Internalized homophobia is an underrated issue in our community, one that is hard to talk about. Like all things, it’s rooted with fear and misunderstanding. What we haven’t bothered to investigate is the very thing keeping us from each other. The segregation of “masculine” and “feminine” does more damage than we imagine. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another, but how far has it gone?
Gay men target each other all the time and in many ways are the ultimate judges of how we handle manliness. Masculinity is all around– gay, straight, or otherwise – but I’ve seen countless of gay men turn it into value. The less you have the less attractive you are, at least to the grand majority. I’ve been both the victim and culprit in these situations.
What does it mean when a gay man vocally pronounces his discomfort with feminine guys? Does he hate himself or does he hate the stereotype? Personally I’ve known many dudes who’ve been victimized by labels. Because of it, they’ve grown an idea about femininity that puts certain gay guys in a box. On the same token, I’ve also known guys who hate being gay and have turned these feelings towards others.
It doesn’t make sense to me why gay men add fuel to the fire when it comes to masculinity. People come in all shapes, sizes, personalities, colors, and opinions. There’s no such thing as a correct way of living, though it seems like the media tries to convince us otherwise. When you’re going through life trying to live the only way you know how, it’s never an easy thing to hear criticism about it – especially when you know you’re living authentically.
Being gay isn’t a personality type. It’s an orientation. Who are we to say that there is one certain way a man can be? Homosexuality has nothing to do with how we choose to live our authentic selves. Feminine and masculine behaviors are totally subjective. Just because you consider something feminine doesn’t mean I do. Our value isn’t placed on how manly we can be towards each other, but how much compassion and love we have to offer. And I’m sorry, but pointing your fingers and calling out “feminine” behavior says a lot more about you than it does the person.
When you hate another man who hasn’t wronged you in the least, there is a likely chance it’s because you recognize something in him you don’t like. It’s impossible to hate without a reasonable cause. “I don’t like him because he’s just too… gay” is not a legitimate excuse to throw shade.
It’s time we all step back and listen to ourselves speak. There are too many voices in our community that damage progress rather than push it forward. When push comes to shove, support from your peers is the foundation of courage. If we can’t do it for each other, then we’re hypocrites. A community of contradictions.
If you’re going to be uncomfortable around me, I’d rather it be because you think I slept with your boyfriend – not because you think I’m too flamey. There are plenty of people in this world I don’t get along with, but at least I have a probable cause. Trust me when I say you’ll be much happier if you choose your battles. At the end of the day, masculine vs. feminine is nothing but a pathetic excuse to make yourself deny the fact that you don’t like yourself.