I’ve had my share of rants against Gay Gatekeepers and gay purist tirades within these halls before and my stance hasn’t changed; nor has the one sided vocal perceptions of those flag bearers I speak against.
The meme below has made the rounds within some gay circles via social media through sharing or reposting; showing support of the “internalized homophobia” message. I’ve had a couple people ask me what I thought of it…I think it’s typical and hypocritical of fem leaning gays.
Frustrated, I created the meme below and shared it.
Why did I do this… unfortunately many gays don’t seem to realize, care or understand that the first portion of the first meme above is in reaction to the dominate effeminate characteristics widely displayed and perpetuated within the culture. The homosexual men who don’t exhibit the more fem leaning characteristics, now have to traverse the landscape attempting to display their own individuality which is counter to the narrative.
Many times I dislike when race is brought up while discussing sexuality; this is due to past wide spread conversations involving privileged White gays, who while arguing against LGBT discrimination, evoked the Civil Rights movement when they could care less about the struggles concerning people of color. So in this instance, I didn’t want to interject race but after viewing the meme, all I could think about was – as a Black man – how I have attempted to maneuver and be a counter balance to the abundance of negative Black male stereotypes the plague our global society. Even when I’m professional in my appearance, no matter how secure or properly fit my pants are around my waist, from a distance, for many in society, I’m still just a “nigger in a suit” who isn’t as qualified.
By the reaction of this meme, it’s perplexing that taking a stand and speaking out against a worldview stereotype or cliché (that exists through prejudices which are no fault of my own) when it comes to Gay men, now constitutes internalized homophobia. Interjecting my race and speaking out and saying “I’m not a lazy Black man” (via racism and white supremacy this stereotype & cliché exists); based on this here faux political correctness, I’m now shaming, talking down to, or “think I’m better than” a black man who may be perceived as being lazy…WTF?
Media (regardless of the initiators or creators) helps foster and spread stereotypes of any peoples that are non-white. Popular media is saturated with gay stereotypes and clichés. Media presented by LGBT creators are saturated with gay stereotypes and clichés, which in turn continue to feed the cycle. In my past, when heterosexual peoples have had questions about my sexuality, the questions were entrenched in stereotypes and confusion. Guess what; a vast amount of homosexual men have questions, curiosities and societal views that are also rooted in stereotypes and clichés because of media. These tropes are continuously perpetuated and exist because of straight and gay facilitating factors. Nonetheless, is this where we’re currently at within the discussion…speaking out against stereotypes has now morphed into shaming?
A masculine man can exist within his masculinity with no problem but speaking about his pride in his maleness and masculinity is offensive and is putting down another…why and how? I never have nor do I think I will ever feel that an effeminate gay man who expresses his pride in his femininity is an affront or attack to my person. In fact effeminate gay men are praised and celebrated within many liberal progressive circles…and no I’m not just talking about within GLAAD or HRC circles but also within mainstream media. Strangely, prominent elements within these camps will label a proud masculine leaning homosexual man as “acting”, “butch acting”, “butch queen”, “straight acting”, “trade”, etc. this code language means, the homosexual masculine leaning man is not being his true authentic self as the fem leaning proud gay men are. Interestingly, no one within gay ranks issues a challenge to this narrative which is opposite of how blacks gays would like white allies to challenges their white counterparts when racist comments are presented outside of ear shout of people of color.
A fem man can label himself as a fem, fabulous sassy bad bitch, with a fierce tongue and receive finger snaps and accolades of being a proud embodiment of “Gay.” A masculine homosexual man can say he is masc, witty, with a sense of humor that boarders on ‘sarcastic jerk’ and he is deemed a frat bro-serial rapist-butch-thug. No cheers or open armed togetherness from the gay hordes. The very unfortunate thing about all of this is that they (the gay and fem gay elites) don’t see or even care to understand the hypocrisy within their thoughts, words and actions. I always feel a sense of anger and alienation, due to the blindness and hypocrisy. In addition, some fem gays want understanding, compassion, acceptance and a receptive ear to their testimony (as they should) all the while degrading others homosexuals who want the same but happen not to fit the mold of the dominate portrayal of “Gay” that is encompassed by the lifestyle.
I’ve seen numerous documentaries, YouTube interviews and read testimonials where fem homosexual men profess how they were outcasts, didn’t fit into the masculine role and therefore they bucked the hetero-gender- patriarchal- normative stereotypical roles of straight men. These tales were received and celebrated as being empowering and motivational.
If a masculine gay man professes a very similar testimonial, the gaynormative gay gatekeepers go on the attack while proclaiming “_________” shaming and undiagnosed insecurities laced with internalized homophobia. Masculine homosexual men continue to be described as “acting” while fem gay men are “naturally being themselves” unapologetically while coveting the role of victim within the gay community in which they control unopposed.
The reactionary response from some homosexual men; that not all of us are like the widely viewed image of what it means to be gay should be examined, celebrated and used as a testament on how diverse the “community” is or should I say, could be.
Regrettably this is just another example of gays who want tolerance, acceptance, compassion and understanding but are unwilling to extend it to others outside of their a-like bubble. Not understanding and rejecting masculine homosexual sensibilities attributes and behaviors shouldn’t be met with hostility (such as being called boring, non-fabulous, or acting) from the gay ruling class who feels they get to lead unopposed. In this regard, their actions are really no different than heterosexual homophobes they rally and rail against.