March 1, 2011

Are gay men similar to straight women?

I know, I know: stereotypes. But what the heck, let's play with the idea. I'd say gay men are like straight women in certain ways, but like straight men in others. People don't notice the last bit but it's true, too. We're guys and that means we share many innate traits with virtually any guy we meet. It's not PC to say this, but men come in a mold; women's identities are much more individual. Hey, I said we'd mess around with stereotypes.

As for the similarities between gay men and women, they're of two kinds: real and perceived. We do share traits with straight women -- it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. Let's cite an obvious example: we know how we look and how others look. Straight men have no clue how they or others look. Tiny example (and I know it doesn't apply to all women or all gay men; let's not quibble) but I don't want to go into the similarities at length. I've got other plans.

The second way we're similar is in the way we're treated. Gay men and women are perceived to be similar, regardless of the truth of the matter. It must be the G -- straight guys figure gay, gal, girl and G-string must have a similar meaning. Sigh.

That we suffer the same fate because of this perception is easy to illustrate. Women, if asked, will tell you that many straight, male doctors consider a woman's health complaints to be "hysterical". This is the straight, male nincompoop factor in action. But when I tell a straight male doctor that I'm gay, I am also consigned to the "hysterical female" category. As of that day, I no longer have a doctor who can hear me. 

Meanwhile, languishing on the sidelines unnoticed are the traits that gay men share with straight men. Because we're guys, we have the same guy ways. For instance, it's the easiest thing in the world for two guys of any sexual orientation to start a conversation when they find themselves waiting in front of a doctor's office for someone. Men are comfortable with men; we can always talk to each other. It's just the way it is. Yet this is not something most women would say about conversations with strange women.

Guys have rules and every guy knows them -- like the most crucial one: how far away from each other we should stand when peeing. But it's all worked out. We just consult the Guy Schedule and there's the answer, clear as day. That's why we know how to talk to each other -- we just follow the guy rules. Easiest thing in the world. And that only scratches the surfaces of our similarities. We're men.

Chime in, readers. Do you find gay men and women to be similar? Do you detest me for bringing it up? Do you care? Are you there?


Artichoke Annie said...

I like gay men for reasons that don't make them similar to straight men. [I know this wasn't your question...]

For me gay men make better friends then women, they are more loyal and way more interesting.

It's possible to be friends with a straight man but difficult because of the sex under-tone. "You can't be friends with a man and not be having sex with him," cries society. So gay men solve that situation.

I don't have a lot of women friends, generally I don't find women that interesting. I like men but not the big super-testosterone types that usually speak in grunts.

I like my men friends to be smart and sensitive, creative and caring and most of all to be interesting and enjoy a good laugh.

writenow said...

In other words (ahem), you're similar to them.

And I certainly know what you mean. We're more fun than regular folks. It's just the way it is. And yes, we can hear each other.