Friday, April 20, 2012

How gay is too gay? Scotty

In thinking about what my answer might be, I discovered a few things about myself. Of course I have used the term "Too Gay," many times but not for the reasons one might think. I've never ever used that term in a sexual way as to describe someone who loved penis, or in a gay woman's case, vagina too much. I, as well as my circle of friends use the term to describe someone who is extreme in any particular way such as dress or mannerisms. For instance if we see a very effeminate man who is flitting about with decadent clothing and bleached blonde hair, we may say, "Lord he's way too gay," or if we see a woman who dresses like a man and wears short buzzed cut hair, mens boots and has a man's wallet in her back pocket, we may say, "Man she's too gay."

But as I write this however, I realize that this is nothing but discrimination within our own backyard. Being a gay man that was teased and bullied in high school because I was different, I live my life today always trying to slip in with "normal" america, whatever that may be. When I was bullied, I did all I could to stay under the radar to preserve whatever pride and sanity I still had and that's how my adulthood has progressed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a successful businessman with many years of corporate america under my belt and live an openly gay and pretty damn good life now, but in my day, I dressed like everyone in my office and followed the same protocol that is almost required in corporate america blending in as well as I could. So when I see someone who is out there doing and acting outside of the norm, I always cringe.

While writing this blog response, however, I asked myself why I cringe and I came up with the short immediate answer. This person may just want or need to gather the attention that goes with acting or dressing in a bazar manner. Maybe someone that was neglected as a child or someone who didn't get the support needed in the developmental years and needs attention in any way shape or form to get by. Note I'm not a psychologist but I have been a study of human beings, both gay and straight for many years and this somehow easily fits the bill. But as I wrote and thought, I realized that maybe these people really are different and don't mind being so. I now realize that being yourself when you are different is probably way harder than fitting in and a light bulb went off in his old man's head. I realize that no matter what the excuse or reason, people have a right to live how they please, without fear of rejection as long as they are not hurting anyone else. And they can do it for whatever reasons they want and no one should question them or "cringe" just because they are different.

Discrimination runs in all of us at one level or another, and I now see that I was doing something that was done to me. We are a product of our raising and do what we need to get by. What a lesson I have learned.
 
 
 
Check out the original question and Tom's response HERE
Jason's response HERE
Matthew D. Response HERE
Zathyn's Response HERE

6 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree that being one's self is essential to a person's mental health and that not being so can be quite detrimental. My challenge to the person who is dressing and or acting in a way that makes him a lightning rod in response to a lack of nurturing during childhood would be to get into therapy and fix himself. I also agree that a person should live his life as he chooses to so long as his conduct is not harmful to others, BUT the person should not be taken aback if someone else would find him "too gay" because just as he has a right to expression, others have the right to their responses. The trick, I think, is NOT to give the responses too much power. There are people who think the world would be a better place if we would all just be nice to each other, but to accomplish that we would all have to be pretty shallow in how we approach others. I have always dressed and behaved as I chose and let the chips fall where they way and I think that is a healthy path. I wore Wranglers, white t-shirts, and a baseball cap in high school and I got called white trash. I WAS white trash. If someone is "too gay" he is too gay and as long as he is happy in himself being too gay then I say be too gay. If however he is unhappy, then being too gay is not working. I enjoyed your piece today and it was very insightful. Thanks for sharing.
    Matt Darringer

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    1. Thanks Matt, I appreciate you feedback and I agree with many of your points. It pains me that someone MAY act a certain way just to get the attention they maybe did not get in the developmental years, but I feel like they need to come to that conclusion and get what they need to feel whole, but we all know that we don't always see what's in our own backyard.

      Scotty

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  2. I'm one those types who has stepped out of the house dressed in a way that I KNOW is going to raise some eyebrows. People are either going to look at me and think, 'wow, cool!' or 'Good God, what the hell?!' So long as those who don't approve keep their opinions inside their minds and aren't rude enough to verbalise them, I honestly don't care. We all have a right to think what we want to think. I'm not saying those thoughts are always politically correct, but I doubt anyone can honestly say they don't pass some type of judgements on others at times. The guy in the street with his his pants down far enough to show his bum crack who thinks I look ridiculous should probably realise many people (including me) think he looks ridiculous, too.

    In the end I believe it boils down to manners and knowing what is okay to say out loud and what is better off never mentioned. I dress the way I dress because I like the style and, to me, it's attractive. I don't do it for attention and I don't do it because of my crappy childhood. Sure, I agree there are plenty of people who do dress/behave in a certain way as a means to draw attention to themselves. If that's detrimental to their wellbeing then, yes, get some help. Otherwise, wear what you want to wear, be who you want to be. So long as you can own it and be proud of the person behind the clothes.

    Great post, Scotty :^)

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    1. Hi Zathryn,

      I believe that if people are dressing or acting a certain way because they just LIKE it, then go for it. As long as they are not hurting anyone else. I've always tried to "Live and let live." I don't always succeed, but I do try to look beyond the bazar that I see and try to understand what's driving the behavior.
      Thanks for posting.
      Scotty

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  3. Great post, Scotty. I struggled with how to answer this the other day, too. And I go back and forth between the politically correct answer that there isn't anything too gay.

    But it's all a perception, isn't it? We all have things we like and find attractive, and that we identify as mainstream and not.

    I may have been lucky - I wasn't bullied or discriminated against for being gay. But I stand out for other reasons, maybe. We all want to be individuals but conform, so it's an "ouch" sometimes to see the attention-drawing shrill flamer. But you know what? I respect those who do that, choose that road. It's a hard one.

    Gay or too gay, straight or bi or whatever, we all have something, don't we?

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