Matthew Dempsey | News

Why are Gay Men So Judgmental Toward One Another? - VIDEO


Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey takes a look at the issue in a new video.


If you liked this clip, I posted one earlier this year featuring Dempsey discussing the need for validation.

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  1. right? i'm such a pious hypocritical bigot for not wanting to hang out with people who judge others based on their ethnicity!

    i'm also, like, totes prejudiced against the KKK, which is like totes intolerant of me ;-)

    i don't pretend to be so amazing, though. in my circles, it's not amazing to not be prejudiced against ethnicities. we consider it being a decent human being. as i've said before, i'm not on any high horse - it only looks that way to those still crawling on their bellies in the mud. ;-)

    see? sometimes i make 'em teachable moments. and remember, just because you don't have the balls to be just as visible doesn't make me a narcissist. it just means i don't live with the same crippling fears as you :D

    *elegant curtsy*

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 12, 2012 7:32:20 PM

  2. I couldn't help but notice the long list of pseudonyms on your personal page that you post or have posted under, Kiwi.

    And unless Little is your legal first name and Kiwi is your legal last name, regardless of picture and web page, you are posting anonymously. There are men here who post their real first and last names and their personal webpages when they post but you aren't one of them.

    Using online anonymity as a way of bashing others just makes you look like a HUGE hypocrite. Personally I don't care, so please don't start in on me since I am not posting with a link to my birth certificate. I am only pointing this out because you make such an issue out of it. It gets tired reading this insult from you over and over again when it's clear you are doing the same thing here and elsewhere.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 12, 2012 8:27:57 PM

  3. Mike, unless you're like Cher and only go by your first name, I suggest you stop complaining.

    Posted by: MateoM | Sep 12, 2012 9:18:37 PM

  4. Judgementalism is one of the many faces of low gay culture. Though I'm the first one to celebrate our great acheivements, there's another side to the culture that the ghetto crowd ignore, or make excuses for, or defend at all costs.
    It's the self hating, self destructive side that's let hiv run rampant for thirty years, that lets the psychopaths among us speak without challenge, that values looks and bodies over kindness and character, that treats the less attractive like dirt, and that endlessly repeats the latest gushings of group think. And on and on.
    Of course, self hatred and contempt for others is not discussed in gay culture. Even the old film Boys in the Band, which explored a couple of the issues, was roundly trashed by the ghetto crowd. And they're still puzzled forty years later? Please.
    They haven't changed in forever, and they probably won't for many years.
    Bottom line: it's a waste of time to discuss serious issues with shallow queens.

    Posted by: Wilberforce1 | Sep 12, 2012 9:51:16 PM

  5. I didn't realize that towleroad was in the business of posting infomercials.

    If you're against superficial gay culture, why play on it by posting a cute video of yourself not saying much ... in the hopes, of course, that such video will attract business to your cute self.


    Posted by: mike128 | Sep 12, 2012 10:15:08 PM

  6. .....because if they weren't, Towleroad wouldn't be so much fun!

    Posted by: Mary | Sep 12, 2012 10:58:02 PM

  7. "if you have a shallow motivation you cant' be surprised by a shallow rebuffing."

    This is a wonderful line! See what Little Kiwi is capable of when he doesn't get overly emotional and doesn't talk about poop and wishing people death? Damni it, he's good. But you never know which one you'll be getting - Dr. Kiwi or Mr. Hyde (or something like that!)

    Posted by: Mary | Sep 12, 2012 11:19:07 PM

  8. all this from someone whose credential,
    according to his website
    "Masters of Education in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University"
    hmm. I am not impressed
    phd in clinical psych
    ma in ed from Tc

    Posted by: jw | Sep 12, 2012 11:25:41 PM

  9. Gee a talking Bananna Republic uninspiring.

    Posted by: miguel | Sep 12, 2012 11:35:09 PM

  10. I live in Los Angeles, and I have no idea what he's talking about. Maybe because I am more discriminating that he is and I happen to have a lot of good-looking and SMART people. Those are good traits, but the most important traits that my friends in LA have is that they are GOOD people who are my friends and who all celebrate each other's successes in brains, body and soul.

