i don’t guess i’m all that surprised. we gays love our labels.
yes, that’s a stereotype! lots of straights like ‘em too—women and men—whether it’s clothes, rims, glasses, toilet paper, chain saws, you name it: we like labels!
anyway, tonight i participated in a twitter conversation about labels. specifically: labeling what kind of man and how masculine you are based on your sexual position/role. *augh* really? it’s 2011 and we’re still behaving like this?! that’s as ludicrous as the discussions about whether a stay-at-home mom is a better mother than a working mom or the one that occurs within the black community about skin color making someone a more desirable person. (though it’s still debated in circles of many colors, we’re all beautiful, no matter our skin’s hue and any mom—whether she works outside the home or not—can be an excellent, loving, effective mother. i know several!)
that kind of thinking just hits me wrong. almost as much as describing gays by which “list” they’re on, a notion no-doubt coined by someone who perceives himself to be on the “A-list” [aka “douchebag”] or a person with a poor self-image, whose envy has gotten the best of himself.
and speaking of the notion of an “A-list”—a concept not original to the gays as both the hets and the homos have been keeping lists since, well, Adam, Eve, and, well, Steve—let’s talk about that ridiculous show “the A-list.” no wonder society perceives us they way they do with ill-conceived garbage like this, no doubt the brainchild of some snarky gay hoping to profit by exploiting the negative stereotypes of this particular group of people. that show represents no one i know in real life, only the stereotypes i rue and occasionally mock.
yes: i laugh at these men but not in a good way. i can empathize with some of their situations but some of their behaviors leave me shaking my head. and trust me: I know many vapid, vacuous people; gays do not have the market cornered on these characteristics.
so back to labeling. yes, some of us are eccentric. many of us dress better than many of our hetero compadres (although this metrosexual thing is really catching on thank goodness). a lot of us express ourselves creatively and talk with our hands and love shoes and secretly love/hate/want to be Martha Stewart and love musicals and The Oscars and sports and believe in the importance of family and are productive members of society and make great neighbors and think of others generously by giving money and time to worthy causes and…
i think i just made my point.
but in case i didn’t, let me conclude, in my usual “this is not really a conclusion, i’m still going” mode.
first: masculinity is not defined by sexual position. it is made up of many characteristics, most of which extend far outside the bedroom. [duh. but apparently it needs to be said. again.]
second: stop it with the stereotypes. society loves them and we gays sure love to label people (oops) but really—is it anyone’s business?! yes, i am hypersensitive to labels. i still remember when “Three’s Company” was on TV, becoming one of primetime TV’s earlier attempt to parody homosexuals. (“Soap” preceded it but came on after your local news; i was allowed to watch neither.) The very next day, kids started asking me if i was gay. That was fifth grade. and so it began…
Ok so what. Yeah. i knew then i was gay. (i actually knew much earlier.) But what i didn’t realize then, i finally realize today: i’m also creative. and smart(ish). And sometimes funny. And i love to talk and share and laugh and a million other things that many other humans like to do. my identity as a gay male is just one piece of who i am—not my entire identity. yes, stereotypes are fun to laugh at (although wow Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara and Jessey Tyler Ferguson push them so far that they’re more uncomfortable than funny.) but hey: it’s good for a laugh, right?
at the end of the day, we are not the sum of our labels. we’re all just equal human beings with basically the same DNA, except the precious few deviations that give us our own unique identities, personalities, and traits.
it’s just that some of us have better shoes.