Is it more difficult for a butch guy to "come out" than it is for one less butch?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 02, 2009 11:58 PM GMT
    Let me start out by saying: I AM NOT TRYING TO START A FLAME WAR!!! Please, keep it civil!

    A response to a recent thread caught my eye. A responder said something like, "before I came out, all the gay role models I saw were fem stereotypes. For the longest time, I couldn't convince myself that I was like that. When I finally came to terms with my sexuality, I determined that if I had to be a "flamer" to be gay, I was going to do it, and be the best "flamer" out there. Shortly after coming out, I realized there were non-stereotypical gays, and that I didn't have to flame to be gay...only when I wanted to!"

    This comment was eerily similar to my own experience. In my teenage mind, I couldn't be gay, because I didn't walk "like that" or talk "like that". When I finally realized I was like that, and had the opportunity to come out, I was firmly determined that if I had to walk and talk that way, I'd do it...whatever it took to get dick!

    Is it more difficult for the butch guys to come out than it is for those less butch? If so, is it because of the lack of role models?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 1:26 AM GMT
    Interesting topic, thanks for posting. I'd say it's harder to accept that you're really gay if all you see is the stereotypical flamer. I relate to a lot of what you posted except the part about trying to be a flamer.

    It was just in the last five years or so that I began to realize that there are plenty of masculine gay guys out there. But they're seemingly non-existent or invisible because it's only the obvious ones you can really tell are gay. And that gives the impression that gay = flamer.

    I don't think it's necessarily more difficult to come out if you're not femmy. You just correct people when they assume you're straight. But it does mean that you have to correct a lot of people instead of them just knowing from your mannerisms. In that sense, femmy guys don't really have to come out, people just assume.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
    I think you point out a very common fear for most guys when dealing with the coming out process. I consider myself just one of those average gay guys. Not super butch, not super fem, I am just me. When dealing with the idea of coming out I definitely delt with the fear of not being what I was supposed to be, which would be this super queen.

    So answering your question, I would say that the coming out process can be difficult or it can be easy, but I don't think the mannerisms we portray play as large a role in the process as some would think.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    i know it took me longtime to come out to some people
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Mar 03, 2009 1:38 AM GMT
    Hummm, it could be..The lack of masculine gay role models are just not there and the fem role models are subjects for hilarity..I dated someone who's butch from work and he was actually a great stylist/barber. I asked him why wouldnt he get his license so he could make some money[ instead of being a security guard]..He told me that his family would think he was gay if he did that...But hello, i'm digging him out every other day!!!!
    Anyway, i guess it would be harder for butch guys...icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 1:57 AM GMT
    Awesome question. I think it IS harder for butch guys to come out because of what you mentioned. They may feel alienated from the stereotype and maybe haven't accepted themselves yet because of it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 1:59 AM GMT
    hum, we should all be thanking those fem boys and queenie guys, butch dykes..because they were the ones who fought back at Stonewall.

    While I do not define myself as fem or masculine, I am just who I am. We all need to realize we should live our lives open and honestly.
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Mar 03, 2009 2:06 AM GMT
    In my struggle to come out, I've not once encountered the thought that I'm not gay enough to be gay. That seems odd to me. In this day and age, I think it's common knowledge that you don't have to be super flamboyant to be attracted to other men.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Mar 03, 2009 2:07 AM GMT
    Yes. And it makes it really hard to find other "butch" gay guys. I don't think anyone allows themselves to "be gay", so you can't identify them very easily.

    My roommate is a little queeny, not like flaming or anything, but it's obvious he's gay. I, on the other hand, am fairly masculine. I have my moments, but it's usually only around people who are within my group of friends. Neither one of us have come out to our families. We've talked about this before, saying that it's easier for him because there's no way his family doesn't know. He also never has to tell anyone that he's gay, everyone knows as soon as he opens his mouth.

    Not so easy for me. I'm sure my family knows deep down, but it's not very easy to come to that conclusion because I don't "look" or "act" gay. I'm pretty sure the only gay people to whom my parents have any real exposure are the very effeminate gays. That's what they expect. I can never assume anyone knows I'm gay right away. I have to tell them. I really don't like that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 2:16 AM GMT
    Yep, I agree that it is more difficult to come to terms with being gay for 'normal' guys, if all gay examples out there are of the flamboyant variety. Probably the same for femme lesbians who only have the dykes on bikes to compare themselves to.

    Hopefully there are enough different role-models out there for young gays and lesbians today, so they can identify more easily
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 2:16 AM GMT
    phew. lots to discuss here I suppose.

    I grew up in the south, in a very conservative society...

    I have known since I was five or so that I liked guy, but I didn't know what it was called at that time... As I grew older, I began to know what it was called, and I was ashamed...

    Anyhow, long story short...

    I found it very difficult to come out. I was swimming competitively, very active in the Boy Scouts, and very, very buried in the closet. I've often wondered that since I was able to hide in the closet for a long time (and to a large degree, still do), how things would have been different if I was "obviously gay". Would it have been easier? Would I have tortured myself less?

