My brother would get furious at our younger sister for calling him “gay”, “queer”, “fag”. She would make this a game when he had friends over. My poor brother would try not to rise to her baiting him. But, like anyone who is tormented relentlessly, he did come to his limit. He would jump up, she would run, he would chase her (the odd thing was that she still would not shut her mouth and kept taunting him even while she was running away).
Anyway, my weird family history aside, being gay was not okay. Men were sensitive to the issue, still are. For all I read about accepting homosexuality there is still a lot of discomfort with homosexuality. I can understand. I don’t fully accept it myself.
I’m not about to bash anyone and I don’t have a phobia about it (homophobia is a childish argument). But, it does not feel like something natural and right to me. I don’t make an issue of it. It’s a point where I just agree to disagree.
Today, reading the above hashtag on Twitter I got to see that things are not much changed from when I was in high school and my sister would torment my brother with those words. Men still feel uncomfortable, sensitive to the questioning of their manhood. That’s a shame. I personally believe men are about the same as they always have been.
The issue of homosexuality really is quietly intruding into my own family these days. I have a nephew in high school. He has had to face the questions about his manhood. Is his voice pitched a little too high? Is it ok if he likes to dress up in a suit and add some blonde to his hair? Are his feet not big enough? (We don’t talk about any other measurements…).
His peers decided he is gay at some point and have not let it go. It’s not that he is one of those kids being bullied (at least I don’t think so) but in his group of friends they joke about his sexuality. Meanwhile, this is a kid who is not having sex (we have talked about this and I choose to believe him). To that group of kids being gay is more about fashion choices, body language and physical characteristics than sexual partners. It’s more about the image which gay men have been given by the media than about the reality of liking men/ your own gender sexually.
Take some time to read the posts on Twitter, made by men. Almost everything added to this hashtag is about the issue of homosexuality and being a man, being man enough. Write about men, our brothers, Fathers, nephews, sons, etc. What is the role of men in our culture? What would you like men to feel about themselves, as men?
Note: If anyone uses this post to make a stand about homosexuality I will delete the comment. This is about men and manhood (choice of sex partner is not relevant to the issue of being manly/ man enough).