Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Gay and Masculine

Something I've been thinking about over the past couple weeks is how homosexuality and masculinity work together. One of my best friends identifies as a gay man and often makes jokes about his own masculinity, but I have never perceived him as a stereotypical gay man. It's weird to me that being gay challenges or 'ruins' masculinity. It doesn't logically follow for me. I've alluded to this in our module about masculinity and sexuality, but one would think one boy plus another boy would equal more masculinity. But it does follow that it is more "natural" to be with a woman for a man, which would make the most "natural" masculine response heterosexuality.

I have been wondering where the feminine gay stereotypes arose from as well. If being gay already decreases someone's masculinity, did we as a society start associating other non-masculine things with being gay as a consequence? Or did this stereotype emerge on its own? Some gay men recognize their sexuality through a complete divergence from stereotypical masculinity. Others do not. But this does not make them any less attracted to men. Another one of my close friends who is a gay man admits that he is not attracted to openly feminine gay men. It's interesting to me how this all intersects.

Sexuality is a large part of our identities because it impacts our social interactions. I wonder if we will ever reach a point in which it does not detract from masculinity to be gay. However this would require the end of the ideal that hegemonic masculinity requires heterosexuality, and that homosexuality is the deviant sexuality for men while heterosexuality is the default. I don't know if we are on track to accomplish that any time soon, especially given the outcome of the recent election, but I think those are the obstacles that are in our way.

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