Comments

1
It's definitely the attitude.
2
I love questions where people shoot down every idea for some particular problem in hopes that there's some other magical solution out there they haven't already thought of.
3
Pretty much perfect advice, including what he needs to hear. I hope he takes it to heart & doesn't just get mad.
5
"....you really should consider hiring a sex worker."

My thoughts exactly.
6
Lol. Dan slid the answer right in there: entitled.
7
Maybe it's just me, but he sounds to me like a waste of time and money.
8
Ricardo, I first read you as saying it was definitely the altitude and I thought that even at sea level this guy sounds like he'd have problems getting laid.
9
Years ago, there used to be personal ads in the newspapers. They charged you by the character, so you had to be concise. A code developed out of this, "ISO" means In Search Of, for example.

The best part about the Stranger in the early 1990's was the personal ads. I'd go to the Broadway Grill and get drunk with friends while reading them and cracking up. One code always irked me" "SA/SA" which meant "Straight acting/straight appearing". I suppose nowadays people just say "masc only" in their dating app profiles.

I lived in Tacoma at the time. A drag queen in town named Topaz quickly became my personal hero. She was 6' tall without the heels and with the hair and heels she loomed closer to 7 feet. She was always in drag, morning noon and night. And she would walk around T-town, even in the toughest parts, completely unafraid. She was the exact opposite of SA/SA. And you now, I worshipped the ground those heels strode upon because of it.

Thanks to sharp (shall we say, striking?) features and an Adam's apple the size of a grapefruit, I am rarely misgendered any more. I was frequently in my youth though, owing to my deliberate attempts to be as gay as I possibly could. The whole thing was very punk rock for me. It seemed like all of society wanted me to be a 'manly man'. My mother ran around the house chasing after my older brother with a lead pipe (no lie) threatening to break his legs because he refused to join the high school football team. When it became so obvious that I was into guys and not girls, thy threw me out on my ass. Everyone, male or female, seemed to be in this weird conspiracy to make me act straight. I hated (and still despise) sports, and yet was expected to know the details about teams I refused to pay attention to. I was consulted when cars would break down or things needed fixing, even though I couldn't even change a tire until I turned 40. I was constantly asked to reaffirm sexuality, through locker room jokes and comments on women's bodies. And when I didnt play along, I was beaten up, fired, or thrown out, ostracized.

I bought a copy of the Nirvana album Insecticide when it came out. The liner notes feature a very sincere sounding Kurt Cobain asking homophobic people not to buy their albums. This struck me as kinda wild. I asked around, and people told me Seattle was like that- you could be as gay as you wanted, and nobody cared. So, I gave away everything I owned except what would fit in a few duffle bags and bought a Greyhound ticket to Seattle. I only knew one person west of Chicago, and had no idea where I was going.

I got a job on the midnight shift at a 7-11 on Sixth Ave in T-town and moved there. Down the block there was a bar called The Gold Ball, a notorious dive with a stage that featured drag acts. That's how I met Topaz.

Much as the writer of Walden went to the woods to live deliberately, I came to WA to be deliberately gay. I wanted to reject the whole damn model I had been handed on what a man was supposed to be, how to dress, how to act, how to talk, walk and smile. And yeah, a lot of it was kinda forced, and therefore came across as fake. Its usually the case that a femme boy is all awkward but tries to be masc- here I was a masc boy trying my damndest to be femme.

I joined OASIS, got a boyfriend, and within a few months of having fled the East, I was finally free.

Tacoma in the 1990's was a tough town. I used to joke that people back East shot you if you were gay, but in Tacoma, they just shot you and didnt care what your sexuality was. While Seattites would blanche upon hearing my adopted home town, I reveled in Tacoma. That was punk rock too, you see. It was doing what I wasn't supposed to do- I lived in Grit City and I LIKED it.

And I always liked the femme boys. I liked them because they were what they weren't supposed to be too. There's no real toughness in being a manly man. Society wants you to be that way, and rewards you for it. Real rebellion is in the opposite.

I was never impressed by the excessive masculinity of the SA/SA crowd. But Topaz impressed the shit out of me. I wanted to be just like her.
10
"I've dated women . . . they would blow me off after one or two dates but kept saying to call them . . . that sooner or later they would have time. What kind of bullshit is that? I called it quits on dating."

So you've encountered some women who have been flaky after a date or two. Who knows why those women haven't gotten back to you for three or four week, but remember you did that exact same thing to the man for whom you're now pining away. So perhaps when these potential partners resurface, why not be gracious and accept it with a sense of humor, rather than ending any possibility of something good happening by calling it quits?

ANAL, finding a sex partner for many (if not most) men requires perseverance and accepting a lot of rejection. Finding a good partner for a relationship takes most everyone some effort, and the more restrictive your criteria in finding someone, the more time you're going to have to invest. It can also require a bit of luck and good timing, but that only happens if you're going out to bars and clubs, or going online, and actually trying to meet people. Here I would note that you sound somewhat ambivalent about having sex with men, so I hope that your interest in meeting men isn't about wanting to find sex with less work.
11
Did anybody notice that he was flaky with the guy he liked getting fucked by? How much you wanna bet he's generally a flake but wondering why he can't find some nelly queen who wants to be a top to an older guy and also willing to do it only at his behest. And one who's also super smooth and with no tats. And thin. And probably not pierced. Anything else, your highness?

I think it's funny that he goes to a jack off group looking for an anal top partner. Please.
12
How about "just pay for it?"

