We live in a subculture that is shackled in the chains of gender expectation. The media blitz’s us with images that are an astronomically unrealistic of what it is to be male or female. Growing up as a gay male is difficult. Gay men face discrimination, harassment, and even the possibility of parental rejection. However, it is far more difficult if you’re an effeminate gay man. The effeminate gay man does not come out of the closet; his dazzling personality shines like a ray of light cascading out from underneath the closet door.
Gay culture encourages effeminacy in men by dressing in drag, snapping our fingers in a sassy manner, fluttering our eyelashes, and calling each other “girlfriend”. The stereotypical effeminate gay man is the local grooming guru, fashion expert, and design expert. Yet, gay culture also discriminates against effeminate gay men. Some members of the LGBT community feel that an effeminate gay man will not be successful in a professional field outside of the stereotypical occupations for them, and are hereby confined to the chains of gender expectation. There is a natural repulsion among some homosexuals when faced with attempts that violate the fundamental nature of masculinity. The effeminate behavior in men violates that very nature. These farcical concepts are no surprise to effeminate men who have experienced the rampant discrimination from LGBT community.
In the last fifty years women were considered to be weak and lacking leadership skills because, women are emotional. The LBGT community has taken a step back with these concepts being applied to effeminate gay men. Masculinity in America has always been at the top, and it is no different for males in the gay or straight community. Many effeminate males regardless of sexual preference struggle with their femininity, they spend hours in the gym trying to emulate the ideal of what a man should look and behave like. Researchers at Cornell University found effeminate males bash effeminate gay men when their masculinity is questioned. As a result, gay men who exhibit feminine traits are at a higher risk of violence from men whose masculinity is threatened.
Masculinity never ceases to be more acceptable for women than femininity is for men. A study published in the American Psychological Association showed a substantial number of effeminate-identified men who prefer masculine men for their sexual partners. Phrases like no fems, no queens, straight acting, and no bitches are splashed over media. Our culture has replaced the fear and hatred of women, with the fear and hatred of things associated with women. Experts say the negative reaction toward a feminine man is a reaction against the bias of feminism. Femmephobia has become a serious problem inside and outside of the gay community. It appears that gender politics is on a crusade to obliterate all things feminine, and make sure feminism remains submissive.
The LGBT community may want equal rights, but first we must start with our own minds and refashion our own sexist mentality. No matter what gender or sexual orientation we classify ourselves as. Turning a blind eye to the spinelessness of some people pretending the effects of femmephobia on the population don’t matter, leaves many of us with a sour stomach.
If a woman is naturally butch or feminine own it! If a man is naturally feminine or masculine own it! Be it!…gender neutral is wonderful! A lot of people are more than happy to dance to their own tune without the pressure of gender politics. As men and women, straight or gay, transgendered or plush, don’t ask for tolerance, demand more. Femmephobia should not be tolerated and effeminacy accepted, redefined, and cherished.
This article was written by Laurell Morse, a writer for dusk magazine.