Gay Stereotypes

Found this guy on youtube.  This is perspective we don’t hear often–although I don’t know that I’d use his phrase, “normal acting.” 

Anyone who says William Sledd is a “soon-to-be-drag-queen, I’m sure,” can’t be all wrong. 

I’d really be interested in some opinions on this very different video. 

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21 thoughts on “Gay Stereotypes

  1. I covered this topic in the big ole sissy argument that erupted on our blog. I get yelled at for saying these things.

    The media (and the gay establishment) are ok with pinkface. Any criticism of it is considered self-loathing.

    I’ve said it before. If the media or any other organization portrayed blacks in the mocking, stereotypical way gays are, there’d be rioting in the streets.

    Except in our case, most gay people seem to think perpetuating the stereotype and being subject to mockery is not only a good thing, but a kind of badge. Many gays are proud of the stereotype. They believe it a form of rebellion.

    And if you don’t think so too, it’s because you secretly wish you weren’t gay.

    We’re a hot mess of a people.

  2. We’re a hot mess of a people.

    Case in point: Have you seen the argument between NDT and Paul Raposo in the Throwing Out The . . . thread?

    They’re diametrically opposing poles. (pun intended)

  3. What a humorless, angry, pasty-faced, boring asshole. Who the fuck is he to decide and decree what is “acceptable” to watch on YouTube and what is not? Or to approve who is or is not a proper spokesperson for gay people?

    For one thing, not everyone who is gay wants or claims to be representative of gays everywhere. I doubt that any of the people in the videos he objects to make that claim for themselves. They aren’t posting videos on YouTube as ambassadors of a special group project to change the misconceptions of the heterosexual population. Their reasons for posting are as individual as they are, and they have every right to be as outrageous and odd as they want to be–just as this dull-as-dishwater drip has every right to drone on in his boring monotone over his outrage at how they are representing HIM.

    What a narcissistic dickhead! They aren’t interested in representing him (who in their right mind would be?)–they are simply expressing their own views, opinions, ideas and (in many cases) neuroses and psychoses.

    His lamenting over which “gay” videos get the most hits is a window into his own insecurity and likely jealousy over the lack of hits his own videos get. If you notice, all of the videos he gives his stamp of approval to are of the oh-so earnest, oh-so serious and incredibly meaningful variety (snore!). He apparently cannot comprehend that some videos are intended to be fun, subtle, subversive, campy or light-hearted.

    I doubt anyone is really stupid enough to believe that Chris Cox represents all gay people anymore than he represents all Britney Spears fans. And anyone who is that stupid is not going to be swayed no matter how many deeply-felt “important” videos about normal, straight-acting homos are posted.

    His views are as bland and boring as his video. I’m thankful that the world has more colors in its palette than just the beige he’s used to decorate his life.

    And, Robbie, please explain what you mean by the term “pinkface?”

  4. Everyone just wants everyone else to behave more like them. It’s an unfortunate reality of social life in our dysfunctional little group. There’s always another “other” to demonize and attack.

    The “straight-acting” types want all the other gays to go chug a few beers, hit the practice range with a cardboard cutout of Osama Bin Laden, scratch their butts in public, and watch sports (and care about the game more than the appearance of the players).

    Conversely, the “nelly queen” types want all the other gays to obsess over Britney Spears, listen to lousy music, dress up like Cher in rehab, and gossip about fashion week in Milan.

    The “political queer” types want all other gays to listen to sell our souls to the party (‘the party’ refers to the Democrats most of the time, but there are some gay Ann Coulters on the Republican side), care about election returns more than life itself, and quit our jobs to campaign for bills that has no chance of becoming law.

    And don’t even get me started on the racial tensions. I think we just have to recognize that gay people need not like each other, share any common interests, or anything like that. Sexual orientation is a poor criteria for association and friendship.

  5. I doubt anyone is really stupid enough to believe that Chris Cox represents all gay people anymore than he represents all Britney Spears fans.

