Is baiting someone to see if they're anti-gay rude?

I have an Iranian-American friend who asked me once, when he was in my apartment, whether it seemed gay that he licked Nutella off of his friend’s arms. It was quite strange to hear him ask that; as friends, we do not generally discuss each other’s sexual lives in a very explicit manner.

I took him to mean “does it seem homoerotic that I did this?”, and said that yes, it certainly did seem gay that he did that. Later, I discussed with a friend of mine, Joel, how strange it seemed that my friend had asked me that (Joel also knows my friend). Joel agreed that the question was obscure and awkward.

I later told my friend that I thought he was trying to get a reaction out of me and I found it pretty annoying that he would try to do that. He actually came out and admitted that he was trying to see whether I was anti-gay. He wanted to know whether I had a problem with homosexuality, and so he decided to throw out the question to see how I’d react.

I personally think that baiting someone to see whether they’ll respond in an anti-gay manner is rude, particularly between friends. He knew me well enough already; if he really had to know, couldn’t he have just asked “how do you feel about homosexuality?”, or something along those lines?

Since there aren’t any gay people in Iran it’s quite the novelty everywhere else? He’s looking for Mr Goodbar? It could be a lot of things.

I would say that baiting your friends with regard to any topic could be considered rude. It’s not just limited to discussions about homosexuality.

I agree that “baiting” is rude. If you are close enough friends that he could do that to see your reaction, then you are close enough for him to just ask you outright. But is it possible that a culture-clash is at work here too? In Iran would it be rude to ask about such a thing even of good friends, and maybe the passive-aggressive techniques are favored?

Personally I’d find it odd in any case. Close friends would have ample opportunity to know your stance on homosexuality I would think. If you were a gay-basher, I’d doubt it would be kept under wraps for too long.

Yeah, it’s rude.

Is it just me, or is the Gay-Bait also just a REALLY weird issue to begin with?
The whole licking Nutella off a friend’s arm? I don’t really associate that w/ gay or straight… just… “odd”.

N-thing the idea that baiting a friend on any issue is rude, especially if you’re a good enough friend that he could just ask you outright.

Nutella is pretty good but why would you lick it off a friend’s arm?

But it does seem like a weird question to ask a friend. If I mentioned licking nutella off a guy’s arm, my friends (depending on the friend I guess) would either comment on it being gay or shrug it off as weird or disgusting so asking that question outright seems to be pointless. Even if I get a, “that’s gay,” response, it doesn’t actually mean the friend is homophobic. So I’m not really sure what he’s getting at.

Yeah, I might actually think “that’s gay” in the sense that I, personally, would not want to lick Nutella off of someone I wasn’t sexually attracted to.

Well, I don’t really want to lick food off of people I AM sexually attracted to either, but you get my point.

I guess I’m in the minority. I don’t think the example in the OP is rude. Isn’t this how people do things, even friends? If they’re worried about the reaction they might get they don’t approach a situation straight on. If this guys was hitting on the OP or coming out to him (or conversely trying to see if he was a fellow homophobe, though I doubt it) then I’m not sure asking him how he feels about homosexuality, in general.

Also, in terms of homophobia, there’s a world of difference between people’s stated values and how they actually act (See: and guy who swears he isn’t homophobic, ‘I just don’t want them hitting on me’ or ‘They just shouldn’t flaunt it in our faces’).

It’s annoying. I’ve encountered similar situations in which someone who’s already out would for some reason direct some supergay non sequitur at me and then seem a little disappointed (not that kind of disappointed) when I shrug them off. (Dude, we’re in the Castro, at the cast party for the Rocky Horror Show, in which my roommate played Brad. Pointing out you’re gay is like pointing out you have hair, no one cares.)

Baiting people in general is rude. It shows low character.

It’s maybe a little rude, but on the other hand, before you decide to come out to somebody, you’re smart to find out if they are homophobic, and it’s not like you can ask them straight out.

I vote for a little clumsy, but not overtly rude. It’s certainly not rude to subtly find out what an acquaintance thinks about something controversial, especially if it’s something important to you. For instance, you could mention the picture that was in the paper this morning of two men getting married in DC, ready to turn the conversation to commenting on some non-controversial aspect of it if your aquaintance doesn’t share your views (“Actually, it wasn’t the politics of it, I was just noticing that there’s no snow on the ground there…”). That’s not ‘baiting’, it’s just gracefully finding out how much you can discuss a particular topic with them.

Now I think that your friend wasn’t very subtle or graceful, but hey, if English isn’t his first language and America isn’t their first culture, I say cut him some slack, both on how gracefully he brought it up and on whether you were close enough friends for him to ask you directly.

The general rule is that if you do or say anything that makes someone else uncomfortable, particularly if you’re doing it on purpose, it’s rude.

Baiting is rude, but I don’t think what he was doing was baiting. He was testing for acceptance. On a subject so controversial, that might even be considered polite.

But he did it in a very weird way.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but how does thinking that it’s gay to lick your friend’s arm make someone anti-gay?

I first read the thread title as "Is biting someone to see if they’re anti-gay rude? "

Which it is, you should never bite someone without their permission.

Getting a friend to say something stupid and then ripping on them is one of the finer joys in life. :smiley:

Of course, that would be logically impossible wouldnt it? :slight_smile: