Monday, April 16, 2012

How gay is too gay?

For some reason when I hear this I get a picture in my head of a guy standing on a scale. Is there some median or other reference point for what is considered gay? What, if the needle falls too far to the left, you’re straight, or if it falls too far to the right, you’re too gay?
If there is such a thing as too gay, does that mean there is such a thing as “Not gay enough?” Oh wait, is that too straight? Perhaps the term is too literal. I mean it’s ridiculous to think that when someone says, “Hey that guy is too gay!” they mean he likes penis too much. Doesn’t it make more sense that it actually has nothing to do with being gay at all, but rather whether a person is too over-the-top or not?
I asked a few of my friends, if they have ever written a guy off because he acts a.) too straight b.) too gay and c.) Exactly what the term “too gay” means to them. Originally I planned this to be just a one time post, but the responses I got were just to interesting and involved not to be featured on their own. Each day this week I'll post another response to the above questions so make sure you stop back by daily. 

How Gay is too gay?

Well, Jo, here’s my take.  Yeah, I have rejected guys (yeah, more than one) for being Too Gay.  And one or two for being Too Straight.
The Too Straight guy first.  The first red flag was the insistence on rejecting that there is a Gay Lifestyle.  I happen to agree here, but not to the extent this guy meant it.  Here’s what he meant – anything that smacked of “Gay” got a big HELL NO from him.  Couldn’t listen to Madonna.  Couldn’t eat at certain restaurants I like.  Couldn’t watch Will and Grace.   There wasn’t any particular reason behind it other than someone might possibly think he had a limp wrist and was less of a man if he even showed an inking of liking something gay-related.  His concept of masculinity was based in rejection of anything less than “Straight Acting”.  Whatever the hell that is.
And the Too Gay guys?  I have to qualify this, and bear with me.  I find some guys attractive that will never wear flannel, camp, fish, watch football or some other things I like.  That’s okay – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  Some of the most attractive guys I’ve met own the various facets of their personalities, and are comfortable in their skins.  What makes them attractive and desirable to me is that fact that they know who they are and don’t pretend to be anything different. 
Now, that doesn’t mean I necessarily find them sexually attractive.  I can be friends with someone who “swishes”, but might not want to pursue them as a partner or bedmate.  But one of the best sexual experiences I ever had was with a man who could light candles without a match, that’s how flaming he was.  He had the kindest heart the biggest laugh and the most self-awareness of anyone I think I’ve ever met.
However, those guys who act “Gay” because they think that’s how Queers are supposed to act.  Not gay men, not faggots, but Queer, because it’s a political statement.  Those guys wear their homosexuality like a suit of armor, and paint it with rainbow colors that demand a reaction.  It’s in your face, full frontal “Fuck You Look at ME” gayness.  That turns me off and sends me running in the other direction as fast as a Bear can run.
Why?  Because I believe what makes a person interesting is how comfortable they are in their skin.  The ones that “get” that Gay isn’t the end-all, be-all definition of who they are, that it’s just another shade in the spectrum of what makes a man?  Those make me get the Electric Melties, as K.Z. Snow calls it.  Those guys who think it’s something outside of them that needs hiding or that it’s all about them that matters?  They turn me off and leave me shaking my head.
Have I been accused of being too gay?  Yep.  I consider myself average.  I know who I am, I’m comfortable in my skin, ALL of it, and I have a “take me or leave me, your gain or loss” attitude towards friends, family and potential partners.  To some guys, any Gay is too Gay.  Some think I am because I choose to be Out with my family and at work.  Some think I’m not Gay enough because I don’t march at Gay Pride.
Opinions – they are like assholes.  Everyone and they mostly all stink.  If you don’t like me, fine.  It you do, then you will get to know all of me.  The remarkable, loving and giving grouchy-assed bear.
Too Gay?  Those guys who choose to see everybody through a rainbow colored filter.  If you can’t see through human colored glasses, and demand everything be assessed in relation to homosexuality, you are Too Gay.