    Ultimately, I"m not sure what this answer is. I think everyone's path is different, shaped by morays and values of the individual communities we grow up in, the activities we participate in, and the mentors/parents/teachers that impact our lives as we grow up.

    Honestly, it's just been within the past three years or so that I've really become comfortable with who I am, and I'm glad that that has occurred. I am surprised, that even as I've gotten older, coming out is still difficult for me.

    Maybe some day it won't be an issue anymore...

    But for me, being able to stay in the closet was probably not good, as I spent many years struggling with issues that if I had been forced to deal with earlier..

    Luckily, I did meet some guys early on that were not the stereotype....and that did help, to some degree. It was still a long hard battle for me.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 2:34 AM GMT
    rigsby said...In my teenage mind, I couldn't be gay, because I didn't walk "like that" or talk "like that". When I finally realized I was like that, and had the opportunity to come out, I was firmly determined that if I had to walk and talk that way, I'd do it...whatever it took to get dick!

    I've said virtually the same thing here a number of times. The femmy gay stereotypes were largely responsible for my own delayed coming out. I was never that way, so therefore I figured I couldn't be gay myself.

    But when I did come out, I changed very little. I came out because I finally realized gay men could be as masculine as any straight guy, so there was no need for me to "walk and talk that way." The way I already was had always been gay, I just hadn't known it. There was no reason to change anything I did, except to at last enjoy who I really was.

    And as for dick, well, dick came to me as I am, in all immodesty, because most gay men in my experience prefer masculine men. Being a man gets you a man. Being a pseudo-woman gets you something I don't even want to think about.

    It's true I've done some campy things for laughs since coming out, even a little drag, but gawd help the person who calls me a femmy fag. They'll find out what a US Army combat soldier learns over 25 years, and it won't be pretty.

    No, as my gay mentor in Seattle finally made me realize, sexual orientation is about what sex attracts you, not about your outward behavior in other ways. Too many gay men make the mistake of believing that being gay requires a certain kind of swishy behavior. That behavior exists for some, but not for most. It was that realization that changed my life for the better.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 2:38 AM GMT
    what faulty logic makes a person decide something like "well if i am no flaming queen, therefore i am not gay". deep inside everyone knows, but simply scared to be himself. there are so many straight not-butchy dudes around, what sort of people automatically assume they are gay based on that?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 2:58 AM GMT
    carabin saidwhat faulty logic makes a person decide something like "well if i am no flaming queen, therefore i am not gay". deep inside everyone knows, but simply scared to be himself. there are so many straight not-butchy dudes around, what sort of people automatically assume they are gay based on that?

    I wish I had your insight when I was a kid. But I'm from a generation & social background that thought otherwise. Plus I guess I was "faulty" myself and not entirely blameless, because there were certainly gay men before me who knew who they were in their youth, whereas I did not.

    Did I know "deep inside" about myself? I knew I had suspicions, but I didn't want to know, and why should I have? Being gay was a terrible defect & shame, that everyone mocked & derided. Why should I ever want that disgrace? And later during my military career that I loved, homosexuality was an illegality that would get me tossed out, if not actually imprisoned. Again, little motivation to probe into that hidden side of myself.

    Faulty logic, yes, once you know better. Perfect logic, when you are taught otherwise all your life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 3:14 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    carabin saidwhat faulty logic makes a person decide something like "well if i am no flaming queen, therefore i am not gay". deep inside everyone knows, but simply scared to be himself. there are so many straight not-butchy dudes around, what sort of people automatically assume they are gay based on that?

    I wish I had your insight when I was a kid. But I'm from a generation & social background that thought otherwise. Plus I guess I was "faulty" myself and not entirely blameless, because there were certainly gay men before me who knew who they were in their youth, whereas I did not.

    Did I know "deep inside" about myself? I knew I had suspicions, but I didn't want to know, and why should I have? Being gay was a terrible defect & shame, that everyone mocked & derided. Why should I ever want that disgrace? And later during my military career that I loved, homosexuality was an illegality that would get me tossed out, if not actually imprisoned. Again, little motivation to probe into that hidden side of myself.

    Faulty logic, yes, once you know better. Perfect logic, when you are taught otherwise all your life.


    no no, what i was calling rational may go something like this: i am not attracted to women, therefore i am a.) gay; b.) asexual c.) prefer trees, etc
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 3:16 AM GMT
    carabin saidwhat faulty logic makes a person decide something like "well if i am no flaming queen, therefore i am not gay".

    The logic that tells us that if I don't have X qualities I am not gay which a heteronormative society has propagated for some time (this comes off more militant that I intend). You are right that deep-down we know, but we can't admit it if we don't fit the community-defined association/characteristics. However, on a good note, I strongly believe we are moving/have moved away from that.

