Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Secrets Gay Men Keep From Straights..Really, Bud?.

There are, indeed, little secrets gay men keep from straights. And when I read the article to which I'm linking now I couldn't pass up the opportunity to write a blog post about these secrets. I wish I could agree more with the secrets mentioned in the blog post. But it's a great example of what I'm always trying to get across about gay people from my personal experience as a gay man who doesn't have a political agenda.

As gay men and lesbians get closer and closer to the mainstream they've often traded in their image as the queer radicals who started the Stonewall Riots for the milquetoast assimilationists who want to get married and have kids and put HRC bumper stickers on their cars.

In some cases I'm sure this is true. But what the author of the article fails to mention is that all these gay men and lesbians who seem so conservative were always that conservative and they were always there lurking in the shadows. It's just that they are now more visible than ever before as they mainstream. They are not, and they have never been radicals who have "traded in" anything, and not all would put an HRC bumper sticker on their car. In all fairness, the author also plays it very safe and states that not all gays are like this. But the overall impression the article gives is that most gays are like this. And I find that is simply just not true. At least it's not true in my circles. Maybe in places like New York or San Francisco, but not in what I consider most of real America...you know, those of us unimportant gays living in flyover states.

This quote is interesting:

There, I said it. Bottoming is fucking great. Yes, it hurts every time. Yes it is sometimes messy (Santorum is just not a candidate in Iowa). But it is always fucking worth it.

Frankly, I'd like to focus more on the political comment this guy made than the vulgar reference to anal sex. Here's a shock you won't see on gawker: not all gays hate Rick Santorum. They might not get him all the time. They might not like everything he says and what he stands for all the time. But they don't all hate him as much as the loudest radical gays do. I'm not political, and I don't discuss politics anywhere any time. I probably wouldn't vote for Santorum. But there are gay people who are conservative and have been pushed into corners and have been taught to believe that if they are conservative there is something fundamentally wrong with them. That's beginning to change. Trust me, I know quite a few gay conservatives who are not feeling this way anymore and they are becoming more vocal about it. So this reference that all gays agree on the same politics always amazes me, and makes me wonder about how presumptuous some people can be, because in reality one of the biggest secrets gays hide are there political opinions these days.

This little gem made me smile:

For those who don't know, poppers are an inhalant that is rather easy to come by in most adult book stores or gay leather shops. It's amyl nitrite and it's sold as "room deodorizer" or "video head cleaner" or some other preposterous bullshit like that. Homosexuals love this stuff.

So I'm supposed to love this stuff? Well let me tell you that this is NOT something I love, nor is it something I do ever. I did try it once, back when I was single and going to clubs all the time, and I thought I was going to die. It was the worst feeling I've ever had and I still, to this day, do not see what some gay men find appealing about poppers. I think I would rather look at nude photos of Joy Behar than ever do a popper again. I'd rather see muscial comedy or read a romance with a woman in a long red gown on the cover than inhale a popper. And I know plenty of other gay men who will back me up on this.

This isn't a topic I'd bring up in public anywhere, but since the author of the article wrote it I'm giving an example:

See the discussion about "power bottom" above, except the difference is, 99.9% of gay men love to suck dick. Therefore, if you call us a cocksucker, it says something more about you than it does about us.

No arguments here about the love of oral sex. However, if you call me a cocksucker in the wrong context, I'm going to kick the shit out of you. Now THAT'S a gay secret you don't hear often, the gay guy sticking up for himself. And I'll do it, trust me.

About gay celebs:

Straight people think, "Oh, the gays love Madonna and Lady Gaga and Kathy Griffin." Yes, it's true, but there is a class of gay superstars you don't even know about. You think gay people love Gaga?

Another myth all the way around. Kathy Griffin makes me gag...and I mean heave big time. Madonna I'm on the fence about. Lady Gaga is okay, but she'd do anything to get attention. No harm there; she's extremely bright. But she's also full of shit. Personally, this gay man would rather listen to rap music. And I know I'm in the minority there because I love rap music so much. But I also like some country, and some hard rock. This one is tricky because there are a lot of gay men who do like Madonna (I'm not so sure about Kathy Griffin) and Lady Gaga, but my point is that just as many don't like them. You just don't hear about those gays very often.

This one about having sex with straight guys made me laugh:

When homophobes always have a gay panic and say gay men "all want to have sex with me," someone will always tell them, "That's stupid. We don't want to have sex with you." That's true—because that guy is ugly. If he was hot, gay guys will want to have sex with him.

Not always true. The fact is that gay men are attracted to men but that doesn't always mean that because a guy, straight or gay, is hot a gay man is going to be attracted to him. Tony and I laugh about this all the time. He'll see a guy and say isn't he hot, and I'll just roll my eyes. I'll do the same thing at another time and he'll look at me as if I'd lost my mind. There are no rules for attraction, gay or straight. You're either attracted to someone or you're not. Frankly, I find Joel Stein to be one of the most attractive men on the planet and he is straight. But I don't find other good looking straight guys all that attractive. Gay men can also be attracted to women sometimes, too, and that's never discussed. The only reason I watch HLN News in the morning is because Robin Meade is so hot.

This one kind of shocked me a little:

What HRC and other gay rights groups would like to sell the straight public is that gay couples are just like straight married couples.

The author is talking about monogamy here, and multiple partners. I'm not even going to comment on gay couples this time. I'm zooming right in on the straight couples I know. Has this guy seen the divorce statistics with straight couples? He clearly never my met my ex-sister-in-law...emphasis on the EX part. There are just as many straight couples out there screwing around as there are gay couples. Tony and I have lived in our home for ten years. In that ten year time span we have one neighbor who has been through three husbands. We don't ask. We mind our own business. But you can't help notice these things, and I do have an inquiring mind. The sad fact is that half the people I know in relationships, gay or straight, are screwing around now. The good thing is that the other half isn't, so things aren't all that bad.

