A choice or who we or they are?

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    May 20, 2007 6:35 AM GMT
    I never saw myself as a feminine male, b/c prior to accepting myself, I'd always fight the fact that I'm gay 'n would try my hardest to not do anything to emasculate myself as a guy. The "wrong" crowd were close friends, 'n would do things that would supposedly reassure that we were guys. We'd break into cars 'n houses, fish for cigarettes 'n alcohol outside of liquor stores, watch football games, play ball, get into fights 'n stupid drama, call each other fags if anyone did anything remotely "gay." Doing such boy 'n juvenile acts supposedly helped strengthen my masculinity.

    After coming out, however, I learned that no matter my sexual preference, I'm still able to be masculine. I'm still watching 'n participating in sports, I don't talk w/ a lisp w/o trying not to, I don't have a rainbow bandanna hanging out of my right pocket; I believe I don't come off as the typical gay person as he/she is usually portrayed as. I don't understand what it is to be gay, except for the fact that you find your own gender more appealing than the opposite. At what point did being gay make one act like the opposite sex? I'm not bashing on feminine people, it's just that I don't understand how your orientation changes your personality of a woman.

    A couple of nights ago, a guy (we'll address him as K) called me up. This boy is on the twirl team on my school (the first boy ever to join the twirl flag team) 'n is quite the nelly guy. K has heard about me through word of mouth around school, which I'm not worried about yet not too happy about it neither. Him 'n his friend were on the phone talking to me, 'n it was tough to figure out who I was talking to, b/c they both sound the same; they have high-pitched voices. I called them out on how I couldn't differentiate the two, 'n one of 'em said, "Oh, I think it's b/c we're gay."

    That made me, again, question if them being feminine was just who they are, or it's b/c they're gay. I know I'm gay 'n don't have a swing to my hips whenever I walk, but I'm also aware there are metro guys who are as straight as a board. So, w/ that all said, I'm convinced that you never know who's straight or gay, but in a world where just about everyone assumes every other person is straight, it's still more difficult for gays, as compared to straight people, to go about 'n have a non-discretionary lifestyle.

    Now I've a question: Is being a feminine person a choice?
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    May 20, 2007 10:59 AM GMT
    hmmm...no I don't think so, bud. They might have a choice to down-play their feminine side, but each of us, male and female, have both male and female hormones in our bodies. In some (note, some feminine-acting men are even straight, from my limited experience) the hormones are just more pronounced and they act more 'nelly'. Some try to act a little more masculine, but I think it's just in the genes as to how you present yourself. I, myself, have always considered myself masculine, even though I do not engage in team sports or spend entire weekends in front of the tube watching various sporting events..and coming from BB-crazy Hoosier-land, this is almost blasphemous..lol...
    anyway, as a masculine gay man, I recognize and respect my 'feminine' side...it's what makes me kind, compassionate and romantic...it helps me be a better person...all in a manly way.
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    May 20, 2007 11:22 AM GMT
    No it not. As a boy I was a weakling and effimine kid. Other kid pick on me, call me girl name , sissy and all kind of horrible stuff. I hang around girls and other effimine kid. But when I grow up, I discover that I enjoy masculine stuff. I build muscle , enjoy endurance , pyhsical demanding sport like marathon, mountain climbing, kick boxing, etc. I join the military just to prove to myself that I am tough enough for it.I prefer masculine ,western,black leather, sporty sytle clothing .Nowaday I hardly have any contact with other female except at work and my sister. Though I dont hate them I dont get along with effimine guy anymore. As far as I know nobody (in the straight world) suspected me to be gay and they always wondering why a tough guy like me are not interested to get marriage or date a girl.I chose not be a sissy anymore and do something about it. However there nothing I can do about my attraction to other men, and yes I walk with a slight twist on my ass. There nothing I can do about that either.
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    May 20, 2007 9:57 PM GMT
    You are who you are, if you choose to accept it.