    Although I am sure there are plenty of people on this site who still get the awkward, "Really, I would have never guessed?" To which I always reply, "why would you guess?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 3:17 AM GMT
    carabin saidno no, what i was calling rational may go something like this: i am not attracted to women, therefore i am a.) gay; b.) asexual c.) prefer trees, etc

    I'd probably wouldn't be surprised at the number of people who chose "c" before deciding to come out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 3:20 AM GMT
    It's impossible for anyone to come out until they're honest with themselves. If someone's what society considers flaming? Perhaps they won't feel the shock from others. When I've come out to people, most have been surprised, but the older I get, the more people connect the dots before I even say a word.

    In a perfect world, none of this silly song and dance would be necessary. Sadly, there's nothing perfect here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 3:33 AM GMT
    Pinny said
    carabin saidno no, what i was calling rational may go something like this: i am not attracted to women, therefore i am a.) gay; b.) asexual c.) prefer trees, etc

    I'd probably wouldn't be surprised at the number of people who chose "c" before deciding to come out.


    you probably would, 99% would choose a.) if pressed to decide to choose what they are. i mean, i am no stranger to that - i didn't acknowledge till i was 21, but i just thought i was straight with kinks before. soviet union wasn't exactly heaven for gays either.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    rigsby saidLet me start out by saying: I AM NOT TRYING TO START A FLAME WAR!!! Please, keep it civil!

    A response to a recent thread caught my eye. A responder said something like, "before I came out, all the gay role models I saw were fem stereotypes. For the longest time, I couldn't convince myself that I was like that. When I finally came to terms with my sexuality, I determined that if I had to be a "flamer" to be gay, I was going to do it, and be the best "flamer" out there. Shortly after coming out, I realized there were non-stereotypical gays, and that I didn't have to flame to be gay...only when I wanted to!"

    This comment was eerily similar to my own experience. In my teenage mind, I couldn't be gay, because I didn't walk "like that" or talk "like that". When I finally realized I was like that, and had the opportunity to come out, I was firmly determined that if I had to walk and talk that way, I'd do it...whatever it took to get dick!

    Is it more difficult for the butch guys to come out than it is for those less butch? If so, is it because of the lack of role models?


    Liking dick isn't that big of a deal if you have self confidence and good esteem to begin with.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 5:01 AM GMT
    I've been out since I was 15. Never had a problem with it from friends and family. Same rules as my sister: home by 11pm, bedroom door stays open, and talk to mom if you need a morning after pill LOL!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 2:56 PM GMT
    Generally speaking yes, but it is getting easier as time goes by. Less butch guys are almost forced out because everyone assumes they are gay. More masculine guys can fool people longer. I did not come out until I was 25. Despite never dating a woman, most people I told were surprised, saying " we never suspected". My family started to suspect because I never talked about women or dated one, but it took awhile.

    Furthermore, many so-called "str8 acting" gays have trouble initially relating to the interests of some gays. I love watching and playing sports. Anytime I enthused about hockey or baseball instead of shopping or fashion, I would get this quizzical look from some gays. Once or twice a guy would say "are you sure your gay?", then laugh. I personally am interested in a broad range of things, and refuse to limit my interests and passions based on a stereotype (I still hate shopping though).

    Life is short, be yourself, you are not going to get kudos at the end of your life for trying to be somebody you are not.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 5:55 PM GMT
    Butch to me is a term used by and for gay men to describe a masculine type gay guy ( kinda a throw back to the flannel shirt wearing Village People Clone days)..................so the hell with that term for me..

    Is it harder for a masculine gay guy to come out? Maybe.

    But even if he has already come out, I think a masculine regular kind of gay guy has to deal with many "coming outs"..........sometimes a lot even in one day..........even in a big city.

    Always having to correct people's assumptions.....telling a woman that he is not interested, at the store.....anywhere.........etc.

    Sometimes the encounter is not worth the hassle of explaining.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 06, 2009 12:51 AM GMT
    Kissing Pro questioned what butch might be and, although I think we each probably have our own definitions of butch, it reminded me of an early experience I had with the term. I was newly out in the gay world, and was introduced to a great group of guys. I ran into one of them named Alejandro (Alex), a really cute, but very fem, Cuban guy at the local Royal Castle one evening. He approached me to chat. In the middle of the conversation, he took a long pause and totally changed the topic, saying:

    Alex: You are sooooooo butch!
    Me: I don't know what butch means...what is that?
    Alex: It means you like to get f--ked!
    Me (shocked): How could you tell???
    He burst out laughing, and I knew I'd been had!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 06, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    Not sure. But by deciding to be a flamer, it is a way of coming out. Actions speak louder than words.

    I've always loved it when I have told someone I'm a homosexual, normally after I've been asked if I'm married or have children, and I say homosexuals don't have the right to wed, or homosexuals don't breed. Bisexuals do.

    Or if I say I'm a homosexual, people say yes but you are into women too.icon_rolleyes.gif

    They then get upset with me for saying I'm a homosexual, when they don't belive I am.icon_lol.gif