickly, sometimes hard to tell the difference between the cheesy fake fems addicted to bad form from the calmer beauty of a deeply feminine man.

  24. says

    and yet, the falsely-boastful “Straight-Acting Gays” can never, ever, put a face to their comments.

    such a big confident straight-acting gay men, are ya?

    prove it. URL. youtube or blogspot. let’s see ya.

    ten bucks says ya can’t. why? simple: to label yourself as “Straight-Acting” gives away that you’re one more insecure gay boy who boasts anonymously online to make up for all you cant’ do in the real world.

    wanna prove me wrong? then actually prove me wrong.

    provide the URL so you can show us all who and what you are.


  25. Oz in OK says

    So… Instead of celebrating Bozzy’s brave Coming Out (at the age of 18, no less!!) we’re arguing over ‘straight-acting’ vs. ‘masculine’? Really? Good God people!

    If a Gay man uses ‘straight-acting’, I take that to mean ‘masculine’. I don’t have a problem with a Gay man describing himself in either terms, and I don’t understand why anyone would… but that’s just me. If Bozzy wants to use ‘straight-acting’ – then fine, let him! Do you really think he needs a bunch of Gay men tut-tutting him about his word choice, right now?

  26. says

    of course your don’t understand it, OZ in OK – you’re another of the anonymous-internet-handle-Gays.

    its not about word-choice. it’s about the mindset that leads one to adopt such a stupid choice. “Straight-Acting” means “i’m scared of what straight people will think about me being gay”

    and nothing more.

    as most have said, it’s often expected in Newbies. in grown adults, however, it’s just plain fu**ing pathetic.

    and like i’ve said, the gays that defend the use can never put a face to their comments.

    why? because they’re exactly what i’ve said – insecure and terrified about how they’re seen as gay men.

    the defenders of the term are always closeted anonymous-internet dwellers.

  27. JOHN BROWN says

    well done Tom, your the man aka gay man. loved the interview you made keep your chin up, from another gay man in lisburn. love to meet up for a drink with you if in NI

  28. JOHN BROWN says

    well done Tom, your the man aka gay man. loved the interview you made keep your chin up, from another gay man in lisburn. love to meet up for a drink with you if in NI

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