Do Straight Acting Gay Guys feel a little left out of our Big Ol’ Gay Family?

I’ve never been the kind of person to fit into stereotypes, but I have always been the type who pretends to. Sometimes I pretend to like the things society tells me a gay man should. But truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of Madonna, I don’t really like RuPaul’s Drag Race, and I’m not exactly into Grindr or one night encounters. I’ve realized in today’s gay culture, it’s a double-edged sword. While we claim that “straight acting” dudes are hotter and more admired, these very same guys find it difficult finding a place for themselves at the gay dinner table.

It’s hard pretending to know about things you simply don’t care about. I’m not exactly the most masculine dude in the world (this I know), but a friend recently described me as a “straight acting” gay man. I never would have labeled myself as such, and the second he said it, for whatever reason, I felt exclusive. We always hear how masculinity is desirable, so in my head I thought this label made [me] more valuable. The truth of the matter is it’s all bullshit. –

How do straight acting gay men feel?  Do they feel they are in an exclusive subgroup?  Do they feel they are better than the other members of the rainbow family?  Or do they feel they are outsiders?  Does it depend on where you are and who you are around?  David continues …

We work out at the gym to get a nice body, but we’ll also turn up the “gay” when a girlfriend needs her GBF. We butch it up in front of our gay crushes so he’ll think we’re more masculine than we are, but we get super flamboyant when we’re watching BRAVO with our roommate. It’s a total human instinct to mirror the energy levels of people we’re around at any given time – so this type of behavior is neither a good or bad thing. But lately it seems like we have to choose what we are depending on who we’re hanging out with: Are we going to be masculine today or will we be feminine?

Depending on whatever choice we make, we assume it’s going to affect our ability to find acceptance. We think we need to reach a standard in order to appear attractive, valuable, and worthy of spending time with. We look at what the world expects of us rather than being who we truly are. As someone who hasn’t had the best of luck imitating others, I’ve lately found incredible peace not giving a crap about any of it. By letting go of the need to live for others, you experience true freedom. –

This is a very good point.  Live for yourself and all will fall into place.  David seems to be saying that he's done considering how he should act when he is around different people.  No more gaying it up or faking interests. And that is how we all should be, just be ourselves!  But then again, it doesn't sound like that's working for him.

It’s hard feeling like you don’t fit in with your community, but it’s even harder when you are under the impression that you need to change. Trust me when I say you don’t need to change anything about yourself. The structure in which society places us needs to change. It’s 2015. We learned a long time ago that segregation isn’t cool, yet we do it all the time in our own culture.

Gay guys used to want to fit in with straight society because it was a way to stay closeted; but now gay guys are proudly showing off their colors and giving zero f*cks who sees it. But have we become the victim of our success? To the gay men who don’t seem to fit in with the straight or gay world, are we unconsciously not allowing room for them at our dinner tables? –

How do you interpret David Artavia's statements?  Is he saying he and his straight acting gay friends make up the most neutral color in our rainbow coalition?  Is he saying that other subgroups of LGBT are more colorful, adventurous, and he just doesn't fit in?  Unlike me who apparently is as colorful as Cam, does David believe he needs more color in his life in order to fit in and be recognized by other LGBT peeps?

Some may say he's just looking for a pity party for him being what many on Grindr search for, the all powerful "STR8 Acting"" guy.  Stop crying and get over being what many see as the ideal catch, the ideal husband, the ideal lover.   But David did not mention anything about sex.  This is not about sex, but belonging, acceptance, and interaction.

Or do you believe what he is saying?  Straight acting men are socially and culturally shunned by other gay subgroups.  We may like to look at them, lust after them, and want to be with them physically and sexually, but when it comes to socializing with them, we may have more fun with a pug.  Do we hold them up on a pedestal but then realize they are somewhat of an oddity, a museum piece.  Are they something to look at, maybe even touch, but you can't and you don't want to take it home forever? 

Or do they not even exist on our radar? Are they so middle of the road and mainstream they lack color and substance where we desire depth and excitement?

