I read another blog this past week covering this same topic. But unfortunately, it seemed the focus went from being uncomfortable around feminine guys to hating them.
Many on this topic feel we should not quantify men into feminine or masculine categories, for we all should be just people, and labeling males as feminine could be seen as a negative and degrading. It reminds me of people that proclaim they don’t see skin color or age or weight when they look at a person for they are on a higher social plane of existence. Does anyone else feel these people are in denial? To not see pigment, clothing, chicken legs, belly rolls, or that receding hairline, I must be talking to Stevie Wonder.
I recall at my last place of work, there was another gay male in my department. He was not overly feminine, but was not the more masculine type of gentleman either. I’ll probably get crap for that statement alone. Working with him was fine. We got along fine in the workplace, but that was it. It was fine. There was no real connection. It was fine. Did I say it was fine? Another job, let’s call it Job B, found me working in close proximity with a more feminine gentleman. Yes, he was a gentleman. Very nice with coworkers, but the long hair, lisp, subject of his conversations, and purse just made me uncomfortable. I said it. His femininity made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t an uncomfortableness that would make me avoid him, but I did not seek him out. Does that mean that I am not comfortable with myself? With who I am? With my sexuality? With my femininity? Am I a bigot? I’d say no to all of them, but others would probably tell me otherwise.
So what did I do with that more feminine coworker at Job B? Really, not anything at all. I did not have daily direct contact with him. Our jobs were in the same building, but that was it. We did hang out at department functions here and there since we had the same core group of work friends. I gave him a chance, but there was no friend connection. Others may say that I am not comfortable with my sexuality in the work environment and therefore do not wish to associate with other gay men at work, especially those that are definitely out there and flamboyant. Once again, I would say no.
Here is part of the blog from Gayguys.com that was published recently.
Internalized homophobia is an underrated issue in our community, one that is hard to talk about. Like all things, it’s rooted with fear and misunderstanding. What we haven’t bothered to investigate is the very thing keeping us from each other. The segregation of “masculine” and “feminine” does more damage than we imagine. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another, but how far has it gone?
What does it mean when a gay man vocally pronounces his discomfort with feminine guys? Does he hate himself or does he hate the stereotype? Personally I’ve known many dudes who’ve been victimized by labels. Because of it, they’ve grown an idea about femininity that puts certain gay guys in a box. On the same token, I’ve also known guys who hate being gay and have turned these feelings towards others.
If you’re going to be uncomfortable around me, I’d rather it be because you think I slept with your boyfriend – not because you think I’m too flamey. There are plenty of people in this world I don’t get along with, but at least I have a probable cause. Trust me when I say you’ll be much happier if you choose your battles. At the end of the day, masculine vs. feminine is nothing but a pathetic excuse to make yourself deny the fact that you don’t like yourself. – Gayguys.com
No one can tell you to be comfortable with someone or give them a chance. Well, okay, yes, they can tell you those things, but it has to resonate inside you to give someone that chance. You have to do that. So we prejudge. I guess that is prejudice then right? Is it okay to avoid situations and people that you know may not make you the most comfortable? So do we need to sing joyous songs and give everyone a chance? That is your call.
Is it okay to be uncomfortable around Fem Guys? Yes it is. Let me tell you to be more comfortable with the loud woman down the hall or have lunch with the guy that seems to eat an on the bone breast of chicken, but when he’s done, he only has half a napkin and 1/3 of the carcass on the plate (ugh, those college roommates). Let me tell you to be comfortable with the womanizer in the office or the guy that seems to never stop talking or even the quiet person in the office. But I guess we know how all of these people operate by meeting them and hanging out with them. Maybe we should meet the feminine guy and see what’s up with him, before we throw him out with the bathwater. And I do meet with people, give everyone the benefit of the doubt. We need to stop the prejudging but when the pattern stays true all the time, we have to at least notice it.
Do lesbians have this issue? I may have to read up on this subject, but do lesbians have this communal difference between the lipstick and non-lipstick kind? Can I call them that? Or is that wrong to point that difference out? It seems the gay community is a little more hooked up on the fem / masc issue that the lesbian community.
It is appropriate to give fem guys as well as lesbians a chance, even if you find that you do not socialize too well with them usually. Sometimes behaviors are too much for us to overlook, but then there may be that one that will sneak through those cracks of prejudging and you will hit it off. Just because there is that lisp, that purse, or that mullet, it doesn’t mean that we will be uncomfortable with 100% of them, but it might happen more often than not.
Is it okay to hate fem guys? To that I would say no and I feel that is where many have the issue. The difference between the boundaries of being uncomfortable and dislike and hate are blurry for some. I think it is both negative to prejudge but it is also negative to re-label uncomfortableness as hate.
And if you are a fem guy and I feel uncomfortable around you, chalk it up to my loss. We cannot be friends with everyone and we cannot be happy with the choices other people make. I have many friends that are feminine. But there are some that I just do not click with and part of that non-clicking is because of their femininity. Should I dislike you because you dislike being around bigger guys? unfit guys? No. It's your choice and you may be missing out on someone great, but I cannot change your likes and dislikes. It is up to you to change those likes and dislikes if you feel you need to. If we don't click, we don't click.
Is this any different than not desiring to hang out with a loud male or female? What about one that is a close talker?
Ok, I'm ready for the hate mail.
And, of course, this is my opinion and not that of Instinct Magazine.
So, this is an addition to my blog entry. It's been posted for about three hours and it's great that I've been called a twatwaffle and a douche canoe among other names. And I'm okay with that. It's also visible that many comments on here and facebook still jump to associate being uncomfortable with hate. It is also amazing that we have so many psychoanalysts reading instinct, that is those who made it past the title of the blog. Many clearly did not and actually stated that in their response. Some say I wrote this for attention. Not true at all. Also the tone of the blog nor myself believe that Fem Guys are lesser people which has been another accusation. I love what one of the readers, Byron Scott Jones said as a comment, "It is always OK to be uncomfortable, provided that you recognize that your discomfort is YOUR problem, not theirs, and that your discomfort does not turn into discrimination." Thank you Byron! It is a personal feeling to be uncomfortable and it is important that it does not become discriminatory.
Another comment I thought was well written…
Covey Eric Though the person writing this article seems to have taken the long way around saying it, the point seems to be clear; we're all human, we're all different and the idea that we could all be comfortable around each other is just not realistic. People behave the way we do, it doesn't make any of us less of a person but the fact is there is no one who behaves in a way that doesn't make someone else uncomfortable and to think otherwise is ignorant. So yeah being uncomfortable around someone is natural, that's not an excuse to hate or otherwise discriminate against these people. If you aren't comfortable around someone you don't have to go out of your way to befriend them, but you shouldn't be rude, mean or discriminate against them either. The simple fact is that we're all different and not everyone can be comfortable with everyone else so deal with it, but try to be nice about it.