I was recently reading an article by some gay activist sort, denouncing the bigotry etc. of anti-gay people. The writer vehemently condemned the fallacy put forth by some that gay people were attracted to people of the same gender who were not themselves gay. The idea being that this assertion is just another piece of anti-gay scare tactics, concocted by anti-gay activists. The purported purpose was apparently to scare straight people into thinking that gay people are thinking of them, or perhaps even their children, in an erotic maner. The writer seemed to take for granted that there could be no such attraction.
My question is, is this true? I can’t think of any reason why it would be so. Of course, the likelihood of a return of affection can have an impact on one’s feelings. But this applies to heterosexual relationships as well, and there’s nothing to suggest that straight people are not at all attracted to those who are not likely to reciprocate.
A possibly related question: my understanding of gay people, limited as it is, is that they are attracted to those who have characteristics of their own gender. Thus a gay man is attracted to masculinity and a gay woman to femininity. However, at the same time, gay people (at least some) have a tendency to play down those aspects of their own personas. Thus a gay man may seem more feminine, and a gay woman more masculine. By this reckoning, a gay person should find another gay person less attractive than a he/she would a heterosexual, whose persona is more clearly that of the desired gender.
Note to the moderator: I’m not sure if this belongs in Great Debates. Feel free to move accordingly.
It doesn’t amek any sense to be entertain the idea of getting with a straight guy. Sure, there are several hot straight men I’d jump in a second, but why bother when my attentions would be unwelcome?
A straight guy by definition shags women exclusively, so why should I knock myself out yearning for the unattainable when there are so many hot, ready, willing, and able gay men about?
Izzy, go read the “Ask The Gay Guy! II” thread for some more enlightened views on the gay community.
Some people are attracted to people without knowing their orientation first. I fell in love with my high school senior class president, and he was as straight as could be. Love has little regard for whether or not it is returned or not. Pursuing a relationship, obviously, is right out, but that also has little to do with who you fall in love with.
Similarly, I’ve found that you can’t help what you’re attracted to. Some gay men like masculine men. Some like feminine men. Some like androgynous men. Some like moustaches. Some like non-smokers. Some like Asian men. To blanketly state “all gay men like masculine men and all lesbians like feminine women” is as inane and uninformed a comment as saying “all straight women find Mel Gibson attractive” - surely there are many who don’t.
And your interpretation of gay self-loathing and internalized homophobia is, on the whole, completely off the mark. Put down that 1950’s psychology textbook and go read the AtGG thread. I promise it will be worth your while.
If you paraphrased the article you read correctly, the “gay activist” you refer to ranks highly on the Stooooopid People list. Are your sure the activist wasn’t saying that gay people don’t pursue straights? This makes more sense, especially in terms of anti-gay “conversion” lunacy. It sure don’t work the other way, speaking as a straight who has dated two women who later came out of the closet.
The Gay Guy thread is quite lengthy. However, I will attempt to peruse it when I get a chance.
However, my question was a specific one - is the idea that gays can be attracted to straights bigotry, as this writer claimed, or is it possible? This question has ably been answered by Goboy and youself. It is possible.
Your subsequent remarks were less enlightening.
“To blanketly state “all gay men like masculine men and all lesbians like feminine women” is as inane and uninformed” etc.
I did not say this. I said that they like masculinity and femininity. This seemed obvious, in light of their wanting someone of that gender. I merely posited from that that perhaps a more masculine man and feminine woman would be more in the same direction.
“And your interpretation of gay self-loathing and internalized homophobia is, on the whole, completely off the mark. Put down that 1950’s psychology textbook” etc.
I’m not sure what this means. But I can’t see how it is helpful. I would like to think that it is possible to ask a straightforward question on this message board without being saddled with everything others may have said on this subject.
It is indeed possible, although I think it is worth noting that there are plenty of reasons for homsexuals not to be attracted to heterosexuals. The “lost cause” aspect has already been mentioned (although sometimes that can work the other way – there are people who subconsciously want to be rejected, or who have romantic notions about unrequited love). Another reason is that traditional heterosexual behavior can look pretty stupid from the outside. A woman following “The Rules” may seem silly to a man, but she’ll probably seem even more ridiculous to a lesbian.
Izzy, yes it is possible for a homosexual to fall for a hetrosexual. My cousin is gay and he fell for a straight guy, but did not pursue the situation once he found out about the other person’s sexual orientation. It works the other way around too. I can’t count the number of gay men I have been attracted to and not been able to pursue because of their sexual orientation.
I think the only reason this is an issue is because there are people both straight and gay, who pursue a person they are attracted to without taking no for an answer. It does sadden me in a way that people are still classified by their sexuality. I would think as a society we would have moved past all of this already.
Your statement of the “obvious” read as a gross generalization, and it’s an incorrect one - that’s why I corrected it. Gay men and lesbians are as diverse as every other man and woman.
I’m not rebuking you, I’m making an observation. The internalized homophobia I was referring to was when you said:
Obviously, as you say, a gay man may seem more feminine, but I can point out quite a few straight men who seem more feminine as well, and it has nothing to do with their sexual orientation or what they find attractive in a mate. (Go ask SkySlash for his particular take on this. :)) And since the logic of “gay men only like manly men” is flawed, then the statement “gay men loathe other gay men because they’re feminine” is similarly flawed.
Keep asking questions - that’s what we’re here for.
I’m not sure you’re being entirely fair to IzzR. Granted, he made some flawed statements, but the majority of gay personal ads I’ve seen contain the line, “No fats or fems”, and most of the gay men I know will say, if you ask them if they found effeminate men attractive, “If I wanted a woman, I’d be straight.” Certainly, the leatherman subculture is based on a worship of hypermasculine attributes and a repudiation of effeminacy. Take a look at the gay porn mag selection at your local gay bookstore. How many celebrate machismo versus androgyny? Izzy’s conclusions were way off base, but you have to admit that gay men go for muscles and masculinity.
