Are you hiding from it?
By Brian Connelly
One of the best things about writing for HIM Magazine is the fact that I’m able to say what I think, uncensored. Being able to have a voice to say what I really think is a big part of masculinity, to be strong and not worry about who doesn’t like it, I will piss off, probably just about everyone at one point or another. I accept that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t use this outlet to just annoy people or be difficult for the sake of it. In reality, all I’m really trying to do is raise the level of debate among us all.
So this month when I was asked to write about masculinity, I decided that I was going to go full hog with one of my pet peeves; the lack of what I believe is masculinity in the gay community.
I’ve often wondered why a man would feel he is going to be attractive to another man by acting like a woman. I mean come on! We have all heard it before “If I wanted a woman I would be with one, but I want a man!” Or why a lesbian would think she is attractive to other women by acting like a man? I would be grateful if someone could answer that for me.
Personally, I wonder if the answer may lie with genetics. Do feminine men have more female genes then masculine men? Is the x/y split a little off? You know 60/40 or 70/30? Now I know many of you will be up in arms about that last statement but ask yourself, why do we say things like “sissy Mary,” or speak of another man like he was a woman, “oh, she’s such a bitch?” Though you may not like this seeming attack, we are guilty of fueling the myth that gay men lack masculinity!
Frankly, I find it insulting as I think about it. The effective yellow journalism sees the media always focusing on the effeminate dancers at a gay pride parade, who, if we are honest, look like Rockettes on steroids… the whole subject could cross a rabbi’s eyes!
Do you agree with me that to be masculine is more of a state of mind than body language? The reality is that really effeminate men are more a part of the gay demographic then they are the sum of the whole (I can’t believe I just wrote that!). Many gay men are turned off by the action of a smaller minority but realize that there is someone for everyone and live and let live is the order of the day, but what if you want to shed the appearance of the effeminate man what can you do about it?
I am of the mindset live and let live, but many effeminate gay men become that way as a means to fit in to a certain sub demographic. It isn’t who they are; it is just another form of peer pressure. What if you look, act and dress like a twink? You may feel you won’t fit in with the ‘masculine’ bears (though we all know many bears may have a bigger purse than any twink trapped in their mouth) so you play it up. You flip your wrist and you call out loudly “hey girlfriend” and one day you realize it isn’t you. How can you drop it? Like many lifestyle choices, it can be hard to change.
Well, maybe sit and watch John Wayne movies, or focus on watching straight guys and the way they walk, then try to emulate them in a mirror and lose the limp wrist. It’s such an affectation and a dead giveaway. Watch how you get into and out of a car.
Oh hell, I don’t know. Is this all in the same area of a leopard can’t change its spots? Or can they? If being effeminate is who you are then go forth and be proud, but being masculine means following who you are, having the strength to be you, no matter what. It is funny… everyone assumes that the effeminate gay men and butch women are the ones being true to themselves. No one assumes they are actually hiding their masculinity and femininity respectively to fit an image. All I know is that it is an interesting debate, and on that note, I’m going to call my rabbi now.