When Will We Start Defining Ourselves... in Terms of Ourselves? (Because I Want to Puke Every Time I Hear/See A Gay Man Claim They're "Straight-Acting".)

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    Apr 24, 2010 5:15 AM GMT
    ...... Please read the EDIT before posting... before introducing a "fem vs. masc" debate or a "you're a bitter due to rejection" attack. That isn't what this post is about. I know it's tough cause they're related... but try icon_biggrin.gif Thanks!

    There have been plenty of men that I've found very attractive on this website, other websites, and in real life. However, one thing generally turns me off -- men who make the claim that they're "straight-acting" or are only looking for "straight-acting" guys.The discussion has been tossed back and forth for years, but it still rattles my mind that many gay men seek to describe themselves in terms of straight men.

    Why does being straight-acting or masculine matter? Whatever happened to describing ourselves with qualities like confidence, strength, presence, intelligence, being well-spoken, adventurous, honesty, ruggedness, dedication, reliability, wisdom, among other things. We need to start defining ourselves in terms of ourselves -- not in terms of something we clearly are not and cannot be.

    I know that I possess the qualities that most gay men would seek in a partner, some of which I mentioned earlier. I know I'm not straight enough to join the straight-acting troupe. I also know that the issue isn't with me, it's just a matter of taste and compatibility. However, I can't help but be somewhat bothered by this fact: despite being myself, which is should be praised above all else, I still get turned down for... not being straight enough? Doesn't that just sound a bit odd?

    I mean... Just look at it -- "Straight Acting" Gay Male. lol

    ---------- EDIT (REV 2.0)
    Notice, I never mentioned anything about being feminine, gay-acting, sissy, etc. That's NOT the point of this topic. My post was to advocate the use of words and ideas that express the qualities one possesses by explicitly stating them. Not by redirecting people to the image of a straight man.

    If you reject me because my feminine mannerisms are too much for you or I don't present enough masculine mannerisms for you, then that is a completely different issue for a completely different discussion. To me, that issue is simple - we're not compatible. Sure, it's frustrating to stay true to yourself and still be rejected by the ones you find attractive. Yet, I reject people too - on plenty of bases. I wouldn't expect someone else to change who they are just because I don't like them.

    ---------- EDITS
    By the way, I also threw the word "masculine" in because people use the word masculine as a synonym for "straight-acting". When someone asks me "Are you masculine?" I know that's code for "Are you straight-acting?". We all know that being masculine has nothing to do with acting or appearing to be a straight man... right?The idea and image of masculinity varies from person to person. What I think is masculine may include, exclude or modify ideas that another person has about what masculinity is. However, we all know what honesty is. We all know what courage, strength, and steadfastness is. You can't second guess those things.

    That's what I'm talking about - actually expressing what one looks for, rather than using some ambiguous umbrella term that can mean anything to anyone AND doesn't even help our morale as gay men. Otherwise, it shows me that they're either too lazy to, don't know how to, or don't care to fully express what they're looking for in a partner.
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    Apr 24, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    I have no idea where the "STRAIGHT-ACTING" definition came from in the gay world? but I do know there is such a thing as a "MASCULINE" gay male!!


    Leandro ♥
  • CarbGoggles

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    Apr 24, 2010 7:13 AM GMT
    ALEZANDAR saidI have no idea where the "STRAIGHT-ACTING" definition came from in the gay world? but I do know there is such a thing as a "MASCULINE" gay male!!


    Leandro ♥

    Straight acting is so stupid. So basically you are fake is the way I interoperate that phrase. I agree, there are plenty of masculine gay men out there.
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    Apr 24, 2010 7:19 AM GMT
    CarbGoggles saidStraight acting is so stupid. So basically you are fake is the way I interoperate that phrase. I agree, there are plenty of masculine gay men out there.

    If it's stupid, then stupidity runs wild and rampant... because I'm forever coming across it.
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    Apr 24, 2010 7:23 AM GMT
    I think in all the talk about this people take the "acting" part of "straight acting" too literally. I dont think guys who describe themselves this way mean they are "acting" as in pretending, but in the way they behave. Their actions are that of a straight or masculine person.

