Conflict creator. Evil. Pole smoker. Devil's advocate. Unpopular, but liked by all. Faithful to Yevon. Cat whisperer. Pokemon master. Black of heart. Llama.
I also maintain and write for memyselfandrobot.com
If you're interested in the future of things to come, then take a look!
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. More… 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Does this article really require an introduction? Nope. So here are the Top 5 arguments against homosexuality, and why they're completely absurd...5) IT'S UNNATURAL
No. It's. Not.
Many people make the case that because sexual intercourse is first and foremost a means of reproducing, homosexual sex More… must therefore be unnatural. Here's the thing: Mother Nature also made sex pleasurable. In fact, that's how she makes sure we do it often enough to keep the species chugging along. It reduces stress, and it feels awesome.
That's why we do it even when we're not trying to make babies.That's why we do it while using condoms. That's why we do it while using birth control pills. If you're saying homosexuals are unnatural because they don't contribute to reproduction, then it's also logical for homosexuals to suggest that maybe you shouldn't have heterosexual sex when children are not the desired result. Contraception is quite unnatural too... And yet... we don't say that. We don't judge you.
Homosexual behaviour has been observed in nearly 1,500 species. If homosexuality is unnatural, then it probably wouldn't be so pervasive in, you know, nature. Perhaps we should stop making ridiculous assertions about with whom mother nature wants us to have sex.
Don't mothers just want us to be happy and healthy?
4) ANAL SEX IS DIRTY
I'll be quick about this one. Quick and dirty. Recent studies indicate that 44% of males have had anal sex with the opposite gender, while 36% of females have had anal sex with the opposite gender.
Do you know what that means? As the gay population makes up about 5-10% of humanity, it means there are a lot more straight people having anal sex than gay people having anal sex. Statistically, if you're going to hate on people for having anal sex, then it would make a lot more sense to focus on the larger group of people involved in such scandalous, 'dirty' methods of sexual intercourse.
Maybe you should get your priorities 'straight' before attacking homosexuals.
3) IT'S A SIN!
Divorce is a sin, too. It's mentioned in the Bible a hell of a lot more often than homosexuality, and the punishments for divorcing a spouse are brutal and unforgiving. Of course, that hasn't stopped nearly half of married Americans from getting a divorce. And you're telling homosexuals that they're sinful? Come on, you're better than that. Don't be a hypocrite.
I probably don't need to support my next claim with statistical evidence, even though it's plentiful: There are fewer homosexuals in the world than there are heterosexuals getting divorced.
I guess that makes us all sinners. Difference is, I don't tell you not to get a divorce. I don't tell you you're going to Hell. I don't tell you that God hates you. If you're female, I don't try to have you stoned. I don't tell you to stay away from my kids because you're dirty, vile, or evil. In fact, I stay out of your affairs completely. Why? Because they're none of my business. I don't know what you're going through, and so how can I judge you?
It's a shame that this hasn't stopped you from judging me.
2) IT'S A CHOICE
No. No, no, no. It's. Not.
This argument is like suggesting a person's preference in soda is a choice. It's like a person unconditionally loving one brand over another, and becoming infuriated over another person's love for any other brand. Just one question... since when is any kind of preference considered a choice?
I like jelly more than peanut butter. It's just a preference. Jelly tastes better to me. So you probably prefer peanut butter. I get that. A lot of people do. But none of you tell me that I must consume only peanut butter to be considered a good person. I didn't choose to like jelly more than peanut butter, I just do! I'm also left-handed. I didn't choose which hand to use when I started writing. I know that there are more right-handed people than left-handed, but no one has ever told me that I must use only my right hand to be considered a good person. So what's the difference if I prefer males over females? It's not a choice; it's just what I like. It's what I feel. It's what I am. And it's the truth.
Being gay does no one else any harm, but telling our children that being gay is unnatural, sinful, or dirty is incontrovertibly, indescribably wrong, and there is no end to the harm that results from choosing to do so. Think what you must, but please think twice before speaking out against someone for being gay.
1) BIBLICAL REASONING
Fine, this is really just a continuation of argument number 3, but hell, I have a lot to say on the subject.