For me personally, I think if it was just the physical body we are attracted to, then it would seem silly to put a high meaning on their personality, on the other hand, if it’s the personality, than why would we care if they had boy parts or girl part. I can honestly say I don’t know how I feel about this subject. Have I met people I associated with more “feminine” qualities, sure, both men and women. I can say the same thing for individuals, male and female I have deemed more “masculine” I just don’t know if I have ever met anyone I would consider too gay.
What do you think?


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  2. I have skirted around this subject in my books, never wanting to venture into the militant gay or camp guys. This is mainly because these people make me uncomfortable, and I want to be comfortable with my characters.

    In my short *cough* life, I have met straight overly camp men, and straight full-frontal in your face guys. Again they made me uncomfortable. It kept wanting to look behind the mask. Others, equally colourful, haven't made me twitch at all, because they were happy in their skin.

    I think what I am rambling about is it is not the plumage, but the person. Which I think is what you are saying.

  3. My question is, too gay for what? For whom?'s where we manage to confuse ourselves with parts of speech.
    Gay is an adjective which is supposed to help describe a noun. This list, edited for brevity from, seems to incorporate many traits which I find appealing in others-regardless of gender.
    [alert, animated, blithe, bouncy, brash, carefree, cheerful, cheery, chipper, confident, convivial, festive, forward, frivolous, frolicsome, fun-loving, glad, gleeful, hilarious, insouciant, jolly, jovial, joyful, joyous, keen, lighthearted, lively, merry, mirthful, playful, pleasure-seeking, presuming, pushy, rollicking, self-assertive, sparkling, spirited, sportive, sprightly, sunny, vivacious, wild, zippy]

    I'm not trying to be deliberately obtuse (okay, maybe a little) but it seems to me, we are trying to lump people together through stereotyping and bias when we use narrow terms to define an entire spectrum of the population.

    So if the question is can someone have these "gay" characteristics to an annoying or distasteful degree...yes! I have even been accused of having infectious enthusiasm...Ouch!

    I actually think you nailed it (can I say that?) in the final paragraph when you brought it back around personality qualities. Are there certain personalities that are too over the top, too contrived, too much like a battering ram to make it comfortable or interesting to be around an individual? Yes. Is that attributable to their gender or orientation? I don't think I can go there.

    Thought-provoking post, Bear!

  4. Interesting topic and I think I agree with Laura. Having had gay friends for most of my adult life and living in NYC, I try not to judge people by outward appearances. That can be a challenge in this fast, fast, fast world where everyone has an opinion of you within 15 seconds of meeting you. But I do try and get to know someone a bit before I decide if they have friend potential or not. Some people I have an instant rapport with. That is all more important to me than how feminine or masculine they are. Who are they inside?

  5. Lots of great ideas here to think about :) Interesting post.

  6. Tom said **Too Gay? Those guys who choose to see everybody through a rainbow colored filter. If you can’t see through human colored glasses, and demand everything be assessed in relation to homosexuality, you are Too Gay.**

    I think that you could make this statement about any group of people who demand you see the world through their color of glasses. When people are too much of anything it's not good. I know straight men who are too much, who can't see anything but their way. Women who demand you see the world their way. Then there are other categories of groups that demand you see the world their way. It just keeps going and going, separating individuals from others and keeping people out unless they unequivocally agree. The sad thing is, that most people who are like that, demanding their view points, are just looking for acceptance but what they don't see is that their demands and how they see the world make them less appealing to others. Yes, be yourself, but I doubt that few of those "in your face" type of people are actually being themselves, more likely they are being over the top to make a statement.

  7. There are people who do the "full frontal “Fuck You Look at ME” gayness" and every time I come across one, their psychology screams "I hate who I am so I'm going to act like this so you will reject me that way it's you who is the bad person." I am not saying same-gender-oriented people should play straight, but if a person is "acting" his way through life, he is merely a shell. Society is too involved in "making a statement" when they have nothing of substance to say.
    Matt Darringer