Men "vigilant" about not being "gay-sounding", expecting discrimination

Originally published at: Men "vigilant" about not being "gay-sounding", expecting discrimination | Boing Boing


This is an interesting documentary on this subject


Unfortunately, this is an accurate assessment in most circumstances. This fact speaks far more to our society than it does to the men questioned.


Counter-argument: you could just not give a fuck and live your life. In my experience, toxic you’re-gay-hur-hur people are low-imagination bullies, and usually retreat in the face of actual confidence. Can’t risk social consequences when they don’t know the rules.


Easy to say when the risk of consequences is small. I have been in a situation where a man was not hired for a position because “he seemed too effeminate.” The privilege of not giving a fuck is one that is limited for most folks. It is certainly true that I generally don’t care what others might think of me, but I am quite literally a man of all the privileges and can afford to not care. Not everyone has the benefit of that kind of position.


While things may be different these days, getting bullied in grade school for sounding gay was quite common when I was a young lad, so you’d worry about it almost constantly.


Fair, but part of living ‘out’ – real or perceived – is that you get that toxicity nonsense out of the way up front. That individual wasted zero days in an environment that did not want him. Hard to see that as a win – it’s clearly discriminatory – but covering up long enough to get the job also has costs.


In my mind there is a difference* between a gay man (or any other flavor of LGBTQ) understanding that living as themselves is worth the disapproval of certain assholes, and some guys (for this discussion, but same applies to “masculine” women) who are not gay but are perceived as such due to vocal range or whatever “indicators” you may choose. In that case, they may decide that the price of living “out,” whatever that means in this situation, is not worth the cost and so modify their behavior. In a lot of ways I agree with you, in a perfect world, we should be able to live as ourselves, whatever that means. Of course, this is not that perfect world, and so there is a cost benefit analysis that is constantly ongoing. I won’t judge for the ways someone else makes that calculation, I will be sad that they have to, though.

*ETA: Difference in the price that is to be paid for “covering,” just to be clear. Hiding your sexuality would carry a much higher cost that hiding the fact that you have a relatively high voice, for instance.


Yep. Spent about 20 years pretending I was straight because school taught me “If you sound like a faggot you’ll always be it in smear the queer” and that means getting beat up, trampled, and ostracized.

You really were trained to be deathly afraid of being singled out as the queer one.

I guess I had it easier, being bisexual. I didn’t “have to be gay” I just chose to deny that part of me forever. Well, until a few years ago.


But the privilege comes from thinking that everyone has can choose between good and bad opportunities. Maybe for that man, that interview was his only opportunity. And people operate in a survival mode when resources and opportunities are limited. In a perfect world, everyone could be free and open and fully out, but that’s not the real world for a lot of gay and queer folk.


Also true for those who are not members of this community, but are for some reason perceived to be. Which is the root of the conversation.

ETA: HAH! That’s hilarious that “moist” won’t copy in the quote! Well played!


And no gravatar! (Or whatever you want to call it.) Truly a figure of mystery…


Did not even notice that. I am not sure how that even happens!


Definitely, I had one supervisor who had very effeminate mannerisms, but he was very straight. I met his parents at a picnic, and if you’ve ever seen Rugrats, they were Howard and Betty DeVille and everything clicked into focus.

He was a great ally for me when I married my (now ex-)husband. I feel that he understood me a bit more than other straight folks because of his life experience. We need more people like that in positions on power. That’s one of the best ways to fight this perception.



Personal experience: You start giving a fuck when the bullies resort to violence


It would be nice if people could just be who they want to be.

Where I live, there has been a lot of progress with regard to acceptance of lesbian and gay people over the last couple of decades. There’s more to be done, particularly with regard to trans people but I’m confident we’ll get there.

To be clear, this had nothing to do with me but it’s something that makes me feel vicariously proud.

The progress that’s been made was largely due to bold and brave people raising their voices and demanding to be acknowledged and respected.

So even though I have the privilege of never having to face that kind of discrimination I stil say - fuck that ‘gay sounding’ nonsense, fuck the bigots and fuck the begrudgers.


I’m sorry that happened to you. My desire to confront bigotry by calling it out every last fucking time - because I can and others can’t - is coming from a similar place.


David Sedaris summed the struggle up in a funny-not-funny memoir about being compelled to take “speech therapy” as a child:

“One of these days I’m going to have to hang a sign on that door,” Agent Samson used to say. She was probably thinking along the lines of SPEECH THERAPY LAB, though a more appropriate marker would have read FUTURE HOMOSEXUALS OF AMERICA. We knocked ourselves out trying to fit in but were ultimately betrayed by our tongues.