The number one reason that people argue homosexuality is wrong, immoral, or sinful, is because the most popular book in the world implies that it is. And who can argue with the word of God? I mean, we're talking about an infallible being. He's omnipotent. He's omniscient. You can't argue with Him. You certainly can't tell 'Him' that 'He's' wrong.
Problem is, the Bible was written by man. Sinful, fallible man. The Bible explains very clearly that man is imperfect; that each and every one of us is imperfect. It explains that we're all capable of great love, or great evil. It also lets us know that it's up to us which path to follow. We're supposed to use the Bible as a tool to follow a less sinful path, not as a tool to follow a more sinful path.
Suffice to say, it's logical to assume that man's fallibility was at work when he transported the word of God to the physical medium that we know as the Bible. So how do we properly use the tool that is the Bible if the Bible is tainted by the hand of man? It's also logical to assume that God gave us the freedom of choice for a reason. And what is that reason? Well maybe, just maybe, he gave us the freedom of choice so that we could strive to eliminate the immorality with which fallible man wrote the Bible.
You can choose to understand the difference between right and wrong by using your own conscience, your own values, and your own principles. It's our job as members of a society to not leave anyone behind. We shouldn't be judging people. It's our job to help those in need. Why not focus on a life of community service, instead of a life of degrading and defaming a group of people based on the words in a 2,000 year old book that says slavery is perfectly OK, divorce is punishable by stoning, and that females should remain submissive to man?
I hope you've enjoyed reading. Leave me some comments below! Let me know how you'd respond to someone who suggests that homosexuality is wrong. Or let me know if you believe homosexuality is wrong, and why. Thanks, everyone.
I think coming out was a fairly anti-climactic experience for me. There were no fireworks, there was no homophobia, and there weren't any negative reactions. Maybe we just hear about the experiences that are one extreme or another; positive or negative. Mine wasn't like that.
I suppose the first More… person I came out to was an acquaintance in high school. I was 17 or 18, and it was only a month or two before graduation. I had really been crushing on him, and thought he was gay. I asked him. He said 'no', then never spoke to me again. He was a perfectly accepting guy, but my social ineptitude in high school knew no bounds, and I made him uncomfortable in the worst of ways by asking that question.
That was the first experience, and the worst. Still, it taught me how to approach the subject with someone else. With subtlety.
My next experience was a full two years later, in my first week at college in upstate New York. It was a liberal environment, and the male to female ratio was skewed in my favor. More guys than girls. Who could ask for a better place to come out?
I was sitting at a table with three or four other people. All of them happened to be talking about being gay or bisexual, and eventually one of them casually asked if I was. He did it the right way (unlike myself, two years earlier). I said 'yes'. Amusingly, it hadn't been the answer he expected, and his jaw dropped.
"Wait, what? You're really gay?"
Apparently one of the witnesses to that event then told another friend of mine, who proceeded to spit out her salad and cry. She thought I was interested in her sexually, and it took her by surprise. We became best friends and laughed about it thereafter.
I've never had a real coming out experience with my parents, nor have I cared for one. I know they love me, and I know it doesn't matter to them whether I'm attracted to guys or girls. That said, they're not stupid, and they know I'm gay. I have a comical personality, and coming out generally precedes a serious discussion. If I came out to them officially, I'd probably just ask someone to pass the salt during dinner and say, "by the way, I like penis quite a bit, if you know what I mean."
If I'm in a serious relationship, I wouldn't hesitate to bring a guy home.
I think it's unfortunate that so many adolescents aren't comfortable with sharing such an intimate part of themselves with others, but of course I understand why. We all do. Most people probably know you're gay already. Even if they don't, the ones who truly care about you will either accept you straight away, or they'll come around.
Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that the fight or flight response was biologically designed to warn us of life or death danger, and that coming out shouldn't logically require that kind of anxiety. •Enjoyed this story? Then try these:'When I came out to my nephew, he confused gay with goth!''Mum placed our wedding picture on the mantelpiece next to those of my brothers’Don't freak out when coming out: here are the dos and dont's!