    Ted, you can’t be serious. Check out some right-leaning forums and tell me you still think that. There are plenty of people who believe just that very thing. And that’s kinda the whole point.

  6. Sexual orientation is a poor criteria for association and friendship.

    I agree, John, but out of necessity it’s a criterion for cooperation, at least. And we can’t seem to manage that without tearing each other’s throats out over ENDA or any other gay-related political issues.

    Sad, that.

  7. There are plenty of people who believe just that very thing. And that’s kinda the whole point.

    As I said, anyone stupid enough to believe that all gay people behave like Chris Cox are never going to be swayed to think differently no matter how many heartfelt, earnest and “serious” coming out videos are posted on YouTube. They are what we commonly refer to as “morons.”

    So then, what’s the whole point? That you think people who do not represent you and the dork in the video in the proper manner should just shut the hell up and stop embarrassing you?

    They have just as much right to express themselves on YouTube in whatever way they choose as you and all your conformist brethren do.

    It’s small-minded assholes who promote bigotry and censorship against their own kind and distract from the real issues facing gay people that you should be worried about–not what some moron on a right-leaning forum thinks about Chris Cox.

    Jeez, what is wrong with you people?

  8. They have just as much right to express themselves on YouTube in whatever way they choose as you and all your conformist brethren do.

    Me? Conformist? Let’s see: I’m pro-guns, pro-gay marriage, iffy on abortion, pro-hate-crimes-laws, anti-school vouchers, pro-amnesty (not for “undocumented workers” per se, but for those truly in life-jeopardizing international, I belong to the Humane Society, believe that organized religion has lost sight of God and instead worships the almighty dollar. . . yep, sounds conformist to me. *rolls eyes* I’m what a sane person would call a moderate. Non-republican, non-democrat, pro-common sense.

    And Ted, I never said anyone should shut up or didn’t have a right to express themselves. But I would never claim to represent the majority of the gay community, and I resent it when people completely different than me do the same. They have the right to do so as much as they like, but I also have a right to express my discomfit with that expression. Capiche?

  9. Jamie,

    That’s because we can’t even agree that gays need any rights at all. Or define what gay even means, for that matter. There are still people who believe only bottoms are “gay” or it’s only “gay” if you kiss each other. If we can’t get any consensus on that, is it that surprising we can’t find any common ground on the really tough issues?

    Sometimes people mistake evolution for conformity though.

    Although I grew up in a family of God fearing Republicans, I was a liberal long before I figured out that I liked sausages more than fish in the bedroom (which is ironic, since I’m a big fan of sushi). It’s troubling when people assume my beliefs regarding fair wages, gender/racial equality, protecting the environment, or religious skepticism must have come from the gayness.

    As if there’s no other logical reason to question how a man can live inside a whale or survived a planetary flood in a wooden boat carrying two of each creature (does that include viruses and bacteria?).

  10. Hey Everybody,
    I’m the guy who made the video. Thanks for listening to my message! Just a couple of notes…

    First, I think a statement about my personal definition of “gay” might help clarify where I’m coming from. In my mind, there are four variations on the word gay:

    1.) Happy – The old-school usage of the word.
    2.) Homoaffectionality – When two people of the same sex fall in love.
    3.) Lifestyle – A set of behaviors that society generally attributes to people who are born gay.
    4.) Slang – Stupid, bad, or disgusting. e.g. “That’s so gay.”

    It’s incredibly unfortunate that anybody associates #3 with gay, because people put a great deal of emphasis on it when debating the nature vs. nurture issue. Moreover, our society tends to intermingle #s 2 & 3, much as the words “gender” (a set of behaviors people take on, as prescribed by the society in which we live) and “sex” (the physical presence we’re born with – male or female – as based on our reproductive systems) are confused and used interchangeably.

    Regarding my excitement levels (or lack thereof) in the video:

    I fully agree that I’m stiff and dull (reserved). I knew that when I filmed, edited, and posted it. Keep in mind, this is only my third YouTube video. Not everybody immediately has a captivating on-air personality. I’m sure I’ll loosen up with time. I wanted to get my message across now, though. I probably would have chickened out down the road.

