Gay Stereotypes

As I said last month, I will be doing a series addressing stereotypes for LGBTQ+ people—talking about people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, as well as people who are intersex and asexual. I look forward to continuing through this series.

Even though I said that I would do a part in this series about once a month, I decided that I would make an exception for the month of June, which is LGBT Pride Month. But not only that—I felt that on June 28, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the start of the riots at a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn, it was extremely important to write about and confront stereotypes with gay people that has been brought to my attention by friends, writers, celebrities, and others, so that we don’t see those stereotypes (or other stereotypes associated with being gay) morph into another Stonewall tragedy.

With all that clear, a gay person is a man who is only attracted to other men. They are never attracted to women—a man attracted to both men and women is not gay but bisexual.

Now that we’ve talked about what it means to be gay, here are a few stereotypes associated with being gay:

  1. Gay people are and/or look feminine. Some gay people may look feminine, but I also know of gay people who look quite masculine. And, I must add that given this stereotype, a gay man who looks masculine is no less valid than a gay man who looks more feminine.
  2. Some people just “look” or “act” or “seem” gay. See what I said for the previous stereotype. Yes, there are some people who fit into the stereotype of what it means to look, act, or seem gay, but I also know openly gay people who look or act or seem straight. There is sometimes the thought that gay men “sound” a certain way, or walk a certain way, or dress a certain way. However, the way that gay people look, act, and sound is probably as diverse as the way people in general look, act, or sound.
  3. Gay people just haven’t found the “right woman.” And since gay people are only attracted to other men, gay people will never find the right woman, as far as marriage is concerned. That being said, maybe some people who identify as gay will be one day able to find the right man (if they haven’t found him already).
  4. In a parenting duo with two men, one of them has to be the “mom.” If one were to follow the dictionary definition of a mom and a dad, this is impossible—as a dad is a male parent, a parenting duo with two men is a parenting duo with two dads. If one of the men in a same-sex parenting duo wants to do more of the dad things while the other one wants to do more mom things, that is completely up to them. Ultimately, though, such a parenting duo has two dads.
  5. Gay people like all men. This derives from the thought that gay people are somehow sexually promiscuous. However, the gay people I know (as well as many other gay people have standards, just as anyone else has standards. So just as heterosexual people are not attracted to all people of the opposite sex, gay people are not attracted to all men.

These, of course, are just a few of the harmful stereotypes associated with being gay. If there are other stereotypes about gay people that should be discussed and/or if anyone wants to expand upon the gay stereotypes mentioned here, please feel free to post a comment below!

Note: If you want to catch up on previous posts in my LGBTQ+ Stereotypes Series, feel free to read my posts on lesbian stereotypes and stereotypes associated with people with same-sex relationships, as well as my post introducing the series.

Second note: I will not publish a new post next week, as that is the week of July 4th.

29 Replies to “Gay Stereotypes”

  1. Interesting post. I’m straight and even I hate those stereotypes especially the 2nd one. In the past some people thought I was gay just because I wasn’t uber-masculine which infuriated me. Funny how no one calls football fans or players gay when they slap each other’s butts and whatnot. Double standards, people…

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Yeah, and it’s quite frustrating in hindsight. Made me wonder if those same people were projecting their insecurities to me back then. Not being into sports didn’t help (I was and still am into art, music, and poetry to name a few).

