When I wake up and get ready in the morning I know that I have a routine that doesn’t necessarily fit into the stereotypical mold for a traditional man. It’s not unknown to me that I am not an all American jock. Masculinity isn’t a word that would apply to me even a little bit. I’m not traditional. I’m a gay man.
In the mornings I shower like “men” do, I shave like “men” do, but the similarities to the traditional view of a man end there. You see, I also pick out color complimentary clothing that is fitted tightly to my body. Often my clothing is blasted with hot pinks, bright yellows and shades of purple. Next I style my hair multiple times until every curl is exactly where I want it and some times I flat iron it piece by piece until it’s flawless. Then I move to my face. I apply concealer to any imperfections that I think tarnish my face, I dab on under eye concealer and tinted facial moisturizer to serve as foundation. On Halloween (and maybe one or two other days a year) I may even apply a little eyeliner and mascara to make my eyes pop. Once a week I shave my legs and once a month I get my eyebrows waxed.
I wear the clothes I do, I do my hair the way I do and I do put on makeup like I do for one reason. That reason is because I enjoy it. It makes me happy. I feel good about me. It’s how I choose to live my life. It’s not particularly masculine and is well out of the male stereotype, but it is me. I’m a little different than the average bear (no pun intended) and I am aware of that. I’m gay. I’m feminine. I am who I am and I am perfectly proud of it.
I realize that not everyone is going to accept me for being less than an all American man. Especially when I am in the ignorant conservative area’s of the country. In those areas I am slightly annoyed with negative comments I may receive, but I know that these people are simply ignorant and insecure with their own masculinity. That’s not an excuse for them, but it is the way it is. I don’t let it get to me.
What does upset me though is the gay men who give me shit for being me. A gay man mocking me for my shaving my legs or wearing makeup disgusts me. A gay man laughing at me, not with me, about my concealer, shaved legs or whatever else I am wearing or doing isn’t acceptable. I would expect a gay man to understand that not all men have to live their lives by one mold. Since I wear makeup you’re given the right to mock me? So I carry a rather large shoulder bag and admittedly label it a purse. Does that give you a right to be a jerk?
As a community, how do we expect to be treated equally and have the general populace embrace us for being different and nontraditional if we can’t accept the differences in the LGBT community ourselves? I refuse to keep being mocked, put down or humiliated because I am simply living my life. I especially refuse to accept intolerance for my differences within my own community. The LGBT community should be one where I can be who I am free of bullying, mocking and put downs because I am not traditional.
Having hairy legs and baggy clothes doesn’t make you a man in my book. Owning who you are as a person is what makes you a man. I own that I am out of the box. I love being out of the box. If you can’t accept that then you aren’t a friend that I want to be around any more. Gay men who put other gay men down for not being “masculine” or being feminine or doing things that stereotypes tell us only women should do makes those gay men no different from ignorant high school bully’s. I won’t stand for it. Not anymore.