Since the desires seem completely physical, why not go to professionals?
13
I'm a baby boomer mostly-straight male, and for the first time in my life I'm finding it difficult to get exactly what I want without having to put a bit of effort into it. Dan, what the hell is wrong with everybody else but me?!
14
Dan should maybe devise an acronym for responding to these dudes. He gives the right response each time, and more power to him if he wants to do it artisanally, but wouldn't it be useful to have an acronym, Dan?
15
@9 - every time I read something else by you, I like you (your writing, that is) more & more. Please keep contributing.
16
Reading that letter was a waste of time and money.
17
@15 and @9

Yes, I agree. Love your posts, Wandering Stars. This one in particular was many times better than the letter itself.
18
@13 john t.

Yup, my thoughts exactly. Why oh why is the world not lining up its most attractive people to sexually service me exactly the way I want? It's so very unfair!
19
Wandering Stars @9
bravo on living the truth, sir, and thank you so very much for sharing it with us in the way you did. Your story is painful and poignant, yes, but the cadence and tenor of your telling gives it a tremendous power.
20
DarkHorse @6: I left you a reply @67 here: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/01/…

Wandering @9: Always fascinating to hear your stories. Keep them coming! And +1 to gender rebellion in all its forms.

Robotslave @12: Dan did suggest that. Seems a good option.

ANAL: If, on the off chance you do meet someone who meets your exacting specifications, and they happen to be female, why not give pegging a chance? Fetlife might be a good place to meet women into that sort of thing. If that's not just as big a waste of time and money as all the other, erm, free sites out there.
21
@20 Fetlife is great! I can second what BiDanFan is saying. But one word of warning: Fetlife is Facebook for kinky people, NOT Match.com for kinky people. The point of Fetlife is not to get you laid, but to meet people--which, of course, can still eventually result in great sex. Just be aware of what the site and its culture is really all about.
22
@ 8 - He most probably would.
23
@ 14 - Something like DYA - "dump yourself already" ?
24
This guy really doesn't want to be treated fussily as he treats others.

Nor does he really sound like a social person, drinks and food out are a "waste of time and money"? He doesn't state what he'd rather do, if such a thing exists, does he just want to go straight to the fucking and is on the complete wrong apps for that?

I imagine he's not the only one out there spending all his time going "UGH WOULD NOT BANG!" and looking for his special pony while lamenting that others are doing the very same to him.

Therapy, a hobby, some sort of private enjoyment is needed here.
25
I'm not so sure about advising him to hire sex workers. With his entitled attitude, he'd probably expect them to work for free.
26
@ 9 - One could argue that being openly gay AND very masculine is even more of a rebellion, though, since you're challenging a lot of people's preconceived notions of how gay men are supposed to be.

Personally, I think everyone should be true to themselves, wherever that puts them on the masculine/feminine spectrum. The most subversive stance of all is to not give a fuck what the rest of society thinks.
27
@9 - I love you and your strength and your stories.

@13 - Exactly.

@26 - One could argue that, but when you deal with first impressions and assumptions of straight people and what they and society expect from "a man," a masculine guy will get a ton more leeway than a fem one.
28
@26: "One could argue that being openly gay AND very masculine is even more of a rebellion, though, since you're challenging a lot of people's preconceived notions of how gay men are supposed to be."

Appealing to machismo may improve society's opinion of you, but that isn't challenging anything. It's affirming strict gender roles.
29
@27: It's more than an argument. A "manly man" will certainly be treated better than a passive, more submissive one. Obeying strict machismo/marianismo divide is what the hatemongers want. Be yourself and proud of yourself, but the idea that someone is "rebelling" by confirming to expectations is ridiculous. "No femmes!" indeed.
30
@ 28 - If you (impersonal you) are a naturally masculine man, then it's neither "appealing to machismo"' not "affirming strict gender roles", it's just being honest about who you are. That's a virtue, in case you didn't know.

@ 29 "the idea that someone is "rebelling" by confirming to expectations is ridiculous"

Couldn't agree more. What you don't seem to realize, though, is that society's expectations of gay men is that they are feminine. Being masculine (not pretending, not "playing" macho, but actually being naturally masculine, which is what I'm talking about) goes against society's general stereotype of GAY men, and does therefore much more to defy societal expectations than trying to appear feminine when you're not (which is what Wandering Stars seems to be arguing for: "a lot of it was kinda forced, and therefore came across as fake. Its usually the case that a femme boy is all awkward but tries to be masc- here I was a masc boy trying my damndest to be femme.")

The proposition that one should pretend to be more feminine than they are is what is really ridiculous here. All I'm advocating is being true to one's self. If you've got anything to say against that, then I'm afraid you're not "undead"; you're braindead.

31
"The proposition that one should pretend to be more feminine than they are is what is really ridiculous here."

Huh?

Is someone suggesting someone hide their "masculine side"?

The general male privilege one feeds into by being a masculine male is not doing anyone a structural favor for gay rights.
32
"The proposition that one should pretend to be more feminine than they are is what is really ridiculous here."

Huh?

Is someone suggesting someone hide their "masculine side"?

The general male privilege one feeds into by being a masculine male is not doing anyone a structural favor for gay rights.

To explain a bit more, the "gay" is often less important than the negative association with the male and their "feminine" demeanor versus a "masculine" performing man. Straight guys getting bullied for being "faggy" are not being harassed for being gay, they are presenting a less stereotypical masculine image. The gender roles provide the anger beyond sexuality.
33
Ricardo @25: Agreed! "Waste of time and money," I can already hear him say...
34
@24 yes, the the idea that going out is a waste of time and money if you don't get laid strikes me as very off-putting. I have an image of an older guy at a bar who is overly pleased with his above average level of physical fitness (which is about as impressive as driving a nice car or any male mid-life crisis cliche), and trolls around looking for something to fuck. No amount of push-ups and hair plugs are going to make that not seem ugly.
35
Quote: "About that time, women stopped paying attention to me..."
There's a reason these multiple women are breaking off after one or two dates, ANAL, and it's my guess that you're consistently doing something to creep them out.
Quote: "because I was so flaky towards his requests he doesn't want to have anything to do with me..."
...Yes. "Flaky" might be that reason.
Quote: "I tried going to places...but nobody there is attractive to me..."
So, in the whole world (basically) everyone is unattractive to you. I'm thinking your standards are unreasonable.
Quote: "Some of them were beautiful but they would blow me off after one or two dates..."
Again, with the "blowing off after a couple dates thing"... and "Some of them were beautiful" again suggests those impossible standards. You seem to be disregarding the "non-beautiful" people.
Quote: "I've almost entirely given up on women, even though I'm way more attracted to them than 90 percent of the guys out there..."
You say you are "way more attracted to women," yet you seem to be fixated on finding effeminate gay guys (even though you've "called it quits on dating.")

My guess is, based on your assertion that women and men all seem to blow you off quickly after meeting you, and your statement that pretty much everyone you meet is unnatractive to you, is that you might have some form of anxiety disorder, possibly a form of Asperger syndrome or maybe PTSD, OCD, etc. I see nothing in your letter that says you have sought professional help to deal with this...my recommendation is to try to find a good counselor/psychiatrist and try to see if the solution doesn't lie within.
36
@ 31 - "Is someone suggesting someone hide their "masculine side"?"

Did you not read Wandering Stars' post @ 9? That's the one I was responding to.

"Straight guys getting bullied for being "faggy" are not being harassed for being gay, they are presenting a less stereotypical masculine image"

And that is precisely why I believe that masculine gay men (and their counterpart, feminine straight men) do a lot more to break down stereotypes and expectations than people who willingly try to conform to those expectations, such as gay men trying to appear more feminine than they are. I see nothing subversive in that. Neither do I see anything subversive in the behaviour of those of whichever orientation who try to appear more masculine than they are, for that matter.

What is truly subversive is being exactly who you are, with zero consideration for other people's expectations. That is the lesson WS should have taken away from his friend Topaz, IMO.

37
Bi @ 33 - Indeed, that probably was his reaction to Dan's suggestion.

The only thing that doesn't seem to be a waste of time and money to him is working on his above-average level of physical fitness and putting down everyone else.
38
Sorry : The only things that don't... are... (@ 37)
39
@30 etc. --- "What you don't seem to realize, though, is that society's expectations of gay men is that they are feminine. "

As a naturally masculine (I guess) gay man, I see your point. Ever since I first came out (in 1982 - dear god), I've gotten "but you don't seem gay at all" on a regular basis, from people who have gotten to know me but didn't know I was gay. In that sense, I feel like I've done a bit of mind-opening over the years.

HOWEVER.

Just going around being who I am doesn't increase my chance of getting my ass kicked by total strangers. My homophobic-by-default family didn't confront me when I was a teenager and ask me what was wrong with me. I took care to hide my sexuality, but didn't have to alter my nonsexual behavior much, if at all, to avoid suspicion. Just being myself takes a lot less courage on a day-to-day basis thanks to my naturally "masculine" demeanor than it would if I were effeminate: the most I'm risking is that some devout Christian at work might not want to be friends with me any more. In other words, simply being my natural self might help break down stereotypes in other people's minds, but it is not an act of "rebellion" in the sense that @9 meant.
40
@9 @15 and @17, I third @15's comments. Many long comments can be tedious, but Wandering Star's story @9 was a great read.

In the completely not sarcastic sense: Cool story, dude.
41
@ 39 - I get your point about putting oneself in danger, but still: has that sort of "rebellion" ever achieved anything other than confirming stereotypes? In what way is it a rebellion, then?

And just so you know: I'm neither particularly masculine nor feminine, and I got beat up and bullied all throughout grade school and part of high school precisely because I was neither. The more feminine guys at school didn't get half the shit I got from the Neanderthals. (Incidental evidence, not to be taken as a rule.)
42
I read this more specific version of entitled: "I'm in shape even though I'm old, so the world owes me the date I want."
43
I agree with Ricardo, being oneself is the way to go, takes up less energy.
I also loved wandering star's post @9.
How sad your folks kicked you out WS, welcome to the SL family.

LW, I do agree with Donny @35, in that I see you have an insight( into yourself) problem.
If multiple people are flicking you off, I'm sorry honey, the problem is in you.
Good you've kept your body healthy.
Intimacy is a tricky business and you have to read cues as well as respond to words and behaviours.
You might have to spend time and money doing some inner work.
44
Ricardo,

So you're trying to tell me how I ought to live my life, huh? You think you kno what lessons I ought to have learned from it better than the one who lived it?

Oh, fuck you. I live my life the way I want to. Not the way that you or anyone else wishes I would.

Who the fuck do you think you are? Does the way I choose to be make you uncomfortable? Does it upset you because it contradicts your idea of how someone should be?

Kiss my gay ass.
45
Listen up world,

I do not require your permission to live, or to be. I do not exist just so you can feel comfortable about whats a "stereotype". And whatever fucked up pretzel logic leads you to think that you can say "Not conforming with the dominant gender role our society dictates is really conformity, and conforming to the dominant gender role society dictates is the only real rebellion there is!" is Orwellian doublethink.

You know what? I've had to put up with this bullshit my whole goddamn life. I'm sure my siblings who didn't even bother to tell me my father died because they didnt want a flaming faggot at his funeral, after he didnt even speak to me for the last 20 years of his miserable life would agree with you. They ALL want me to be just like you, Ric. Big and butch and macho. Yeah, you're the son they wish they had- a good little closet fairy that's so willing to "undermine the gay stereotype" that he'd forget about guys altogether and just marry someone with a vagina (wouldn't THAT refute the stereotype) so I could have a whole litter of minimes to take to their all white church and learn about why women should be kept barefoot and pregnant and about how immingrants are al a bunch of blood sucking leeches. Maybe you can go and be that son they wish they had for them. But that's not what I want to be.

And I CHOOSE MY FUCKING LIFE. NOT YOU. NOT THEM. NOT ANYONE ELSE.

You fucking assholes. I never told anyone else how they ought to live. I never said, "Oh, you learnt the wrong lesson and your whole life is a goddamn fraud" to any of you. Who the fuck do you think you are t say that shit to me or anyone else?

Go fuck yourselves. You live your life however you want. As for me, I'm happier the way I am. And I don't give a damn how much you cringe because I'm too gay for you, too fucking faggy to join your little club.

Hey Ric. You know what? I'm queen as shit. And I will slap the manhood off of you if you ever come up to me and try to tell me how to live my life.

That goes for the rest of you too.
46
Dear LW: (1) we all have a type to which we are readily attracted but for many if not most, we learn over time that there are many people who don't necessarily fit the type but yet have other attractive qualities. Apparently, you have spent years working on your physique and not learning to broaden your horizons.

(2) haven't you heard that when you you are truly open to dating or a relationship (or a quick fu€k for that matter) you will find likeminded people? Not every date/quick fu€k will result in repeats with the same person. If, however, you never get beyond none/one or two and done, there might be something YOU are doing/saying to put these people off. Do you seem desperate? Have you put so much emphasis on your own and others' physical attributes that you come off as needy and/or shallow? (Sorry, I am being opinionated but I can't help it!) Are you interesting beyond how, according to you, physically attractive you are? Do you approach every potential dating/sex activity as an investment of time and money?

Jeez. Entitled much? Shallow much? I am sorry to speak ill about twenty-somethings but if you hadn't identified yourself as older, I would have thought the letter had been written by someone just out of college! GTFU!
47
Well, now I'm confused, since I thought the overall message that Wandering Star was making in his original story (be true to yourself, even if it's hard) was the same one Ricardo was making (be true to yourself, even if it's hard), but apparently that's not how WS saw it.

And then WS says "the rest of you too" will be slapped if they step out of line, after several people made welcoming, interested comments?

Well, at danger of being virtually slapped, I'll say to Wandering that I think both (a) your original comment was interesting and nicely written and (b) you took Ricardo's general statements about being true to yourself as a direct criticism of you, which I think they weren't meant to be. So please, keep writing, and also please remember how badly tone translates on the internet, and give people the benefit of the doubt.

48
Wandering Stars, Sorry you feel so deeply offended. Sometimes ideas become the focus here and the person a little forgot about.
49
Boys, boys. There are many different ways to be. There are many stereotypes which we can choose to flout. Some are, in fact, contradictory. Ricardo's lived experience does not contradict Wandering Stars'. I appreciate both your perspectives, I think you both make good points, and I'm sure Ricardo did not mean to personally insult you, Wandering. Hugs to you both.
50
I have four( remaining ) sons, and none of them seem to need to be stuck in any stereotype of how to be males.
The culture has responded to changes brought about by gays and women, in the struggles of the sixties and seventies. Then the heartbreaking years of aids.
51
@ 47,

There is no "message". I'm not Aesop. This isn't a fable. This is my life. I didn't and don't intend to teach you or anyone else anything by telling it. My goal is not and never was to change your mind on anything. Period.

@49,

Ricardo's life in no way contradicts mine. He can live in any way he chooses, and it does not in any way negatively impact me. I therefore don't care if he chooses to express masculinity or not.

I did mention in my post that I had a problem with personal ads that said SA/SA only- the implication being, femme boys are unattractive or unwanted. I also stated that I found them very attractive, and I explained why. However, this in no way implies that people who arent femme arent attractive or acceptable people.

However, Ricardo felt the need to tell me that I shouldn't be femme because some of it was forced. Thats where the lie was crossed. I never told Ricardo he could not be butch. He cannot tell em I cannot be femme. Each of us ahas an absolute right to be whatever the fuck we want to be. And nobody can take that away. He then went on to tell me how I should interpret Topaz, someone he never met, and he assumes is naturally femme. I will interpret my friends in my own way. I do not need his permission to live my life, and neither do my friends.

And yeah, I will slap the manhood off anyone that suggests otherwise, and not just virtually.

52
Also, two further points.

1) Spellcheck sucks.

2) I need a copy editor.
53
I wonder why people who seem offended about "masc only" profiles even want to date those horrible, horrible masc men.
Surely wanting your preferred type to like your type isn't entitled, right?

In all seriousness, the wording obviously can be better then "no femmes" (and it's pretty rare anyway, in my experience), but really, what's the endgame here? Shaming someone into liking your type? Getting rejected personally each time?
54
It's not them, ANAL, it's you. john t nails it @13.
55
@53: As with many things in life, it's not what you say but how you say it.

Do you think this is about "preference" so much as persons who believe that "masculine" is a positive trait versus "feminine" as a negative, and pushing that off as something that should be embraced to be more palatable to a sexist society?

Just seems to be echoes of the straight world's biases and preferences is all. Someone can't choose so easily what they're attracted to, but how they choose to talk about or champion their preferences is definitely interesting.

Hopefully that comes off more as questions to ponder than an attack on anyone in particular.
56
Wowww... I'm only comment occasionally, but I have been around for a while. I've seen a lot of people come and go, and Ricardo is honestly one of the most level-headed folks we have here in Savage Land.

WS, I've appreciated seeing your point of view in numerous threads, but perhaps you need to take a breath? I understand that you saw some of his words as an insult, but I am very sure they were not intended as such.
57
One of the ideas behind the letter seems to be that women are ceasing to take an interest in the LW now that he's coming up to 60. What? This isn't the cultural norm at all. Without in any way implying the expectation, or cultural norm, about gays is necessarily different, it's kind-of accepted that straight women may take an interest in a straight man whatever their age.

The LW derailed a potentially wonderful loving relationship (certainly with excellent sex) because he didn't want to be outed as fucking (maybe it was particularly being fucked by?) a man. But the tones in which he describes this are not apparently of regret, shame or apology. There's something particular here. People are saying 'entitlement' but I think there's more--some degree of Aspergers or antisocial personality. I'd guess this is the thing to address first of all. It needn't be explicitly in the context of finding a lay. Understanding himself better may well help the LW to get to the bottom of things that have happened to him in life.
58
Wandering @51: Ricardo doesn't know you. When he talks about gay men who played up their femininity, I'm pretty certain he's talking about other gay men whom he has personally known who have played up their queeniness, thus coming across as stereotypical "fags." He's talking about them, not you. All he said about your friend, whom he also doesn't know, was: "What is truly subversive is being exactly who you are, with zero consideration for other people's expectations. That is the lesson WS should have taken away from his friend Topaz, IMO." I know you've suffered a bunch of shit in your life, but please don't read attacks where there aren't any.
59
I like Ricardo's comments here and he seems like a good guy, but I have to say I winced at reading what he wrote there. 'Actually, /this/ is the correct lesson you should have taken from that important part of your life.' And making statements on "what is truly subversive" can be hard not to read as a value judgement, your thing is less subversive.

I'm sure it wasn't meant as an attack or an insult, andI think I get the kind of conversation Ricardo may have been having, loose-jointed, where you want to say how you see a thing, your thoughts inspired by what somebody just said, but not really aimed at them, and nobody owns any topic. But as it came out, it sure read like aiming to me, and like taking some ownership of WS's life.

60
@ 58,

If he meant it in a general sense, why does he call me out by name? Thats as personal as it gets.

Now here you are acting all shocked that I'm doing the same to him. If your standard is true- he gets a free pass even though the very line you just quoted explicitly states that I should live my life differently, not gay men in general or men in general or anyone else, but I as stated by my own name should, then why don't you interpret this as a general statement on my own behalf?

You got something to say to me, Ricardo? Lets make this personal. I may be the wicked bitch of the west, but I aint your bitch
61
@ 58

Oh, and as for all of us in general, if seeing another man be overtly gay disturbs you, ask yourself why.

Why do you feel ashamed to see another person-not you- living heir life however they please? Why do you feel that someone else's mannerisms are a threat to your identity?

A heterosexual man overplaying his heterosexuality- and the world is full of those- rarely elicits such a wince. Thats the dominant culture, the role we're supposed to play along with. And if you do it, even to the nth degree, you get rewarded. Much like christians who will say things like, "I'm not afraid to say it- I love jesus" without a trace of irony, you miss the point that there nothing you have to be afraid of. Nobody is going to give you shit for being a christian.

We are all taught in this society to revere the underdog. However, you wouldn't really enjoy the reality of being the underdog. So instead, we claim the mantle of the underdog even though we have no right to it. People in the dominant roles of our society dress up in faux victimhood. The Men's Rights Movement, every branch of christianity, republicans, white nationalists, all these groups have persecution complexes. They are in absolutely zero danger, since they control all the power in this society. But to listen to them talk, you'd think they were being rounded up in wagons and put against the wall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXayhUzW…

"Have any of you been standing at a street crossing and had a bunch of lads throw a milk carton at you and yell, 'fag'?" asks Panti Bliss. Afterwards she begins to worry and obsess about what was it that gave her away? She has to check herself to make sure she isnt "too gay" in the future, and the next time she sees another man who is "too gay" she cringes.

Okay, so here's Ricardo looking at me and cringing. I'm "too gay". He hates himself, because he has to check himself, and he hates me, because I'm giving him away. I'm the "stereotypical fag"

And in @58's mind, that's okay, because in a general sense, comic across as "faggy" is bad.

Panti continues. "here are all these nice respectable people on TV, the kind of people who write for newspapers, and theyre all having a reasoned debate about you. About what kind of person you are."

Okay, so that's you, BiDanFan. At this stage, Panti Bliss is addressing you directly. Because you just did that to me.

They all think its perfectly Ok, theyre all having his reasoned debate on who I am and what rights I 'deserve' or 'don't deserve'.

Have you ever been at a party and you see a friend and a part of you cringes because he is being SO gay? (that would be me you're cringing at), and you find yourself trying o compensate for his (my) gayness by butching it up and acting straighter?

So ask yourself now, what is it about YOU that makes you recoil when you see me? I am in no way harming you. There is nothing about my life, mannerisms, speech, behavior that in any way requires you to do anything or in any way alters your existence. But you think (even in a general sense as BiDanFabn suggests, or in a specific, lets call the faggot out by name sense of Ricardo) that my very existence is in some way offensive. Do t you wish I could tone it down, that I could be a little less gay?

Well, I'm not going to. Not for you. Not for all the internalized homophobes in the world. I am who I am, and deliberately so. And yes, this is a threat. Its a threat to the fucked up mentality that suggests that anyone who'll feel ashamed of being whoever they want to be. Its a direct threat to this bullshit idea that you have any right at all to dictate how another should live his life.

You don't.
62
What does a gay accent sound like?
63
@62: This is actually a perfect opportunity to plug a documentary Dan was in, "Do I Sound Gay?"

I think it's very contextual to the discussion we're all having here at the moment.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt3997238/

Might be on Netflix.
64
Dang, Wandering stars' anger and vitriol after that awesome story was a surprise.

Here I am thinking how interesting I think Ricardo and BDF are, and he rips them apart.

Ouch.
65
If you think it hurts you, pause for a moment to think about how it hurts femme guys.

This guy, Ricardo, posts a comment that he thinks guys who act "too gay" are an embarrassment he cannot bear, unnatural, something that jus shouldn't be. All of you chime in with, "Yeah, that's so reasonable!".

And you wonder why I'm pissed?

Look, it should nor surprise you. My story is and was one of resistance against the masculine norm. Of course I'm going resist Ricardo and everyone else who suggests that I shouldn't.

You are the very thing I rebel against. I made that point about as clearly as I could in the original post.

To everyone who thinks I'm a good writer, thanks, I guess. I'm clearly no that good of a writer if you completely lost the point.
66
IMHO Wandering Stars is winning this one. Ricardo will hopefully learn that things you say can be taken personally by the person you say them to, even if you didn't mean them that way.

It's like when you're caught condescending to someone: the only polite response is "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to" --- and then stop doing it.
67
WS @65, I think I understand you when you say that there are things you want to rebel against, and you saw that in Ricardo's posts, and that therefore set you off. That makes sense to me--I'm female, and I work in a very male field, and plenty of women I know in the field are very assertive about gender-based things, because they've been fighting certain stereotypes their whole life. And that's fair, and I respect it. But those same women, from time to time, can see sexism where there is none and overreact. It's a habit of reacting, and because it's correct 90% of the time doesn't mean it is always correct. So, about this:

> This guy, Ricardo, posts a comment that he thinks guys who act "too gay" are an embarrassment he cannot bear, unnatural, something that jus shouldn't be.

If you look back, what he said was that he didn't see anything subversive in being either more masculine or more feminine than you feel you are. That you should be true to yourself. It's a pretty big jump from that to saying "too gay...cannot bear...unnatural, something that shouldn't be." I get that you're pissed that he said how he thought you should interpret Topaz's lessons, fair enough. But even so, I think we'll get more mileage out of the conversation if you try to keep your assessments of people's comments within an order of magnitude of what they said.

And since I'm jumping in, I'll say that if we're debating which has a larger corrective effect on people's perceptions, being a femme gay or a masc. gay, I'll say for my experience it's completely regional. Some places are (at this point) pretty comfortable with gay guys, and other places still have very little experience or acceptance. Different modalities will get different responses in different places, and to different people. I know I grew up with some (straight) guys who wanted not to be homophobic, but confessed to me how uncomfortable very effeminate gay guys made them--"why can't they just act normal?" was a usual comment. So for them, that exposure was necessary, was a first step in starting to see the wide varieties out there; getting to know guys like that was a help to them, in a way that a SA/SA gay guy would not have been. I also know people who (due mainly to TV) think all gay guys are "swishy," and for them meeting a more masculine-seeming gay guy would be educational.

So um, yeah, it's all good, do your thing. It takes all kinds. Something like that.

68
WS
As someone who struggled for years with stereotypes and stigmas I realized later in life that once I figure things for myself and present myself confidently, which is different than arrogantly or angrily and I’m not suggesting you do any of it, it is also easier for others to accept me as who I am.
69
I work out. Every morning. I do calisthenics mostly.

I do so with the explicit goal of developing my body in a specific fashion- lots of definition and not a lot of bulk.

Now, my muscles, if I did not set out specifically to fashion them into a particular form, would not have the form they now do. The fact that I pursue this is never described as a matter of not being true to the natural shape of those muscles.

I chose to do the same thing with my behavior. I was raised in a very right wing conservative household. The town I grew up in had a Catholic Church, and my father took my siblings there when he first moved to town (I was not yet born). He was appalled to find they had a Bingo night. That meant gambling. My father could not have his children raised around such gross immorality.

So instead, we attended St Brigid's. It was in the next town over, and twice a week (we attended Mass on Wednesdays and Sundays, and every Holy Day on the liturgical calendar) because father Vogt had posted a sign at the church exit which read "The first to leave church will be the first to enter Hell".

I can remember once this drunk lady came to the Palm Sunday Mass. The usher tried to remove her discretely from the pew, but she was not having it. She shouted as she was being ejected, "Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, and I am being carried out on an ass!"

Sunday school was interesting. This is where I learned that Ghandi was going to Hell because he was not a Catholic. Martin Luther King, Jr too. I also learned that women could never be priests, because none of the apostles were women. There was the whole Sin of Eve, too. Oh, and they also told me that gay people couldnt go to heaven either.

My Dad wanted me to become a priest. He had this funny idea that if your son became a priest then you automatically would enter heaven. He used to beat me and my siblings to a bloody pulp, you know. Mom, too. She had this peg board, the kind you use to hang coats on- a little balsa wood board with brass hooks screwed in. She'd beat me with it every night, right on my bare ass. I always came away from hat a bloody mess. She took a screw out if I was good that day, and put another one in when I was bad. But I always goy my ass beat.

You know, thats what really pissed them off. My brother, he wasn't very masculine. It wasn't his fault. He was short, smart as hell. He loved to read. He was the kind of kid who, when you asked him why the lightbulb didnt come on, he'd draw you a diagram. The kind that showed the resistance in each part for he circuit, and where the breaks in the line were. He could've just said the lightbulb's burnt out, but to him the details were just so fascinating.

He used to throw himself bodily between me and my parents when they would beat me up. He took all the punches and kicks and scratches. When Dad come after me with his belt, he took the lashings. When mom would backhand me, he'd jump right in there and passively take it all.

Late at night, I'd crawl into bed with him. I was always crying. He's take out this little flashlight and make shadow puppets on the wall till I started laughing. I always fell asleep next to him. Id'd wake up and find him gone.

I must have cost that man, of I don't know- weeks or months even of sleep, overall, if you added it all up. He never complained. Not even once.

They hated him. He was tiny, he was smart- and he kept sticking his nose where it didnt belong. To me, he was like a god. I'm an atheist, but thats mostly because I've never heard of any god that could be as wonderful as he was to me. He's been my best friend since the day I was born.

Then I came along, and I was everything he wasn't. I was tall, I loved to exercise. I didnt ask as many questions as he did. And I was supposed to be the Great White Hope. I was supposed to make up for the first born male who wants very butch.

My brother left when I was 8. I was the youngest and after he left, the only one still at home. Dad noticed that I wasn't into sports and I was a little... different. I remember when I was 10, he tried to get into bed with me. He was naked, and had an erection. I guess he figured that I wouldn't say anything, because he could always say I was the faggot, not him. I lost my mind with screaming and throwing shit. I made so much goddamn noise the neighbors and the cops showed up. He never tried to get in bed with me again.

He insisted, after I turned 13, on watching me take showers before I went to school. He said he needed to make sure I was being hygienic. He didnt want me acting he way other teenage boys do, never washing properly. I knew what he really wanted, and I hated him for it.

Then came the day I gave Mike Thorne a blowjob on the bleachers at school. Miek was a Jehovah's Witness kid, and he freaked out and told his mom. His mom told my mom, and then, well, that was it for me.

So they threw me out on my ass. It was 1986. I had just turned 14.

So, umm... please don't tell me about how you think its fucked up that I fit your little stereotype.

That stereotype is a repudiation of my parents, Its everything they were afraid of, and didnt want me to be. A bit of it was forced, because I had a lot of negative reinforcement sued on me to make me not want to be that way. The slightest hint of girlinesss meant I was going to school with a black eye the next morning. It also meant my pervert father would try to get a piece of my ass. So I had to push back against all those years of them trying to train it out of me.

And I chose to build myself into that model of the "stereotypical' gay male, the same way I trained my muscles to grow the way they do. I did it to reject the model I had been handed, because that model represented a hell of a lot of pain. That was the model that got my brother in so much trouble as a kid, because he couldnt be that. That was the model that the people I hated wanted me to be.

And after I was on my own, it was the model everyone else wanted me to be, too.

I moved to the Seattle area to be gay. Because to me, being out and gay meant being free after a long time in what felt like a prison. A prison I was born into.

Dad used to go into the confessional booth. He'd come out and say his prayers, and then it was like nothing happened. Nobody ever held him to account.

I can remember only once when someone in that miserable little town confronted my Mom about how it was that I showed up at school covered in bruises and cuts every day. I remember her screaming at that lady, "How dare you tell me how to raise my kids! I'll make a man out of him yet!"

70
So yeah, different places, different modalities.

There's this old song called Tobacco Road. The singer mentions how he wishes he coudl drop an atom bomb on the town where he's from, he loathes it that much.

I went back there this past year. First time in 30 years. I visited the little shotgun shack I grew up in- tiny little thing. I went to the school I attended as a boy. It's closed now, but the building's still there. There's a fetid little swamp called Deep River in the back. The football field's all overgrown with weeds. Nobody's mowed it in years.

The church- it's got this "Pray for the Victims of Abortion" thing on the side, big old cross and a sign on it. I went to the Steel Mill my Dad worked at. I saw the places I used to go. There's this hill on Miami Street. It seemed so huge to me when I was there last, but it's just a little bump.

Weird how you can look back at places like that and nothing seems as big as it used to.

My brother lives in a trailer. He's still the kindest man I've ever known. Someday, I want to be just like him, the way he is inside. You wouldn't think much of him if you saw him- he dresses in thrift store rags and cant hold a job, on account of all the blows to the head he took on my behalf. But to me he's everything a man being should be. Compassionate, loving, gentle.

I came out to him, you know. He said, "It'll take me some time to get used to this". After about 5 minutes of silence, he said, "I'm over it".

None of the rest of them will talk to me, though. My sisters, my mom. I tried to talk to them, you know.

They say I'm going to Hell.

I say I grew up there.
71
@65. No, Ricardo didn't say that. He said, that it's better to be true to yourself.. after you had written that you played up being femme.
"deliberate attempts to be as gay as I could."
That our sweet Ricardo made it so personal with you, yes, I agree he did cross the line a little there.
You have taken it somewhere else and turned it into something else.
And yes, I agree with Ricardo.
Be true to yourself.
72
And what is the masculine norm? That you stand up to pee. That you threaten people who upset you. That you rave and rave to make your point heard?
You haven't resisted at all. Except for not knowing if you stand up to pee bit, I see you have threatened violence( MN), and raved and raved when hurt( MN).
73
@Wandering Stars: Your story breaks my heart. I'm so glad you had your brother, and still have him. I'm so angry at your parents. I'm so sad for your childhood and so glad you got out and found your true home and have stayed true to yourself. You are obviously a very brave and a very strong man.

I think Ricardo is generally someone worth listening to, and I hope you two can find some fundamental core similarities or shared meaning.
74
@ 71, and @ 72,

I am, and will always be whatever the fuck I want to be. That is never, ever going to change.

It is with one finger upraised that I salute the world that finds i offensive that I act femme, even if I had to force it a little. Nobody gets to dictate the terms and conditions of my life.

I live deliberately.
75
This:
> Now, my muscles, if I did not set out specifically to fashion them into a particular form, would not have the form they now do. The fact that I pursue this is never described as a matter of not being true to the natural shape of those muscles.

> I chose to do the same thing with my behavior.

is an interesting analogy. I shall ponder.
76
@74: Who could blame a person for being angry with the "model minority" myth?

The idea that conforming to societally "appropriate" behavior and presentation is something that makes the outgroup more "acceptable" (versus maligning them further by comparison as the greater "deviants")... yeesh.
77
Again WS. You are not comprehending the point.
No one here is offended if you are femme.
The point made, was being who you are, rather than playing a role, putting on a facade..
And no one really cares if you get off on playing a role if it satisfies your need to give the middle finger to whom ever. I think playing games with oneself this way is a waste of time and energy.

