All gay people act gay because they are

This is for those people who tell me they like me because I’m not ‘in your face’ gay; that I’m a ‘normal’ gay. Those people, and most heterosexual people, don’t understand why people flaunt themselves. Well, maybe they do. They don’t realize it, though. To all of you, read carefully. Guys like girls (usually). Girls like guys (usually). That is assumed. Guys talk about it and girls talk about it. In fact, that is all people talk about in high school. But if you’re gay and you talk about it, you’re imposing your values on others. If you dress a certain way, you’re hopelessly self advertising. I’ve got some news. Everyone self-advertises. It’s a mechanism of evolution. I am thankful that gay guys self-advertise with certain mannerisms and dress. It would be so much harder to find gay guys if none of them did. Everybody thinks they are complimenting me when they tell me I act straight. That just tells me that gay guys won’t think I am interested in them because they will think I’m straight. That’s a bad thing. How do people not understand that? I am gay. I want to be gay. I want everybody to know that. A gay person should never ever try to act ‘straight.’ Gay people, saying that you like straight-acting people is a negative stereotype. Quit it. You’re gay, you should stick to dating other gay people. Guess what. Gay people are gay, therefore they act gay. Embrace it.

Sorry that this is all over the place, I’m tired and I don’t feel like proof reading.

-Ben

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About Brad,Robert,Ben

We are three kids from three different time zones, with one common goal. This is our voice:
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19 Responses to All gay people act gay because they are

  1. Ben, I see nothing wrong with your post. There is no need for you to proof read anything. I do so agree with you. I take it as an offense when others tell me I don’t act gay. Who in the hell wants to be straight? We are gay not by choice just like straights are straight not by choice but it sickens me that everything revolves around straight people. They can flaunt their sexuality freely and openly and the world just smiles and congratulates them but God forbid that a gay man or woman acts “gay”. How are we suppose to act?
    Peace and happiness to you,
    wm

  2. tristram says:

    Great post, Ben. We all need to get beyond acting and start being.

    After many years of acting, I start each day by telling myself – “Be who you are, respect yourself, be decent to other people.” If I can do that, most of the other stuff works out okay.

  3. Hi Ben,

    So glad to see your post on this! It actually is saddening, that many “straight,” or heteronormative people think that there is one way to act when straight, or one code to act by when gay. It shows, I think, a lack of possibilities in whoevers’ life who’s saying this to you.

    That said, many gay people claim “straight-acting” in personal ads, etc, and I know that this is nothing more than homophobia– also sad, considering that it’s a gay person who’s being homophobic.

    Go with yourself– be true to yourself, be kind with yourself, and be beautiful because we all are in our own way.

    Sincerely,
    Christopher Jason

  4. Ángel says:

    I do agree there’s some measure of homophobia in people who praise gay people who “act straight”. You have a great point there, Ben.

    Just don’t forget there are many ways to be male, many ways to be gay and many ways to be a gay male. Some gays have certain manerisms and dress codes, some others don’t, and that’s all great because that way there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Some like guys with manerisms, some like guys without them.

    How are other guys going to know you’re gay, available and boyfriend material if you lack manerisms or don’t follow certain dress codes? Well, usually just saying “I’m gay” does the trick.

    Just stay true to yourself. Don’t “act straight” to fit in with the straight crowd nor “act gay” in order to fit in with the gay crowd. Take in whatever suits you of the different dress and conduct codes and be yourself, nothing more atractive than that.

    Take care, Ben.

  5. Tom Davis says:

    Social Norms are hard. I’m not sure how it happens entirely: little kids draw women with long hair and men with short hair, even when there are many people in their lives who don’t fit that mold. People grow up thinking that everyone is exactly described by labels applied to them.

    In a way, gay people are very lucky that we are forced to recognize the nonsense of that thought at such an early age. I try to remember that many people haven’t had our advantage and give them a little extra attention to help educate them.

    It is frustrating when they still don’t get it, especially when seems it’s because they don’t want to get it. I am so tired of hearing how good someone’s “gaydar” is. I am so tired of being apologized to because someone felt bad that a third party had called me gay (that’s NOT an insult, I AM gay!). I am so tired of being told, “you don’t seem gay” or, “I would never have guessed.” And I am especially tired of trying to explain to people how all of those sentiments are homophobic and having them tell me, “No, I like gay people.”

    On the positive side, gay people usually recognize when someone is flirting with them, even when that person doesn’t fit stereotypes. So we got that goin’ for us. On the down side, sometimes other men won’t know it’s totally cool if they flirt with us first. So we have to get the word out somehow.

  6. Jas Friedman says:

    Seriously, but what does “acting gay” even mean? Or “acting straight”? I think “straight acting” means “being gay but you appear straight on the outside because that is how you are”. Not because you pretend to be straight. Why should one flaunt their sexuality? Unless you are dating… yes? An important point is the appropriate level of flaunting.

    As a point I would only ever date gay men. Why would date straight men? Completely nonsensical.

    I am not camp, but many camp people are straight. Gay men can like sports or even science. You don’t have to be a singer or fashion designer to be outrageously gay.

    There are many types of gay people.

    Just be gay, not act gay.

  7. Chuck says:

    Allow me to throw a little more light on the issue. When I was in college, the Anthropology prof. mentioned, one day, that “there is more variety within any one group than there is between any two groups.” Heterosexuals are far more like homosexuals than they are different; the differences are minor and arbitrary, even though some think the differences are important. I am a “straight-acting” gay man. This does not mean I’m “acting” in the sense of pretense; it means my natural tone of voice, my carriage, way of shaking hands, of smiling, etc. are not likely to trip someone’s “gaydar.” I do not plan this; I’m not hiding or self-hating; it’s simply how I am. Yes, some in the “gay community” have a prejudice against “effeminate” men; this is a prejudice that, literally, goes back thousands of years and gay men are sometimes victimized by it. The “gay community” has its share of prejudices, too; one of the many ways we are similar to straight people. At some point, it simply breaks down to personal preference for men with, or without, body hair; having or lacking well-developed muscles; being within a particular weight range or not; of a certain ethnicity, etc., etc. — what is “your type” or not. Bears, twinks, otters, gym-bunnies, speedo-fags,… and on and on the labels go, all implying some kind of preference or disinclination.

    I think it’s important for members of minorities to have means of identifying each other. I don’t have to remind you how miserable is the feeling of being alone. In the 1930’s and ’40’s there was the “hanky code” (you can google it); today, we’re a little freer and don’t need such secret messages. “Acting gay” is, as you say, self-advertising both on the “this is who I am, flying the pride flag” level and, also, on the “I’m looking for other people like me” level. That being said, you don’t have to “act gay” to attract other men; simply go to where you know other gay men hang out. If I may venture a small joke, that’s why god created gay bars, gyms, beauty shops and florists. But, seriously, it really depends on your local community. In the small city where I grew up, I could find gay men at the beach. In a fairly rural community, you might be likely to find men at Home Depot, the farm co-op, the grocery store, the church choir, or wherever the gay men of your community have chosen as a meeting place.

    Good luck.

  8. Chuck says:

    I think I should add that I sing in a men’s chorus and most of us are gay. Being in a group is freeing so, occasionally, we can “camp it up,” act in stereotypically “gay” ways, just as a joke among ourselves. Such play says “I belong” as much as it says, “f*** the straight community.”

  9. Ángel says:

    I just googled the hanky code (you can find it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handkerchief_code). Wow. So many different colors and some of them so alike. I mean seriously, what if someone with a “burnt umber” handkerchief is mistaken for someone with a brown handkerchief? It would be hilarious, I tell ya. I’m thankful I live in the 21st century, you can just voice what you want.

    Chuck does have an amazing point there: There is just so much diversity, it all boils down to knowing who you are, what you want and getting that message across so people like you identify you.

    And about places to meet other gay people. Seriously, what about sports? You, Brad and Robert are athletes and I really, really find it hard to believe you’re the only gay guys in your respective sport teams, much less the only gay athletes at your schools. You’re most likely to find a guy you have a common ground with there than going out of your way to find places where gay people use to meet in your town.

    And Jas Friedman is right: what does “acting gay” or “straight” even mean? There are so many ways to be either than you can’t just file them all under the same label.

  10. Jay M. says:

    “Acting gay”? How exactly should I do that? Adopt some mannerism such as a limp wrist that isn’t really me? Wear pink? I hear what you are saying, Ben, but the fact remains that your sexuality (even as a teenager) shouldn’t/needn’t be on display. I think we have mechanisms – call it gaydar for lack of a better term – to find each other. And think about this…how many high school relationships last? I know everybody wants one. I fell into that category, and as you so eloquently point out, so does everyone else. I also know you are 100% correct when you say that the “less enlightened” among us don’t care to see you advancing the homosexual agenda when they certainly are trying to advance the heterosexual one! Typical though. To use a rather trite expression, it gets better.

    (I didn’t think this was all over the place. Made perfect sense to me!)
    Peace ❤
    Jay

  11. Chuck says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Ángel.

    About finding other gay men: It’s not necessarily easy. Despite some exaggerated propaganda, gay people (men AND women) are only 7% or less of the overall population. If your sports team has 14 members, you’re likely to be the only gay in it. In general, that’s a good calculation: one gay for every 14 people. But, then, we start narrowing down our field when we start looking for other similarities. Let’s say that 1/10 of the general population is actively involved in sports. You start with 1000 people in your school, then (1000 x 1/10) you have 100 active athletes; of those (100 x 7%) you have 7 gay athletes, three of which may be females, one is you, and the other three males may be in different sports.

    Now that may be seem discouraging. I don’t intend it to be so. What I’m suggesting is that you look for the broadest similarities first: who’s gay. Collect a group of gay friends first and you’ll find yourself getting closer to some than to others, just like straight friendships.

