Sunlit Water

December 24, 2006

Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

Filed under: Personal — by teofilo @ 4:17 am

It seems an awful lot of straight guys have been pulled aside by relatives and assured that their being gay wouldn’t be a problem.  Awkward.  Although I was never very comfortable with traditional gender roles and didn’t do much stereotypically masculine stuff as a kid, nothing like this ever happened to me; I don’t think it’s ever even occurred to my parents that I might be gay (although they would definitely be okay with it if I were).  In fact, my mom once described me as the least androgynous person she knew, which was inaccurate but should give you some idea of how she sees me.

I think being self-reliant helped me a lot with this stuff when I was younger.  I felt left out a lot in elementary school because I wasn’t into sports and other “boy” activities, but it didn’t have a huge negative impact on my life.  I just did my own thing and forgot about the other kids.  I’ve never felt much need to prove my masculinity (well, except maybe a little around puberty), so I’ve been able to test gender boundaries without anyone thinking I’m gay.  Sometimes I deliberately buy pink toothbrushes, for instance, and I’m even comfortable commenting on the attractiveness of other men (though I admit working up to this one took a while).  I’m not totally sure this is why I’ve never gotten one of those talks, but I think it had something to do with it.



  1. I’ve been told that I hold a fork in a very manly way, which is to say I don’t hold it correctly at all for polite eating; I grip it in the way someone who’d stab an animal would grip it. I assume this is because I played with toy mice, dressed up like dolls, as a kid. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything with conscious intent to prove masculinity, whatever that is.

    Comment by eb — December 24, 2006 @ 4:55 am |Reply

  2. More seriously, you had a girlfriend in high school, right? It’s of course no guarantee that a guy with a girlfriend (currently or previously) is straight, but it’s more evidence than not.

    Comment by eb — December 24, 2006 @ 5:45 am |Reply

  3. I had a gay friend in college who told me he knew another boy who had a crush on me. The friend was shocked to learn that (while I was flattered) I’m not gay.

    “Lots of my friends assumed you were gay,” he told me. When asked why, he replied with a straight face, “You wear argyle socks.”

    Comment by Stanley — December 24, 2006 @ 11:50 am |Reply

  4. I live in a very lesbian-heavy neighborhood, and people are quite frequently assuming that I am one, but that may just be them going on probability (or hope) rather than anything about me.

    Comment by m. leblanc — December 24, 2006 @ 2:39 pm |Reply

  5. Huh, I wear argyle socks all the time. Maybe that has something to do with it. That, and the musical theatre thing.

    I actually think it’s because I like to keep my social life separate from my family life (worlds colliding, and all that). I had girlfriends, but my parents would only meet them once, if at all. I now realize in retrospect that it sounded a lot like I was talking about my girlfriend who lives in Canada.

    Comment by Matt F — December 24, 2006 @ 3:23 pm |Reply

  6. In the light of day, that second paragraph doesn’t make a great deal of sense. I guess what I mean to say is that from a description of my tastes and habits someone could reasonably assume I was gay, but to my knowledge no one ever has. I do wear argyle socks, for instance.

    Maybe it says more about my parents than about me, though. Or maybe it was the girlfriend.

    Comment by teofilo — December 24, 2006 @ 4:32 pm |Reply

  7. No matter how many women take their gay husbands on Springer, I am often told marriage is proof men aren’t gay.

    The people who sell you the pink toothbrushes may assume they’re for your lovers.

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — December 24, 2006 @ 5:44 pm |Reply

  8. I doubt the store clerks much care about the color of my toothbrushes. And marriage is most definitely not a guarantee that a man isn’t gay.

    Comment by teofilo — December 24, 2006 @ 5:49 pm |Reply

  9. Perhaps I’m wasting my time thinking about how the groceries I buy make it obvious I’m single. But after years of no comments about the baby wipes, a cashier asked me whether I have a little baby.

    Gay: that’s why the “proof” is so frustrating.

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — December 24, 2006 @ 5:54 pm |Reply

  10. Who cares if a married guy is gay? Besides his wife, I mean.

    Comment by teofilo — December 24, 2006 @ 5:58 pm |Reply

  11. I care, because it’s sad he feels he has to be married to a woman.

    The guys I’m talking about aren’t necessarily gay, but I am not allowed to suggest they are. I don’t know why, but if I were to imply that my boss is gay, he wouldn’t say his wife is proof he isn’t, but he might say that about any other man.

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — December 24, 2006 @ 6:04 pm |Reply

  12. Weird. I’ve never run into that.

    Comment by teofilo — December 24, 2006 @ 6:08 pm |Reply

  13. Must be the argyle socks.

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — December 24, 2006 @ 6:17 pm |Reply

  14. I used to wear argyle socks. But then I made a different choice of lifestyle.

    Comment by eb — December 24, 2006 @ 6:22 pm |Reply

  15. My mom used to worry that I was gay. No, I was just repressed; sorry, Mom.

    Comment by pdf23ds — December 24, 2006 @ 8:15 pm |Reply

  16. My mom once informed me I’m not a lesbian.

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — December 24, 2006 @ 8:40 pm |Reply

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