Gay men are known for a lot of things, but one thing in particular comes to mind: we have the self-righteous habit of shaming one another without considering the consequences of our words and actions. 


We do it all the time: most of us because we feel compelled to live life a little differently. Sometimes we do it because we feel like we should set a neater, more picturesque example for our friends, for our family, and for our neighbours - one that society might have an easier time understanding. One that isn't as provocative or controversial. One that doesn't invite as much shame. 

Well, some of us deserve that shame simply because we continue to shame others. Here are the four worst ways that gay guys shame other gay guys, and why they should stop...
 

4. "You're a slut!"
 

And what is a slut? Someone who has sex often or with multiple partners? We, the gay community, tend to ascribe the same connotations to promiscuity as the rest of our boxed-in, closed-minded society. That is to say that promiscuity is dirty, immoral, and suggestive of weak character. I call it bullshit.

original.jpg.jpg

There are certainly plenty of religious gay guys. But many of us feel abandoned by God, or by members of our religious communities. For that reason and others, many of us are agnostic or atheist. Whatever your beliefs, there's nothing wrong with them.

But the fact of the matter is this: the concept of your body as a temple is steeped in religious mythology. The truly devout believe that marriage is the foundation of society, and that sexual intercourse should be saved for your spouse. This is because sex is seen as the ultimate sharing and binding of a couple's love for one another. Promiscuity is chastised. Nudity is blasphemy.

Even though many gay guys don't hold these beliefs, many of us still have the deeply ingrained idea that a monogamous relationship is a sign of maturity. A sign of character. Even though these ideas stem from religious concepts and ideals (in which most of us probably don't believe), we still use them as excuses to shame other gay guys and conform to society's wishes.

Sex is only unhealthy when it interferes in other aspects of your life or when it's unsafe. But don't let anyone else tell you how to live your life, how many sexual partners you should have, or that they're of a higher moral calibre simply because you have a more potent libido. Don't let anyone shame you for doing what feels right for you.
 

3. "Grindr is pathetic!"
 

We tend to associate Grindr and other dating apps with sex. To many of us, it's simply known as a 'hook-up app'. And it's true that many of us use the mobile application to find other gay guys for convenient sex.

Following growing reports of attacks and robberies related to app hook-ups we should probably be a little bit more careful about meeting up with people who we haven't met and know nothing about, but people have the right to make their own choices and take their own risks without being chastised for it. 

If you don't feel like playing it safe and grabbing a cup of coffee first, then it's your risk and the consequences are your responsibility. 

texting.jpg.jpg

On the other hand, if you're not looking for a hookup and would prefer a monogamous relationship, then go get one. You can use Grindr for that, too. Only want friends? Believe it or not, people do use Grindr to make friends.

Use it for whatever you like, or don't use it at all, but don't judge others because of their choices and preferences. If anything, growing up gay should have taught us all not to judge. But we do anyway.

We're getting there, but we still have a long way to go as a community.
 

2. "You have Peter Pan Syndrome!"
 

This is one of my favourites, if for no other reason than its sheer audacity. You won't hear older, more mature gay men telling younger guys that they haven't grown up, that they cannot handle adult relationships or responsibilities; no, instead, you'll hear gay guys who are typically in their twenties spout off this nonsense to anyone who will listen (thankfully, not many do).

There's a distinct irony in a college-aged kid describing any other human being as immature or childish. If you don't like the way other people are leading their lives, then that's fine. But bury your words. They're insulting, they're demeaning, and they're wildly inaccurate.

Immature.jpg.jpg

It's true that many gay men did not experience adolescence in the same way as their heterosexual counterparts. Adolescent homosexuals tend to be more repressed because they don't always feel comfortable with expressing themselves on the most basic level. 

Labeling people as damaged, mentally incapable, or immature does not repair the damage that has been done. We are who we are. No one should be blaming themselves. And no one who doesn't feel comfortable with society's definition of a typical lifestyle should feel at all inclined to conform to the standard. We're all different, and we should do more to celebrate those differences.

The world is changing, and we should change with it.
 

1. HIV
 

This is the big one. HIV is a significant barrier for many people who try to understand the gay community, and it accompanies the greatest stigma. Most of us probably have at least one friend or acquaintance who has HIV. Have we asked them about living with HIV? Have we asked them what it's been like? Have we asked them how they feel? This is the most terrible reason that gay guys shame one another.

We shun those who have it, we use unfortunate, misleading language when we remind others that we're "clean" in our social networking profiles, and yet we still live in a society where unsafe sex is common. How can any of us chastise an entire group of people who are HIV positive, but fail to slip on a condom ourselves? 

Newsflash: we are not invincible. Practise safe sex, and don't shame those who have made the mistakes we're all prone to make from time to time. The vast majority of us have at one point or another taken the same risk while being sexually active. There is an enormous disparity in the way the gay community treats those who are HIV positive.

We shame one another constantly. It's sad, it's damaging, and it's maddening. So what message should we be sending to one another instead? Here it is: you do you.

Be yourself. Make your own choices. Let other people make theirs. Don't judge people for their actions, mistakes, or beliefs. You. Do. You. Be happy! Be healthy! Be safe! 

 


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

12 comments

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



Guest

Posted · Report

I think all depends on how people have lived their lives and how life have treated them! There is a time in your life that you don't want to be seen as only the funny gay guy anymore, and despite your sexual gender, you want to be seen as an grown adult, with responsibilities and maturity! I also think we gay people on this side of the planet have already conquered our space, but we are still stacked in those day where we had to somehow aggressively show people who we were, that was a form of confronting so we could get our place in this planet! But now we can married, we can do almost anything as heterosexual couples do, so now i think i don't need anymore wear a rainbow flag, honestly i wish we all genders could mix up together without labels and we all be one thing... Humans!!! With Respect and Love!!!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest

Posted · Report

I'm a former Marine I was homeless and got raped and contracted HIV ...and can honestly say I was treated horribly by most of the gay community...but on a "positive" note I met a man named Brian who is HIV negative a year ago and and we have been together since then we have our differences and argue like any other couple but my Status has not ever been a issue with him and I thank god every day to have found anouther man who loves me for me and not my status ......hes the one with horrible luck being stuck with a pornstar.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest

Posted · Report

up live for town as for at all 27age you of use male AB, Lac La Bichel are in town

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest

Posted · Report

live and let live just enjoy what and who we are and have no hangups

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest

Posted · Report

... No mention of how it's inappropriate to have feminine qualities unless you're a drag queen or already famous? Come on! Doesn't anyone else get bothered by the fact that it's expected we all shop out of the expensive end of the Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest

Posted · Report

Also the rare sexual/digestive accident. It's biology, people. No one plans that.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest

Posted · Report

What about how gay men treat other overweight gay men? That should be #1. So many times other gay men have called me pathetic and that I should kill myself. That I shouldn't show my "fat" face in public. What about us NON-Twinks, jocks and gym bunnies?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
JDJ5585

Posted · Report

Thanks for the comments everyone. @Aaron But what IS maturity really, and how many of us have it--gay or straight? Everyone is their own little world of weird. @barcelona Yeah, I agree. I love how we label our sexuality and then we give ourselves classifications within...twink, bear...Is there a point to it? Why can't we all forget about sexuality and swoon it if it's attractive?!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
idaho

Posted · Report

I'd also mention the shaming (or at least the slagging off) of gay types within the community... muscle mary's, camp guys etc... that's another article!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Andy102

Posted · Report

Great post JD...mmm never really thought about it that much, guess I don't really pay attention to those things.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest

Posted · Report

I actually judge religious people. because I dont have to respect their believes that support rape, murder and genocide.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Aaron_Darkwood

Posted · Report

some interesting points there indeed. Gay guys can be pretty horrible to each other, and for most of my life I have been around straights. It was certainly true that gay men don't date in their teenage years as "normal" people do; this really is a life shaping process isn't it. I was saying only last night at a group talk, that at 43 years young, I havent yet reached maturity lol

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Similar articles