  12. Chuck says:

    Oops! Here I go again:

    My focus was too narrow, really. To take the broadest similarities first, start with being a person in your community; seek friends everywhere. From that level, you’ll find friends who are male or female; open to you being gay, or less so; females who are enchanted to have a gay bf; men who are happy to know you’re no sexual competition for them; and so on down, hopefully, to “the one” with whom you’re really happy to just mess around. Eventually, the romantic interest will show up, if that’s your wish.

  13. android8000 says:

    This really is a fantastic post! I agree with it so much! Good Job Ben!!

  14. Ángel says:

    I should’ve taken into acount I’m from Mexico City, Chuck. 7% means a lot of people. But I agree with you: you start with your closest circle and go from there.

  15. tristram says:

    @Chuck – I like your idea of casting a “wide net” for friends. (Nothing to do with a ‘wide stance’, btw.) Byut I’d be even more expansive. Start with the 1000 people in the schooll. Take the 70 who are gay. Plus the 70 who might be not too far along the scale. Then skip the elimination rounds and fall in love with an actor. Or a singer. Or a geek. Or a linebacker.

  16. jeff thompson says:

    I have been trying to bring ‘Gay’ as a word into my workplace, which should be easy since I work with 5 other gay guys. These men are mostly opposed to any gay references. Management has made it apparent that Gay is OK, it is an Interior Design firm after all. The things straight accuse you guys of, are the same things I am accused of by gay guys. No worries, just keep trying.

  17. N says:

    You know, that’s like saying you approve of the stereotypes that gay people are sissy/flamboyant etc. And honestly, in my personal opinion your post is contradictory as well.. if you advocate that gay people should act “gay” cos they’re gay, then why are you behaving/dressing in a “straight” manner? Anyways, I haven’t read the rest of your posts in the blog, so I don’t know how you think about gays and their perceived stereotypes. But if I were you, I would not want to “confuse” the sexual orientation (liking guys) with the personality stereotype (being campy, or not “acting” straight, or such). I’m afraid that gays are still human beings no matter their orientation, and that means every gay is an individual and they have individual tastes as well. So choosing to “act” straight, for example, may not come so much as due to trying to hide one’s sexual orientation, but rather as one’s personal taste in clothes and behaviour. Oh, and about the gays shouldn’t like straight guys thing? You call it a negative stereotype. Well, I wouldn’t want to rebut, nor affirm, on this one. But I would like to point out that in our society today, where people, be they straight/bi/gay worship hard toned bodies and frown upon other “less endowed” body types and even want to “correct” such problems by going for extreme diets/hellish workouts/plastic surgery – now, that’s a negative stereotype as well, isn’t it? The thing is, there’s so many such “negative stereotypes”, and ironically one of them is at the very core of your blog – the gay athlete, which as you acknowledged, people seem to think that it’s a paradox, that the image of a “macho athlete” just cannot go along with a gay orientation. I’ll suggest that if one has to correct all these prejudices, one has to start from oneself. And I’ll suggest that means instead of subscribing to sweeping views like saying gay guys have to act “gay” and cannot even be truthful to their own likes (eg. attraction to straight guys), one should just acknowledge that each gay is an individual and has differing views and tastes. Of course, there is the inherent wisdom in that gay guys shouldn’t be liking straight guys as they will likely be rejected, or even worse, bashed up/ostracized, but there’s a chance that such a relationship may blossom into a friendship or even much more. In a nutshell, much as I can understand your frustration in seeing gay guys seemingly rejecting their true identities and hurting themselves repeatedly by liking straight guys, I’ll say that ultimately that’s to each his/her own choice. You never know if those who do so will end up hurting themselves in the end, and even if you know, feelings, especially strong feelings, are not so easily undone and usually have to be unravelled at their own time and pace. Que sierra sierra, what will be will be.

    • I dont act straight. If I acted straight I would hit on girls. I’m saying that acting gay has become an all-encompassing lifestyle rather than a simple sexual orientation, at least in the public eye. I think that needs to be recognized, that being flamboyant does not equal being gay and being macho does not make you straighter. In order to find freedom for more fluid sexuality, we need to separate sexual orientation from personal identity at least a bit, so that you are not constantly compared to your orientation’s “standard” guy (like saying that I act straight because I’m gay and not flamboyant.) I may have said that in a roundabout way in the post, but I was ranting. apologies.

  18. Ben says:

    Ben, first of all, I’m a gay guy named Ben as well, and that is awesome. YAY BENGAYS!

    Secondly, I wholeheartedly agree with this post! I think it’s fine if gay guys don’t follow limp-wristed stereotypes, etc, as long as that is how those men naturally act. The lisp, the dress, the flailing of hands all have ZERO to do with wanting to fall in love with a man and maintain a long-lasting relationship with him. I agree that sometimes these things help identify and/or advertise preference if done intentionally, but in general, the only way to know if someone plays for your team is to ask!

    What needs to change here is that straight guys need to get over themselves and not be *offended* if they are asked by a gay guy if they are gay. Instead, they should be flattered, and just politely reply, “Sorry, bro, I like girls, but thanks for letting me know you think that I am attractive!” Just like how I’m always flattered when girls flirt with me. Duh.

    In short, thanks for the post, keep up the awesome blogging!

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