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yep, and understandably frustrating! Not being into sports didn’t help I’m sure, but the fact is that there are lots of men who aren’t into sports. Not being into sports doesn’t make someone gay.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, there is that awful stereotype. And it’s a stereotype that is not helped by some of the news recently; notably, Theodore McCarrick (former Catholic cardinal, or I think it was McCarrick) being guilty of sexual abuse…and it came out that he’s gay.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 1. I have to be drunk or high to in order to be in love my same-sex partner. 2. Only White men can be gay and people of color. 3. Being gay is only a Western Culture thing. 3. Gay people are only in theater and things surrounded that. They can be whatever if they went to be a engineer and that is there choice.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m interested in the source of the initial definition of a gay person being only attracted to men and if attracted to a woman is not gay but bisexual. I’m not really too hung up on labelling my own sexuality, mainly because it’s quite fluid and tends to be more defined by the relationship with whom I am with at any given moment. I suppose others would call me bisexual but I really feel that the negativity I personally felt associated so far with being bisexual has made it a label I don’t enjoy. When I’m engaged in sex with a man am I not gay? When I’m with a woman am I not heterosexual? My pondering on this is that if I like tennis and I like badminton what am I? Am I not a tennis player in the moment Im playing tennis?
    My thoughts are that if we don’t want stereotypes which are effectively denying the individuality and grouping common misconceptions, then why do we continue to self group ourselves in the ever growing LGBTQ+…..but instead be proud to be Human?

    This isn’t a challenge of the article but really a discussion point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I know what you mean. It sounds like you struggle with labels, based on this comment. And there are some people I know who struggle with labels.

      Here’s the thing: some people struggle with labels (such as gay and bisexual), while other people are helped by the labels, and maybe even come to a better understanding of themselves through labels such as gay and bisexual. And even among those who come to a better understanding of themselves through the labels of “gay” and “bisexual,” for some those labels are not an important part of their identities, while for others those labels are an important part of their identities.

      If you’re among those who struggle with labels such as “gay” and “bisexual” for yourself, that’s fine. However, those who don’t struggle with the labels should not be saddled by often wrongful stereotypes, such as the stereotype that in a gay parenting couple, one of them has to be the “mom” (no, it’s two dads).

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      1. I dont struggle with the label but more the need to label. Here in lies the issue right within your reply. You state “no there is two Dads” surely the child has two parents as due to traditional stereotypes of what a Dad is and what a Mum is then the child in some peoples minds (not mine) will be missing out on what they see as the traditional Mum factor. You see the value attributed to the label Mum or Dad, gay or Bi is not on paper but resides in peoples perception of the label. Someone who assumes that children fair better with a Mum and Dad role are not entirely wrong, they are wrong to assume that two males cant provide that role and they are wrong in assuming that the roles are split not shared. The issue with being offended with stereotypes is assuming those using them meant to offend, I dont think the majority of cases they are intending to offend but the legend on their map is different and the labels have different meanings to those on your map. We have to be careful we dont choose a label and expect others to have exactly the same definition of that label is my point in this. An example here is if I choose to label myself bisexual then someone says “You bisexuals are all the same” in my head I know we arent but to them we are because of the experiences and attributes they have assigned to that label. I cant expect to change their interpretation of a word but I can choose not to use the word to describe myself.

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      2. Thanks for clarifying that your issue is not with your having to label but the need to label in the first place.

        As I said in a previous comment with you, some people are helped by the label. I’ve known people who had MUCH improved self-esteem after finding a label that fits with their experiences (whether it be gay or bisexual or something else). I’ve known people who’ve come to a better understanding of who they are and how they are because they found a word that describes their experiences. That’s important. If you’re not a fan of labels in the first place, that’s fine and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s also worth respecting the fact that some people are helped a ton by finding a word that describes their experiences (even if their definition of the word may differ slightly from my definition, to hit on your concerns over definitions).

        I agree with you that in many (if not most) cases, people who play into these stereotypes (whether it be the “mom” stereotype with the gay couples or something else) don’t have the intention to offend. That’s actually why I thought a post on gay stereotypes was appropriate on my blog, because my blog is all about injustices that we may struggle to recognize and/or blindly commit.

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      3. I agree whole heartedly and have enjoyed discussing this further and in doing so have learned a little more about my own thoughts and feelings. I find the value in writing is sometimes greater for the author than the reader in clarifying matters. I like words and there use and it’s always nice to ask others “what did you mean by that” sometimes we share the same view but place very different values on the words we use. Thank you for the conversation x

        Liked by 1 person

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