    Robbie said: …most gay people seem to think perpetuating the stereotype and being subject to mockery is not only a good thing, but a kind of badge. Many gays are proud of the stereotype. They believe it a form of rebellion.

    Thank you. This is something that I did not specifically address in my video, but is incredibly important to my point. You said it more eloquently than I ever could have.

    Next, a response to the accusation that I claim to be a gay spokesperson:

    I make no claims to be a “spokesperson for gay people”. I’m simply voicing my opinion (something most directors do in their video logs). I’m tired of seeing straight-acting gay people continue to get the shaft in media representation. I do not deny that there are many colors and shades in everything homoaffectionate. And each variation is unique in its own way. All I ask is that we see a broad range of these colors displayed in the media outlets – not just the vibrant ones we’re used to – the ones who really try to stand out.

    If you’ll notice, I did not entirely blame William Sledd, Chris Crocker, or others for the disparity that exists on YouTube. I also called for straight acting gay men to come forward and share their experiences. Seeing only the vocal and eccentric minority really does hurt everybody else. People who may not fully understand the gay community might be swayed if they saw other examples. Case in point: I have several friends who, while not homophobic, had no idea that straight-acting gays existed until they met my boyfriend and me. They’d always assumed that what the media had showed them was an accurate portrayal of the gay community, because they had no prior experience. Sure, I could argue that they ought to have done some research to the contrary, but why should they? If it doesn’t directly affect them, they really don’t see a reason to further pursue the matter. Individuality is god in America. People don’t concern themselves with the bigger issues until they hit close to home.

    A final note:

    As with everybody, I have my own past experiences from which I draw. While that allows me to provide a unique perspective, it’s not without fault. I do realize that I brought some of my own biases into the video, especially concerning the YouTube performers contained therein. I don’t think it’s possible for anybody to be completely objective, especially given the subject matter. Thus, as with most other videos on YouTube, take it with a grain of salt. You’re all smart individuals. Decide what works for you and what doesn’t.

    Anyway, my hope is that YouTube viewers can look past the subjectivity in my message and find something useful within the content. Nobody wants to talk about these kinds of issues and certainly not in a civil manner. Difficult as that may be, I’d like that to change. I want to see some kind of useful discussion emerge from it.

  11. What you are saying is that you are embarrassed by gays who do not behave in a conformist (you call it “straight-acting”–the keyword being “acting”) manner and you believe that they are to blame for the fact that many heteros don’t like the gays in general.

    Those flamboyant queens just make life very uncomfortable for you.

    It’s not the homophobic hetero’s fault for being complacent and willfully ignorant–everything would be hunky-dory if those big ol’ loud sissies weren’t muddying the waters so much that the heteros can’t see that you can “act” JUST LIKE THEM.

    Except you’re not just like them. You are a cocksucking faggot homosexual (I say that with all due respect). And no amount of “acting straight” is going to change that fact in the eyes of a homophobic hetero.

    When gays denounce other gays because they don’t “butch it up” enough to suit them and berate them as “perpetuating the stereotype” and encouraging mockery, then we have far bigger worries than whether homophobic heteros are going to like us or not.

    Not all straight people act the same–some are rednecks, some are intellectuals, some are aggressive, some are pacifist, some are macho and–get this–some are effeminate, even though they are straight! Why is it that straights get to be themselves without being criticized and viewed as a threat to other straights?

    Stop blaming other queers for the fact that homophobes exist. They exist and hate you no matter how straight you act. They hate you because you are a guy and you suck cock and take it in the ass, not because some queen on YouTube was a little too fabulous.

    And stop blaming other queers for the fact that you are scared of being labeled a sissy because you are gay. That’s your issue. No one should have to constantly monitor their butch-levels so that you can feel less insecure.

  12. Jamie, I used the word conformist to refer to those who encourage all the gays to eliminate any shred of behavior which they see as less than masculine–or “straight-acting,” to use the term employed here.