    I understand your feeling that is is odd to get turned down for that, but please understand where I and many others are coming from. The side of me that is attracted to men is just that - attracted to a man. I am attracted to women and I am attracted to men. I am not attracted to a man who behaves like a women. When I want someone who acts like a women I want a women. When I want a man, I want someone who acts like a man.
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    Apr 24, 2010 7:55 AM GMT
    Man its just a popular way to say u look masculine and looking for guys who look masculine as well...its a matter of preference like when u like skinny, big, built no so built, short hair, long hair, no hair whatever makes it for u. Personality and values still play a very important role but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look also for physical attributes or characteristics rather that we find attractive to some extent and this little preferences shouldn't take away any value from the guy who stated them IMO
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    Apr 24, 2010 8:22 AM GMT
    charlitos saidMan its just a popular way to say u look masculine and looking for guys who look masculine as well...its a matter of preference like when u like skinny, big, built no so built

    triguybiI think in all the talk about this people take the "acting" part of "straight acting" too literally. I dont think guys who describe themselves this way mean they are "acting" as in pretending, but in the way they behave. Their actions are that of a straight or masculine person.

    I understand exactly what you both are saying. I have nothing against preference. It's a matter of... As a gay man, is calling oneself "straight-acting" the best way to describe themselves? Aren't there better ways to describe ones personality and what one would expect from a partner than relating it to the "straight" image? It's also not so much that I'm focusing specifically on the "acting" part. In conversations with plenty of men, there's this unspoken idea of masculinity. It's the issue of... what actually makes someone masculine or "straight-acting" and focusing on that... rather than using this loosely defined term.

    The idea and image of masculinity varies from person to person. What I think is masculine may include, exclude or modify ideas that another person has about what masculinity is. However, we all know what honesty is. We all know what courage, strength, and steadfastness is. You can't second guess those things.

    That's what I'm trying to get at. That's why I cringe every time I see it. It's because it shows me that either 1) they're too lazy to really express what they're looking for, 2) they don't know how to express what they're looking or 3) they don't know what they're looking for and just copying what others say.
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    Apr 24, 2010 8:31 AM GMT
    SineOfChange said
    charlitos saidMan its just a popular way to say u look masculine and looking for guys who look masculine as well...its a matter of preference like when u like skinny, big, built no so built, short hair, long hair, no hair whatever makes it for u.

    triguybiI think in all the talk about this people take the "acting" part of "straight acting" too literally. I dont think guys who describe themselves this way mean they are "acting" as in pretending, but in the way they behave. Their actions are that of a straight or masculine person.

    I have nothing against preference, like I mentioned in my OP. It's more so a matter of... As a gay man, is calling oneself "straight-acting" the best way to describe themselves? Aren't there better ways to describe ones personality and what one would expect from a partner than relating it to the "straight" image?

    It's also not so much that I'm focusing specifically on the "acting" part. In conversations with plenty of men, there's this unspoken idea of masculinity. It's the issue of... what actually makes someone masculine or "straight-acting" and focusing on that... rather than using this loosely defined term.

    The idea and image of masculinity varies from person to person. What I think is masculine may include, exclude or modify ideas that another person has about what masculinity is. However, we all know what honesty is. We all know what courage, pride, and steadfastness is. You can't second guess those things.

    That's what I'm trying to get at. That's why I cringe every time I see it. It's because it shows me that either 1) they're too lazy to really convey what they're looking for, 2) they don't know how to convey what they're looking or 3) they don't know what they're looking for and just copying what others say.


    and whats so wrong about the straight image? why should gay men avoid to follow the straight stereotype? I mean same way they shouldnt avoid to follow a gay stereotype. Remember, gay or straight talks for more than just sexual orientation, its also used as a term to define behavior AND a certain set of preferences that match the gay or straight stereotype, so I see nothing wrong with those who find themselves identified with one or the other.
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    Apr 24, 2010 9:21 AM GMT
    charlitos saidand whats so wrong about the straight image? why should gay men avoid to follow the straight stereotype? I mean same way they shouldnt avoid to follow a gay stereotype. Remember, gay or straight talks for more than just sexual orientation, its also used as a term to define behavior AND a certain set of preferences that match the gay or straight stereotype, so I see nothing wrong with those who find themselves identified with one or the other.
    There's nothing wrong with embodying the qualities and traits that you admire in a role model. We do it all the time. Why is anyone trying to uphold a stereotype?

    Of all the ways that I can describe myself, I choose a way that's definitive, that's clear, that's precise, that leaves no room for misinterpretation. I choose to describe myself in such a way that people who see/find me know I can to express myself and who I am with confidence. I just wished many more would do the same.

