So, post-graduate life has swallowed me whole; combined with Doctor Who marathons, whose awesomeness I am just discovering. Life has been hectic of late. But, since it’s thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I now have some time to relax and catch up with this blog. One of the reasons I started Gay Salvationist was to give some insight into life as a gay guy to straight people who would otherwise not have this experience. This means sharing both the good, and not-so-good, aspects of gay life.
If you hang around gay circles long enough, especially in the single and dating world, you will hear the term ‘straight-acting’ tossed around from time to time. What is ‘straight-acting’ you may ask? Definitions will vary, but you can either define it as someone who behaves in a stereotypically straight way or in a way that is opposite to the stereotypically gay guys. It isn’t a guy who is closeted, but simply someone who appears to be straight. When you think of a stereotypically gay-acting guy, what characteristics come to mind to you? For me it’s someone who talks with a lisp, lets his hands go limp, wears tight-fitting and fashionable clothing, is only interested culturally in Lady Gaga and design reality shows, etc. A straight-acting gay guy will rock out to heavy metal, dressed in an outfit he threw on in the morning, while on his way to pummel a guy at an MMA fight. Two very different people with two very different ways of life united by the fact that they are both gay.
I have been accused, much to my chagrin, in the past of being ‘straight-acting.’ I can understand why, since there are no ‘tell-tale signs’ of my orientation in day to day life. In my room, right now, I literally have only one shirt hanging up. The rest of my clothes go from the floor, to the laundry room to a hamper in my bedroom. I’m currently making my way through the second season of the Walking Dead and am counting down the days until The Rescues come out with their new album. None of this is in an effort for me to appear straighter, and honestly I get insulted when people assume it is. When I order butter chicken in a restaurant, it isn’t in an effort to appear ‘more Indian,’ it’s because that stuff is freaking delicious. I am comfortable enough in my own identity and sexuality to rock out to some ABBA then follow it with Dragonforce. As a very good friend once told me, paraphrasing Popeye, “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am. You may not like who I am, but I really don’t care…”
When you look at the terms ‘gay-acting’ and ‘straight-acting’ most people focus on the gay or straight where they should really be concerned about the acting part. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do know a few people who only claim to like something or act a certain way because they are expected to. And, in my own humble opinion, I think those guys who insist on only dating men who act like straight guys are still battling some internalized homophobia. I couldn’t see myself dating someone who refused to go to a lacrosse game because ‘that’s what straight people do’ or wouldn’t want to go see Wicked because ‘that’s what gay people do.’ I’m fine with seeing someone whose wardrobe consists of solely flannel or who feels the need to wear eye shadow every day as long as that’s who they really are and they’re open to trying new things.
A bit of a shout-out to my Mom, who reminded me of this verse, Philippians 4:11 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” A big part of learning to be comfortable with being gay is seeing how to integrate it into your life. Whether I’m in gay circles or straight circles I know I have plenty to talk about with anyone. If someone claims to be acting a certain way, who are they really?
A SON AND PRODUCT OF THE REGIMENT
A SON AND PRODUCT OF THE REGIMENT