    Being gay isn't a choice, but you have the ability to accept or repress it. Usually, you'll turn out happier if you accept it.

    Likewise, having overwhelming feminine or masculine tendencies isn't a choice. It's a part of who you are, and how you naturally express yourself.

    Being gay or straight doesn't determine how feminine you are. However, being gay, accepting it, and being open teaches you to accept yourself and live your way the way you feel natural. Because of that, some gay men are able to embrace their feminine tendencies much better, and live their life the way they feel natural.
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    May 21, 2007 12:11 AM GMT
    I think it is sometimes.....

    Weaker-willed guys believe that when they come out, they have to fit in with other gays by acting the way they do... and if the only thing they have to go on is what the media portrays, then thats what they're going to latch onto.

    But I really thinks its based much more on hormones, experiences, and generally just someone's personality to define whether or not they're going to act feminine.

    Homosexuality in general has a lot of unusual quirks to it. The problem is that people take anything they see one gay guy do and apply it to everyone else. The first rule of sociology is "Correlation is not causation." which is definately true of nearly every trait associated to homosexuality.
    Then there's the Thomas theorem "Things which are percieved to be real, become real in their consequences." So... a stereotype is applied, and at least some of that group will rise to the occassion in order to strengthen it. I don't know why, it's just the way it is.

    I may have gone off topic...... I do that
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    May 21, 2007 7:28 AM GMT
    That's a really interesting post. I hope you get some thoughtful responses.

    Like many of us, I've seen guys who, when the come out, seem not just to come out, but explode out - embracing a flamboyant manner they never exhibited before. Did they choose to do this, or were they previously supressing their true nature and were just removing the restraints? I don't know.

    I do know that when I was a young teenager I when through a period where I dressed more elaborately and in a slighly affected manner. It was not well-received, and I abandoned it after a few months. Was that the "real" me, and have I covered it up ever since? I'm anything but elaborate in my appearance now.

    I think it was the adoption of a style which I thought was appropriate, and I learned that it was not socially acceptable in my closeted teen years in Memphis. I believe we all try things - behaviors, clothes, manners of speech. We test them, we see how they feel, and depending upon the reception we get, and how internal they truly are, we either keep them or move on.

    The men I know who are more feminine in their aspect cross all academic, social and business lines. One is a successful bodybuilder, another is a respected psychological professional. Their qualities as human beings with intellect and compassion and generosity of spirit far outweigh the impressions they may make in terms of traditional masculinity.

    Granted, I live in a bubble - the Palm Springs area is heavily gay, and Southern California is notably accepting of different behaviors (in some areas, at least). But I remember knowing men of a more delicate character in Memphis & Chattanooga, Tennessee years ago who held positions of respect.

    This post has wandered a bit, I know - I guess my position boils down to this: I believe that healthy people settle into a mode of behavior that is comfortable for them - respecting of both their natural inclination and within the limits of acceptability in their community. If these two factors are NOT reconcilable, they will try to relocate someplace more congenial. If they can not, then their nature will dominate over all, and they will have to deal with the social pressures as best they can.

    Let's see what others have to say. Thanks for the topic.

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    May 21, 2007 5:56 PM GMT
    Gender roles are decided by the individual culture. There are very few gender roles that are cross cultural. You can't control things like how high or low your voice turns out to be, but you can control how you speak. For example. One of my gay friend who can acts really "feminine" (by our culture's standard) was able to turn the flame on and off like night and day. In my opinion it is all an act. Being gay does not make you talk or act a certain. That is just our societies steriotype.

    I believe that the reason why so many gay man embrace a more feminine gender role is because that is what our society tells us how we should be. I think it is like a vicious cycle: Society thinks that being gay is feminine, so man takes on societies expectation of how he is "suposed to be", other gay men acting this way perpetuates the cycle and so on.
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    May 22, 2007 12:37 AM GMT
    Very interesting feedback. I appreciate it, everyone. :)