    Posted by: FunMe | Sep 12, 2012 11:48:02 PM

  11. And this kid is an expert why?

    Posted by: marcus | Sep 13, 2012 12:25:02 AM

  12. If bullying doesn't kill a kid he might grow up and later meet gays who might make him want to kill himself.

    Having judgment is part of being intelligent. An important part. But too much of a good thing .... well you know the rest ....

    We don't have to act on every judgment just because a thought occurs. You have a choice.

    Words aren't usually automatic. Think before you open your mouth. How would you want someone to treat you. The golden rule isn't overrated, just under used.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 13, 2012 12:29:51 AM

  13. Challenge yourself, the next time you catch yourself judging someone see if you can stop.

    Maybe even reward yourself. Associate good behavior with something pleasant. And maybe limit the focus on the negatives, instead of beating yourself up for doing it.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 13, 2012 12:37:11 AM

  14. My two cents and change:

    I admit that I am judgmental of people at times. I'm not proud of it, and I try not to be judgmental to the extent that I become one of the biggest assholes in the history of everything.

    But I agree that gay men are the WORST in the world when it comes to being judgmental. It's not limited to those who seem to have the perfect bodies and affluence. I bet there are gay men who hate on other gay men because they're not thin enough or fat enough or hipster enough or gender-bending enough or dare I say Republican enough. I bet that there are gay men who hate on other gay men because they buy their groceries at Trader Joe's and not Whole Foods, because they like Carrie Underwood and not Taylor Swift, because they listen to Radio Pacifica stations and not the latest Top 40 drivel by some insincere woman with ten weaves and Auto-Tune who outwardly courts gay fans but in all truth is only in it for the money, because they volunteer for a myriad of causes and don't spend their waking hours at Rage in West Hollywood, because they use Rembrandt Non-Alcoholic Mouth Wash and not Listerine, because their penises are 10 inches or longer and that must make them dumber than a box of hair... I could go on.

    Posted by: Alex Sarmiento | Sep 13, 2012 12:57:49 AM

  15. I admire what this guy for what he is trying to do, but I have to admit that if I were a patient of his I would have a hard time believing he has ANY experience with rejection in the gay community.

    I'm sorry--but good looks is the gay community's version of the Disneyland FastPass. Having beautiful people tell you that looks aren't really that important-- that it doesn't give you a significant advantage in the gay world--and that the solution is only about changing your own perception is not only patronizing it's insulting.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 13, 2012 3:03:41 AM

  16. I find the therapist insipid and trivial.

    But I'm sure he's a good therapist for the kind of people he councils. I don't mean this as a slam, though I admit it probably sounds that way.

    I don't expect to agree with most gay people, or to even want to hang out with you. That doesn't mean I don't like you or hate myself. It just means that I'm happy with my life and what I've got.

    Yeah, I have a LOT of straight friends that accept me for what and who I am. I'm sorry if I don't live up to the expectations of other gay guys who think I should dress or act a certain way in order to conform to some sub cultural ideal of what it means to be gay, but I assure you, it's best you just get over that and live your life the way you want to.

    I am.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 13, 2012 5:13:10 AM

  17. I don't see this as being exclusive to the gay community. I think we judge others no matter our orientation. My straight friends are just as judgmental as my gay friends. I think Dr. Cuteness is trying to sell a product. That's all.

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 13, 2012 5:35:06 AM

  18. And like all products, he's promoting it in a way that appeals to the lowest common denominator in people's perceptions of self and their role in their particular culture.

    Good for advertising, bad for individuals, and not really all that great for the culture.

    Posted by: "The Gay" | Sep 13, 2012 6:01:05 AM

  19. As others have pointed out, how are gay men any less judgmental of each other compared to straight men who are judgmental of women? Another example is senior citizens. They are judged horribly by others. Yet, in retirement communities, you hear about cliques and such. Judging others is part of the human condition. We all have conscious and unconscious biases.

    By the way, when we swoon over the psychotherapist, we are also being judgmental, despite it being praise.

    Thank you for listening.

    Posted by: AngelaChanning | Sep 13, 2012 7:55:55 AM

  20. Judgements can have a profound affect on your life whether making them or receiving them. Making judgements is necessary, being unnecessarily judgmental is destructive. It's hard to know the line. Especially because, when we judge others often we get a boost of self-perception adrenaline - at least at that moment. Over time I guess we become aware of a false sense of superiority unless we drink enough to avoid it.

