Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Fem Taboo

Being effeminate is, in my local community, apart from liking women, probably the worst thing that can happen to you. If you take what they're saying seriously, about each other in particular. (Don't.)

Why? Because the ones that are most likely to be complaining about somebody else's characteristics are likely to be the most effeminate of all.

Don't get me wrong, I actually don't mind it if the guy's hot. It makes things very clear: if you hook up with one of those guys, your role and his are predefined. There's no uncertainty about what's going to happen and who's going to do what.

I must admit that having somebody prancing about the house like that all the time must be one of those nuisances that gets gradually worse. An irritation that eats at you. But again, I never think ahead that far and few others probably do.

And the fact that the guy's effeminate, doesn't mean he won't chase. Neither does it mean that he'll be subtle about it. It just means you'll have to read the body language and do all the hard work. It's easier than it sounds, because, hey, there is little subtlety involved in it all. If you don't react to it, you're likely to find somebody standing or sitting next to you trying to get at you with one of their "looks". They seem to like the eye thing. And they manage to stick around for a long time, and the shortest ones are often the most determined.

I'm not the most masculine person around. I hate getting my hands dirty, don't leave the house without looking at least somewhat close to immaculate (IMHO of course) and I enjoy a touch of glamour. Still, I'm fairly good at fixing things and using power tools. I don't mind carrying heavy loads. Maybe I'm just average, in a eurometro kind of way, on the straight scale.

On the gay scale, I'm one of the most masculine around. I think it's because I don't act the out-and-about gay guy, possibly because I'm not quite that out, but more likely because I don't like superficial acts.

Because that's what it is: an act. If a guy comes to tell you he just came out last month and "shocked" his friends, flopping arm, limp wrist and over-excited tone of voice and all, his friends must either be fools or he must have changed his behaviour since. Which means he's either acting or just not suppressing it any more.

I don't buy the suppression thing. I don't suppress anything in a gay environment, and still don't feel the need to match my body language to the stereotype and get all "floppy" with my right arm.

They're not doing it to be more attractive, because everyone around is busy declaring undying hatred of all things effeminate. Besides, they're often not looking to score.

It could be gaydar fodder, but what's the point of that when you're assumed to be gay in a particular place, a place where the straight have some explaining to do? And they're all perfectly capable of turning it down a little out in the street, where a little more dignified behaviour is expected.

So when a guy like that rejects someone because the he's too effeminate, I find it hard not to say: take a look in the mirror. But to keep a straight face during a situation like that is probably hardest.

Still, best to approach it like an episode of Ab Fab, with a lot of Eddies around. ;-)


Matt-CNS said...

It's that bloody taboo that had me trying to convince myself I wasn't gay. How could I be when I don't act that way, and frankly if I were it wouldn't be a true expression of me!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I am a blend of the two. I am mainly macho but I tend to "breakout" sometimes or maybe more times I don't know about.

J.R. said...

Ditto what Matt said. When I realized I was, in fact, gay sometime in college, I began to study my own mannerisms — paranoid that I somehow portrayed the nelly part without realizing it. As if there was no way I could be gay and not have a limp wrist. Haha.

If it is a conscious act, though... then wouldn't the fem guy turning down the other fems already know he's one of them?

Nothing Golden Stays

Pete said...

Yeah, JR, the psychology is really interesting. Spent hours thinking about that. I guess it's partly a manifestation of self-hatred too.

Still, I wonder, why don't they just all switch off the mannerisms? Saves so much hassle.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I always used to watch myself to be sure that I never acted in an effeminate way, I hated that about the gay community and in the country that would be the kiss of death. I don't think I am better than guys like that but I am only attracked to masculinity, so if a guy acts feminine that is a turn off for me.

JUSTIN said...

I'm not completely convinced it's "just an act", I think some guys really are just exhibit their feminine characteristics more than others. Dunno.

Having said that I get a little annoyed when people ask me if I am gay when I'm in a gay should be obvious. Oh well.