It has always bothered me how mean we are to each other, but I didn’t realize quite how much until recently. In Florida, where I live, 62% of the voters passed Amendment Two. It was disheartening to me that 62% of the state that I live in does not think I should have equal rights. Even more disturbing is on election night, after hearing the amendment passed, I logged into the gay chat rooms and browsed over the internet personal ads full of negative messages. As much as the majority of the general public may think unfavorably of us, it seems even more so we think unfavorably of each other. IT HAS GOT TO STOP.
Of the fifty ads I browsed, over 80% contained a negative message. Some examples:
- No fat guys
- No feminine guys
- I am fit UB2 or don’t bother talking to me
- I already have a father, if over 22 don’t bother
- 34 y/o seeks twink. Willing to pay.
- Not racist, but no chocolate or rice
It broke my heart to see the majority of my peers were filling their limited profile space not with what they were looking for in a partner, but instead what they were NOT looking for. Being a 33 year old gay male, I can feel the negativity at clubs as well as online. It may be my own insecurities, but whenever I am around a lot of attractive men I feel like the nerdy kid in gym class. The weirdo. The one that people pass over when picking their team. And I’m not even a fat or a femme!
Now, more than ever, the gay culture needs to get together and start loving and respecting each other. The language we use to dismiss and degrade one another needs to be banished and discouraged. We need to stop using terms like fats, femmes, twinks, and trolls. We need to get together. We need to accept, love, and develop friendships with each other. If the gay community could get its act together and stop being so segregated, imagine the statement that could be made nationally!
It is important for us to stop using the language we are using. We must stop dehumanizing people because they don’t go to the gym five days a week. Stop thinking so negatively of feminine behavior. Let’s embrace and celebrate both the feminine and masculine sides of ourselves. I see so many of my gay male peers trying ever so hard to prove their masculinity to both themselves and their perspective partners. Why is machismo so celebratory? I feel it goes back to our culture’s subtle sexist view of females. It seems that to be gay and feminine is frowned upon. The basis of most gay-themed jokes has its character engaging in feminine behavior. Why is it funny for a man to have stereotypically feminine characteristics? So what? In the year 2008 why are we still creating such a narrow set of behavioral expectations?
Not only does the heterosexual public seem to look negatively on a lot of stereotypically gay behavior, we do so amongst ourselves. Why all this effort to appear “not gay”? Why the obsession with being a “jock” or “stud” or “straight acting”? Let’s celebrate our own nuances and love the variety within ourselves. Can we do it or are we going to hate and degrade anyone who is not 6’1” and one 145 pounds with blonde hair?
This is my call for all fellow gay people to stop being at odds with each other. WE NEED TO ACCEPT AND LOVE EACH OTHER FOR WHO WE ALL ARE. Let’s quit excluding and degrading each other. I want the country to accept us, but before that, I want us to accept ourselves. Fat, thin, black, white, masculine, feminine. We must all be one, now more than ever.