Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gay or Just Stereotypical?

Dear Bill, I've recently started seeing a guy from my work, let's call him Joe, and I'm having suspicions that he is gay. A few people at work have also thought he was gay including an openly gay man who was surprised when he asked Joe if he was gay to hear that he wasn't and responded by saying he is usually right with his "gaydar." Joe has also admitted to having a good gaydar. In addition to that clue, he also sits with his legs crossed, tries to give me fashion advice when we go shopping (but also complains that I take too long in the store), he was the lead in his high school musicals, he watches dancing shows on tv, he refers to his best friend as his heterosexual life partner (his friend is married to a woman), and when I told him that he and his friend look like a gay couple, he said that a lot of people say that and they've just accepted it. He also says "I'm so gay haha" when he does something gay, such as give me fashion advice, he also is close friends with a gay man who he used to work with. He admits to thinking certain men are attractive, but he says that more about girls; he's been in two long term relationships with women and has no trouble having sex, and is actually constantly horny. I have not asked him about any gay desires or relationships. But I asked him why he thinks people think he is gay and he responded "because I don't care what other people think of me and I'm flamboyant and I sit with my legs crossed." I don't know if I should confront him on a more serious level, because it's all been joking so far, and he is ok with joking about being gay, and I am uncomfortable with looking through his messages. Please give me your opinion, I don't know what to think.

I think you and "Joe" both need to stop stereotyping gay [and straight?] men. I don't know if this guy is gay but it sounds just as likely to me that he's a straight guy who simply rings some gay-stereotype bells, and I personally can't wait until all of society, gay and straight, has gotten past them. I'm a gay man and I never give fashion advice, don't cross my legs in a feminine manner, can't stand those awful dancing shows on TV, and wouldn't have been caught dead being the lead in a musical in high school. Since this is true of many of the gay men of my acquaintance, it is entirely possible that the opposite is also true and this guy really is hetero. You have to remember that not all male fashion designers, musical comedy stars, or even hairdressers are gay; in fact, most aren't. Frankly, Joe doesn't do himself or anyone else [especially gay men] any favors when he goes on about being "so gay" just because he's giving fashion advice and the like. Most gay men couldn't give a shit about ladies or men's fashions. Most of us are just average Joes -- pun intended -- that happen to be gay. Those stereotypical gay men who are effeminate and go on about fashion and divas may seem to be everywhere, but they are only one small portion of the large gay male community.

That being said, "Joe" could still be homosexual [or perhaps bisexual, if you want to get technical, in that he dates/sleeps with women] but only he knows for sure. Check my post on Asking Your Boyfriend If He's Gay for more advice.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my question! I had just never met a straight man who was effeminate before so I wasn't sure what to think, thank you for your input!

Bill Samuels said...

You never quite say that he is effeminate, but even that is not a definite sign.