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Ramon Johnson

'No Effeminate Men': Preference or Self-Hatred?

By November 24, 2006

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"No fats, no femmes." Sounds awful, doesn't it? Any gay or bi man that's chatted online or visited a hookup site has seen this tag listed in some, if not a few, profiles. Gay body image issues are prevalent enough, but what about the disassociation from flamboyant men? Unfortunately, the image of a gay person as an effeminate man has been the product of typical gay TV and film roles, even though these characters do not represent the whole of the gay community. On television, the gay man is often seen at extremes providing slapstick humor and flamboyant theatrics to straight viewers. This one-sided view of gay life has led to many misguided gay stereotypes, but has it also led to a disassociation of effeminacy by masculine gay men?

During an Oprah interview last year, singer, dancer, actor Billy Porter commented on the issue of gay men who have a problem with flamboyant men. Porter described the nature of gay men as "a spectrum just like everything." Billy continued, "Flamboyant gay people get more of the attention, but we run the gamut."

Are claims of "no femmes" just a matter of preference or is there something else behind the tiara? Porter thinks it's perhaps more deeply rooted. "It's a self-hate issue that's brought on by society. You want to assimilate. ... The only thing that we want as human beings is to be accepted."

In the forum thread Fear of Being Straight, Tony comments, "Different people look and act different ways. Typically when people say 'look gay' they mean look or act feminine. Far from all gay guys look or act feminine. And there are a decent number of straight guys who do. That is no indication at all if someone is gay or not."

Are those that state "no femmes" in fact speaking from preference among a gamut of different types or are they fleeing the flamboyant based on their own issues?

Suggested Reading:
What's Your Gay Personality?
I Fear Straight People
Should Gays Be Allowed to Discriminate?
November 24, 2006 at 10:50 am
(1) AAOO(Sean) says:

I think it’s a bit deeper than that. Many of the str8 acting gay men, act like no str8 guy I know. It’s the gay mans interpretation of what a str8 man is like. Many of the hyper masculine gay men I know are angry and mean spiritited, they detest the femme, I think this is due to their own internalized homophobia. They have so throughly repressed thier own femme side, that they almost have a sick type of reaction when they see it in others.

This also goes back to using Het based words/images to define us. We need our own word/images.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if the full range of human expression were valued?!

Peace and Love and much Humor,

November 26, 2006 at 5:43 pm
(2) John says:

Couldn’t agree more.

November 26, 2006 at 9:38 pm
(3) Bud says:

I’m sick to death of this nonsense. There is no law that says a gay man has to be effeminate, or that finding such behavior unattractive has anything to do with self-loathing. It’s doubletalk psychobabble meant to justify outrageous, and clearly atypical, behavior. I am not an effeminate man, nor is my partner. Isn’t that the point of being gay? I am a man who happens to be attracted to other men, their masculinity, their maleness. It clearly has nothing to do with self-loathing, since femininity is not at all a part of my self. I’m tired of this nonsense. It’s like all the promisuous men who say I’m not “sex-friendly” because my partner and I are monogamous. When was the law passed that gay men have to be whores? Or nelly? Did I miss something?

May 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm
(4) James says:

I have always been this way and have had this voice that people talk as being fem,there is also no law that says to be gay is to be masculine. Would you think it was fair for me to pretend to be masculine just so we could be friends? IS it right for me to be masculine when its not my true nature just to get a date with another masculine guy? Does it bother you when you talk to someone that has a gay sounding voice? Its not nonsense if 100% of gay dating ads and Porn erase fem gay men as if we were never part of that gay comminuty? Its not nonsense if you go to a gay pride event and see masculine & masculine groups that make fun or or make snide remarks about gay men who cant help the way they are? Should we all kill ourselves so you masculine men can be let in the world where no one would know you exist ,unless you told them? WHy dont you just hire a serial killer and whip us off the Map.. Masculine gay men have been very disciminatory in the work place my whole life. pertending to be “A” sexual,never mentioning the name of thier lover let alone to say they are seeing someone. Like sam chapion and robin roberts.. they never disuccss who they are seing,but its accpeted for them to interview people about personal issues and expect them to be good sports about it all the while why would never reviel anything true of themselves…… JUST EARSE US THN.. then you and your masculine BF can just bleand right into the world as if gayness was a desase..

November 27, 2006 at 3:56 pm
(5) gr8face says:

To each his own.

November 27, 2006 at 4:10 pm
(6) j. brotherlove says:

“Isn’t that the point of being gay?”

Um, no Bud, it isn’t.

November 27, 2006 at 11:16 pm
(7) Bud says:

Oh, I’m sorry. You must be right. What was I thinking. I’m sure the point of being gay is to purge yourself of all aspects of masculinity and prance around in sequined gowns. My bad.

May 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm
(8) James says:

Your confusing transexuals with gay men. Its not the same and its notthe same reasons we are gay.. I want nothig to do with female clothing ,but dont emasculte me with the word fem if I havent said I want to be a girl! I DONT!

November 29, 2006 at 5:28 pm
(9) Cleon T. Day, III says:

We are attracted to who we are attracted to, the internet forces us to put it in writing, however, while we are out and about we gravitate towards a brotha that turns us on, he may be masculine, he might be effeminate, he may be straight. It not a choice or preference, just like being gay, we’re born gay and we are naturally turned on by whoever our heads turn towards.

November 29, 2006 at 5:43 pm
(10) James A. Butler says:

There are gay men that like feminine men and there are gay men that don’t. Personally speaking, I am much more attracted to masculinity. Effeminate men, while I respect them for who they are are, are too close to being with a female. That’s just not what I’m about. I do believe that many gay males don’t want to be with an effeminate man because of the stigma being out in public with such an individual would present. I’m sure there are various spectrums of masculinity/femininity within the heterosexual community as well.

