Exactly this; it’s been especially interesting in the past five or six years as many friends I’ve known for a long time have, one by one, transitioned genders, which has made me examine my own gender quite a lot – especially as a man who gets mistaken for a woman online and on the phone all the time, and who grew up constantly being told to “stop being so girly!” by his dad. I’m very much a cis male who’d fit female gender roles quite poorly, however. Gay, yes. Genderqueer, not as much.
That’s a pretty good summary for how I feel as well.
At one point my early twenties, I started feeling gender dysphoric until I realized just this. It wasn’t that I was unhappy with my gender, but rather society’s prescriptive norms of how a male should act and express himself.
I have no problem being male. We don’t have to deal with menstruation and we can pee however we want. On top of those biological perks, we enjoy society’s relaxed standards (relative to those for females) for cosmetic appearance.
Where males lose out (besides the whole multiple orgasms thing) is gender expression, particularly if you’re a heterosexual male. You can say ‘be whatever you want to be’ but the cold, cold reality is that you greatly winnow your dating pool by stepping out of line. Each of my first two girlfriends told me how, when they first met me, their first thought was ‘Please don’t be gay, please don’t be gay…’
That’s how entrenched these norms are, and you will pay a cost by violating them.
So I can still use “Awesome” to describe you. Good, good.
This place. This. Freakin’. Place.
Issues quoting others
What if you’re not heterosexual?
You’ll have to ask someone who isn’t heterosexual. It does seem that the norms are relaxed a bit for gay and bisexual males but then again I am seeing this from a hetero perspective so I’m sure I have some blind spots on this matter.
Hey, uh, congratulations on, ah, being you, I guess!
They didn’t have a card down at the store about this sort of thing, sorry.
In my experience, most people who meet me assume I’m straight, but also far more people assume I’m gay than chance would predict. I’m not really interested in dating anyone of either gender, so the point is moot anyway.
Oh, believe me, I know.
It seemed, sometimes, to be the mantra of one girlfriend I had. “I tell my friends how great it is that you write poetry, and like musical theatre, and cook, and you’re not even gay!” At times, it seemed like she was trying to convince herself of the fact, or maybe to get me to reassure her that “Yes, I’m sure I’m not gay.”
And you’re right about the price. At this point, I’ve been single for so much of my adult life that I’m having serious doubts that I could successfully transition into a functional relationship. With luck, though, I still have plenty of time to keep trying.
I suppose it’s a nice surprise when you become familiar/close enough to someone of the opposite gender who you’d consider dating if only they were–wait, what’s that? You’re straight? Yahtzee!
The last time I dated a girl – an incredibly warm, wonderful, charming woman from my office who asked me out – we went on two lovely dates, had great conversation, walked in the park, and I thought wow! I’m actually dating a girl! Look at me, doing what’s expected of me by society!
And then she smiled and said “this has been so wonderful. It’s a shame you’re gay.”
When I tried to reassure her, she said “It’s okay! I’m in theater. All of my friends are gay. We’ve had two wonderful dates and you haven’t even tried to hold my hand, much less kiss me. I’m right, aren’t I?”
Yep. Nailed it.
This describes most of my early dates with my now wife
I don’t know how old you are, where growing up during the AIDS-fueled homosexual panic left men of near my age in a really weird place. It was like we weren’t really supposed to have friends. So much so that when we had to come up with the portmanteau “bromance” to describe male friendships. I feel like I grew up around people who felt they had to assert their heterosexuality at all times and it seemed pretty toxic. Simultaneously I think I felt drawn to friendships with women but assumed that was about sexual attraction rather than just liking them because that was the script I’d been given. It’s really crazy to think back on just how baffled I was (and I assume most of us were) as a teenager.
I’ve always been very comfortably cis-female even though I like playing around with gender. I love gender bending people and media, but I’ve always really enjoyed being female at the end of the day.
However, I frequently have dreams where I am male. For some reason though I never have sexual/romantic dreams where I’m a male person with a male partner.
In waking life I’m bi and generally attracted to less masculine people. Most of my partners have been guys who are a bit less masculine in some way. One guy with actual gender dysphoria. I’ve had much less luck dating women but I feel like it’s a personal problem with my pursuing the wrong type of woman for me.
Cooking is gay now? Is eating also gay, or are men supposed to be taken care of by their mommies until they’re taken care of by their wives? And I thought men were supposed to be independent
I remember the AIDS Panic well, but I don’t remember that aspect of it, or at least I never ascribed it to AIDS. I always thought it was more a function of antiquated gender roles than a direct response to AIDS. Then again, I don’t remember a whole lot before AIDS either.
With the foodie movement and the last twenty years of food and cooking-centric television, I think cooking is permanently off the list of ‘Signs He Might Be Gay’. Depending on where you live, cooking skills and interest in food may even be expected of single, cis-hetero males. I can say first-hand that Madison, Wisconsin is one such place but I’m certain many others would fit this description as well.
Also, @Humbabella: cheers to being who you are! Being who you are can sometimes be difficult but it’s still nowhere near as difficult as being anything else.
BTW, @Humbabella, I hope that my post didn’t annoy you.
I actually hadn’t noticed the octopus in the icon; I thought that the tentacles were hair.
That I can attest to! But the courage to be who you are…that’s on par with leaving the Earth’s atmosphere.