“Straight actors” need to embrace their inner Cher-lover
What is Wong with you?
“Adam” writes: “I’m
[a] 20 y/o guy & I don’t dress like a typical gay
“Mark” writes that he is “completely str8
“Canadianguy20” also writes he is “straight-acting” and
that he seeks the same. There is even a Straightacting.com.
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
Apparently, you can be “straight-acting” and still
be an asshole. Or how about “Gabe” on Straightacting.com,
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.