May 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(11) James says:

To say,”
Effeminate men, while I respect them for who they are are, are too close to being with a female.” You dont repect us if you dont consider us men? Your a hypocrite. Why would you want to emasculate a man that isnt claiming to be a transexual? A “real” str8 guy would see you in the same light.”Not a real man” But so you feel comfortalbe with yourself you want to tag me as a girl by putting me in the same catagory as a female? SHE DOESNT HAVE A PENIS! ITS NOT THE SAME! AND U KNOW IT< BODY SNETS ARE DIFFERENT AND U KNOW IT! YOUR A HOMPHOBE!

November 29, 2006 at 6:20 pm
(12) Norm says:

Straight, gay, bi, transgender, whatever… we all have our opinions about this and we all stereotype regardless of gender. Unfortunately this is what it means to be “HUMAN”. Thanks God we are all able to make choices and decide who or whom we want in our lives as friends, partners or just mutual acquaintances.

As far as my opinion & choice goes, I also prefer men that are not flamboyant but I certainly would not hold that against them if I wanted them in my life.

Live & let live….

November 29, 2006 at 7:34 pm
(13) Sean says:

Two things: 1) I think it’s unfair to lambaste Bud, when the comment he is referring to is a the term homosexual..meaning attracted sexually to the same sex. I understand his point and on many occassions have had to quip “if i wanted to be with a woman, i’d be with a real one”..however, that doesn’t mean that as a community our lives and loves should be limited to displaying only the most masculine–sex is about preference and what pleases us and because it is so subjective, I don’t think we should be trying to make any kind of generalization about what people like. I think part of this experience is supposed to be about appreciating the diversity in our culture because it provides each and every one of us to find someone that we are compatible with..that most closely matches our deep (and not so deep) desires and preferences…being with each other as family, friends and loved ones can be about choice..and i think that’s something to be celebrated AND respected–just the way we desire to be by the rest of society.

November 29, 2006 at 9:50 pm
(14) Richard says:

I agree with those who say it is a part of self-loathing. When one of us finds he is gay, he wants to say, “But I’m not like THOSE (effeminate) gay guys.”
To provide a little historical perspective, I also see it as to some extent a matter of fashion. A change occurred around 1970. Suddenly effeminate was out, butch (even super-butch) was in. As evidence, the Advocate in the 1970s had a cooking column written by Lou Rand Hogan, who called himself Auntie Lou. His writing was very campy. Then the Advocate axed his feature. I see this as evidence of the change in fashion. The Advocate no longer wanted to be associated with the effeminate or campy stereotype, or did not want to seem to be promoting an effeminate stereotype of gay people.
I myself was kicked out of a chat room one time because I represented a “stereotypical” gay person who, for instance, does not like sports. I guess it is not politically correct to admit that you don’t conform to this newer, masculine image of gays. An example of how we can tyrannize over one another.

November 29, 2006 at 10:08 pm
(15) Bud says:

Thanks Sean. I was a little short in my comments and didn’t express myself completely. In reality, I believe it is the most effeminate segment of gay culture that is self loathing. It reminds me of the struggle of blacks for racial equality. As long as the white majority could portray blacks as Amos and Andy charicatures, someone to be laughed at, blacks were not threatening to white dominance. As long as straights can see gays as flaming queens we don’t threaten their concept of gender identity. They can portray us as “confused” or even “sick.”

What hits straight people where they live is the gay man who won’t be characiturized. It flies in the face of stereotypes, for example, that I am a gay man who teaches karate, or that, because of the work I do, most of my friends are straight cops and they can’t clock me because I don’t seem like someone they would recognize as “gay.” As long as straights can marginalize us, then we don’t matter. When we allow ourselves to perpetuate the stereotypes that lead to marginalization, THAT’S self loathing. I’m not self loathing because I’m “butch”. I like myself just fine the way I am, and I won’t let someone else’s paranoia define me.

November 29, 2006 at 10:29 pm
(16) Kiume says:

I agree with Bud. Well said! We all like what we like. Now if you can’t be friends with someone for being himself, you may have an issue that you need to check yourself on. But if dating a effeminate guy is not your thing, then it is not your thing. Choose for yourself for the right reasons and live YOUR life the way you choose! Not dictated by others.

November 29, 2006 at 11:53 pm
(17) Jay says:

The Gay Community is all about “celebrating diversity”, unless you are masculine and monogamous, then they say that you are self-loathing and sexaphobic.

November 30, 2006 at 4:44 am
(18) j. brotherlove says:

I guess I take issue with the assumption that effeminate men “allow [themselves] to perpetuate the stereotypes”.

The larger society is beginning to see “gays” in our fullness; and that scares many of them (“He’s just like ME”).

However, it should not be anyone’s mandate to act more “butch” or “straight” so that we appear “normal” and are more accepted by others.

As someone said earlier, humans run the spectrum of (what we consider) masculine and feminine. When a (presumably “straight acting/appearing”) gay man looks at one considered effeminate with disgust, there is more at work behind the scenes.

It should not matter if you wear makeup or drive a truck. We should be able to accept each other on a level beyond that.

November 30, 2006 at 7:20 am
(19) Bud says:

“When a (presumably “straight acting/appearing”) gay man looks at one considered effeminate with disgust, there is more at work behind the scenes.”

You bet there is. Return for a moment to the history of black civil rights. In the early part of the century, in order to be “accepted” by whites, many blacks engaged in a behavior called “cooning” The Urban Dictionary describes cooning as :

“a verb derived from the word coon. A coon was/is a person of african decent whose sole purpose was/is to entertain white people. These ‘coons’ started out as wearing black face, characterized by haveing big eyes and painting big red lips on their face. These people would tap dance, play instruments and sing. Modern day coons are blacks who play stereotypical roles and black entertainers that promote ignorance.”

When gay men coon for the benefit of one another, or for straight people, it is offensive. Human behavior, does, indeed, run the gamut, but let’s not kid ourselves. These extremes of feminism in gay men are affectations that benefit nobody but the people who want to keep us in our place.

