In our community there is often such a stigma about being feminine that being pro-femme is quickly becoming its own sub-movement. There is no denying that a disproportionally large number of gay men are flamboyant, and there are a slew of explanations that people have come up with. There’s always the belief that it’s learned, sort of like developing an accent after visiting a foreign country. Others believe that it’s a born trait and that some gay men can’t help having a lisp and exaggerated, feminine mannerisms. Some still think that femme gay men choose to be femme (like how they chose to be gay, dontcha know?) to get attention. Personally, I prescribe to the belief that personality is a combination of nature and nurture, though I tend to lean towards the natural side of things for two simple reasons.
1. I know a shit load of feminine gay men who are completely oblivious to the fact that they’re femme.
We all know the type. He likes a myriad of things, both gay and non-gay, but there is no denying that you can tell he’s gay from a mile away. The funniest part of it? He likes insisting that he’s “straight-acting” (a topic that I will talk about at a later date). I have to think that if these guys could come off as straight they would, but that’s not how they natural sound or behave. I have to agree that over-exaggerated hand-gestures are probably a result of upbringing, but the gay lisp? Obviously in-born.
Seriously, how often have you heard a gay man say, “I mean, I’m not that gay” with a clear gay lisp? I’ve lost count.
2. I remember guys who were feminine in the first grade who later ended up being gay.
These are the kinds of guys that I like to refer to as having been “born out of the closet”. They were gay babies, gay toddlers, gay adolescents, gay tweens, gay teens, and gay adults. Gay gay gay gay gay GAY.
Not all gay men are feminine, but enough are that I refuse to believe that it’s a learned behavior. It’s not a stereotype, it’s a fact of our community. in the same way that it’s a fact that straight men and women can be feminine, or butch, or somewhere in the middle, or fluid, or non-conforming, or any combination of those, or none. So many gay men are in denial about it because our society has demonized femininity. Women are seen as being inferior to men, and for a man to behave in a way similar to a woman is still taboo because we apparently live in a decade when the black civil rights movement is described as “trouble a’comin'”. Have we learned NOTHING from history?
Embrace femininity, embrace your flamboyancy, EMBRACE YOUR GAY. Someone get over here and hug my homo ass.