Or do we all just roll our eyes at the use of labels and colors and wish we all could wrap ourselves in one big happy rainbow flag?  Do you have an issue with the straight acting label?  I know, I know, no more wire hangers labels!   But we are a world of labels: bears, cubs, queens, butch, republican, dolphins.  What else would you call someone that is 1,000% like any other heterosexual male, except he likes peen?

If you want to read more by David Artavia's , click on his name to go to a list of his most recent articles.

41 thoughts on “Do Straight Acting Gay Guys feel a little left out of our Big Ol’ Gay Family?”

  1. Absolutely.  For a few years,

    Absolutely.  For a few years, I tried to wear more rainbows, necklaces with rainbows on them etc., tried to act much more effeminate, nothing really worked to clue other gay folks into the fact that I was one of them.  In the end, I've kind of stopped caring about "gay culture" because there is no place for me in it, especially if you don't like the "correct" things.  

  2. Pretty sure there’s a good

    Pretty sure there's a good article discussing the label 'straight acting' and should we be using it on So So Gay… Might be worth checking out.

  3. If you write straight acting

    If you write straight acting using quotation marks is because you are questioning this behaviour as inherently heterosexual, right?

    Well, then stop using that expression because it is not inherently heterosexual. Read history. In ancient times heterosexual men were deemed effeminate because they used to acquire feminine mannerisms from spending time around women.




  4. Ok lets first start with the
    Ok lets first start with the “straight acting” label. I hate it. And I hope our community, gets rid of the label once and for all!! This label basically means you are a masculine gay man, imitating or trying pass as a straight man. Can’t a gay man be into sports,motorcycles,beer, cigars and fishing too!?
    Next… I’m not sure what world the book author lives in but in my neck of the woods, it’s the (sigh) “straight acting” gays that are sought out for everything, and I’m sure other readers would agree. Don’t agree, just check out any of the dating apps and see who is in high demand. Go into any local bar/club on a Friday or Saturday night and see who gets checked out or drooled over the most. They are the cover models for our gay publications. The face of circuit parties and Pride events. They are the type of guys a certain underwear designer seeks out for his line. I’ve seen even seen the praise theses types of guys get in my circle of friends.

    “No not him..the straight looking one with the red shirt. Yes that’s what I’m talking about!”
    “Oh his roommate, the one that acts straight, yea I know him. Is he single?”
    Hell even the straight community praises them, because as someone mentioned above, these types of guys more “passable”. Therefore they get the invites to weddings, the family BBQs, graduations, etc. because they are less likely to raise suspicion and make Uncle Jim or Aunt Mary uncomfortable. Now I’m not downing these kinda guys by any means, simply trying to figure out what universe the author above lives in.
    All in all our community as a whole needs stop the praise of the (eye roll) ” Straight acting” guys and the shunning of those more feminine. It takes all kinds.
    Me myself, I’m just ..well me. I can sit and talk with someone about football, cars, and fitness. And 5minutes later in the same room, have an equally engaging conversation about Mariah Carey, RuPauls drag race and fashion. I’ve helped my dad work on cars and I’ve dressed in drag for Halloween. And none of these things is an act.These are my hobbies and general interest. And I don’t let one define me more than another.
    Can’t a guy like it all and not be labelled as this or that?!?

  5. Labels. Pah! Got it all wrong
    Labels. Pah! Got it all wrong. We are ALL made up of different things, feelings, behaviors, etc. There is NOT a label that describes ANY of us humans to a T, so DON’T try to define it! WHY?
    EVERYONE adjusts their behavior to the setting, at work, home, with friends, family.
    These different aspects of you exist already, do they not? It’s not REALLY pretending, is it? Are you PRETENDING to act straight, or fem, or whatever? Or is that just a part of you that you feel more comfortable expressing in one particular setting or group over another?
    IF you’re pretending, then STOP PRETENDING, and be who you ARE; but, if you’re REAL and living YOUR reality, there really IS no label to describe you.
    I love the freedom I have found in expressing ALL the different aspects of myself in DIFFERENT circles where I’m accepted and loved with open arms for that trait, behaviour, preference, standard, policy, emotion, type, style… need I say more?
    People are so quick to round-peg round-hole, square-peg square-hole. If your SQUARE peg doesn’t fit a particular ROUND hole, don’t cut off your corners, look for another DIFFERENT hole to fit in! Build your own network…find a square hole, or find another round hole big enough to accept you AND your square corners. I have, and it’s fabulous! 😀
    I tell you, there is not a label long enough to describe me. I am ME. I try to make the most of every situation I am in, to live the fullest life I can, letting the different aspects of me shine at different times. I’ll be me, YOU be YOU. We’re ALL beautifully human, ALL aspects of us. 🙂

