how to tell if a man is gay
or My Tolerance of Intolerance
I am coming down from mourning for a good friend of mine who was a designer and who was gay, but not necessarily in that order. He went missing, and when he was found, he had been killed.
He was a very kind, generous, and humble human being who unequivocally brightened the world of all those who were lucky enough to know him. But that’s not what this post is about.
Now, I’m not gay. I am definitely no expert on the rainbow flag, and I may even feel a little creeped out sometimes when gay men hit on me. But I have come to know and respect a few men and women who happen to be of that sexual orientation, and there is one thing I do know unmistakably about being gay. But I’ll get to that in a second.
I mentioned his passing to a friend who is not necessarily conservative or Christian or Republican, just another normal dude with a job and a laptop and maybe a bong or two. I said that this man had disappeared and had been found murdered. My friend said, “Yeah, well he was gay so, you know…” I said, “No, I don’t know.” He said, “Well, he was gay, so he was probably into drugs and that kind of stuff.”
I swallowed my shock about such a cavalier association between ‘being casually attracted to other men’ and ‘substance abuse’ – as well as perhaps other heinous crimes – because I wanted to think deeply about what he meant. I am a huge champion of humor, irony, sarcasm, and jest, even (and perhaps especially) in the face of tragedy. But he seemed to be serious.
I have a great deal of respect for human beings and their choices, whether they choose to go to mass, suck another man’s cock, recreationally mainline cocaine, or even if they choose to judge other people’s choices to do those things. Although it seems even the most tolerant people are still intolerant of intolerance, I have decided not to draw the line even there because I don’t think it will help anything.
Greater and smarter men than I have made more brilliant arguments on both sides of all those coins than I could ever conceive of, so why bother. I just do what I do, accept what other people do, enjoy the good about them, and tease them relentlessly about their deepest secrets because it’s funny.
So why would another regular guy like me immediately associate being gay with the dark underbelly of the Mexican drug world? Maybe because he was fond of using the male body in a different way than was originally intended, he must then certainly abuse other substances too?
Or maybe it’s a well-known fact that most gays also use drugs, and I somehow missed the memo. Although he was a sweetheart, this recently-deceased friend was a huge wimp. He always drove well under the speed limit, ate his vegetables, paid his bills, stayed within his alcohol tolerance levels, and was scared like a little girl by the notion of illicit substances. So at least in this case, that assumption would be wrong.
I think there are many assumptions made about gay men that are flawed. I have been told, “You could tell he was gay because of how he acted,” meaning flamboyantly. While it’s certainly true that some gay men act flamboyantly, many gay men do not, and many straight men do. You also can’t tell if a man is gay by the way he moves his hands. Some straight men have developed wrist movement habits that appear very feminine, and this has nothing to do with their sexuality.
The way you walk, the way you dress, the way you talk, the decor of your house – are these proof or at least indication of your inherent gayness? Some of you very straight men cross your legs slightly when you walk, some of you talk with a little lisp, and some of you even like to dress like a woman sometimes. None of these things are definite indications or proof of whether or not you are gay.
The only thing that is a sure indicator of whether or not a man is gay is whether or not he is attracted to other men.
That’s it! There’s nothing else. Being gay just means you’re a guy who happens to like cock. The rest of your quirky personality traits are yours alone. – Or maybe they’re your culture’s, or maybe you’re trying to make a statement, or maybe you are gay and you have a tender, feminine side that you like to show.
Or maybe you like to use drugs and live on the edge before coming home to your boyfriend. Or maybe you read your Bible and say your prayers before you suck a cock. The one thing I know unmistakably about being gay is that it’s a sexual orientation, and that’s it. You can’t tell if a guy is gay or not just by a feeling you get from him, and you can’t deduce broad, sweeping things about his life just from the fact that he is gay.
But if you insist otherwise, you will find that I am also quite tolerant of people who are wrong.