Just had a short discussion on The Book of Face regarding a recent article at Queerty.com entitled People Who Should Come Out In 2015 (But Probably Won’t). One of the comments was that Richard Simmons (mentioned in the above-named article as presumed gay) “could be powerful advocate for gay rights yet isn’t.” And there is some truth to that- refusing to talk about his actual orientation people not only presume that he is gay, they also assume that he is ashamed of it. Others are more charitable and say it probably reflects a defensive reaction to the well-documented bigotry so common in the previous century.
I commented “I agree that, in general, people coming out (wherever they fall on the queer spectrum) is a good thing for furthering acceptance. However there is an argument to be made that Richard (or any other fey man/ butch woman) being open about that aspect of their nature is an argument that being fey/butch is acceptable regardless of who one sleeps with.
“Certainly one of the reasons that many people are hesitant to come out is stereotyping- that all gay men are swishy, but also that all swishy men are gay. I would be just as happy if people were accepted for being a flaming queen whether straight or gay. Perhaps that would also reduce the number of MSM (‘men who have sex with men’) who are terrified of self-labeling as gay.
“The grandiose dream goes on to find acceptance of fey gay tops – since butch boy bottoms are ahead in that.”
I have blogged a few times about Coming Out (as gay or queer) and how it remains not only relevant but important to one’s Self and the world which surrounds us. That belief has not changed.
At the same time I have long fought against the insulting use of the term effeminate to describe a fey man; strong women are described as masculine. Such terminology perpetuates the theory that somehow a fey man is ‘less‘ while a butch woman is ‘more‘. Such misogyny (and perhaps a natural desire to blend in/ be accepted) clearly influence the phenomenon of nearly straight gay folk. The last line in my FB comment addresses another symptom of gay folk adopting the stereotypes and value judgements of the larger society- that being an expressive, fey, flamboyant (etc) man limits (and more, should limit) someone from being the dominant person in a sexual situation.
Our freedom to be as proudly queer as we truly are can only exist when all our permutations of gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, personal style (and its glorious expression), level of intro/extroversion, choice of partner(s) are celebrated.
Judge not, lest ye be judged
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey