Good day Dan, I need your help with something.
Recently I had a conversation with a friend (she's a straight female, I'm a 2-Spirited one) and she said to me, "Men who are 100% straight can have sex with other men and still call themselves totally straight... That's their self truth, they're still straight."

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I thought that was a cop out. I get that everyone has the right to refer to themselves any way they like but I'm not necessarily gonna believe them. My thinking went, ok, but what is so hard for them to just say, "Hey, actually, I"m not 100% straight"??! Obviously, there are lots of reasons why it's hard to do that (history has been very unkind to those who are not completely in the hetero box, there's a lot to lose, I know first hand). But imagine a world where every single person who wasn't "totally straight" just said it at the same time?!

Anyway, my friend was quick to point out that I"m pretty closed for thinking the way I do, for not thinking a 100% straight man can sleep with other men and still refer to himself as straight. Of course, he can SAY it, a person can SAY anything. Doesn't make it so, dude. I mean, isn't that what that unit of measurement means?? 100% means completely, totally, the whole kit and kaboodle, etc. Am I wrong in thinking the way I do, Dan? Am I closed or dismissive because of my beliefs? What am I missing?

Dudes Identifying Correctly Kinda Significant

I see where you're coming from, DICKS. Straight means straight and a guy who fucks other dudes isn't 100% straight. But... it may not be so simple.

Your friend is kindasorta correct. A straight guy can have sex with another man and still be a straight guy—even a 100% straight guy. Why? Because kissing/blowing/fucking a dude isn't gonna turn a straight guy into a gay guy. So if the guy wasn't gay before kissing/blowing/fucking a dude, he's not going to be after. Because, you see, self-identification isn't always congruent with behavior and behavior isn't always congruent with desire and blah blah blah. Think prisons, pirate ships, and boardings schools—think situational homosexuality.

Now most straight-identified dudes who fuck other men aren't in prison, on pirate ships, or at all-boys boarding schools. So I happen to agree with you, DICKS, that a dude who fucks dudes isn't 100% straight. But can those guys still identify as straight? Sure, if that's how they feelz. But while it may be "their truth," per your annoyingly high-minded straight friend, it's not the truth, per you and me, all sensible people everywhere, facts at hand, objective reality, etc. (Straight girls who lecture gay men and 2S guys about how homosexuality works. Bless their hearts.)

A few more wrenches to throw in the werks: There are straight guys who don't have dicks, DICKS. A straight guy with a dick could find himself in a relationship with a guy with a vagina. (Guy with dick marries woman with vagina, woman transitions to male, couple remains married. Voila: a 100 percent straight guy is having sex on the regular with another dude.) There's also something of a a huge fucking double standard when it comes to straight guys and sexual exploration. Straight-identified women are allowed to be sexual with other women and still identify as straight (%100 even), while men who have sex with other men—even once—spend the rest of their lives being told they're really bisexual or gay because there's no way they could've done that otherwise.

There's also the difference between being homoamorous and homosexual, heteroamorous and heterosexual, biamorous and bisexual, and various combos of all of the above. There are guys out there who like to fuck guys and girls but only fall in love with girls. I think those guys are bi and most of those guys identify as bi. But some identify as straight. You know, for reasons. (Bi erasure is a game anyone can play.)

All that said, there are guys out there who claim to be 100% straight while bouncing from cock to cock to cock—guys who, again, aren't in prison or on pirate ships. Now we all want to live in a world where straight-identified guys can mess around with another guy once or twice without being told they're gay, but we can't be naive and/or credulous: we currently live in a world where homophobia runs rampant. Some men who sleep with other men claim to be 100% straight because they have no choice—it's not possible to be openly gay everywhere (Chechnya, Jamaica, Vatican City)—but others claim to be straight because they think there's something wrong with being gay and they hate themselves and other gay men, including (especially) the gay men they fuck. (See: "Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?," The Onion, October 28, 1998.) It's not always possible to determine who's identifying as straight under duress and who's identifying as straight due to internalized homophobia. But it's how we passed the time before Twitter and Fidget Spinners came along.

In conclusion, DICKS, I'm with you: people can identify however they like—and we should respect people's identities and not be assholes to each other and blah blah blah—but we're not obligated to believe everything a person says. I mean, Liberace, Ted Haggard, Elton John, Larry Craig, George Michael, and I all identified as straight once. For reasons, good and bad. It was nice that our parents, fans, congregants, and constituents played along. But we were lying. Which is not to say that all straight-identified guys who sleep with or have slept with other men are lying. But it's a stretch to say they're all truthing.

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