Sexism in the gay community

When Jim Wallace sent the ACL’s Credibility up in smoke, I was sure that would be the topic of my second article this week.  But frankly, I’m sick of it.  Everyone has written about it, and many people have written much better material than I could.

So I’m going to talk instead about something more personal, less about rights and more about how “the community” feels to me at the moment.  Specifically, the G in GLBTI.

I’m single. I’m a nice, caring, IT geek. I look online at various dating sites like Gaydar, Manhunt, Grindr, or Scruff.  I see a bunch of interesting profiles and I click on them to look further.  It seems like three out of four make some statement about masculinity.  “masc only”,”looking for straight-acting”, “I’m gay because I like GUYS” and my personal favourite, “NO FEMS”.

So, where does that leave me?  I wouldn’t say I’m full-on effeminate, but I’d never suggest I’m “masculine” either.  What does all that mean anyway?  I’m not typically an action-film person.  I’m not exactly a love-story guy either.  I’ve learned how to hand-stitch a teddy bear, done a short course in flower arranging, know multiple embroidery stitches, and I prefer “pretty” to plain functional.  I don’t drink beer, I’m more of a wine or spirits guy. I bake and decorate cakes, love to cook in general, I build computers, and ride a motorbike too. I may not be “masculine” but I’m still a man – whatever that might mean.

What I think people mean by the above is that they don’t want “the flaming queen”. Well I have news for you, missies!  Those “flaming queens” are the people who fought for your right to be openly gay today.  Open a gay history book and you’ll find out that it was the drag queens and the gays of Stonewall in the 60s who really kicked things off for us, who were persecuted so that you could be “out” without fear of criminal charges!  And guess what?  They were still men too.

But even if they don’t mean that, where’s the “feminine” line, and frankly, why is crossing it such a terrible thing?  We who seek equality and an end to discrimination wind up reinforcing one of the oldest -isms in the world: sexism.  We use “feminine” as a derogatory word even as many of us would call ourselves feminists.

I personally don’t care about whether a guy is masculine or feminine.  I don’t want a guy to be “straight-acting” – what’s the point in putting on an act?  I want a man just to be himself, not caring about the masculinity or femininity of a particular trait or action, doing it simply because it is what he wants to do.

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4 thoughts on “Sexism in the gay community

  1. I guess people want what they want, but I agree, it’s annoying when people who are presumably looking for ‘love’ limit their options. A look through most straight dating sites reveals most straight men only want ‘slim’ women. I’ve seen my friends date ‘slim’ women with not a brain to bless themselves with and yet, they feel they’ve ‘scored’ because she’s a size 10. It drives me nuts.

    Your comments remind me of the late great Quentin Crisp who, musing on his ideal, totally masculine, fantasy lover said, “If the Great Dark Man met me, he would not love me. If he did love me, he could not be my Great Dark Man.”

    So sad.

    • That is sad. What gets me is that some of these “Masc only” types claim to be only looking for friends. They couldn’t be friends with someone who might be effeminate to the point of cutting it off before it starts?

    • I know what you mean, it drives me nuts too that some guys just don’t get that those of us who are more curvaceous are just as worthy of getting to know.

  2. @Dylan – That has surprised me too. I recently overheard two gay men make the comment about another person that “Drag Queens give the rest of us a bad name”. It was really disappointing that they were judging this person without even getting to know them. The Drag Queen in question has done so much for Marriage Equality here in QLD whereas I know for a fact that the two that made the comment haven’t been at any rally’s etc. I can’t understand why we can’t just accept each other as people and get to know a person without pre-judging. I hope you find someone special who loves you just as you are. *Hugs*

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