I’m not saying anyone has a “mandate” to act more butch or more straight. I’m just saying that the affectation of overly feminine mannerisms does more harm to gay rights than would be done otherwise.

November 30, 2006 at 10:58 am
(20) John says:

In my opinion the only thing established by this board is taht those that have kept their responses short, don’t put their feet in their mouth. So here i go to put my foot in my mouth. First, Bud you had it mostly right until your last post, femiminine mannerisms don’t harm the gay rights movement…and if by chance they do, then itmeans we have a lot more work to do. Second, Richard you’re just dating yourself…those of us that consider ourselves of the younger generation realize that “this newer, masculine image of gays” actually isn’t newer. We have enough support these days that more gay men, with all ranges of styles, attitudes, and behaviors come out. This we realize is nothing new, these sports loving, masculine gay men (and women, let’s be fair) have always existed. Yet in the past masculine men probably came out less openly because they did not have to. So there i have put my foot in my mouth sufficiently…I will say though, the one intelligent comment here is regarding friendships. Preferences are preferences and should not be lambasted, yet if one has an issue with effeminate men as friends, there may be a problem…You kept it short, well said Kiume.

November 29, 2008 at 6:23 pm
(21) Marc says:

Being more feminine or effeminate doesn’t say much at all about a person. People seem to make all these judgements, having this image in their mind what ‘effeminate’ is. Well tell me, what is ‘masculine?’ None of these gender labels are easy to define. There is very little certainty contained in any of them, just abstract notions that are basically impossible to substantiate. Basically, just simpleimpressions, and often superficial ones.

Hell, it’s going to vary just from culture to culture what is ‘masculine’ and what is ‘feminine’. It’s all just indoctrinated. The fact that our society sees the need to enforce gender roles is proof in my mind that they aren’t absolute or entirely ‘natural’. If gender roles were absolute or natural, there would be no divergence at all, and thus no need for us to tell our children how boys and girls are expected to act. It would just come naturally to them.

Most people do act naturally to them. Not too many people who have a good perspective on life will willingly don as mask or act in an ungenuine way simply because that is what is expected of them. I’d argue the more weak willed or less individualist would, because their sense of self worth is contingent on social acceptance or whatever.

People often have an image of what ‘effeminacy’ is, but often those people most eager to speak against it really don’t have a clue what it’s about. I don’t think all are self loathing, but there’s no doubt in my mind a considerable fraction of them are.

Now if a person happens to be the loud, bitchy, obnoxious queen seen at many a gay dance club… of course some people are going to say they project an undesirable image of gays. They do! Same with the overly butch jackass who thinks being a cold sneering asshole is synomymous with masculinity. It has nothing to do with gender performance.

It’s not the gender a person identifies with that should be grounds to judge. Rather the level of class that they have. I’m embarassed when my gay peers display a blatant lack of class. I don’t care how ‘nelly’ they are (which IMO is a derogatory term and shouldn’t be used so casually, as it’s a word of heterosexist opression and it’s really sad when gays try to opress each other as our patriarchical/misogynist culture has for so long.)

It takes a lot more guts to go against the grain and act in a way that’s atyical or even seen as ‘subversive’ or whatever. They were the ones winning visibility for the gay cause during the stone wall riots. And they’re the first to get gaybashed or killed just for actng in a way they feel matches their inner identity!

They’re usually the most outspoken and ‘take no shit from anyone.’ And that’s good. It’s showing the world that we shouldn’t feel shame for just being who we are!

Often the person who sees effeminate gay men in a bad light is basically a misogynist. A man being more feminine isn’t acting below their level. Men and women are equal (equally worthless, IMO). No sex/gender is better than the other, because it’s all basically bullshit. I’m concerned with the individual, than how our society *attempts* to classify said individual.

I’d say the more feminine gays do a lot more for gay acceptance than the ‘blend in gays’ so preoccupied with making themselves palatable to a majority who have proven themselves incompetent at accepting us. It’s not our mannerisms that disgust us. They see us as ‘less than men’ simply because we fall in love with and have sex with men.

So I do not understand how people say more feminine gays do harm to the gay cause. They’ve been the ones openly fighting for acceptance while those who blend in can just coast on their hard won acceptance.

Yes, some more feminine gay men do wear it like a badge of honor, and you know it’s all just a facade or farce because no one can take it *that* far. But those people usually aren’t the deepest or most thoughtful people on Earth, so I find it hard to care what they do. There are stupid individuals everywhere. Gender identity has very little to do with it. Chances are if they weren’t effeminate I’d find them just as annoying. I’d rather just avoid vapidness of any kind! I don’t make the fallacy of connecting said vapidness to effeminite mannerisms.

I think some gays should consider what sort of message they’re sending by turning against their fellow gays just to make themselves more palatable to a patriarchical majority who has always hated us anyways!

I mean, newsflash: fundamentalist christian wackjobs don’t hate gays because some have limp wrists or whatever. They hate us because we have sex with/fall in love with other men!

November 27, 2011 at 8:04 am
(22) Ulfur says:

What a wonderful post. Thank you, Mark, for posting it. You bring some excellent points.

I think the gay community suffers from a conflict of dissonance. The community, at large, tries to assert itself from the LGBTQ continuity and truly there are no fixed images or definable traits one can say that make a person gay other than the obvious.

Being gay means being with another man, but I feel like you’re also missing a step in your thoughts, James. Being a man is not a fixed definition; it remains relative and subjective to all persons, much like the word “human.”

Effeminacy is often treated with often punitive and harsh ridicule from masculine gay men. While I am not condemning a person for liking what they like, there are great deal of gay men you will see on dating websites and such that identify themselves as “Masc/Musc, want the same.” I personally have been ignored by a great deal of these types of “caricatures” and archetypal pricks (no pun intended) even though I am not “fem.” I would not consider myself as being the most masculine but I not a girl either.

