So I’m just going to say it- let’s stop calling things gay! In this week’s episode we look at the list of commonly held thoughts, actions, and beliefs about men that are often considered “gay” for no real good reason. We discuss how these views only feed into the toxic masculinity we want to dismantle, especially for minority men.
So first things first, let’s make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to the definition of some of the words we are discussing today.
Gay; adj. 1. of, relating to, or exhibiting sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one’s own sex; homosexual: most commonly used to refer to a man’s sexual orientation; 2. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues. Source: Dictionary.com
Toxic masculinity; the concept of toxic masculinity is used in psychology and gender studies to refer to certain norms of masculine behavior in North America and Europe that are associated with harm to society and to men themselves. Source: Wikipedia
What are some examples of toxic masculinity? Here are a few for your reference:
- Stereotypes that reinforce that men are socially dominate
- Sayings that give men a pass based on their gender i.e. boys will be boys
- Reinforcing that if men like feminine things or are in touch with their feminine side, they can’t possibly be straight or are considered to be “lesser men”
Our goal with this episode is to stop the nonsense of using the word “gay” as a way to describe things that are boring, make no sense, or worst- that tend to be feminine in nature. Here is a short list of the things that are not gay and that those that think otherwise, need to open their minds and challenge their deeply held beliefs:
- Men showing affection to one another i.e. hugging or crying
- Believing there’s a “gay agenda”
- Attacking/judging men for enjoying or appreciating things that are typically considered feminine i.e. flowers, wearing certain colors, caring about their appearance, getting manis, facials, etc.
- Participating in certain sports/activities i.e. gymnastics, ballet, cheer, yoga, spin
Not convinced that this is a problem? Here are some of our thoughts that show otherwise:
- Ignoring it doesn’t dismiss that fact that these types of comments not only cause damage to men but also promote anti-LGBTQ sentiments
- Its problematic enough that Wanda Sykes had a whole PSA about it:
Other than talking about it, what else can we do?