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Masculinity & Being A Gay Guy

Ok reading a post by Brian on his blog at Gay Family Values touched on this subject.  I know that this is a subject that is not something that is unique to me, but I am going to pull back the vale of my experiences up to this point and my struggles with how I view masculinity in general and my own masculinity and manhood specifically.

To start with I always used to think that to be a man one had to be physically strong, dominant (not abusive or domineering, but in charger of situations) in control of their surroundings, their emotions, and to be able to deal with their problems them selves with out having to drag others into the fray.  I have always had issues living up to being what I deemed to be and what I gathered society at large deemed to be a real man. From a young age I can remember always being more emotional, less dominant, less in control of the situations I found my self in and more likely to try to collaborate with others to try and solve my problems and there for wind up dragging them into them. This is what helped to turn me it to a very shy person most all of the way threw my school years.

It was not until High School that I started to come out of my shell, partly do to a need to simply interact with others and partly out of being forced to actively participate in classes.  This is also when the vast majority of my current masculinity issues started to surface.  First off I was by no means a particularly physically strong individual, nor was I in shape, as threw out my HS career I packed on more and more weight to the point that by the time I graduated I waited 250lbs. (at 6' with a 44" waste) This in big part was do to my eating to compensate for the how much I actually did not like myself, at that point in time.  It was also at that point in time that it was starting to become increasingly clear that I was gay even though I really did not want to admit that to my self as I saw that as the total opposite of what manly is. So I would do mental acrobatics to come up with excuses as to why I was not interested in the girls, but instead was infatuated with the guys in my classes and had crushes on them. I knew that I could not like guys because that was not what men did.

I made every conscious effort I could to be as manly and masculine as possible, in hopes that if I acted masculinely enough, and prayed hard enough and I tried hard enough that I then be a true man. I would watch the way I talked I would watch the way I talked, I would try to think if I used my hands to much. I would make sure I did not cross my leg when I sate in a chair, etc. But that did not change who I was inside, It obviously did not change the fact that I was attracted to guys. How ever I keep that up till just about the last semester of Senior year of HS when is finally just started to say to my self maybe this is not going to change, which to me at the time was a very devastating thought, as gay in my mind was the absolute opposite of what a "Real Man" was.

It was at that time that I stated to relax on my ridged regime of spending so much energy and thought on policing my manorisms and interest to keep anything slightly gay from slipping threw.  How ever it was at that time that I also had a few classmates who suspected I was gay, who would say "you should be a chick, you need to get a sex change".  To this day I know they where joking as they did not actually know anything but it still relay relay hurts, it hits right at the since of what my manhood is. It's the same as even when now a friend will in good spirits make a joke "are you sure your not a chick" I know they don't mean to hurt me, yet if still fells like a punch to the gut, it's like they are saying I don't think you are a man. (not that I think there is any thing wrong with women which is why I don't get why I have such an issue with this)

It may sound bad but even though I am proud to be gay and I would never want to change and not be gay.  I still get upset and hate it when people say to me that they it obvious I'm gay because I act gay, its almost like a slap in the face.  Its like being told well obviously your not manly enough to be a real man, and I know if the flames are not flying yet, get the flame throwers ready to be told that its obvious and then have someone say they think your "the bottom".  Its like a slap its just your no man at all in their eyes.

I also still often struggle with the ideas of the traditional roles of what is a man and what is a woman, as I feel that I should be a man as I identify as a man. However I don't fit the mold, I fail at being particularly stoic. Instead I wind up quite often being overly emotional, yet I then feel ashamed fore being so because its not manly, however the issue that I am struggling with the most is that of being able to openly seek help for issues as I feel that being able to stand on my two feet (so to speak) and not have to open up for almost all of my problems is one of the few things I have left of my masculinity, even if it means that in doing so it could be detrimental to over all progress in solving and controlling the one issue in my life that I have finally caved into getting help with.

Sorry for the length and the rambling, Just had a lot of thoughts to get out as they have been floating around in my head for a while now.


  1. Hey matthew,

    the part that helps me the most is when I see really big manly looking men who are actually really sweet sort of puts things in perspective that its not what you present on the outside that makes you "a man". Hell,I've even known women who had more of the manly attributes you listed than most of the men I knew....Its not what we have on the outside, its what we bring to the table on the inside.

    And that I know where your blog is you will never escape! Muahahahaha....!

  2. I found your entry through Bryan's blog. Great entry. I went through a lot of the same things you have like the making sure my legs aren't crossed thing or being like emotionally crippled when somebody makes a comment about being feminine in any way. It is funny because lately I've been deconstructing masculinity so it's weird that others happen to be writing about it at the same time that I was independently thinking about it. Great blog.

  3. @ Brian
    Thank your for the comment!
    PS Love the evil genius laugh

    @ u3q2v
    Yeah I'm glad it can help, I know that for me I really am still in the process of deconstructing it. And realizing how oddly contradictory it is since I don't believe in the "traditional roles of the sex's"

  4. Wonderful post! Words hurt so much, and it often seems like the things that stick and hurt most are the off hand comments. I know that is true for me.


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