    I think it’s great that you would never claim to represent the majority of the gay community. I don’t think the people cited as examples in the YouTube video made that claim, either. They were personal expressions made by individuals representing only themselves.

    With that being the case, why do you have such a problem with them? And if you claim not to have a problem with individual expression, then what was your point in recommending that video diatribe in the first place?

  13. Well, Ted, I think when someone calls themself “The Gay God,” they’re inherently claiming to represent the ultimate queer. But you’re right: Sledd and Crocker, as far as I’ve seen (and I’ve looked), don’t claim to represent us all. (And I think Buck from What The Buck is funny as hell, btw.) However, Sledd and Crocker have gotten a great deal of mileage from belittling others–and

    And please note that I’m not comfortable with the term “straight-acting,” and pointed out my discomfort with GGF’s use of “normal-acting” in the second sentence of the post. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to “act” straight to fit in with the hets any more than I would encourage anyone to “act” femmy to fit in with the gay community. People should live their lives honestly and be proud of who they are, not how well they fit in.

    As I said, “conformist” is not a label that fits me at all. I’ve been known to “queen it up” when called for to purposely make bigoted people that I’ve encountered uncomfortable.

    So why did I “recommend” the video? Because I do feel that there are many more quiet, reserved gays who are not especially flamboyant or effeminate that feel underrepresented in the media, like I do, and thought that this was a good way to encourage them to enter into the dialogue with the rest of us.

    Note that I ended the post with, “I’d really be interested in some opinions on this very different video.” I thought it was a good place to start a discussion–which is obviously, from his comment above, part of what the author originally intended.

  14. Since “straight-acting” is just a label (and one that seems to strike a negative chord with many people) maybe I should use different terminology. Perhaps “laid back” and “effeminate” would be more appropriate. I happen to be laid back – always have been. This is not my way of trying to blend in with straight people, it’s how I act. I understand that’s not representative of the entire community – nor do I say it should be. I’m just saying that “laid back” people do exist and that they have just as much right to be recognized as the “effeminates” do.

  15. Remember to take comments on the internet with a grain of salt (says the guy who banned a commenter for the first time yesterday).

    I’m just saying that “laid back” people do exist and that they have just as much right to be recognized as the “effeminates” do.

    Agreed. We’re all familiar with the mantra, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.” I just wish people who are flamboyant would apply that phrase to those of us that aren’t.

  16. I don’t recall ever having heard anyone (flamboyant, effeminate, musical, swishy, nelly or otherwise) say that quiet, reserved or “laid back” gays should not enter any dialog with “the rest of us” or that they don’t have a right to be recognized. If you know of an instance, I’d be interested in knowing where you heard it.

    The video just really gave off the familiar stink of one group of gays demeaning and insulting another group of gays simply because the first group is embarrassed that the second group doesn’t project enough of a hyper-masculine persona to the heteros. I don’t really buy that the point was simply to point out that “laid back people do exist”–as if that’s really something that needs pointing out.

    As I said before, there are already enough people that hate us, insult us, call us names and refuse to accept us. We don’t need to do their dirty work for them.

  17. I don’t recall ever having heard anyone (flamboyant, effeminate, musical, swishy, nelly or otherwise) say that quiet, reserved or “laid back” gays should not enter any dialog with “the rest of us” or that they don’t have a right to be recognized. If you know of an instance, I’d be interested in knowing where you heard it.

    Really, ted? You don’t think that constant barrages of accusations that one is “self-loathing” is akin to telling someone to shut up if they don’t agree? I can’t even begin to give an accurate number of times that I’ve seen people told explicitly to shut up, or been called “self-loathing” or “closeted” or whatever because they believe something different than what many of the more extremely vocal gay proponents say. And that’s just in the Queerty comment section alone.

    Just look at the amount of shit many in the gay community are getting because we don’t all think ENDA should be completely scrapped because transgendered people won’t be included. Even if I am explicit and explain that I’m disappointed about that (and that’s not just words, it truly bothers me)–but still think we should pass the bill anyway, I’m called every name in the book and castigated everywhere I express that opinion. Blenders turned on John Aravosis like they’d caught rabies. I’d say being called a “traitor to your kind,” “self-loathing,” “hateful,” etc, on a regular basis for expressing dissenting views pretty much stops all hope of an informative, progressive discussion.

