If you are like many women today, in addition to numerous female friends, you also have (or did have at one point in time) several male friends. My male pals of the past were upfront and told me that this was 1 of the things always on their mind. I’ve always believed in the direct approach to things and find it refreshing to read a man telling the truth. In my mid-twenties, I learned that taking your female friends to a gay bar is like taking a vegetarian to a butcher shop. I used to have a best friend of over 20 years who had taken to calling his closest girlfriends the b-word and that c-word regularly. Over the years, I've been honored enough to become best friends with strong, wonderful feminists, who in turn stirred me awake to the fact that everyday brought with it some fresh act of sexism or misogyny. Somewhere along the way, I also realized that gay men had allowed themselves to fall into a lazy and inexcusable rut of objectifying, demeaning, and dismissing women. So many of us are only familiar with the idea of male privilege being the province of straight men that we discount how gay men are able to exert dominance and control over women. American subcultures that are unwelcoming of gay culture are now the exception, not the rule. Gay men may desire the same advantages of manhood as heterosexual men, but gay men simply do not occupy the same social status and same social space as straight men. I was in the middle of a conversation with my friend and a couple other guests at the party.
I excused myself to use the bathroom and when I came back I noticed that my friend and the party guest was absent. There's a lot of privilege associated with unapologetically encroaching someone else's personal boundaries like this. The party host, who had been asleep throughout this whole ordeal, sent me a text the next day admonishing me for creating a scene, without asking for the full story.
However, as gay men and tokens of gay male culture were becoming normalized into the discourse of mainstream popular culture, a prominent gay male persona was becoming idealized: That of the affluencer. At a recent presentation, I asked all of the gay male students in the room to raise their hand if in the past week they touched a woman's body without her consent. In Adam Goldman's The Outs, we see this 1:1 ratio fail spectacularly as one of the series' most riveting and relatable plots. It's how you end up with countless cliques of gay men whose social lives consist almost exlcusively of hanging out with other gay men.
An advantage of gay manhood in particular is that many of us are complicit in the way female body image is packaged, marketed, and distributed across media.
We have even identified what constitutes womanhood, like garish eye make-up, over-the-top fashion, wildly theatrical mannerisms, and so on. Popular culture even largely accepts that gay men know enough about women's bodies to design clothes for them.


To that end, it's even universally accepted that gay men can advise women on how to wear their hair or make up, or do a proper runway walk. Apart from dictating how women should dress, many gay men themselves shun feminine mannerisms.
Set foot inside a gay bar and you discover entire artificial meat market-like microcosms which are largely devoid of women. When you have such wholesale socializing of gay men in a universe where women exist only as grand pop icons in flashy music videos on large television screens hanging above the bar, you have a culture that has become complicit in the social retardation of a sizable chunk of humanity. I did have several guy friends in college who flirted with exemplifying certain aspects of it for a while. Or something like that~Most guys would do it in a heartbeat if there were no possible repercussions.
To anyone just coming out of the closet and hoping to get his bearings in the gay male community, the attitude towards women is simple: They are just objects whose function is to serve gay men.
As a larger, brown guy, I rarely have to worry about being followed or sexually assaulted on the street; this was and continues to happen to women in areas like New York City on a regular basis. With this shift, however, gay men especially are losing the single differentiator that hitherto marginalized us from our straight brethren. Similarly, so long as we know how to wear our poker faces, we aren't likely to get sexually assaulted as women do.
I always cringe when I see a write-up about male power and advantage because as a gay man, I simply am not privileged to those things.
As gay men, we still have to be calculating; if we live in the right cities, look for work in the right circles, we will be allowed access to the same advantages of manhood as our straight brethren do. I came out around 2004, when TV networks had finally figured out that there was money to be made in pandering to some version of the gay demo.
This persona was defined by attention to detail, upscale tastes, sartorial sensibilities, casual promiscuity, a penchant for dance pop, and being bitchy. It's endemic of a gay male culture that would sooner trot out a history of being victimized as an excuse for acting like assholes rather than taking ownership for said behavior, or better yet, correcting that kind of behavior.
Mitchell and Oona are presented to us as best friends, but throughout the series' seven-episode run, they grow more and more estranged.
In fact, the idea that female friends to gay men should be crude and loud and messy is in itself an awful stereotype that's perpetuated by gay men as well. It would be easy to disregard Hilton's comments as the outbursts of a lone internet loon if there weren't countless gay men who weren't already following his example. This is ironic when you realize that many gay men spend little actual time interacting with women or regarding them as human beings. To be a wallflower at any crowded big city gay bar is a phenomenal experiment; it's a vantage point from where you get to observe the politics of how men behave with each other and size each other up in a contrived context where women don't exist.
You have scores of young gay men who are learning from one another, but many of whom spend minimal time with women.


I think that as gay men, we become so preoccupied with this idea of having to hide our personal lives from coworkers or family members or whatever that we forget that we still enjoy a lot of male privilege that our girlfriends do not.
I had asked a close friend of mine to come with the understanding that if this party sucked, we could ghost at any time and get a nightcap somewhere more reasonable. When my friend excused herself to check her voicemails, I asked him to apologize to her upon her return. Popular culture was teaching its consumers that to be gay was to be like Will or Jack from Will & Grace. When we see a mold of gay male identity be universally recognized as accepted, we want to try it on for size. As gay men, many of us interpret the silence of female friends we've being insulted as consent. It's probably also why a blogger like Perez Hilton can so easily build an entire brand off slighting the bodies of female performers and entertainers.
Even if we passed every gay rights law imaginable at this instant, it may be decades, if ever, that I would be afforded the cultural advantages of manliness. I later found out that my friend wanted to use the opportunity to get some air and have a one-on-one discussion as a chance to calmly walk him through why what he did was an unwelcome act. Popular culture was teaching newly-out gay men that they could be welcomed into the heteronormative fold so long as they shoehorned themselves into these pre-approved molds of gay male identity. But when he acts so intrusively with little to no consequences, it sends a message to gay men who are still negotiating their identities and attempting to figure out how to fit into a world that still hasn't found a way to reconcile queer identity completely. The preference in mainstream culture still skews towards the butch Brokeback Mountain-esque portrayal of gay men.
If the trend is for many straight men to objectify women by oversexualizing them, for gay men, it's to desexualize them entirely.
I have never had a relationship like this one open and honest and non-sexual, and I know he doesn’t look at me like that. Whatever the cause is, it becomes clear: If there isn't any kind of transactional exchange happening, then women lose their value in gay male subcultures.
After being told in our formative years that there is no place in mainstream society for us, seeing representations of gay male identity in said society means we can finally come of age.
It all becomes more problematic when this language is applied wholesale to all women, allowing gay men carte blanche to regard women as objects physically. Because as gay men, we actually have to find ways to empathize with our female friends, not use them as props to boost our own self-worth.
Apparently, my friend needed to lighten up and get a sense of humor about having her body inappropriately touched.



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Comments to “I think my friend likes me gay”

  1. Scarpion_666:
    Your ex, or complaining about your roommate’s who was older and had been married.
  2. Dj_EmO:
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  3. JXL:
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