In honor of Pride month, I would like to explore the complicated relationship between gay men and the rest of the world. Considering I’m heterosexual, I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a gay male. However, I can tell you (from the many news stories of the violence and harassment they endure) that their situation is extremely unpleasant-to say the least. The negative perception of gay men is heavily attributed to the socialization men grow up with.
From a young age, men are taught that they aren’t “real” men until they find a woman who loves them. Their entire life accomplishments, personality, and identity all knocked down to second place for the value of a vagina. The constant “you don’t get pussy” attacks from men who don’t like listening to you complain about the negative treatment you feel you’re getting from society. Women using the “incel” slur as a way to shame you after running dry on actual arguments in the middle of debates. It puts men in this position to prioritize their sex life more than their mental and physical well being. When someone dares to break that status quo, there’s a problem.
This is where gay men-especially openly gay men-fall into the equation. They have the courage to let society know that they will kiss, hug, and sleep with whomever they damn well please to. It’s their lives and what they do with their bodies is their business. This mere fact keeps society up at night. The world can’t comprehend the idea of a man having control over his sexuality. It implies that he is creating his own destiny, not the one society has inflicted upon him. It gives him freedom from the stressful box that people try to keep him in. A man’s sexuality is treated like a prison. To escape that prison, without any form of unanimous agreement, makes him a threat.
It’s almost pathetic if you think about it. We live in a universe in which the simple reality of two men locking lips is enough to start a riot. Humans are almost threatened. It’s like they look at two men enjoying each other’s company and say “Who the hell do you think you are?”. They’re telling gay men that they have to get into a woman’s pants to be a true member of the masculine identity. And here gay men are looking at society and saying “Fuck you. I rather be with a man for my well being, than with a woman to appease the masses”. And, for that, they experience deadly consequences.
What seems like a superiority complex is actually a form of fear. In reality, the men conspiring these disturbing attacks are men who are insecure about their own manhood. They’re uncertain about what their future holds with this new wave of sexual tolerance. Their entire persona revolved around getting the key to a woman’s chastity belt. All of their life’s work was put towards achieving this one goal. And erasing that standard would render their entire identity meaningless. It would mean that their dedication to the vulva has no value in this new world. And so they must prevent this new world from existing.
You could feel the fear from the stings of their fists and the thrusts of their feet. The anger from their eyes being a mask to cover their tears and emotions. An entire identity forming within the saliva being spat from their mouths. And the words “faggot” being spouted as a way to lower the liberated soul to the level of their own. You would almost feel sorry for these people. They’re so scared about the safety of their own manhood, that they would threaten the safety of someone else’s. But then you remind yourself that the person you should be investing your sorrow into is the victim. Citizens getting their heads bashed onto the concrete. Characters who are punching bags for every lazy joke a sitcom could think of. Children who grow up to be disowned by their family members. All stacked up in a chorus line waiting to be persecuted by the men offended by their presence. While one can empathize with the perpetrators begging for an identity. We should offer all of our condolences to the victims of these homophobic attacks.
Men who commit these violent acts are trying to emasculate their target. If they can’t live comfortably with their own culture of manhood, why should they let gay men live comfortably? This is their dangerous form of thinking. It gives gay men the idea that they are the problem. And it brainwashes them into the assumption that they can just find a way to overcome the feelings that they were born with. But, it’s not true. Gay men are humans trapped in a world that openly rejects them. They’re stuck in a reality where the perpetrators are the heroes and the victims are the villains. It’s a nightmare. And the worse part of this nightmare is that it never ends. It goes on and on and it won’t stop until we fix it. Until we grant gay men the basic human rights that they deserve.
In honor of Pride Month, I felt it was most appropriate to make this long overdue article, speaking on behalf of the gay community. However, Pride Month shouldn’t be the only month to speak of this topic. As an advocate for men, it is my job to help men make it to the finished line-gay men included. Gay men are men. Your sexuality does not determine your manhood. And I am always willing to fight against the negative reception gay men face on a daily basis.