Is Being Gay Feminine?

4 minutes

What would you say if someone asks you to describe a male homosexual person (Gay)? What is the picture that came to your mind? okay.. stop there! Most of the characteristics you assumed and pictured so easily might be mere assumptions and generalizations.. in short, stereotypes. Surprised!?  Unfortunately, it is true. Stereotypes rule our perception and thinking to a greater extent than we think. It can be something as simple as the statement- ‘pink is for girls and blue is for boys!’. Homosexual orientation is one of the most misconstrued concepts in today’s world. Numerous stereotypical notions keep pouring in, be it for a male homosexuals (gay) or female homosexuals (lesbian). Let us take a look at them and try to rethink and restructure our perception.

Most people tend to assume that gay men like feminine things starting from clothes, makeup, jewellery, and all other preferences. however, it is not so. it is important to understand that being a gay does not mean one is necessarily a woman inside or outside. It just means that a male shares  more comfortable emotional, romantic, or sexual relations with other males. There are some men who are gay and choose to dress as females, but then, there are heterosexuals too who like to do that. So, it is a matter of choice and not of being a man or a woman.

Here is some food for thought, aren’t there women who dress up like men? and happily call themselves Tomboys! Then why do people become so surprised and judgmental to see a man who chooses to cross-dress? Think about it!

Another stereotypical assumption targets the sexual preferences of gays. People tend to think that if a person is gay, he or she has sexual desires towards every male on the planet. However, this is not the case. They might get attracted to some men, just like heterosexual men do not necessarily hold sexual desires for every woman on the planet. So, if you have thought of breaking friendships or relations with someone who is gay, or hesitating to share room with a gay roommate only based on this assumption, please do think again.!

Another thought that pops up when one sees a gay couple is- ‘who is the more feminine one’. This is another baseless stereotypical assumption. It has been evident that not all gay men prefer to act like heterosexual couples with one showing more feminine behavior than the other. Same applies to those who decide to get married and raise children or raise children as a couple. A lot of stereotypes are framed around ‘who the mother is out of the two’. It would be a good option to understand the word mother as a ‘concept’ and not someone who needs not be a female figure. It is more of a figure which is symbolic to nurturing and protecting the child. Research regarding parenting by gay couples have been going on and till now have found no significant difference in physical as well as psycho-social development of children being raised by gay couples from those raised by heterosexual parents. So, a lot of them prefer to act as masculine even when they are in a relationship (be it emotionally and/or sexually).

One does not realize how these stereotypical notions affect the target population. The emergence of ‘Femmephobia’ is one such resultant effect of the stereotypical correlation of being gay to feminine behavior and has been seen even among heterosexual males; it makes these people develop hatred for anything that is considered feminine.. as simple as most guys rejecting to wear a pink t-shirt because pink is for girls.. Sad, but true.

Thus, the extent of expression of femininity or masculinity is a completely personal choice irrespective of one’s sexual orientation and to define anyone based on stereotypes does not help in anyway it does more harm than good to our own perception as well as to the one being judged.

The world would definitely be a better place if we try to keep our stereotypical notions aside and try to know a person better without making so many assumptions and judgments.

Gargee Kanhere

Gargee is your special friend from YourDOST team. She is a clinical psychologist and has experience of working with various hospitals in Bangalore and Bhopal. Her areas of interest are Positive Psychology, Psychotherapy, Assessment, Mindfulness, special education, De-Addiction Counselling, Psychoanalysis, Yoga Psychology, Psycho-Oncology. An extremely compassionate person who finds happiness in helping others.