Flamingly Feminine and Unapologetically Gay

I hold the phone with my right hand, and grasp the cool, smooth surface of the bathroom sink with my left.

“They said what?” I whisper.

“She said you’re the gayest guy in our grade,” my friend says, “he just agreed – he didn’t say anything.”

“What?” I say, even though I heard her clearly. I just don’t want to believe it.

“It was on the back of the bus,” she says, “I sat there and listened to them.”

“Oh,” I say. As a fourteen-year-old, I don’t want my friend to think I care about what my classmates think about me. But curiosity quickly kills my desire to play it cool.

“Why would they think that?” I ask, “I’ve never told anyone about… you know.”

“Well, yeah, but it’s not that hard to tell by the way you act. Like, when you talk, your voice goes all high on the end, you know?”

I feel a deep flush of embarrassment, “I thought you said I had a deep voice.”

“You do, but it’s just high sometimes,” she says, “but it’s really not a big deal, forget about it.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I mumble. I tell my friend I have to go, but instead of doing my math homework, I stare at the bathroom mirror. Do I stand like a girl? Do I really talk like one? People bully me for being weird, but do they talk about me all the time too? And as I bring my left hand up to brush back a tuft of my hair, I wonder if this body I see betrays who I am on the inside too easily.

I wonder if my mom was right when she told me I should see a therapist.

Some of the most feminine book covers I own.

For some reason, I feel like there are a lot of people – straight and gay – who feel ashamed or embarrassed by gay guys who act feminine. There are people who cringe when guys have high-pitched voices, when guys gesticulate with their hands, or when guys wear strange clothing.

I understand, because people want to defy stereotypes. Gays don’t want to be seen as pink-loving, fashion-obsessed, flaming freaks. I’m Asian, and it can be awkward for me to explain to a relative or a friend that I love English and not math or science. Being black doesn’t mean you love KFC, and being white doesn’t mean you come from a wealthy background and have never worked a day in your life.

But whose fault is it that gays are commonly misconstrued as always being feminine? Who says that just because there are guys like that out there, that some may let the stereotype lead their minds astray? It’s definitely not the gay guys who are feminine – rather, it’s the people who try to typecast every single person of the same sexuality. This is why it’s perfectly okay for gay guys to be feminine, because it doesn’t hold any bearing in regard to their sexuality or their intelligence. It’s just an aspect of who they are.

Why does this stigma  even exist? In a society that believes in accepting people for who they are, we should accept people irrespective of whether they fulfill a stereotype or not. If a guy acts girly it’s not like he’s breaking any law, besides the shallow ones implied by those whose visions’ are impaired by ignorance. Obviously these stereotypes aren’t true for everyone, and people shouldn’t waste their time with those who cannot comprehend that.

I don’t talk about it much, but I was bullied in middle school and at the beginning of high school. It wasn’t anything major, at least to my face – just a few taunts, and the occasional shove or “fag” thrown at me. What really got to me, I guess, was how much people talked about me behind my back. What’s weird is that if my friends never told me about it, I would’ve remained clueless.

But I’m past it now. Not in a pretentious way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if people still talk about me even though all these years have passed – as the only mostly out gay senior at my socially conservative high school, I am somewhat unusual. I do talk quickly sometimes and have a high voice, I do use crazy hand gestures, but I don’t care. As long as I am displaying a personable side of myself by acting respectfully and intelligently, I’ll be as gay as I want.

Or maybe the friends I wish I had people talk about me for different reasons. I do have horrible fashion sense and can’t cook at all, so, like everyone else, I don’t fulfill all the stereotypes. Maybe they just talk about me because I read in the middle of the hallways. Or because of that one time I tripped and fell over my friend’s backpack in the middle of class…

This post is partially inspired by the Halloween episode of The New Normal. Best. Show. Ever. Image via buddytv.com.

What do you guys think of this issue? It’s not a big deal, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people – even those who are homosexuals themselves – are bothered by gays or straight guys who act overtly feminine. Personally, I don’t care how masculine or feminine girls or guys are, as long as they aren’t rude or mean or anything like that. Now, I am off to exercise and then do book club stuff. Good night!

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13 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

13 responses to “Flamingly Feminine and Unapologetically Gay

  1. The world will always be split in half: one half full of people who will judge others who do not fit into the ‘norm’ or fit the ‘mould’, but the other half full of people who judge others by their personal qualities – kindness, thoughtfulness, honesty etc. Don’t pay attention to those in the first category but seek out those in the second. As for your questions about your body, it made me think of something I discovered recently which blew my mind – male belly dancers. I never knew they existed but the dancer I saw was mesmerising – you should check out some videos on youtube!

    • You’re right. I think we should strive to change people from the first category into people from the second category – the world will never have too many people who judge others based on personal qualities such as compassion and thoughtfulness. As for male belly dancers, they do seem like an interesting prospect. I will check out videos on Youtube when I am feeling adventurous and get back to you!

  2. Krystie

    As I’ve grown, I’ve had 3 major realizations about friends and society.