Of course I’m attracted to straight women! There are a large number of women who I have a yearning for because of their beauty and/or intelligence and/or wit and/or classiness. Some notable examples are Britney Spears (beauty - oh come on, she is cute, admit it!), Elizabeth Hurley (beauty/class), Camille Paglia (wit), an un-named female co-worker here (intelligence/wit), and of course pepperlandgirl (all of the above reasons). I never met any lesbian who did not at one time state “too bad she’s straight.” While this by no means speaks for the whole, it seems to be both pretty common and reasonable to me.
Now whether it goes any further than attraction is open to debate. I assume most women are straight, and don’t bother to pursue anyone that I don’t know for certain is interested. Even if I did, I’d probably have about as much chance with pepperlandgirl as I would with Elizabeth Hurley.
What are my conclusions that you disagree with? You seem to be agreeing that “most of the gay men I know will say, if you ask them if they found effeminate men attractive, “If I wanted a woman, I’d be straight.”” I also accepted that MANY (note to Esprix: not all) gay men are said to have effeminate characteristics. So it would make sense that a gay person would have a HIGHER LIKELIHOOD of being attracted to a straight person.
This seems to me to be pretty straightforward. I would also like to add a quote from Esprix (from the highly touted Gay Guy thread)
I am using the assumption that the forgoing quote is an accurate statement, and think it supports my logic.
All this other stuff about gay self-loathing, internalized homophobia and 1950’s psychology textbooks are not part of my thinking on this matter, and are irrelevent to this discussion (at least to me).
I agree that the majority(not ALL) gay men are attracted to masculinity and and macho imagery. However I found this statement wholly unwarranted.
That just seems to be a homophobic statement. Most of the gay guys I know are indistinguishable from hetero men in their mannerisms and carriage. I don’t find straight men inherently more masculine or desirable than gay men. I’m a Kinsey 6 and I consider myself to be very manly.I would never go after a straight guy when there are many manly, even studly, gay guys to get.
No offense meant, Goboy. Actually, I myself don’t know any (openly) gay people at all (hence my ignorance on the subject), and never intended to make any blanket statements about the entire group. But I think what I wrote is widely accepted as a fact, and I based my original statement on this. (Also note the subsequent quote from Esprix). I was careful to mention “at least some”. Maybe I should have qualified it more strongly.
Now, I’m checking in here with a Castro St. perspective. Most gay guys I know are very distinguishable from the straight folk out here. It tends to be much more difficult with lesbians. Most of the straight girls look like “stereotypical” lesbians. Also, while many gay men are attracted to straight men. They rarely show straight guys that they are interested in them. Gaydar is very finely honed out here in SF. It’s reeeeaaaallll easy to tell if someone is interested in you.
To be fair, when I get out of the city my Gaydar falls apart. Gay hicks and straight hicks in Stockton all look the same to me.
This is not a reflection on the original poster, whom i do not know and I’m sure is a fine human being with brains to match.
What a stupid question!!
I have been hit on by gay guys before.
(Aside: At the DC pldennison meeting, I asked SqrlCub about this, seeing it meant either Gaydar is not that accurate, or whether it was wishful thinking on behalf of some gay dudes who somehow thought I was a “catch.” He, being the fine sensitive man he is, that I was in the closet and should be myself. Thanks, Sqrl…)
My reaction was the same as if an ugly woman hit on me: Gee, I’m flattered that someone finds me attractive, but no.
There are some lesbians I find very attractive. Why, if I wasn’t with Drain Bead and Neuro-Trash Girl would let me, I’d…
Um… Sorry, almost TMI. Anyway, suffice it to say, you are attracted to what people look like (act like, smell like, insert personal preferences here) and gay folks come in all sizes and shapes like the rest of us do.
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I’ll certainly do no such thing. The premise that “gay men like men” is sound. I’ll even concede the premise that “gay men like men who act like men” is sound. But I think a problem here is that there is an assumption that all men must be either masculine or feminine, whereas I’ve found that most men and women usually exhibit characteristics of both and fall somewhere within the two extremes. Take me, for example - I can pitch a tent and go camping in the wilderness for two weeks, but I sing showtunes to the birds. I can use a chainsaw to cut down a tree in our yard, and shriek “Fabulous!” when it falls. When people ask me if I consider myself “straight-acting” or not (“gay-acting?”), I respond, “I’m me-acting.”
Personally, on the whole I don’t go for masculine men - I prefer my men to act more natural to who they are than put on some kind of front for the public. Sure, I’ve dated butch guys, but I’ve also dated a lot of screaming nellies. Loved 'em all. (And Asian men can sometimes be soooo passive… ;))
Another flaw in this logic I thought about this weekend - if all gay men are effeminate, and all gay men like masculine men, then there would be no gay couples - no gay man would be attracted to any other gay man because they were all effeminate.
I dispute that many gay men are strictly effeminate - it has always been my observation that they are in the minority. I would say rather that most gay men are male-acting, and as I said above, the range of behavior among males ranges from completely butch to completely femme. I suppose you’re confusing “male” with “masculine.”
No, it supports that some gay men exhibit some stereotypical behavior. You seem to be sticking to most gay men, and it simply isn’t true.
My point, Izzy, is that the statement “widely accepted as fact” is (a) a Bad Thing™ in general (usually because it’s the farthest thing from the truth); and (b) anathema around the SDMB. Remember, we’re here to fight ignorance, not propogate it.