We’ve all seen the ads: No Fats, No Femmes (no, lesbionic peoples, not your femmes, our femmes. No Male Femmes). You might be asking yourself why someone who is in a long-term relationship still looks at online gay personals? Mainly because I’m a gay man, we do weird stuff like that. We also like classified ads, penis’ and music that’s so loud it permanently impairs our hearing. Did I mention the arms in the air dancing thing? A few days ago I wrote about gay hierarchy and heterosexism, and this is the natural extension.
Over a decade ago I responded to one of these ads. I was neither fat nor a femme (nor Asian- yes that’s also a recurrent NO. Don’t ask me why but I’m guessing it could have something to do with penis stereotypes) so I fulfilled almost everyone’s criteria. I selected a gorgeous blond Norwegian guy and that started a three-month fling that took us from Spain to London and then back again, all the while being plagued by his straight-acting obsession.
Do I look straight in this?
Do you really have to sing along to Bette Midler when we have other people in the car?
Are Bette Davis impersonations really necessary?
OMG, what’s your penis doing there?!?
That last one was a joke, apparently the only part of being gay he didn’t mind. He’d fallen into the absurd trap so many of us still seem to be falling into. He had internalized gender stereotypes. Pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Except that’s a total invention. Pink actually used to be for boys and blue was for girls.
“…a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.”
Needless to say the relationship ended badly one night when I made the joke that has become the title of this post… Straight acting? Then what’s that penis doing in your mouth? But I still wonder what happened to him and if he ever got over it. I wonder because I still see the No Fat, No Femmes on profiles and because some people are still writing things like this.
The “essay” begins with: “I do not support little gay boys who are becoming YouTube famous just because they are ok with people laughing at them for being flamboyantly gay and obnoxious…”
Goes on to:
“When immigrants come to the US (just like our families) most of them adapt to the US lifestyle. Same thing with gays, we are minority and WE need to be the ones adapting to the lifestyle of heterosexuals. Why? Because we live in a heterosexual world.”
“If society thinks that it’s ok to be gay and transgender but they are not crazy about the idea of men being overly feminine then we need to respect that.”
So if we hate ourselves and each other within our community, what chance do we really have to make sure “It Gets Better” for the generations that are still to come? I like to think there’s more to human character than banal oversimplifications. Yes, I like Bette Midler and yes, I can take down a tree with a chainsaw. Those things aren’t mutually exclusive. We are all masculine and feminine, better yet, we are all what we perceive masculine and feminine to represent.