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

Broadly true, but some exceptions.

Mike Tyson does not commonly receive harassment regarding his presumed sexuality.

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Yeah, he’s what you’d call: an outlier.

Additionally, I’d bet one of the reasons (I have no way to say if it’s major or actually true) he started boxing and getting into fights as a kid was the effeminate voice. It can put a chip on your shoulder and make you feel like you have something to prove.


I feel like it should be said that this hostile world in which men all have to conform to a narrow definition of masculinity was created by… men.

Not trying to victim blame here, but maybe the effeminate straight white men in question can take away a little empathy for the hell the rest of us are in because of the society their bros built.


He’s talked about his childhood in a nonspecific way, and all the anger pent up from that. So you’re probably on to something.

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Was just going to say that. Why would you think he was such a raging animal in the ring? I suspect he had a lot of anger to let loose.


You’re kind of succeeding. being the wrong sort of victim doesn’t turn bullying into a valuable teachable moment.


Yah, I know, and it’s totally unfair to the men in question. I just reel at stories that imply that “society” is this thing that sprang from nowhere at the whim of nobody. I’m not proud of my comment, but felt it should be said (perhaps better than I said it).


I also got sent to speech therapy in Elementary school. They beat the lisp out of me. Side effect: it cured me 99% of my Boston accent.

Even living in one of the more tolerant spots, I still talk in a lower register unless I’m in trusted company.


I thought it was a totally reasonable thing to point out. This is something that men do to each other to enforce the patriarchy. It’s also something that feels like water to a fish. We’re socialized to do this to each other, and it’s really hard to speak out about without being not-male or unassailably male.* Terry Crews is a great example of the latter category. But this means we’re at a very beginning of addressing it [toxic masculinity]. Pointing it out is an important part of the work right now.

(*) I do expect you know all this, given what you have shared of your background.


The politics of out-groups can get pretty toxic. My naivety was shattered overhearing gay men get shrill and catty about the work lesbians were doing at a queer rights event. Up until then I sort of expected both groups to be natural allies.

It seems kinda fucked-up to me, that if a straight man has sex with a another man, he is no longer considered ‘straight’ anymore. But a gay man can have sex with a woman, and no one seriously thinks that changes his orientation.

If I had my way, the battle lines would be, “those who care deeply about who is having sex with who”, versus “those with more grown up issues to think about”. And the vast majority of us could then spend more of our energy trying to keep the violence (perpetrated by the first group) under control.


I have no illusions that things are peachy keen these days, especially for young people. But I am old enough to remember what it used to be like. Being perceived as too “swishy” in the wrong place or time was extremely dangerous, like, you could be seriously harmed or even killed. And the “wrong place” seemed to be basically “everywhere.”

And if the incident actually got investigated, the FIRST question was not, “who did it?” but rather, “is he actually gay, or just a little effeminate?” This was considered to be really important, because if you were beaten or killed, it was somehow not as bad, if you actually were gay. And the thing is, that kind of thinking was not just totally acceptable, it was expected, the default starting point.

It was something every adolescent male had to start thinking about, with puberty. I’m not gay or particularly effeminate, but I was (and suppose I still am) quite emotional, and prone to tears. Which got me beat up more than once. Well, at least until I got a whole lot bigger and meaner-- hyper masculine manly-presenting men were allowed a tightly controlled tearing up, but otherwise it could be dangerous too.

And we wonder where toxic masculinity comes from…


Its really tough when folks who should be natural allies can only see “oh good, someone lower than me to shit on.” It would be great if we could see “fellow human, equal in grace and dignity,” instead of ranking others. Trans people, BIPoC, even women, are singled out for abuse primarily because cis, straight, white males set that tone as “top of the heap” and try to force everyone else to climb the ladder by stepping on others. We need to own that and change it. As things stand, if we don’t change, nothing else will. Our mess, our responsibility.


The patriarchy is definitely more apt to respond to white cis straight males than to any other group. So in that regard, I’d say there’s a heightened responsibility.

Accountability is different, though, and trying to hold someone accountable because they are present and paying attention, is a sure recipe for circular firing squad.

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Our culture is so ridiculous that heterosexual men feel offended or awkward around known heterosexual men who may have said something slightly gay sounding. It’s absurd how phobic most working class guys are. I work in a toolroom, am not gay, but I am suspect because I read a lot and am known to have subscribed to The New Yorker.

We have a stooopid culture. It really is hyper-masculine (cartoon-masculine). I know some gay people and they feel both that our culture is more accepting and that it is still ridiculous and sometimes dangerous.

This seems to be a product of western Christian cultural heritage, but I think the U.S. has raised the stupid bar to unheard of levels.


Then there was that study of homophobic violence, where the most vehemently anti-gay men were also much more likely to respond sexually to homoerotic imagery.

I think fear of being caught has a lot to do with that kind of violent reaction, and as more gay men are seen in public positions without being shamed for it, the violence will decline significantly.

As much as I’m attracted to the whole ‘Dude/Stoner’ devil may care attitude, perhaps think about this paradigm in other cultural situations and see how that works?


And it wasn’t hard to sound “gay”, all it required was expressing an emotion outside of anger.


Still, to this day, people get killed for being gender non-conforming. Sometimes not giving a fuck and just living your life can be a death sentence.

Meme Reaction GIF by Robert E Blackmon

I can “not give a fuck” about misogyny, but it has real world consequences for me, even if I act confident and don’t care. Same is true for LBGQT+ folks, for POC, etc, etc. That sort of “be yourself and everything will work out” is basically hollywood nonsense that doesn’t often comport with the reality of daily life for people who aren’t white, male, cisgendered, and doing well economically.

And in some cases, that includes physical violence, including murder.


Exactly. This.

Agreed. But that’s a problem of the people who feel the need to batter everyone not like them.

that’s great, but honestly, we have to start where things are, not where we like them to be.

Perhaps he did as a kid, and that explains why he ended up a wife beater.

It’s fucked up.

He probably won’t, sadly.

Boston isn’t particularly tolerant… it still has massive problems with racism and toxic masculinity.


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