I think it’s important to be yourself and accept that we will all have parts of us that are “feminine” and “masculine”, regardless of what we may WANT to be. These labels only describe and put a word to a certain collective thought or pattern– they will never eliminate the trends that exist within the person’s behavior. I think certain gays forget that the words do not create the behavior. It’s the behavior that create the words.

It may or may not be misogyny but it sure as hell is still discrimination when a masculine gay has the urge to pick on something smaller or ‘weaker-looking’ than him. It only proves to explicate the insecurities that the masculine machismo men feel about themselves. I honestly think most of these men are quite insecure if they can’t embrace their feminine side without feeling like they’re going to be called “a girl.”

January 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm
(23) Frank says:

Why can people be both?

Maybe it is because I am bisexual, but I see both masculinity and femininity as important. One’s logical and the other is creative.

I’m not swish nor am I hyper-masculine. I just want to be myself.

April 25, 2009 at 8:28 pm
(24) William says:

On the other side of the coin, as a masculine man who prefers effeminate men, the response I get from most of them is “You just want a woman!” And of course the answer to that is no, I don’t. It seems their lack of self esteem or self hatred blocks them from developing relationships with Straight acting men as well. Which is a shame for both them and those of us that are attracted to them for relationships; not just ‘hook-up’s’.

May 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm
(25) Janea says:

I just cannot believe that it seems the effeminate ones feel more discriminated by other gays simply because they are the “stereotype”. I am a very effeminate gay and this is my choice and I am not even propagating self-loathe because I really don’t care. My straight male and female friends appreciate and RESPECT me more than the “butch” gays. And in my community, sad to say, the “butch” gays have become the new stereotype (that is the new macho sh*t), and us “effems”, (who, may I say, had our major contribution to the gay liberation front all these years) are now in hiding from witch hunts from the straight-acting gay guys. Many of the effems that people hate have a special bond with the women struggle as well. At the end of the day, when all of us are struggling for gender determination and respect, it all boils down not to self-loathing, but rather to self-righteousness.

P.S. A few butch gays are out there to hate us, but I have always tried as much as I can not to judge them, and in many occasions even professed my true love for these butchy masculine types.

May 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm
(26) Marlon says:

Discrimination against effeminate gays is homophobia.

June 21, 2009 at 10:44 am
(27) Aura says:

In my experience the anti-effeminate thing in gay culture very sadly seems to be extremely widespread! In both appearance and personality I’ve been dubbed by society as effeminate (I couldn’t count the times that I’ve been mistaken for a girl.. it doesn’t help that I’m really short) and consequentially it seems, I have rarely ever dated GAY guys but instead bi or bi-curious guys. Now I can understand them not wanting to date me because they’re attracted to masculinity, ok, there’s not much of that here but.. I’ve come across gay guys who absolutely want nothing to do with me in the sense of even just being friends just because I’m not all macho-man.. I’ve even had some very mean things said to me.
I personally believe that these guys are trying to make a statement, disassociating themselves from the “flamboyant gay queen” stereotype that is so rampant in the media. Discrimination with the intent of fitting in..

July 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm
(28) Craig says:

I’m with Bud 110%.

I’m masculine and self-assured. I didn’t move from some small town to “come out.” I’ve ALWAYS been out with my love of men. Didn’t adopt the gay accent. Don’t want to be a woman. Don’t want to be called “girl.” Sue me.

I find it absurd when the masculine or “straight-acting” are lambasted as self-loathing or self-hating. How about that’s just who we are…just like if you’re effeminate, that’s how YOU are? Most people who say it’s self-loathing are…guess what…the swishy stereotypes that are acting out of fear because of how these types treated them in gym class in junior high…but guess again…it’s the first thing they whack off to in their porn fantasies.

Live and let live. You ask the world for acceptance, yet this divisive topic is always a point of contention amongst the gay community. Not accepting the diversity among us is the greatest self-loathing there is.

January 13, 2010 at 11:34 am
(29) Thom says:

I think this is all a little over-analyzed. We are all entitled to our preferences of what we find attractive characteristics. As a gay man who struggled with his identity for many years, I used to loathe the femmes and queens… as I’ve come to my acceptance of who I am and learned that being gay does not necessarily put me in that category. I have also learned to respect and appreciate all of us in our community. I might be considered masculine, but I am my own person and I can camp it up with the best of them. I think pushing people away because of their mannerisms does show an insecurity. People need to stop judging others based on gender identities and see who they really are. I was so against femme guys and then I went on a few dates with some femme guys and learned that they can be fun to be around… there’s no harm in giving people a chance. If you’re truly open to love in life you need to learn to give all kinds a chance to see what you really love and not just exist in your perfect fantasy.

January 28, 2010 at 12:43 am
(30) Joey says:

Get it straight people! ( No pun intended) It is a major turn-off when a man acts and looks like a woman and vice versa. It looks unnatural, fake and stupid. That’s just how it is. To be more specific, it looks laughable and disgusting. No one will ever be truly accepted in mainstream society by acting that way. Believe it.

May 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm
(31) James says:

Sounds like you hate females too? Whats the difference? Its laughable? IM nobodies Joke.. Joey you seem to be someone that if you saw a fem gay guy being beatup,wouldnt even call the police ,becasue you would think “they desrved it.” Whould you say that about a female who wears a skirt and is raped” She asked for it,look at what she was wearing. You would have more compassion for a female than you own male counterparts? Your a homphobe!

February 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(32) name. says:

As a young gay male who ‘passes’ for strait fairly often, I am someone who is more or less strictly attracted to masculine men. I believe that, for me personally, I am by nature attracted to masculine men, because as I say, ‘If I liked women, I would be straight’. However, I often find myself frustrated with effeminate men who perpetuate popular stereotypes of weakness, and theatricality, and I feel no remorse for my disdain of them and their behavior.