How about this one?

Straight guys always say, "It must be great to be gay because you can get laid any time." Yes, it's true. We can get it anywhere, anytime.

Oh yeah, sure you can...if you are into trolls lurking around at rest areas and state parks. The fact is, and I learned this personally from my single days when I used to cruise, I usually went home alone and frustrated every single time. The people who go to those so-called cruise spots are NOT people anyone wants to have sex with. At least I never did. So getting laid is NOT any easier for a gay guy than it is for a straight guy unless you are willing to lower your standards considerably. Gay guys can also get laid anytime they want if they are willing to pay for it...just like straight guys. But I've never paid for sex once in my life, and I don't see that ever happening in the future either. I have nothing against the concept of it, but I never liked the attitude of those who get paid for sex and think they have the upper hand. It never worked for me. And if I were going to pay for sex, my attitude would be I have the money and I have the upper hand, not you, cutie.

This is probably the only one I completely agree with. The author is talking about how gay men feel about drag queens and drag shows.

Drag queens are great! Some of my best friends are drag queens, and some of them put on great shows. But we see drag queens all the damn time.

I've never been a huge fan of bad drag. I like good female impersonators like the ones I've seen in Vegas. I like campy drag if the intention is funny. But as for low-end drag shows and lip syncing, I'll pass. And don't give me that double-snapping drag queen attitude if you know what's good for you. I have never seen it to fail. You take a nice quiet guy and put a wig and earrings on him and he turns into an obnoxious, loud mouth who thinks he can get away with anything. I've had more run-ins in night clubs with obnoxious drag queens than I care to remember, and I stay as far away from them as I can. That kind of attitude doesn't work with me, and if you think I'm bad you should see Tony go after them. It can be very entertaining sometimes.

I do think the article in gawker hit some points that aren't completely wrong. Unfortunately, it's just more of the same old thing we see far too often in the mainstream written about gay people. I know lesbians and bi-sexuals who feel the same way I do. I find that transgenders are the most misrepresented group of all time, and that's a shame. Because we in the lgbt community get tired of always being misrepresented and expected to be a certain way. The worse part is that this often happens from other people in the lgbt community who aren't as informed as they should be...or have a strong poltiical agenda they are trying to push. I've said it before and I'll say it again until my last breath: gay people are all different; just like straight people are all different. We aren't all attracted to the same things, we don't all agree on the same politics and religion, and we are not all the way we've been portrayed by the media. And that's probably the biggest secret we've been keeping all along.

8 comments:

akasarahmadison said...

I found this perspective really interesting in many ways. You remind me of the statistics that showed when airbags were first developed, the incidence of knee and ankle injuries went through the roof and there was concern that the airbags were somehow causing them.

No. People were *alive* to report them now.

I also found it interesting that I could take the assumptions made about a group of people by a group of people and apply them to other groups as well.

For example, I'm a Christian. Somehow, that has come to mean that I am politically and socially conservative, and that I blindly accept blanket statements and Bible-thumping about God. When I tell people in my circle I'm a Christian, you can hear them automatically deduct 50 points from my IQ. When I enter Christian circles, I'm told I'm going to burn in hell because I no longer attend church (I got tired of every sermon being a political platform), and I believe in equal rights for marriage as well as choice when it comes to abortion rights.

Frankly, many of the people who profess to be Christians appall me with their stance on certain beliefs, whereas some of the kindest, most generous people I know are atheists. I believe in the freedom of choice across the board--whether it is lifestyle, or religion, or whatever. I try not to judge people for their beliefs--though their actions are a bit harder to ignore. :-)

So it is interesting to me to see that labels and perceptions exist across all boundaries. I've been guilty of making some of these assumptions myself, just as I know others make assumptions about me when they see the woman in the battered pickup truck drive past them in a staunchly "Red" state in the Southern US.

I'm tossing out a general apology here for those assumptions and misconceptions. Thanks for enlightening me. Bottom line is that is comes down to the fact that we're all just people--with good days and bad days.

I wish we could be done with the "Us against Them" mentality though. :-(

ryan field said...

Thanks for commenting. And I agree with your last statement. It is time for that "Us against Them" to end.

Sara York said...

Sadly, a large number of people can't conceive of the notion that anyone is different than they are. It's easy to staple on a stereotype and turn it into a caricature, never once seeing that the other human is different than you and different that the person standing right next to them. The us vs them mentality does need to end.

ryan field said...

That's why I think the diversity aspect is so important. I just wish the mainstream media did, too.

akasarahmadison said...

Sadly, I think the "Us against Them" concept is deeply ingrained in all of us, probably on a genetic level, as living in tribes increased the likelihood of survival for generations.

While I decry the behavior in others, I find it more appalling when I see it in myself. I've been guilty of seeing conspiracies (for example, 'boys clubs') where they don't exist, and going so far as to lump all conservatives into right wing extremists.

I think the difference is that I struggle against this mindset, rather than embrace it. ;-)

Barb said...

Great post! While it may not have been his intention, I think the article author has perpetuated some stereotypes that aren't very helpful.

ryan field said...

I have to wonder about intention nowadays. I hope it wasn't his intention. But I often get the feeling articles like this are designed around shock value. I hope I'm wrong.

Ex-Leftist said...

I like where you pointed out that gay men aren't always attracted to straight men. Gay co-workers and friends of mine have come across gay-friendly straight males who flirt with us. I imagine it's a boost to their egos. That's cool. However, there is also the time for the flirting to end. Meaning you're friends now and can appreciate each other differently.