March 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 79  

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“Straight actors” need to embrace their inner Cher-lover

What is Wong with you?
Brian Wong

A&E Editor

“Adam” writes: “I’m [a] 20 y/o guy & I don’t dress like a typical gay guy.”

“Mark” writes that he is “completely str8 actin [sic].”

“Canadianguy20” also writes he is “straight-acting” and that he seeks the same. There is even a

But here’s a question for all those gay men who call themselves straight-acting: what the hell does it mean?! Do you pretend to have a sexual attraction to women? Nope, I didn’t think so — well, some of you do, but that’s not straight-acting, that’s being “closeted,” “flirtatious” or a “teasing slut.”

I believe “straight-acting” means you don’t act like the stereotypical gay male. You don’t lisp, wear pink or listen to Cher. You don’t fling your hands in every direction, nor do you have a cheery skip to your walk.

Instead, as a “straight-acting” gay male, you have a deep, commanding voice. You love sports, your ball cap and Linkin Park. People would never guess you were into men. You are the undercover spy of the homo world, giving inside information about what straightys are like.

Which leads to why “straight-acting” as an adjective bothers me. If a gay male defies stereotypical homosexual attributes, why must he define himself according to stereotypical heterosexual attributes? If the point is not to fit into a mold, it’s strange that some feel obliged to describe themselves in terms of another mold.

There is also a sense of sneering superiority from the self-described straight-acting gays, as if straight-acting is a more desirable trait than “gay-acting.” For some reason, the more masculine-acting guys feel they must separate themselves from the more feminine-acting guys. In their personals, they’ll include straight-acting as a selling point, on par with “caring,” “honest” or “sense of humour.”

Apparently, you can be “straight-acting” and still be an asshole. Or how about “Gabe” on, who writes: “I am a Str8 acting GBM looking for other masculine guys for dateing [sic] and hopfully [sic] more.” Clearly, you can be straight-acting and still can’t spell.

On the other side of it, perhaps being butch is simply a characteristic people genuinely have an attraction for. Men and women shouldn’t feel ashamed for seeking out a partner that bears “masculine” traits, nor should they feel ashamed for seeking out someone that bears “feminine” traits. The problem is when one type of trait is held in higher esteem than the other. Straight-acting is no better than gay-acting, and the implication that either of these are acts that people put on is another problem.

In the meantime, beer-guzzling, sports-obsessed homos who proclaim their “straight-acting” behaviour should join hands with their gin-and-tonic-sipping, trance-obsessed, femmy counterparts and proclaim solidarity instead.



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