    A term like "Straight-Acting" and masculine just lends itself to so many issues of misinterpretation. Again, there's no strict standard on who or what a masculine man is. That's the problem. Furthermore, there's no definition of what a Straight Acting man is, as that varies from person to person as well. I may get my hopes up expecting one type of masculine man... to only get something I wasn't expecting. But, if I'm expecting a self-motivated man, I know exactly what to expect from him.

    On top of that -- again -- look at it -- "Straight Acting Gay Male"... Really? lol. You've gotta find that even the slightest bit funny.
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    Apr 24, 2010 12:38 PM GMT
    CarbGoggles said
    ALEZANDAR saidI have no idea where the "STRAIGHT-ACTING" definition came from in the gay world? but I do know there is such a thing as a "MASCULINE" gay male!!


    Leandro ♥

    Straight acting is so stupid. So basically you are fake is the way I interoperate that phrase. I agree, there are plenty of masculine gay men out there.



    I am not sure if what you said is a personal insult or if you are making a general comment about being straight acting? but I guess some gay men may use the "straight-acting" as a way to define their masculinity, and not necessarily because they are "straight" men wannabe's !! and for the sake of argument in the straight world there are effeminate and masculine men as there are effeminate and masculine gay men. I have no problems recognizing both as legitimate roles in human nature worth of our respects.


    Leandro ♥
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    Apr 24, 2010 12:54 PM GMT
    I suck at acting, so I'll just BE straight...

    ...to bed with a hot guy.

    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 24, 2010 1:07 PM GMT
    If one was to start to be a flamer and act all gay, this just would not be me, nor is it something I find attractive in other men. All the men I have ever dated have all appeared to be straight; no acting involved. Something else I find attractive in other men is homosexuals or even bisexuals who's life is not totally absorbed with all things gay. I don't want to drink at only gay pubs, or just go to only gay clubs, and I find it attractive in other homosexuals/bisexuals who do feel the same.


    Just because many homosexuals act all gay, doesn't mean homosexuals who appear to be straight, are acting. If a homosexual wants to act all gay, thats fine, I just don't want to be that way.

    If being masculine is being yourself, and not putting on a gay act just to make others at ease; the yes you are being honest with yourself. I'm honest to the point it's been detrimental to one. A lot of people are steadfast in their pride, and I feel this kind and is blinding too. But as a homosexual I do have a high standard of morels, and a lot of that has to do why you will never see me in my underpants here, or even showing my bits, or talking about sex. It gets me the amount of guys who say they are in a monogamous relationship, yet partake in all those things, and or have a hot list a mile long.
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    Apr 24, 2010 2:01 PM GMT
    sigh...


    I wish my life was so uncomplicated that other people's odd little semantic choices and how they choose to describe themselves were all I had to worry about.

    icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Apr 24, 2010 2:15 PM GMT
    tommysguns2000 saidsigh...


    I wish my life was so uncomplicated that other people's odd little semantic choices and how they choose to describe themselves were all I had to worry about.

    icon_rolleyes.gif



    hahaha you're my hero
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    Apr 24, 2010 2:21 PM GMT
    "Straight acting" is the worst form of internalized homophobia.

    Words have power. Choose them well.
  • tbeaux

    Posts: 419

    Apr 24, 2010 2:24 PM GMT
    I agree with the OP. The phrase "I am straight-acting" is a pet peeve of mine. No gay man will EVER EVER EVER BE straight acting. If you are gay, you're not straight...duh. If you are straight acting, according to the words we are using you are acting (or you do) like having sex with women.

    And it drives me nuts when people try to be too masculine. Unfortunately kids my age who are gay associate being masculine with saying bro, dude, or man in every other sentence. Think of if you get an email, nine times out of ten the person says "hey man, hey dude, what's going on man" to try and prove that they are very masculine..

    Why don't we all just kinda be in the middle with masculine and feminine qualities. They are approximations. Masculine qualities are strength, independence, assertive etc.. feminine qualities are dependence, submissive etc..

    So if you ever hear someone say I like to do manly things, define manly, once they do you'll hear how stupid their answers are.