    1) more friends aren’t better friends – Like many people, I use to aspire to have as many friends as possible. More friends means you’re never alone, right? Wrong. It means that, sure you may have more weekend plans, go to bigger parties, and have more friends on Facebook; but what it really means is that when you really need someone to talk to, you have no one to trust. Let me explain. Who would you rather talk to: a lifelong friend who you’ve had rough patches with, but you know would be there in a heartbeat, or a group of people you party and gossip with? The answer is simple. So, what I’ve realized is that in a way, you’re actually lonelier when you have more ‘acquaintance’ friends, because when you’re upset and need a friend, you don’t have one.

    2) people suck – No matter how much you try to blend in with society, you are always being judged. I’m a single mother, and regardless of how happy my daughter is, how nicely she is dressed, or how hard I work to give her everything she deserves, people still judge and criticize. It’s impossible to get away from it. You can blame it on others being insecure with themselves or being just down right miserable. People are just plain mean. So I’ve learned to shrug off insulting comments, questioning glares, and judging eyes. I’m happy in my own skin, and I’m going to continue being happy. They’re wasting their own energy by being unhappy based on my life.

    3) the world keeps turning – whether you wake up and realize you are in a bad or good situation, you’re lonely, you lost a friend, people judge you, etc, LIFE GOES ON. The best thing to remember is that in 5 years, all the bad times will be forgotten, and things that seem like the end of the world are not even captured as memories. So what if you unknowingly are more femanine than the macho jerks who rule the place. Those people aren’t worth anyone’s time.

    Be who you are. Live how you will. Be happy! And don’t let anyone define you. You define yourself. You are who YOU are.

    • Preach it, Krystie! I have several acquaintances but only a few close friends who I trust with all of my thoughts and emotions. They are the ones I turn to in times of crisis, sometimes they support me even more than my family. I agree that it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to friendship, as building a few deep bonds is better than creating several shallow ones.

      Also, you’re right, the world does keep turning. As someone who’s older than me and has probably gone through just as much, if not more, it’s good to hear you say those words – tomorrow will always be a new day, irrespective of how bad today was. It’s a reassuring thought in its inevitability.

      And, yes, haters are going to hate. If they can’t see past the stereotype of single mothers being irresponsible and lazy, that’s too bad for them. From what I’ve read you are intelligent, dedicated, and you clearly care about your daughter – that’s more than a myriad of parents these days.

      Thank you for your thoughts, I really appreciate them!

  3. Reblogged this on mygirlcheye and commented:
    what kind of services could be offered to someone who has issues in this matter

  4. “As long as I am displaying a personable side of myself by acting respectfully and intelligently, I’ll be as gay as I want.”

    This makes me want to laugh and cheer at the same time.

    You’ve answered yourself (and all those annoying, narrow-minded people) right there, Thomas. That is IT.

    As long as you’re respecting others and yourself I don’t see why any of it should be a problem.

    But it’s hard to be yourself in a society that expects differently, isn’t it? I’m constantly confronted with how different I am to everyone in my daily life. It’s a different problem – I’m not gay – but I’m someone who’s a combination of two cultures, and more than that, just my own preferences means I’m usually in the minority. It’s nowhere close to the fight that you’re fighting, but I can tell even with my own issues how difficult it is to be yourself. SO easier said than done.

    Your courage is really inspiring, though. I don’t think, if I were in the same situation, that I would be able to handle myself with the same grace and maturity that you do. And only in high school, too! Bravo, dude.

    • I’m sorry you’ve had to handle something similar in your life. But, like you’ve said, be true to yourself and treat all with respect and everything will be more or less okay. I’ve heard of how difficult it can be to come from two different cultures – I’m curious as to how you deal with it. I’ve had issues being Asian-American, but I don’t have it nearly as bad as others do.

      Anyway, yes, only in high school – hopefully by the time I’m in college all of these issues will fade away! Or I will become even stronger and use everything I learn to combat them. (:

  5. Ohmygosh “As long as I am displaying a personable side of myself by acting respectfully and intelligently, I’ll be as gay as I want.” You are wonderful and I love you

    Also this is a topic I was considering writing as well, but a different aspect of it; basically, so what if some gay guys act feminine? The reason people view that as a degrading quality is because they regard women’s characteristics degrading when compared to men’s characteristics; because they see women as inferior to men

    • Love you too! DIE-Lan.

      Also, I agree, to an extent. I think what it really is is that they view that MEN should not be embodying female characteristics, because that is not “normal” in society – people draw straight (punny, I know) lines that dictate “men act like men” and “women act like women.” When a man appears feminine he is disobeying those social standards and is consequently castigated. This also happens to women who act more masculine – there are several examples of women being called out for wearing suits or not acting in a polite, restrained way. Tsk, tsk.

  6. Pingback: Homophobia: Hypocrisy Optional | the quiet voice

  7. Lia B.

    I read in the middle of hallways all the time. It’s probably a safety hazard but I do try to be careful. I actually developed a technique for reading and walking.

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