May 25, 2011 at 10:16 am
(33) James says:

Name, if you are naturally the way you are. masculine,then why would you think its being weak if a guy cant help the way he acts, you have a antrual hatred for guys that come across as gay. Your apathy could lead you to hurt a guy that comes across as gay in work situations. Your the most dangerous homosexual! You should work on Captial hill…

February 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm
(34) Eric says:

Coming out of the closet, one of the things that has surprised me the most, is the antipathy I have seen in the gay community, against femmes.

I myself am a hyper-masculine, butch guy. I like masculine men, but I just love the femmes. Opposites attract as the saying goes. I have had people tell me, that I just want a woman. This is stupidity. After living most of my life as a straight man, I most assuredly do not want a woman. Furthermore, there is no resemblance, in fact, between a woman and a Femme. Please show me the woman that behaves like an effete gay man. Do I really need to mention, that the instrumentation is different between them.

I don’t know that this ire against the femmes, is caused by some self-loathing. More likely it is just cowardice in trying to appease outsiders. It’s like the child who turns against his unpopular friend, so he can try to hang with the cool crowd.

I like men, I like femmes, I make no apologies to anyone. God save the queens!

Semper Fi

February 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(35) Joe says:

For dating, I definitely have a threshold of maculinity that I expect in a man. I am not attracted to feminine (note I do not say “effeminate”) men because it is the unique qualities of a man that attract me to them. If I wanted someone feminine, I’d be straight. For friendship, it makes no difference to me because friendship is not about sex or romance. I feel equally comfortable around masculine or feminine men and don’t expect anyone to play a role for me because of someone’s narrow definition of what gay means. I just don’t feel drawn sexually to more feminine men. The word “effeminate” is deprecating and I avoid using it.

April 17, 2010 at 9:47 pm
(36) John says:

I came out aged 16. I have always been pleased to be gay. I have never had a homophobic reaction from anyone – or if one seemed likely I have known how to turn the situation around and bring the person on board. Of course men have the right to be camp if they want, but they also need to accept the following facts:

1. effeminate behaviour is a major cause of homophobia
2. effeminate behaviour by some gay men is the major reason so many boys and young men have problems coming to terms with their homosexuality
3. there is nothing homophobic about disliking effeminacy – on the contrary, since gay men are [nearly always] attracted to masculinity, effeminate behaviour is self-defeating

May 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm
(37) James says:

Homsexual actitvity is a major cause of homphobia. Masculine men get beat up just as much as “fem” do. SO your saying you conditoned the people who accept you for being masculine,to loath gay men that are readable? YOu dont like fem gya men do you,under any circumstance,co worker or other waise? thats wwhat your saying… U DESRVE HOW UR TREATED>> yet you mihgt haave been breeding hatred from the very people you seek to accept you… for who u r.. DOUBLE STANDARD!

May 6, 2010 at 5:25 am
(38) Kevin says:

I’ve heard this before, and I find it to be laughably absurd. Extreme fringe behaviors are reactionary and brought on by some type of social/cultural maladjustment. This is true for both (usually fake) hyper-masculine guys (whether gay or straight) and hyper-flamboyant gay guys.

However, in the gay world over-the-top flamboyance is much more common than rigid machismo. I think that extreme nelly-ness is a form of self-deprecating parody that I find offensive, and is usually a serious sign of social maladjustment (and they often have very destructive lifestyles). Consequently, I am pretty much never attracted to it, even on a social level, much less on a romantic level.

What I am attracted to are normal acting guys that have just subtle hints of gayness that would only be picked up by someone looking for it – they tend to be the most normal/pleasant to be around.

May 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm
(39) Stoner says:

I find it very odd that people will take it as a personal affront to them if someone is femme–as though they’re orchestrating this massive resistance just to piss the world off.

Being femme is no different than being masculine/tough/socially acceptable in the sense that that’s what you were as. Why people comment on it as though it’s a pair of brown shoes with a black belt says more about the general fussiness of the population than a true understanding of humans.

I also have to scratch my head at macho types that will openly denigrate a femme. You’d think that they’d realize, who in their right mind would CHOOSE to make their lives more difficult? Just enjoy your privelege and your lack of depth, and shut the F up.

May 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm
(40) LC says:

Hmm…I’ve read through the commentary over and over and am a little disappointed at the comments, but I will climb on top of my soap box and give my opinion.

First thing I’d like to address are the age old comments “if I wanted a woman i’d be with one/straight” Really? Correct me if i’m wrong but isn’t being “gay” being attracted to a man? MEANING women don’t have a penis, and men don’t have breasts. Regardless to whether a MAN is feminine or not, he still is above all else…a MAN. I do agree with allot of the posters in regards to it being a preference, just like one would read on dating profiles if they liked “red bones” or “dark skin” men. It’s a matter of preference, not saying some men hold the other with disdain in their heart (though some do, but thats a WHOLE other topic).

Suggest for one second, that you can go on a date with someone who has qualities that you normally wouldn’t gravitate towards. I believe many men would fine that once we got passed the “surface” all of those other “stereotypical” terms become so unimportant. I’m going to drift a little bit towards what we as gay men need to really be asking for in a mate instead of focusing on something that is only a small percentage of who that person really is…
For those who truly desire a longterm committed relationship…what are their morals? beliefs? How do they get along with their family? How was their childhood? Fears? Is he respectful? Etc…those are the type of questions that should make or break your opinion of someone.

As far as sex is concerned. There are feminine guys that will perform like a BEAST in bed…and there are masculine guys who’ll perform and be like a KITTY CAT…so in regards to sex…where do the “masculine and feminine” come into play? That just plays into the whole “i’m masculine so i’m a top/i’m feminine so i’m a bottom” That is the most rediculous thing anyone could say. One has nothing to do with the other.