  6. “straight acting”? What a
    “straight acting”? What a disgusting case of internalized homophobia. There’s no such thing as straight acting or gay acting. Perhaps you mean masculine and feminine? As if gay means that I have to act feminine by default – how ridiculous

    • how frequently are “Masculine

      how frequently are "Masculine" and "Top" considered synonymous? i feel; like that happens a lot, which i am not…


      i like thel label  " Straight-Acting" i mean….. why should you think that i'm "acting" because of that?

      I AM ME!!!!  I'm a 24 year old Caucasian male interested in other males
      i mean… i like Pop music, and will probabl vote for Clinton (Unless she is ahead, and i get to vote for GARY JOHNSON!!!!!") but i just went to the "Make America Rock Again" concert and it was fantastic….especially TANTRIC 😛

      In short, i guess i would say that "Straight-Acting" requires a  lot LESS ACTING than whatever bullshit version of me you would like to see…..?


      i think the LGBT community puts way too much emphasis on the "Acting" part of the description… i mean…. WTF would you rather label us? BLENDERS? LOLZ how bout "gay folks that don't especially stand out?" "NONDESCRIPT" 


      What would YOU preferr to call us?


      and "MikeV" this is not all supposed to be @  you , it's just my feelings as a drunk gay who doesn't want to get ear rings and talk valley girl for people to understand me…..

  7. I am a gay man.  I am proud

    I am a gay man.  I am proud of it, but apparently, I don't "pronounce" it…..Apparently, I am "straight acting", so I have been told. When people ask me, I directly tell them my sexual orientation. People tell me all time….."I would have never thought you were gay!" 

    My response….."Maybe you should rethink YOUR idea of gay."

    Maybe we all should.

  8. People this is the best time
    People this is the best time to be yourself. Never have I thought that I’d see it legal in all 50 states to be accepted and equal to marry. Be proud ever so str8 resembling gay or extremely flamboyantly loud. Don’t conform to anyone else’s ideas of normal. The very ppl try to change u or make you feel you have to act differently are not anyone I would care to know.

  9. Another picture of a group of

    Another picture of a group of white shirtless men to gather ratings. How original of Instinct Magazine. 

  10. This article and these

    This article and these comments are the epitome of self-hatred, homophobia, and cissexism/sexism. On a broad scale, let people express themselves however they want to. No one's forcing you to stick your dick in anyone you don't want to, so it doesn't negatively affect you if some gay guys don't come across the way you want them to.


    GTFO yourself if you hate the "effeminate" "queens." News flash, those are the ones (like Cam's character's perpetuated stereotype) who are bringing awareness to the masses by entertaining suburban straight people — the majority in our society. Without those "queens" making gay "cool" do you think we'd have this many straight people fighting for our rights? Absolutely not. You're welcome for marriage equality.

    Also, if you think "girly" gay guys need a sex change, you're cissexist scum and your internal homophobia is saddening. Do some research. Or better yet, get over yourself and your opinion.

  11. Cam is the reason I refuse to

    Cam is the reason I refuse to watch Modern Family. I hate the stereotypical queen and it is so much more offensive when played by a straight male with a gay "husband." I can be flamboyant when the mood strike but I like men, not men pretending to be women. I have no problem telling people who assume I am straight that I play for the other team but I am not 'acting' straight, I am just me. If you insist on labels, consider my plight, I like musicals, cooking, don't follow sports but am often asked why I don't have a girlfriend. It is even more pronounced now that a straight man has adopted me as a father figure and I have become a grandpa to his wonderful boys. 

  12. Personally, I think we need

    Personally, I think we need to come up with better ways to describe ourselves rather than in a dichotic male/female ideology. While I don't personally like the label 'straight acting' because it implies that someone is pretending to be something that they're not, I think for a lot of gay men, it's not an act, and I think we need to have terminology that acknowledges it as such. Rather than constantly deriding camp gay men as being 'fem', and exalting masculine men as being 'straight acting'. I have times when I'm very camp, and times when I'm more masculine. Neither of them is an act, it's just how I am. We need to be able to describe these ways of being, without comparing them to our hetero-counterparts. 

  13. If we stopped putting

    If we stopped putting effeminate gay me on TV, maybe society would change. I am tired of the stero-typical queen, we put them on TV because they fun, Rue Paul's show is only one part of our society and it's a joke. His girls know nothing about entertaining, half of his girls I suspect would prefer to be women's and that is great, but drag queens are about entertaining and making people laugh. All the do is lipstick and dance, it's not entertaining. Cam, is stereo-typical gay, and I understand it a comedy show, but we need real role models for people to see, not queens. Gay pride, is great, but why don't we have a parade without all the flamboyance, show people who we really are, we don't walk around every day in make up and skimpy shorts, we go to work, put on shirts and ties, we are just like everyone else. We as a community need to start showing our real self and not the the extreme side of our society, then the straight people will stop thinking of us feminine and realize our masculinity. While some of these shows have helped us in our quest for equality they have also hurt us by not showing  the real every day homosexual. It's time for us to buck up and show them who we are in real life.



    • Dude. Go read a fucking book.

      Dude. Go read a fucking book. Queens and fairies are the ones who DIE for your rights. The "normal" ones may represent a faction of homosexuality that is "just like everyone else."  But it's the loud and out ones sporting fairie wings and rainbow capes that will put their lives on the line for your community. 

  14. Bill, I’m a masculine gay man
    Bill, I’m a masculine gay man too and I like dick. But you should not assume femininity in men indicates a desire to change gender. There are a lot of different types of gay men and women. All are our brothers and sisters. We all need one another. We live in a world that largely hates us. When I need support, my gay brothers and sisters will be there for me. And I for them.

  15. I am gay, I don’t act! I am
    I am gay, I don’t act! I am who I am. I am not a girly gay guy who is not a man. I am a masculine gay man. If you are gay and effeminate then have a sex change! If you want to be a girl do so. I want a gay man who is a man who likes my dick in his ass

  16. Nobody’s ‘acting.’ Why has

    Nobody's 'acting.' Why has the stereotype become 'less than masculine?' Masculine men have always been into men. It's just now a little easier for some to acknowledge that. I'm masculine but I find it hard to approach other 'straight acting' guys for fear they aren't gay. That's sad. But getting better.

  17. I’m not afraid to date or
    I’m not afraid to date or marry a guy. I’m just shy with strangers. I wait to be invited and usually guyd don’t invite. They tend to assume I’m not interested because I’m not outgoing. Weird situation. Everyones afraid of rejection, so most men don’t say hello.

  18. I think they keep away from

    I think they keep away from more merrier parties. I even think they keep away even from other straight acting guys I mean when you hang out with another single man for a long time no matter how straight acting you are people start to get suspicious of you. I've met one or two of these guys, they simply don't like to be around fem guys. So they don't miss not sitting at any gay table. I guess.  

  19. The only time people suspect

    The only time people suspect I'm gay is when they discover I've reached 59 years old and have never been married.  Well there'll be no room for doubt when I marry my partner of 20+ years next April. 

  20. My sexuality isn’t an act and

    My sexuality isn't an act and has no effect on how I act or how I carry myself. I don't "act gay" or "act straight". I act like Jason, a human being, a man. Being gay doesn't define me and is NOT the most interesting thing about me.

    It just makes no sense at all.  "Act" pfft, anyone else "act" out their sexuality?  You think straight people have to "act" straight?

    I'm just me.  I wouldn't say I'm feminine because I don't have those parts…I wouldn't say I'm masculine either because I've never been a butch man's man kinda guy.  I'm somewhere in the middle, but I don't have to act one way or another.