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    Apr 24, 2010 2:45 PM GMT
    I go to the gay bars, mostly with my lady friends cause I dont really have many gay friends. and well im often asked if im a couple with the lady i bring along. i dont chose to act butch or "straight" its just how I am. im gay cause i like men who act like men. i cant stand gay dudes who act like woman. you can be hot as hell but if you got a lisp its a MMAAJOR deal breaker for me. limp wrist or if you walk like your on a runway then keep on walkin.
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    Apr 24, 2010 3:04 PM GMT
    In my personal opinion, I think the whole idea is a question of semantics.
    There was a time when the terms "butch" and "fem" were more commonly used than "straight acting". I seldom see these terms used today..but I think the general idea is still with us.
    I happen to be a very masculine man who just happens to be attracted to very masculine men. I am NOT attracted to, nor comfortable being around, fem acting men. I'm sure that there are plenty of guys who prefer someone who is less masculine...but I do not happen to be one of them.
    Fortunately, in this much more accepting day and age, there are plenty of men out there who can easily find the type of guys they are attracted to.
    So many flavors to choose from... so little time. icon_lol.gif
    I feel that there is a word in the term "straight acting" that seems a little "itchy"...and that word is "acting". It does kinda gnaw at my comfort zone because when you throw in the vernacular... it's an act...NOT real.
    Maybe we should go back to the old terms of "butch" and "fem"... but when you get down to it, if and when you actually meet "the guy"... it becomes rather obvious pretty quickly.
    To me, the whole idea is as simple as liking smooth over hairy, blondes over brunettes...and last time I checked, we all DO have our preferences and personal choices to make.
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    Apr 24, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
    FriendsRGoodThere was a time when the terms "butch" and "fem" were more commonly used than "straight acting". I seldom see these terms used today..but I think the general idea is still with us.


    I think it's also true that when those terms were in use, they often pointed to extremes -- affectations of stereotypical males -- like you saw in the Castro clone (parodied by the Village People). I don't think most people took this very seriously; it was almost a costume.

    Today's "straight-acting" or self-described "masc," are likewise very often virtual parodies in their studied adaptation of hetero stereotypes, but it's done without irony and, often, without self-awareness.

    Thus, as many of us have noted in the past, it's almost always true that men who make a big deal out of being "masc" or "straight-acting" are seldom either, except in a performative sense.

    I think the "straight-acting" term, which means "straight-behaving," is tiresome and especially embarrassing in its usage by the quite obviously gay-acting. It also reiterates the classism whereby men who can "pass" for straight are regarded as superior to those who can't.

    What could be gayer than incessantly complaining about how fem some men are and how unclockably masculine you are?

  • JayDT

    Posts: 390

    Apr 24, 2010 5:20 PM GMT
    I hate the straight acting thing. Just be you. I feel like the guys that say that, they really just hate themselves. They're not comfortable with the fact that they're gay. In my less than humble opinion, they're worse than closeted guys.
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    Apr 24, 2010 5:23 PM GMT
    Voice22 said
    tommysguns2000 saidsigh...


    I wish my life was so uncomplicated that other people's odd little semantic choices and how they choose to describe themselves were all I had to worry about.

    icon_rolleyes.gif



    hahaha you're my hero


    yes, clearly not something to let ruin your whole day, HOWEVER......

    when GAY men choose to describe themselves as "straight acting", well that just represents a shit load of self hatred and internalized homophobia mixed with an interesting superiority complex over other gay men. Not to mention fulfills the disgusting marketing techniques targeting gay males with "straight is better, sexier, and more 'masculine' " advertisements.

    most gay men, including myself, have gone through some difficult periods in accepting our own sexuality. by using the term "straight acting" to describe ourselves, we are only making it more difficult for younger gay men to fully accept themselves.

    be a role model for younger gay men, and don't use the term "straight acting"
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    Apr 24, 2010 5:25 PM GMT
    i find the term "straight acting" a joke, but it doesn't offend me. How "straight acting" are they with their legs in the air? I don't really like the term "flamer" either.
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    Apr 24, 2010 5:37 PM GMT
    JustSwim said"Straight acting" is the worst form of internalized homophobia.


    Amen. It's pretty much why I have it emblazoned as my tag line.
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    Apr 24, 2010 6:11 PM GMT
    I think also "straight acting" won't fade away anytime soon as it is used by some in the coming out process where guys gradually accept the fact that they are indeed not straight but homosexual. It is just "a phase they are going through" icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 24, 2010 6:13 PM GMT
    it's funny that most of the people who say they are straight-acting are actually pretty flamboyant- at least through my experience.