For ME I do believe that it could have a little to do with “appearances”. I myself want someone I can bring home to my family that they can embrace, that I can be proud of, that can support me, protect me, give me that confidence that I may need every once in a while, has goals and ambitions, and looks adversity in the face and chews it up and spits it out. That man may be feminine or masculine. Yes I have a preference, but as men what we all know is though we may “desire” something that may not be “good” for us. Some gay men may be naturally feminine, and some may be naturally masculine. Some men don’t like the attention a feminine man may attract. So if one wants to really pick and choose…lets be SPECIFIC. Feminine men come in all shades and sorts of “femininity”. EXAMPLE…a man’s voice may be a little soft, may carry a bag (MEN…a bag is not a purse *running to hide from the lynch mob who disagree*) and dresses emaculately. Is he considered “feminine” or “effiminate”? Next guy may arch his eyebrows, wear makeup, and wear vibrant colors. Is HE the one guys label as “fem”? And if so, or even if not…why, and how can we lable and put a man into a group if he only has 1 or 3 out of the MILLIONS of charachteristics that may label a man as “fem”?

Hypothetically all of my life i’ve been one who is very accepting of the way people are. EXAMPLE…I always preferred this “six pack” guy, and never thought twice about a “thick” guy…but now every single guy i’ve dated has been “thick”. Everyone is deservant of love and attention and shouldn’t be shun because of “difference”. Could we imagine a world where the feminine guy was the most coveted and the most hard to find, where masculine men were a dime a dozen, and we all were saying “fats and femmes only”?

Lastly…there have been comparisons of homosexuality and the “black movement”. How can such a comparison be made in a day that black men still sometimes aren’t accepted? In this day I still believe that black men being born into this world, are born into an ongoing struggle. Ad “gay” to his back and its a double whammy. Ad black, gay, and fem…and WOW…how do we survive? The men who’ve learned how to embrace themselves and others, and not shun away those that are different are TRUE men. Those that do…are no different than those who still ride hourses wearing white sheets as apparel, burning crosses in front yards. Yes men. It does still happen. Is it right? Nope. And thats exactly the point.

We all need to get past some of these age old traditions. If you’re like me then you were raised in a church, “gay” or “homosexuality” meant you were going to hell, I wasn’t allowed to cry or hurt or express my emotions. I so wish I was able to do that as a child. It would have made me an even better person. Social norms are changing people. Women are taking over, and us men are sitting at home with the kids doing housework and making the meals. Is that a bad thing? Does it make us feminine because we’re doing the jobs WOMEN were “traditionally” and stiffled and confined to do? Absolutely not. So please…define masculine, and define feminine, and please don’t give reference to roles and how it “used to be” in the 20′s and 30′s. It’s 2010.

September 17, 2010 at 11:35 am
(41) G says:

There is truth on both sides of this debate. Yes, there is a sense of distancing yourself from the stereotypes of a what a gay man is and trying to claim your independence from these stereotypes. I for one hate when people refer to it as STR8 acting when it comes down to more of just being “masculine”. The one thing that is missing from this discussion about femmes vs. masculine is the simple fact of what makes gay men gay: sex and attraction. And I think it comes down to more of that then anything else. I for one am attracted to “manly” men: the attitude, the walk, the voice, and the disposition of a masculine man. I am not attracted to females in any way shape or form. Yes, females can make great friends. Everyone has a feminine and masculine side to them. But when it comes down to who I would want to have sex with, it will always be with a masculine man. It is that simple. That being said, there are people out there that want a feminine man for whatever reason so it comes down to innate feelings of attractions that are specific to each individual. To each his own. I also hate when people confront me on this issue and say “well you just don’t like me, because of your own insecurities of being a gay man.” And I always say: “no, I have tried it before and it is as simple as my dick will not get hard…nothing more than that.” Ask some femme gay man who is skinny why they don’t like fat men and it will usually come down to the fact that they don’t find it attractive. You don’t hear someone telling them, it is just your own insecurities about your weight. It is the same logic. Being effeminate doesn’t make you LESS of a man, it just means your not masculine. And there will be someone out there at some point who finds that attractive.

November 6, 2010 at 5:04 am
(42) R. says:

I think for some, it is self-hatred, but I know for myself, I love being gay, I’ve been out since I was 13, and I just can’t get sexually attracted to feminine guys, and I think I speak for a lot of gay men. And it makes sense, hello, we’re GAY? We’re not attracted to women, so why would we be attracted to men who have qualities of women, when we’re not attracted to women? I think there is a spectrum though about what gay men are attracted to, but I’m just speaking for myself and for others like myself in my part of the spectrum I guess, I can’t orgasm while having sex if the guy I’m having sex with sounds and acts like a woman, I need a penis, I need a man. It also annoys me because sometimes we try too hard to be politically correct, yes sometimes it is self-hatred, but it’s not ALWAYS about gay self-hatred, it’s hard wired into our BIOLOGY (because we’re BORN GAY remember?) to be attracted to MEN. Sexual desire and what we’re attracted to sexually is governed by our DNA, science has proven it, why would it be any different for gay men or lesbians?

November 21, 2010 at 8:26 am
(43) Dan Collier says:

As an effeminate man, one aspect of the effeminate or not debate very much bothers me. Much of the anti-feminine demeanor argument stems, it seems to me, from the POV that those of us who are effeminate are simply acting out.

Putting on an act. Emoting.

This is far from the truth. I was effeminate long before I knew I was effeminate. And even when I’d be teased or mocked about a specific gesture or hand movement or stance, I actually had no real idea what they were so critical of. I was simply being myself.

To this day, when I see a vid of myself, I can see just how feminine is my demeanor, but not because I am throwing my feminine side out there to get a reaction. I am effeminate because that is who and what I am. I am innately, I am naturally, I am instinctively effeminate.

That it clearly bothers and annoys and disgusts and revolts and repels (apparently) man, many people (homo and het), that’s too bad. I am sorry about this, but I am who I am.

November 27, 2010 at 11:13 am
(44) Smith says:

“I am sorry about this, but I am who I am.”