    Having worked with gays in more rural areas, let me assure you, we don’t all think alike no matter where we are, but the intolerance among our own subset of society for even slightly dissenting viewpoints tends to make bashful country queers go, “fuck it–it ain’t worth the headache to deal with these assholes who don’t want to listen.” And they, instead, live their lives in peace and quiet and leave the loud jackasses to be the ones representin’.

    No, the only queers that are welcomed into the dialogue by those with the power are those who conform to the established, stated agenda and beliefs.

    We are already our own worst enemies.

  18. Oh, and by the way: I’m extremely “musical,” and don’t think that really corrollates with any of the other adjectives you used in that phrase. 😉

    Careful of those stereotypes.

  19. You forgot to mention accusations of being assimilationist, and long jags about people who aren’t authentically gay.

    “I don’t recall ever having heard anyone (flamboyant, effeminate, musical, swishy, nelly or otherwise) say that quiet, reserved or “laid back” gays should not enter any dialog with “the rest of us” or that they don’t have a right to be recognized.”

    Let’s run this through the translator.

    “Anything that is especially devastating to the logic behind my political beliefs does not exist in my world.”

    The “I’ve never heard,” or “I’ve never seen,” or “I’ve never known,” is a refrain of Ted’s I’m very familiar with. Even when you have video evidence. It’s weird. It’s like arguing with an evangelical or something.

  20. Getting into a bitchfight in the comments section of some blog is not the same thing.

    First, when you enter that arena and express opinions that are in opposition to the host, of course you are going to get slapped around. You know that. It was one of the first lessons I learned when I posted my very first comment at Malcontent–I got clobbered. This applies to any blog that deals with hot-button issues–it is not a gay thing.

    Second, I assumed that the “dialog” and “right to be recognized” we were discussing was in the general sense and encompassed more than just blog comments.

    Third, what the video pointedly condemned were the mannerisms, styles of speaking and perceived flamboyance of other gays. And the video creator was very clear in pointing out that he disapproved and was “ticked off” by it. He blamed overly effusive queens for the fact that homophobes aren’t more accepting of gays, rather than placing the blame where it deserves to be placed–with the narrow-minded homophobes.

    Having scorn heaped on you and being told that you should be marginalized because someone doesn’t happen to approve of your appearance and personality is much different than getting a few mean responses when you post your opinion about a political issue.

    Having some jerk post a video telling anyone who will listen that he is “ticked off” that you don’t act like he does and that you are the reason why gay people aren’t embraced by homophobes is not the same as being castigated for your political views.

    And why you and Robbie keep trying to make this about politics is beyond me. Politics has little (or nothing) to do with this. This is about whether or not a person should be allowed to present and express himself as he truly is–without having to put up a conformist facade so that insecure and divisive gadflies won’t feel self-conscious or ashamed and lash out at them.

    P.S. “Musical” was a term used to describe gays long ago. Similar to “sensitive” or “artistic” or “colorful.”

  21. We need to throw away this notion that there is a gay way to act and a straight way to act. Gay means attracted exclusively to the same sex. Straight means attracted exclusively to the opposite sex. That’s it. This is one of the reasons why I’m glad I’m bi. Sure there’s stereotypes about us, but not as extensive as gays and straights. I can act however I want and nobody ever says I’m not bi enough or accuses me of trying to be asexual-acting.

    And we shouldn’t accuse gay guys who don’t act stereotypical of being “conformist”. Stereotypical gay guys are conforming to how society thinks gay people act. I’ve also noticed that supposedly pro-gay people will sometimes talk about gay people as though the stereotypes were true, such as “look at that guy. He must be gay.” Stereotyping gay people, straight people, bi people, what ever is orientationist and people who stereotype should be reminded of that.(Don’t have to be mean about it just say that is offensive).

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