78
@ 73,

That can't happen until we achieve an understanding between us. You see, Ricardo has to acknowledge that he is only an expert on living his own life, and he does not have the right to tell anyone else how to live theirs.

As for LavaGirl, she could use a dose of that herself there. She's gone full defensive, gotta protect her friend, no matter what he's done. I guess loyalty is an admirable trait, so I'll give her that. However, she's veered off onto a track that leads her to attack me, and thats where she herself is crossing a line.

I need both of them, and everyone else who's seems to be a self-appointed expert on my existence, to back the fuck off. Yeah, my shit's all messed up. Bu your shit stinks just as bad. And you'd do well to worry about how to fix up your own life before you start issuing directives on how I oughta live mine.
79
@77,

I'l put on whatever facade I want to. Fuck you if you think you can tell em to do any different. Its my goddamn life, not yours.
80
Yeah. And I live deliberately too. I deliberately don't shave any parts of my body or wear heels or makeup, except lipstick. Love my lipstick. Not because I care if the " real" women or men accept me or not, because it's freer this way, for me.
what really is your point WS.
81
I think it can challenge gender norms for a gay man to embody an assertive form of masculinity yet still project as gay (and claim queerness).

And that it can challenge gender norms for a gay guy to reject (or abject) the prevailing idea of what it is to be a man and cultivate femme-ness or queeniness.

Both forms of self-care, self-love, can be subversive.

In my own life I'd be more with Wandering Stars. Growing up my physique was softly chubby; I'm physically gauche and acted this up with a measure of queer defiance (NOT in as religious or culturally limited US settings as WS describes). My manner was camp; I have a plummy Mid-Atlantic accent that was heard as intolerably English by schoolkids, compounded by a slight speech impediment. Only a gay identification seemed on offer (a cis gay, as we'd say now, not a bi genderqueer), though this was indissociably bound up with feeling more a girl than a boy. I'd say that in being ragged, verbally abused and offered casual and slight forms of violence, my homophobic peers were imposing a gender norm; and that my presentation was both an involuntary and calculated affront to it.
82
@ 80, You don't control me. I control me.

Its my life, I'll live it any way I please.

Thats the point.
83
Facade away dear boy. You have become tiresome and repetitive and so masculine.
84
@ 81,

You get it! Thats exactly what I've been trying to say!
85
I am whatever I choose to be. The fact that you find this irritating makes it even more of a joy.

86
@84. I guess the point is that it's a political act, as well as a form of self-definition and self-care, to play any queeniness (campness, in my case) up.

Many people who I'm guessing are a bit like Ricardo were my first lovers, so I'd hope the masc gays and the femme gays can agree on the politics of cultivating counterhegemonic personal styles,
87
*sigh* And so another cobra rears its head...
88
@ 86,

I think we can. It starts with mutual respect. It means nobody tells anyone else that they cant be whoever they feel like being. We are all legitimate.
89
I'm not protecting anybody, just reading the words Ricardo wrote.
If patriarchy wasn't such a load of bull, being femme or feminine wouldn't be seen as a problem.
90
someone definitely cannot take "whatever, be who you wanna be, no one cares" for an answer.
my guess would be that's because who they wanna be is necessarily middlefingering someone.
91
As painful and politically incorrect as it may be I’m afraid that despite my best attempts and all those ever-guilty forever-liberal intentions, I have no other choice but conceding to sanguisuga @ 87, bid farewell to this thread, and go on with my life.
92
@ 88. Yes, naturally camp and femme men are definitely legitimate.
93
LW. I like a bit of swish myself.

Cis men need to remind themselves that they are also chromosomally (sic) female.
They are the ones with an X and a Y. There is no pure masculinity, in any cis man.
Cis women get the double hit.
94
I'll correct myself. Not just cis men and women.. trans men and women too, because chromosomes
95
Wow, this forest fire has raged out of control since I last checked in.
WS, you need to take shit less personally around here.
We'll support you, we love diversity, but if you go around pre-emptively telling us all to fuck off then that support won't last very long.
As an honorary Brit, I'm going to recommend a nice cup of tea and some deep cleansing breaths.
96
@95,

The British have made exactly two contributions to world culture.
Football/soccer, and the phrase "fuck off".
97
@96: You're either appallingly ignorant or else trying to set the land-speed record from good impression to asshole.
98
@98,

I'd like to refer you to the second British contribution.
99
@96 Wandering Stars, I beg to differ, the Brits also gave us the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling Festival, one of the most entertaining spectacles known to man, and Sir Terry Pratchett, a literary god amongst us mere mortals. :) Which is why, of course, the gods took him away from us far too soon, but I digress.

May I ask what exactly you hope to achieve by repeatedly telling everyone to eff off or go eff themselves? I ask because, from my perspective, it looks like you're trying to bully and insult people into apologizing to and/or agreeing with you, and I don't understand why you'd want to model your rhetoric after Donald Trump's.
100
@98 @yourself. Yes, indeed.
101
@99: Not to mention Shakespeare, Tolkien, Dick Francis, Nevil Shute, Jane Austen. Downton Abbey. Rowan Atkinson in his giggly mode *and* his sarcastic mode. Judi Dench, Alan Rickman, Michael Caine. This fantastically rich language we're all speaking. Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Isaac Newton. The Beatles for god's sake. The Stones. Really, at least half of all the good music in the world, when you think about it. Maybe more.

Oh, and they also contributed all the people they didn't like so much and all the people who felt a bit adventurous, the sum of which formed some rather decent countries, which many of us have the good fortune to live in.

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