Just so. At what point did we become a bunch of [edited] apologists who take personal affront at how others act? I don’t give a [edited] how masculine or feminine anyone else acts, and I sure as hell don’t care what I’m perceived as. Just bloody… get on with it.

December 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm
(45) paul says:

As a black gay man I must say that I am attracted to masculine men. Personally I find femm men a turn off. However I feel some masculine gay men use their masculinity as a weapon against those who are femm, I know a lot of masculine butch queens who despite the muscles and deep voice are big ole queens underneath.

They snub their nose at femm men in a way that dehumanizes them as individuals.This is when I feel the self loathing comes through. To reject someone because you fear that part in yourself. Many of the sissies I knew growing up were some of the best fighters and had no problem telling you what they think. I feel some men were just meant to be femm. For them to pretend to be anything else would be stupid. I have always struggled w/ weather or not im not masculine enough… Im generally not a flamboyant man by any means but im also no Tough Tony. I know what it was like to be called sissy in school by other boys. The same boys who i messed around w/ later. As I get older im more in touch w/ my masculine side. I enjoy acting like a dude and atracting strong masculine men in my life. There is something about masculine men that I desire to become and learn from. Although I play more the submissive role w/ men in my relationships. That does not require me to act like a girl.
If my man chooses to call me his bitch in the bedroom thats something between us. But I will not pretend to like football or act like a barbarian to apease some male fantasy.
I also recognize many of the men I use to have sex w/ were thugs, gangmembers and ex cons and required me to be femm. These men were attracted to the femm qualities about me and wanted me to be their girlfriend more or less. I enjoyed the way they made me feel protected… however there was no real acceptance. Im not that kid anymore.
I was young and needed their validation. I think deep inside I was searching for a father and needed them to show me how to be a man. I realize today that it already lives inside me. And society may never accept me, but I have self acceptance which attracts the qualities that I need from a strong masculine man. There are just to many aspects of masculinity and femm. I think the extream of either can be annoying. Masculine gay men who are truly confident in themselves are not out to hate femm queens. I thank all the masculine and femm men who came before me and stood on the front lines for equality. As gay people we are diverse. And we need both masculine and femm and in-between and drag queens and trannys… Lets stop kissing straight ass.

May 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm
(46) oldfoxbob says:

The majority of Gay males are very str8 acting. Fem men are truly in the minority here. Not that that is a bad thing. I think the No fats, no fems, is some one stating a personal preference for the sex side of the …um…meeting. There are others out there too…some are chubby, some are chubby chasers, some are bears, some wolfs, some are chicken and some are chicken hawks. It all boils down to personal preference. My self being older and getting fat in my old age, I like twinky boys, I just don’t care if they are fem or not where some do.
The tagging of all gays as Fem is purely a stereotype by the str8 world. Think of it when we were younger ( yeah some of you still are so just look me up) we all laughed in high school when the “jock” made fun of the real fem kid in gym class , abet thinking that that kid was sorta cute in his own way. Now its called bulling and it was then as it is now.
The Heterosexual majority has been trying to belittle the gay people since time began. And they are still at it, only now we call them “Christian fundamentalist Republican tea party fag hags”. ( just joking people). So the stereotype as being fem is really just those “Jocks” still laughing at us all,
and personal choice of each one individually of us.

June 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm
(47) Does it matter? says:

To all the sweetie pies here: I am fem gay man. And you know what ya’ll, it doesn’t matter whether you are masc or fem or what – the bottomline is we all love dicks in our mouth or ass. So, get over how we are on the outside. Unite together if you want to see your kind of people (read homosexuals) free just like their straight counterparts. It doesn’t matter whether you appear masc or fem, but the moment you tell your family that you being a guy like another guy – the reaction will be the same for all. So, GET OVER this masc/fem issue people.

August 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm
(48) MDL says:

I’m a masculine, butch gay man….as masculine as they come. But I love feminine men, they turn me on. A feminine man, who is sweet, comfortable in his own skin, has the right personality and body type will rock my world! You can analyze this the way you want, but I know what I like.

September 27, 2011 at 1:58 am
(49) Garland says:

thanks for this post..it seems men like you are rare these days..

September 27, 2011 at 1:26 am
(50) Galrand says:

Hello my fellow gay counterparts,

September 27, 2011 at 1:33 am
(51) Galrand says:

seems as if everyone has their valid points and i have enjoyed reading every comment

September 27, 2011 at 1:51 am
(52) Galrand says:

Hello my fellow gay counterparts,
Although I am highly fem I am very sophisticated and classy. I am not the sterotypical anything.
Before i came out I would imagine that since I was feminine I would be with a masculine gay man. I thought I would be the bottom as well. Turns out with my first relationship I was the top and the more domineering counterpart. My ex by the way was neither fem nor masc.
However I never thought my femininity would be an issue for me to find a lover until I started online dating in the late 90′s. It was then that I would meet a guy and we would be having a great conversation and then he’d ask “are you fem or masc”? I was honest and said “fem” and i was rejected every time.
So I began to do lots of research on the subject and it seems that all of my theories of why I am single is true. It is because i’m fem.
I used to look down at the queenier stereotypical gay male myself but I realized that I had not accepted my own femininity. It took years to realize that what I express outwardly has nothing to do with the person I am on the inside. I’m a hairstylist and a fitness instructor and I adore beauty but what’s on the inside is more important to me.
Now that I have learned to accept my fem’ness I’m open to many types of men they all just have to have the right proportions. I’m glad that I am discriminated against for being fem in a way because once again because of discrimination I have had to open myself up to other options. It causes me to have a broader way of thinking and be open to more of what or who life has to offer. . I don’t want to fight with anyone. We all have our own individual struggles.
My hope is that one day I meet someone who is man enough to be with me.I will end with this quote from RuPaul. “I am more man than you’ll ever be and more woman than you’ll ever need”.
much love and acceptance.

