It was a Friday and I was happy. It had been a terrible week at work, with me throwing tantrums a few times from the pressure. I was happy to get home, have a few drinks and hook up with a nice guy (don’t we all?). So after I got home, logged into xxxxx.com (sorry I had to cross that out), I had a new message (clearly Aphrodite was happy with me). I read the message, he dropped a blackberry pin and I went ahead to read his profile. I loved it, the profile picture was hot, I was drooling until I saw…“likes straight acting guys only”. I just sighed, logged out and went into the room to sleep.
I hate the term ‘straight acting’, and I will tell you why. We live in an extremely homophobic society, a society that doesn’t believe in the diversity of humans. A society that regards any sexual relations out of that between a man and a woman as abnormal. Now when we use the term ‘straight acting’, are we endorsing the position that heterosexuality is the right way? And that in order to validate ourselves, do we have to behave in a certain way that is deemed straight acting?
Now what is straight acting anyway? Apparently we use the term to describe gay men who are not effeminate; gay men who are masculine and don’t portray any ‘gayness’ (is that even a word), so that when we hang out with them or they visit us, our friends and family will not sense their homosexuality and by implication suspect us too.
I have often said that being gay is a very difficult life to live, in advanced countries built on the principle of fairness and freedom; there is still a lot of discrimination. In spite of the advances that have been made, there is still so much discrimination. The discrimination that worries me however is the one we have amongst ourselves right in the community. This is the one that bothers me because it clearly makes no sense.
Gay men (and women) come in all shapes and sizes. There is the masculine, there is the feminine, and there are those in between. Now what happens to the guys who are feminine by nature? Do they have to become ‘straight acting’ to validate themselves? I happen to have some girly friends myself, and I started getting close and hanging out with them when I stopped caring.
I am a strong believer in ‘to each his own’, and I certainly believe that everybody should be free to set the rules they want to live by. But if we cannot embrace the diversity that is amongst us, then why do we get offended by homophobia?
Written by Dennis Macaulay
Dennis Macaulay is a Brand Executive in Port Harcourt. Follow him on twitter @Eko_bloke
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