    Posted by: Markt | Sep 13, 2012 9:47:25 AM

  21. What the are you all talking about? Gay men are no more judgemental than Straight folks. They just express themselves often in a different way.


    And as for Little Kiwi being "a bore". Why? Because he ISN'T a racist White judgmental b.tch? Ooops, did I say, judgmental?

    I'll be glad when you all reach the age of fifty. It gets better.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 13, 2012 9:49:56 AM

  22. I read through this all, and find I agree with a lot of different posters on a lot of different things, but it seems very obvious given how foreign this all sounds to the gay men I have known and interacted with over the years way outside any "community" in rural areas that *if* this supposed judgmentalism is anywhere near as pervasive as the media and some here suggest that it's mainly a cultural thing happening in areas where there is a discernable "gay male culture" as such. Frankly, of the seven gay male couples I have known well over the years, three of them were farmers (two of the big pick-up truck driving variety one sees in the south and the other couple former Wall Street financial types who threw it all away to build an off-the-grid cabin in remote northern Maine and live as subsistence farmers), one couple were burly social workers without any apparent concern over their appearance let alone anybody else's, another was a nurse and an unemployed sci-fi geek, an intergenerational/interracial couple in academia, and my twenty-something cousin who is a software developer in suburban Boston with his waiter partner he's been with since his sophomore year in high school. They all have their various quirks cuz I like fellow eccentrics, but they've all been in long term monogamous relationships and don't seem any more judgmental than anybody else I know.

    So, when I hear someone say "I have nothing in common with other gay people," what I am hearing is "I don't have anything in common with the prevalent stereotype of urban gay culture," which I have no real way of ascertaining how ubiquitous/real it is cuz it may as well be happening on Mars to my own lived experience. But I did feel rather annoyed the few times I watched the L Word because the women portrayed on this "first big lesbian series" who may well represent LA lesbian culture I really didn't find myself relating to very well at all. May as well have been watching any other show, and they were all petty, picture-perfect model looking types who basically screwed around on their partners with their friends in this circular little clique. So, you know, if that depiction was at all indicative of "other lesbians" as such, then nope, can't say I'm feeling the kinship.

    Posted by: Shelly | Sep 13, 2012 11:59:38 AM

  23. Low self esteem isn't unique to gays. A lot of people, gay, straight, average, or whatever share this trait.

    We're vulnerable to a degree. I know I am. And I admit it.

    I'm not forcing this description on anyone here. I'm just saying that maybe this is a bit more common. And its has something to do with being judgmental.

    Even the "its not me, my life is just fine" crowd. I detect just a little bit of overconfidence with separating yourselves from the "immature" and "inexperienced". Its the sense that you're trying a little too hard to make your case. Because if things were fine, would you have to make a case at all or would you more want to help someone else get past it? I don't know.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 13, 2012 1:16:57 PM

  24. first step: stop being insecure about being gay.

    second step: stop associating with people for shallow reasons

    third step: understand that all that comes into your life, good and bad, is your own doing. if you keep meeting the same type of gay men that you have the same form of dislike for then YOU'RE DOING IT ALL WRONG.

    you can't keep doing things your way all the time and expecting a different result.

    change it up.

    i spent the first half of my twenties working out in a gym 5 days a week in order to win the approval and "friendship" of a bunch of ...frankly boring people. i was shallow for wanting their approval, and they were shallow for only granting it when i put on 15lbs of lean solid muscle.

    and no, that had nothing to do with "the gay community" it was my immature and insecure SELECTIVE CHOICE of a social circle within the vast and varied groups that make up the gay communities.

    the problem wasn't gay men. the problem was that i had blinkers on and zoned in on one small group of gay men, not realizing that the crew i'd get along best with were actually down the hall and around the corner.

    gay men are not more judgmental than straight men. and anyone who thinks they are is simply showing that they're yet to become a discerning human being who knows how to seek out and attract what they actually want in life. unless what you want is something to rant about, which seems to be the case with more than a few fine folks.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 13, 2012 1:44:35 PM

  25. Hmm, not to judge but would this video have been posted if he wasn't considered such a 'looker'? This is cereal packet psychology, no?

    Posted by: Dylancat | Sep 13, 2012 2:17:20 PM

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