March 29, 2012 at 8:44 am
(53) Bloveali says:

buy dress.catwell at my estore

October 20, 2012 at 7:08 am
(54) Jickerack says:

Little bit late to this one.

Gay men are born with innate characteristics, just like anybody else on the planet. Some of these characteristics are, in no particular order, comforting, gentle, driven, hard-headed, capable, tolerant, brave, enduring, funny, wise, sweet, active, passive, narcissistic, aggressive, talkative, warm, cold, sensible, easy-going, cooperative, hot-tempered, impulsive, adventurous, imaginative, clever, dreamy, creative, tough, playful, serious, focussed, hard, wonderful…

I could go on.

It means very little for either side to this debate to suppose that one or other individual gay guy is “putting on” a persona, it’s incredibly difficult to maintain a fake public persona for any length of time, nobody can hold it up for long without the sense of reward for doing so breaking down.

Straight men come in a range of flavours and so do straight women. How would evolution, biology, whatever, result in some as specific as all gay men exhibiting identical personality types? Anyone supposing that all gay men feel the same way or should act the same way are looking for validation for themselves and nothing more, usually at the expense of perceptions of the “community” in general.

If someone tells you they think you’re putting on the camp and it isn’t really you or you’re putting on the “straight man” because you’re frightened of something, well, who knows best?

January 6, 2013 at 12:57 am
(55) Miello says:

I just wish I could get a boyfriend! Hahaha!!!

April 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm
(56) Sera says:

I’m reading all these comments about how it’s “bad” to be effeminate or “like a girl” and am wondering what’s so very wrong with being female. Also newsflash: not all women are girly and feminine either. It’s a shame we live in a society which punishes people from straying outside certain stereotyped gendered behaviors.

April 26, 2013 at 4:37 am
(57) Jordan says:

To me, it’s a form of misogyny that denies the plausibility of the spectrum of human identity. So what, I’m not the most masculine nor feminine, but I love me and accept me for who I am and how I feel about myself. I don’t need you to point out that I do/dont have a vagina/penis.

May 21, 2013 at 12:15 am
(58) Gavin says:

I’m one of those gay guys that prefers not to be with femme guys. It’s not hate, it’s just a sexual preference. I’ve been with some femme guys before and it was ok, but I like masculine men myself.

I’ve also heard people wonder that about me when hanging out with my friends who want to put me in a box. It’s a lot easier to categorize gay guys if they’re femme and it’s less threatening for other guys and women who might have a crush on you.

I think that it’s really easy to police our own community and start labeling people as “self-hating” and all that nonsense, when the fact is that if you’re OUT, then you earned the right to prefer whoever you want and not be called a hater for it.

I moved to San Francisco because I thought I’d be accepted for who I am, and you know that the worst homophobia I’ve ever experienced came from?! Femme gay guys in the Castro. They hated me, wouldn’t talk to me, made fun of me, told me I was “closeted” even when I was IN A GAY BAR. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever experienced.

I’m gay. I like men. REAL MEN.

It’s a preference for me.

July 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm
(59) mike says:

I’m an out & proud (non advertising) gay man in a very small Australian town of 5000. Everyone knows I’m gay. Sometimes I’m shy & introverted, sometimes I’m supergay & bitchy. I’m all types. What’s interesting is how so many straight men enjoy my company & love me for who I am. They comment on the ‘straight acting’ gays as insecure & uncomfortable always asking me why they can’t just be themselves.

They see that I’m a very comfortable, secure & stable Gay Man which they seem to admire.

What’s especially interesting is all the clients in a Salon I work in getting their hair bleached, dyed & their bodies waxed are all straight! Many gays seem to be flocking to a heteronormative lifestyle while the straight guys can’t wait to get out!

Feminine guys like me don’t want to sleep with masculine guys at all! We totally get that you don’t want to sleep with us….I get it! We just dont like divisive language. How about telling people what your into instead of what you not?

July 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm
(60) mike says:

Feminine guys like me don’t want to sleep with masculine guys at all! We totally get that you don’t want to sleep with us….I get it! We just dont like divisive language. How about telling people what your into instead of what you not?

July 23, 2013 at 3:56 am
(61) Pablo says:

Let’s be honest, for the vast, vast, vaaaast majority of us, in our wildest sexual fantasies we all want to be with a super masculine (if not straight) man, and not with a feminine one.

In my case, other than the physical aspect of not being attracted to a fem, there just isn’t much common ground, other than the fact that we both like dick.

I’m a musician and I love rock, and would love to be with a man who loves the same things that I love. Hard to feel attracted to a guy who’s into Lady Gaga and knows more about the current season’s hairstyles than he does about politics.

Such a turnoff to walk into a club and find it to be crawling with fems.

July 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm
(62) jon says:

what are you talking about? most straight white men are effiminate now. how you gonna find gays that arent . pffffffffffffffttt

July 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm
(63) david says:

most straight white men are effiminate now. how ya gonna find a masculine gay one. please pfffttttt

August 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm
(64) Shane says:

Being gay is not about emulating the opposite sex! I like masculine men, not flamers!

September 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm
(65) Jack says:

I think it’s both. I think some people have some degree of shame and therefore anyone who’s “obviously gay” is embarrassing and therefore a turn off.

Then again, there are just people who are either attracted to people who are very much like themselves or people who are the opposite of themselves. That is the case in all types of sexuality. Sometimes opposites attract and some people seem to be looking for just another version of themselves and implicit/explicit sexuality plays a part in that.

I think sometimes too, it gets tiring “being gay” and we sometimes just want to be seen as human beings. And being with someone who is overtly gay makes that more difficult. You feel like you’re being seen as GAY first. Not that you don’t WANT to be gay… but you just don’t want it to be EVERYTHING you are.

My homosexuality is just one of many different things that make up who I am. Sometimes I get sick of being “The gay family member”, instead of , the brother who’s in real estate, or the one who graduated from college first, or the one who traveled to Australia.

Know what I mean?

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