Friday, June 12, 2015

Gay Men vs. Lesbians?

I have some gay friends who insist that lesbians hate gay men, and since I've never had that experience, I wonder where this is coming from? Is this some kind of sexism or even homophobia? I was very disturbed by the attitudes of some people. P.S. I am a gay man in my forties.

Let me make it clear that well-adjusted gay people, those who accept themselves and don't have a problem with their sexuality, generally don't have the kind of blatant prejudices that afflict so much of society, gay or straight. I once participated in a conversation on just this subject -- lesbians hating gay men -- and, as I'm sure you did, found it to be ridiculous. The "evidence" of this alleged prejudice was all anecdotal. One bartender told me a lesbian waitress was rude to him in a restaurant, so this, of course, means that lesbians all hate gay men. Could he even be sure she was a lesbian, and did her bad attitude have anything to do with his being gay? Probably not. I mean, once a lesbian bartender was kind of unpleasant to me, but she is vastly outnumbered by other gay women whose attitudes were perfectly nice and professional. I think the few gay men who feel this way are defensively covering up their own negative attitudes toward women.

Let me also make it clear that gay men all hating women and lesbians all hating men (gay or straight) is in this day and age indicative of ludicrous stereotyping. Are there some lesbians who may dislike some or all gay men, or men in general, and are there some gay men or men in general, who have issues with women, be they straight or gay? Yes. But generally these are based on one or more bad experiences, which don't really add up to any kind of scientific survey. The truth is, there are gay people who may simply be indifferent to the opposite sex, which is often misinterpreted as "hatred." On the other hand -- and this is very important --  many gay men and lesbians have formed warm and life-lasting friendships with one another.

During this debate with some acquaintances, one guy said that it was simply that his experiences were different from mine. This is true, of course, but a person shouldn't base his attitudes on his own experiences, however valuable, alone. A person should learn and know about other people's experiences as well before forming a judgment. Also, it is often how we interpret personal experience that makes the difference.

That being said, in my experience, lesbians do not in general hate gay men or vice versa. Dare I say it's only fucked up people who have such antediluvian attitudes.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Beware of Gawkers!

Dear Dr Bill,

I have a question for you which I am sure you have heard a million times. 

I started dating a man three months ago, we are both mid 40’s.  He spent 20 years married to a woman, although says he always knew he was gay, and the past 7 years in a relationship with a man, they split 6 months ago.  He is very full on with me and tells me constantly how fond he is of me,  I am fond of him too.  Now, my issue is he has a wondering eye, when we see an attractive man he will not just look but he will gawk, this is making me very uncomfortable and I am wondering if he can be as fond of me as he makes out.  I understand we all look at attractive people, a quick glance I understand, a gawk I kind of find disrespectful.

I have been around the block a few times and realise how men, not just gay men, can be.  I have made it clear that I want a  monogamous relationship as I am tired of playing away, it never really works anyway, nor do I want any mind games (way too old).  It is now getting to the point where I feel extremely uncomfortable if we go out socialising, and I refuse to go onto the gay scene.  When I broach the subject he insists it is in my imagination and that I am being paranoid.  I know I am not seeing things, should I just put up with it and continue, put this down to me having trust issues - or cut my losses before I fall too deep, can men like this change? 

Thanks for your advice

Gawking at someone is downright rude, and his absolute failure to own up to it and apologize is troubling. Sometimes the gawking is done as a signal that the guy you're with a.) isn't ready to settle down with you or perhaps anyone at this point in time and wants to keep things very casual, or b.) he's letting you know that he thinks he can find someone better, obnoxious as that is. This guy has had seven years at least to be with a man, and probably was having sex with men -- sowing his wild oats, so to speak -- all the time he was married, but maybe he needs time to get over the last guy or doesn't want to risk another relationship, or as they say, "just isn't that into you." [If that's the case, don't feel too bad -- it's happened to me and virtually everyone I know. One guy I dated would not only point out "hot guys" but wind up making out with them. What a pig!]

If you want to keep seeing this guy in hopes his feelings for you will deepen and he'll stop acting like a jerk, at least see other men, too. If this guy just isn't interested in a monogamous relationship with you, then move on. Whoever comes into your life next may be just the ticket!

Coming Out and Coming Up

Well, I've said this before, but after finishing my latest book project, I will hopefully have more time to post on this blog (although I have been answering personal questions all along -- however, I'd rather answer them on the blog).

I'll be answering more questions, writing about different aspects of gay life, looking at Gay Men in all their facets, and looking into images of gay men in the media: books, films, theater etc.

If you have a question or an opinion to share, feel free to get in touch!