Dear Straight Men,
You guys baffle me in so many ways. Your preference for boobs and your obsession with sports are just some of the things gay men like me can never quite understand. But the most confusing thing about you straight men however, is that even though it is already 2015, most of you are still so homophobic! Now, before you start protesting and insisting indignantly that you are not homophobic, let me reassure you that many of you, are actually, still quite homophobic.
You see, the homophobia that I am referring to is not the stereotypical hate-fuelled homophobia that first crossed your mind when I labelled you a homophobe. I would certainly believe you if you insisted that you are not homophobic in that way… Why? Because bigotry never looks good on anyone. No, the homophobia most straight men like you are guilty of takes a more innocuous form.
The homophobia prevalent among the straight men of today is a fear-induced homophobia. I like to think of this as new-age homophobia. New-age homophobia is pretty much characterised by a subtle fear of homosexuals. The fear that, we will take advantage of you. The fear that we will somehow, convert you. The fear of witnessing homosexuals do homosexual things. Of course, women have been known to express new age homophobic sentiments every now and then but generally, new age homophobia tends to afflict straight men more.
Your homophobia is society’s fault
Honestly, I can kind of understand why so many of you straight men still harbour homophobic attitudes. Society is a lot less tolerant of homosexual behaviours between two men than two women. Women get to enjoy a certain degree of freedom in experimenting with their sexuality. For example, when Madonna made out with Britney at the 2003 MTV VMAs, no one labelled them as lesbians. No one even called them bisexuals despite the fact that Madonna has identified herself as a bisexual woman time and again.
Unfortunately, the luxury of sexual experimentation afforded to women is not granted to men. Once a man kisses another man, he will immediately be labelled a homosexual. If a man insists that he is bisexual, he will probably be met with cynicism and told that he is just a gay man who hasn’t yet come to terms with his homosexuality. Men’s sexualities are thus reduced to a single two-point scale; on one side is heterosexuality, on the other, homosexuality.
Society’s polarisation of male sexuality is the reason why so many of you straight men are still so homophobic! The fact that you can only be straight or gay scares the living daylights out of so many of you straight men because heterosexuality itself can be very fragile. Any experimentation, or overt attraction to another man is enough to make you doubt your owny perceived heterosexuality.
Thus, it is not surprising that most straight men feel the need to guard their heterosexuality so closely. It explains why straight men feel the need to justify their platonic declarations of love for each other by adding the phrase ‘no homo’. It explains why straight men keep a distance from gay men due to the fear that we will somehow, tempt them into homosexuality. It also explains why straight men seem to like to reaffirm the fact that they are straight whenever they encounter a gay man.
So while I can totally see where you straight men are coming from, there really is no need to be so scared of us gay men. Hanging out with gay people is not going to lessen your heterosexuality in any way. Homosexuality is not a contagious disease that you can catch if you hang out with gay people for too long.
So really straight men, there really is no need for you guys to be so scared of us. Seeing homosexuals do homosexual things is not going to make you homosexual. Hanging out with gay people for too long most certainly wouldn’t threaten your heterosexuality in any way as well.
Even if you do experiment with another guy at one point or another, a single incident does not define who you are because sexuality is not a two-point scale. Sexuality is fluid in the sense that it rests on a spectrum and sometimes, it may be necessary for you to explore to figure out where you yourself lie on the sexuality spectrum.
So dear straight men, please stop being so homophobic. There are a lot more scarier things to be afraid of than gay men.
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