    *Be yourself!*  If you're a big queen, wear that tiara with pride, if you're a butch tomboy kinda gal so be it!  

    Of course, since I have a negative opinion about it people will label me a "queen".  

    As if being gay I wasn't used to that.  However it will be from our own people mostly and we should never label ourselves, there are plenty of people doing that for us already!  

    • Mistah J. Sensible man,
      Mistah J. Sensible man, exactly. Now I know from experience until recently this was harder to do and many had to play a part it’s do much better now and I agree with your comments. I’m gay I like a diverse spectrum of things around the world and being gay is only one thing that makes up part of me. I’m so much more then any stereotype. As for the other ppl comments I don’t get the big deal Can is a character of a gay man who is feminine big deal if you watch tv closely you will find a full range of gay from super hero type to seriel killer. We need to look upon ppl and ourselves as ppl not just one facet of their character- ism

  21. Yes I have to be myself
    Yes I have to be myself because I dont know how to be someone else. I like romance, and would like to marry eventually. Seems a lot of men aren’t into these things.

  22. I think it is safe to say

    I think it is safe to say that if we are who we are on the inside on the outside, then we are as close to perfect as we can get.


  23. If you’re “1000% like every

    If you're "1000% like every other heterosexual male" guess what? You're just like every other gay guy too: all over the place in terms of behavior.  There are plenty of straight guys who aren't the silly stereotype that some folks in the gay community have associated with "straight-acting" just like there are plenty of gay folks who don't follow gay or pop culture, prefer Pink Floyd to Pink, muscle cars to convertibles, and being themselves over what they think others expect them to be.


  24. I don’t know what cam is. I
    I don’t know what cam is. I’ve never spent much time in the clubs, etc. I look for the heart of a man, not his outward appearance. I responded only because I know “experienced” queer men who won’t date me because I’ve not been around, or marched in Pride parades, or I’m too “naive.” Don’t seem fair to me.

  25. I’ve struggled with this
    I’ve struggled with this before. Having come to terms of who i really am, I was confused on how to “act.” I was so disgruntled. I asked for advice, and you know what they said? Just be ME. This is who I am, and others may say I’m straight acting, but to me, this is the most natural and gay-est i could possibly be (although just like the one on the article, I can be very feminine and bubbly when I’m with close friends). Just don’t mind what they’ll say, and just be the unique you.

  26. First of all, what’s up with

    First of all, what's up with demonizing the "Cam" types? What's wrong with Cam? If you can answer that then I think you might find the answer to the question overall, which I interpret is, why can't we be accepted for who we are and not what we appear as?

    Start within. Accept that part of you might be a "Cam" type. Accept that part of you might be a "Straight-Acting" type – whatever the f*ck that means. Just because someone may be 'butch' does not make them straight, nor acting in the style of straight. Let's clear that up: straight-acting, really, would be having sex with someone of the opposite sex, would it not?

    Let's not limit our social behavior and happiness by reacting out of fear for being judged by a label. Labels exist because we are human, and human's are engrained with a need to understand, categorize, and compartmentalize – but never do so to the point that you stop living your life freely and gracefully.

    Furthermore, let's stop demonizing femininity and exalting masculinity to the point someone is ostracized from the community which was founded on a basis of acceptance in the first place, shall we? Accept what is within. Accept that someone will have a lovely label just for you just waiting for you to try on. Accept that you can wear it or leave it. It does not make you, you. This is the mentality that needs to be engrained into the heads and hearts of our community, and not "I hope I can fit into their expectations of me." Respect and happiness, I am confident, will follow.

  27. First of all if we can’t
    First of all if we can’t replace the term “straight acting gays” with something that’s not homophobic I’m out.
    Second, we exist.
    Third,it’s interesting to be the guy that most straight people don’t pick up on, but when it comes to social activities with them you may not fit in.
    Fourth, what do you do if you like Judy Garland but hate bikini bathing suits and brunch?
    …. You just learn to do your best and not be sad that it would be easier to be just like one group or just like the other

  28. Not fair to us straight queer
    Not fair to us straight queer guys. It’s not acting. It’s the only way I know how to be naturally.


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